Saturday, December 22, 2012

Putting a spin on things... handing out lumps of coal...

This past week, the University of North Dakota Hockey team received some very good news as they got commitments from two highly touted and much desired big time recruits (Shane Gersich and Austin Poganski) from the Minnesota Golden Gophers back yard.
Some Minnesota fans seem to think that this is a serious coup d’├ętat and very unacceptable and very even hard for them to stomach.

Yep! Being a UND fan, I must admit that I was impressed by these pickups and want to see more of them in the futre.
I also predict, that this won’t be the last time this happens either.  
 I mean seriously, why would a blue chip Minnesota hockey player want to play for the hated villains from the west in North Dakota?
That seems preposterous.
It’s not like UND has a great storied hockey history or anything like that.
I can’t figure it out… It’s not like Hakstol can coach or has ever developed any of numerous players from the University of North Dakota that made it to the next level in professional hockey.
If you’re paying attention for half a minute – I would appear that history had repeated it’s self once again and I believe that it will continue to happen.
Like my father once told me, “you can’t win them all.”
Contrary to the outhouse lawyers – UMN can’t get all of the best recruits from Minnesota – there are only so many roster spots to be given out – other schools are going to get a few of these players as well. Notre Dame’s Roster is beginning to look like who’s who from the Twin Cities Metro area.
Gasp! Some great Minnesota hockey players go to other schools. If you look at Minnesota Duluth, Saint Cloud State, Minnesota State, Wisconsin and North Dakota there are some great players on those teams from Minnesota. A fair number of these players probably played their high school hockey in the shadows of Mariucci Arena as well.
Let’s face facts, not everyone wants to play for the hometown Gophers. On the flip side of that equation; not every potential college hockey player wants to call the palace that is known as Ralph Engelstad Arena home. In coming hockey players need to find their niche where they fit in.
One might also suggest that a highly regarded high school hockey player from North Dakota could very well end up playing for the Golden Rodents as well.
 Again, I know it’s very hard to believe that anyone from the Minneapolis Metro would want to play in such a beautiful hockey rink with 12,000 screaming hockey fans. It’s almost blasphemous to suggest something like this.
When you talk to UND hockey players and ask them what it’s like to play in the Ralph, words like incredible and amazing come out of their mouths.  Add to the fact that hockey players are treated well in Grand Forks, ND doesn’t help either.
I have been reading some of the comments of the Gopher hockey fans and the Hockey pundits as they have tried to put their own spin on the recent turn of events.
“We didn’t want him.”
“His health is an issue”
“He’s too short.”
“He scored the majority of his goals against A competition and not AA.”
“I wasn't sold he was a must get at this point.”
Things just don’t play out according to script sometimes. I also don’t think that we should be all that shocked by the recent turn of events. The fact that the University of North Dakota will soon be leaving the WCHA to play in the NCHC isn’t going to have that much of an affect on recruiting.
In the end, UND is still going to be UND and that still means something.