Sunday, December 16, 2012

Putting the final touches on this past weekend.

During the summer of 2011 the college hockey world blew up with announcement of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, this was a response to the formation of the Big Ten Hockey Conference.  These new leagues will begin play in the 2013-14 season.

There are a lot of fans that are unhappy with what has transpired.

This is the last season, before the CCHA disbands and teams leave for the Big Ten Hockey Conference and the NCHC. I expect, as the season winds down that there will be more articles like “Last Minute of hate in this period/The Red Line” which was written by Brandon Veale Sports Editor of the Mining Gazette.

In retrospect, I wonder if Veale regrets writing that article or not. I think all he did was fire up the UND hockey team even more. In the post-game of last night’s game head coach Dave Hakstol said that the team was aware of the article and some of the chatter on twitter as well.

I understand why the fans of the Anchorage, Michigan Tech, Bemidji State, Northern Michigan, Lake State, Bowling Green State University, Mankato State and Fairbanks are mad. I think they have every right to be mad.

I attended BSU for two years before I transferred to UND; I even have a BSU Beaver tattooed to my right calf. So I feel a lot of empathy towards that school.

I wasn’t a big fan of splitting up existing leagues, I would have rather seen PSU join the CCHA and everything would have been alright.

Or would it?  Some of these money issues probably existed before the realignment issue came to bear.

I also think that some of this anger is misdirected. Someone was chirping me on twitter for the realignment, the first thing I said was don’t blame the fans of the various teams that are moving on, blame the school’s athletic directors.

Some teams in the WCHA saw an opportunity to start an old league and break away from the WCHA and it’s leadership.

What I do think is funny; is that DU and UND are the ones that are getting the majority of the blame in this matter; they’re seen by many fans as the two schools that blew up college hockey. PSU and the B1G schools get no blame what-so- ever. I don’t see Veale writing articles slamming Michigan or Michigan State, maybe he will later.

More power to PSU for starting a Division I college hockey team. Maybe just maybe, this will get the ball rolling so other schools will throw their hats in the ring and start college hockey teams. I am all for letting the CIS schools join the NCAA Division I ranks.

If you really think about it, the B1G and the NCHC schools are no different, they’re doing the same thing, but only one conference is getting the majority of the flak. While the other is getting a free pass. We can argue to were blue in the face but this is all about trying to make a buck, it's the American way.

College hockey is not immune to the issues that have driven realignment in division I basketball and football. I just hope the nWCHA doesn't end up being college hockey's Big East.

I think it’s going to be an interesting to see what transpires moving forward. I am not convinced that all of the realignment is totally finished. A lot can happen in 5-10 years.

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