Bickel joins Thunderbirds as assistant coach

Photo: Vince Rappleyea

The Springfield Thunderbirds announced today that Stu Bickel has been named an assistant coach on Drew Bannister‘s staff.

Bickel, 34, joins the Thunderbirds after serving as head coach and assistant general manager for the Minnesota Magicians in the North American Hockey League during the 2020-21 season.

A native of Chanhassen, Minn., Bickel served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, from 2018-20.

Bickel played 10 professional seasons from 2008 to 2018, skating in 310 AHL games with the Iowa Chops, San Antonio Rampage, Syracuse Crunch, Connecticut Whale/Hartford Wolf Pack, Iowa Wild and San Diego Gulls. He totaled 12 goals and 42 assists for 54 points along with 919 penalty minutes.

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Anaheim, Bickel played 76 games in the NHL with the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild, tallying 10 assists and 203 PIM.