Glen Sonmor

From Bhamwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Glen Robert Sonmor (born April 22, 1929 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; died December 14, 2015 in Paris, Ontario) was a professional hockey player, scout and coach. He coached the 1977-1978 Birmingham Bulls.

Sonmor played basketball, football, hockey and baseball during high school. He signed a professional contract with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League, but began his career in junior hockey with the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters of the Ontario Hockey Association and the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. He led Brandon with 28 goals and 44 assists on their road to the Abbott Cup in 1949.

The next season Cleveland assigned him to the Minneapolis Millers of the U.S. Hockey League, but quickly called him up to the parent club, where he remained for most of the next five years, with the exception of 1951-1952, which he spent with the St Louis Flyers and part of the 1953-1954 season, during which he played with the NHL's New York Rangers.

Cleveland formally traded Sonmor to the Rangers on November 15, 1954 for Andy Bathgate and Vic Howe. In the NHL, Sonmor was known more for his brawling than his scoring, recording only two goals in two season. He lost his left eye after catching the brunt of a slap shop from teammate Steve Kraftcheck on February 27, 1955. The injury ended his playing career at the age of 24.

John Mariucci, a former teammate in the AHL and USHL, hired Sonmor as freshman hockey coach at the University of Minnesota. From there he coached several junior hockey teams and at Ohio State University before returning to Minnesota as Mariucci's successor in 1966. Sonmor returned to the professional ranks in 1972 as head coach and general manager of the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. He handed over coaching duties in mid-season, but remained as manager until the team folded in 1976. He moved over to the short-lived "New Fighting Saints" for their lone season.

After than, Sonmor was hired as coach of the Birmingham Bulls for one season, then left to become head coach of the NHL's Minnesota North Stars. He had three stints as coach of that team between 1978 and 1987, making the playoffs four times and the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981. His success on the ice was tempered by increasing problems with alcoholism. He was placed on suspension in 1983 and stopped drinking. His health remained a concern, however, and retired after two games in 1986, finishing with a 174-161-82 career record in 417 NHL games as head coach.

Sonmor later joined the Golden Gopher Radio Network as a hockey analyst and worked from 1994 to 1996 as director of player development for the International Hockey League's Minnesota Moose. He began evaluating high school players for the NHL's Minnesota Wild in 2000. He was inducted into Minnesota's "M Club" Hall of Fame in 2007 and retired from broadcasting in 2011. He was given the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in 2006.

Sonmore suffered from dementia in his 80s. He died in December 2015 at a nursing home in Paris, Ontario.


  • Sonmor, Glen with Ross Bernstein (2007) Old Time Hockey: Memories and Musings of a Lifetime on Ice. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Bernstein Enterprises ISBN 0978780914
  • Walsh, Paul & Michael Russo (December 14, 2015) "Glen Sonmor, former U and North Stars head coach, dies at 86." Minnesota Star Tribune
  • "Glen Sonmor (December 14, 2015) Wikipedia - accessed December 14, 2015