Skip to main content


Rangers hire Potulny to coach AHL team in Hartford

Grant Potulny USA Hockey Grant Potulny - Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — Grant Potulny is leaving Northern Michigan to become the coach of the New York Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut.

Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury announced the hiring of the 44-year-old Potulny on Thursday.

Kris Knoblauch started last season as the coach of the Wolf Pack, but he left in early November to take over as the Edmonton Oilers coach after Jay Woodcroft was fired. Knoblauch led the Oilers to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final before losing 2-1 to the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

Steve Smith served as Hartford's interim head coach for the rest of this past season.

Potulny spent the past seven seasons at Northern Michigan, leading the Wildcats to a 128-113-17 record. His teams made the finals of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in 2020-21 and 2022-23.

The Grand Forks, North Dakota, native started his coaching career as an assistant with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. During his eight-year tenure, they won the Big Ten regular-season championship in four consecutive seasons as well as the Big Ten tournament championship in 2014-15. The team advanced to the NCAA championship game in 2013-14.

Potulny has also been a member of Team USA’s coaching staff in several international tournaments.

A fifth-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 2000 NHL draft, Potulny played five seasons in the minor leagues prior to beginning his coaching career. He also played four seasons at Minnesota, serving as the team’s captain for his final two seasons, helping it win back-to-back national titles in 2001-02 and 2002-03.