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Lou Nanne

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Subject: NHL on USA, Good Friday Massacre, 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, 1985 Stanley Cup Finals, NHL on CBS
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Lou Nanne

Lou Nanne
Born (1941-06-02) June 2, 1941
Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Minnesota North Stars
National team  United States
Playing career 1968–1978

Louis Vincent Anthony Nanne (born June 2, 1941) is a Canadian-born American former National Hockey League defenceman and general manager. He is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and of the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.


Early life

Nanne grew up in Ontario where he played hockey with Phil and Tony Esposito. In 1960, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota to play hockey for the Minnesota Gophers while studying business administration. At Minnesota, he would be coached by the legendary John Mariucci and would become one of the biggest stars in American college hockey during the 1960s. In 1967, Nanne became an American citizen which allowed him to play for and captain the 1968 US Olympic hockey team, alongside future Miracle On Ice coach Herb Brooks, which finished 6th at the Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.

Pro career

Signing as a free agent with the expansion Minnesota North Stars, Nanne started his National Hockey League career in 1968 following the Olympics. He would spend his entire career in Minnesota, playing 635 NHL regular season games for the North Stars through the 1977-78 season. A steady defenceman and sometime forward, he scored 21 goals in 1971–72 but was mostly known for his defensive, penalty killing abilities. Nanne played for U.S. National Team in 1976 and 1977 (years that the North Stars failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs), participating in the 1976 and 1977 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments and competing in the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976. Nanne also served as National Team captain or alternate in both years.

Nanne also played for the Rochester Mustangs and Cleveland Barons.

Post career

Nanne is arguably best known for his career as a Norris Division, Nanne resigned from the North Stars citing health reasons. Nanne also served as general manager of the United States team in the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cup tournaments.

Influence on the "Miracle on Ice"

Nanne, along with USA Hockey's Walter Bush, spearheaded the campaign to have Brooks named head coach of the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team leading up to the 1980 Winter Games. Nanne, who had just been named the GM of the Minnesota North Stars, offered Brooks Minnesota's head coaching job—but Brooks declined, saying that it was instead his goal to coach the Olympic team. After legendary Boston University coach Jack Parker turned down the head coach position of Team USA, Nanne and Bush became involved in the Olympic Team selection process and pushed for Brooks to be named coach. Brooks did later coach under Nanne in Minnesota during the 1987-88 NHL season, but was fired along with Nanne following a 19-48-13 season.

Personal life

Since leaving his general manager position, Nanne has been involved in hockey broadcasting in Minnesota - most recently being the color commentator for the 2013 Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. His son, Marty Nanne (born October 16, 1967), was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 8th round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.[1] Nanne has three grandsons playing junior ice hockey or high school hockey.[2] One, also named Lou, played for Edina High School before passing up his senior season to play for the Penticton Vees.[3] He had signed to play hockey for the University of Minnesota in the future, but decommited and has now signed to play for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2012.[4][5] Tyler Nanne, who was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, was a member of the Edina High School team that won consecutive Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournaments in 2013 and 2014, and recently committed to play hockey at Ohio State University. [6] Nanne's granddaughter, Erin, works for the Minnesota Wild. Their cousin Vinny Lettieri, whose father Tino, was a goalie for the 1986 Canadian World Cup soccer team, played for Minnetonka High School before joining the Lincoln Stars and is now a member of the University of Minnesota Men's Ice Hockey Team. [7]

Awards and honors

Award Year
All-WCHA First Team 1962–63
AHCA West All-American 1962–63

NHL Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
Minnesota North Stars 1977-78 29 7 18 4 (45) 5th in Smythe Missed Playoffs

NHL executive

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andre Beaulieu
Head coach of the Minnesota North Stars
Succeeded by
Harry Howell
Preceded by
Jack Gordon
General Manager of the Minnesota North Stars
Succeeded by
Jack Ferreira


  1. ^ Wild's Day 2 draft picks; Wild select Louis Nanne with final pick |
  2. ^ Lou Nanne plays hockey mentor to grandsons -
  3. ^ What Ever Happened to Louie Nanne? - Edina Zephyrus's Blog - Edina, MN Patch
  4. ^ Sid Hartman: Wild appears to be on the upswing again |
  5. ^
  6. ^ State boys hockey: Edina beats Hill-Murray for 11th state title -
  7. ^ Vinny Lettieri hockey statistics and profile at

External links

  • Lou Nanne's career statistics at
  • Lou Nanne's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
  • Lou Nanne's biography at Legends of Hockey
  • Gopher Hockey History Player Info
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