Thursday, September 20, 2012

My take on the Don Adam hiring by the NCHC

Like I said on twitter today – the NCHC is going to end up being the most discussed league in hockey before they ever play a period of hockey.  Some of the discussion will be positive and some of the discussion will not be so positive. 

Today’s announcement from the NCHC isn't going to sit well with UND hockey fans base.

Earlier this morning, the NCHC, which is set to begin play for the 2013-14 season – added more to the discussion as the league announced that they had hired the much maligned WCHA on ice official Don Adam to be the leagues' first Director of Officiating. Fans of the newly founded NCHC, are luke warm to the leagues' newest personnel move. 

Of course there was grumblings… 

It’s not an understatement to say that this hire is not playing well with the fans – especially UND hockey fans who have watched Don Adam officiate many crucial but also controversial hockey games involving their favorite hockey team over the past 10 years. 

While some will not be happy that I brought this up –  for the most part UND hockey fans do not look favorably on Don Adam and why should they? 

Adam is remembered infamously for being the on ice official when UND Hockey players Robbie Bina and Chay Genoway were injured on the ice while Adam looked on. 

During the 2005 WCHA Final Five semifinal game – Adam incorrectly gave Geoff Paukovich a two minute minor after he drove UND defenseman Robbie Bina from behind head first into the boards breaking his neck.

Adam incorrectly gave Paukovich a two minute minor penalty for the hit. The call was later changed to a five minute major and a game suspension by the WCHA tournament officials. Denver University head coach George Gwozdecky would later give Paukovich an additional game causing Paukovich to miss DU’s first game during the 2005 NCAA playoffs.  

So after that incident UND fans were not so enamored by Don Adam or his officiating skills. Let’s also not forget that Don Adam was one of the officials that was on the ice for the Aaron Marvin hit on Chay Genoway.  

Of course neither on ice referees Tim Walsh and Don Adam saw the play. 

After the play in question  – head official Don Adam conferred with the linesmen – at first the officiating crew incorrectly penalized SCSU defenseman Chris Hepp and he was originally incorrectly given a five minute major  a game misconduct – the mistake was later corrected between periods and Hepp who had taken off his equipment and taken a shower, had to put his equipment back on and rejoin the game.  

Let me just say that UND hockey fans have long memories, but this is not a popular choice among the fans of the NCHC. 

Perusing the fan message boards – there’s a lot of angst and anger over this selection.

Like many other fans, I am am also frustrated with this move, because I thought the NCHC was formed by likeminded schools that wanted to get away from the lack of transparency that has surrounded the WCHA under the leadership of Bruce McLeod. When you think of WCHA on ice officials Don Adam's name is one of the first that pops into your head when discussion of officials occurs. 

At first glimpse, this would appear to be a bad decision at least from my perspective – obviously I am just one person, but why do you bring in an official that is the face of the old WCHA? Why not start out new and hire a respected official from the USHL or another hockey league that doesn’t come with the baggage of the good ole boy WCHA? 

Many fans like me, are concerned that we will now see a conga line of officials from the WCHA.
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