Saturday, June 25, 2016

My Final Thoughts on the New Logo

Last Wednesday, the University of North Dakota unveiled their new Fighting Hawks logo and then social media blew up. My initial thoughts, when I saw the new logo was you've got to be kidding me? This is a joke, right? Like many UND fans, I was in a state of shock. I couldn't believe this is what they'd come up with. I didn't know what to think.
Then came the tweets and Facebook post. What's was more interesting was reading tweets from fans of other programs. Some were giddy. Some laughed. A lot of these same fans said they liked the new logo and couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. My own father said, "It's not bad." I said, "Seriously?" This is coming from a guy that spent a year at the University of Iowa. Go Hawkeyes, right?
Although, I expected the logo to be a bit lame, this wasn't what I expected. Not in the least. It was underwhelming. After almost $50,000.00 this is what the UND administration came up with. As a tax payer and an alumni of UND, I was disappointed.
After some thought and reflection, I am moving on. Like I said before, it could've been worse. The word mark is actually pretty good and I expect to see it on a UND hockey jersey in the future. The new logo isn’t great, but I accept it. I may not like it all that much, but I can live with it.  The logo will probably grow on me with time.  
Also, it doesn't do any good to stew about something that I have no ability to change. Yes, I like the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo, but it's not coming back, ever again. It's not possible in today's politically correct world. What's done is done.
I have a prediction: No matter how much the fans and players complain about the new logo, there isn't going to be any change to the new nickname logo. Sure, there will be some tweaks to the current logo, but the university isn't going to reopen the nickname selection process. People or groups can sue UND, but it’s not going to change anything.
I've taken some heat from some UND fans for using the new Fighting Hawks nickname. One fan posted this comment, North Dakota, UND and or Fighting Sioux. When I am writing for the Hockey Writers or Inside Hockey I can't use the Fighting Sioux nickname anymore. UND requested that media members (television and radio, bloggers and journalists) to no longer use the Fighting Sioux nickname. It's also really hard to write UND, UND, UND all of the time. Sorry man.
In my humble opinion, there were hundreds of other nicknames choices that would've been much better than the five bad choices the nickname committee came up with.  I believe we were doomed from the start. Now the nickname debacle is finally over, I'm moving on. Whether you like it or not, Fighting Hawks is UND's official nickname. This past spring, UND actually won a NCAA title under their new nickname.
Again, like I've said in the past, Fighting Hawks was the best choice of five really bad nickname choices. At least the new nickname wasn't Sundogs. I'd like to see the university drop Fighting and just go with Hawks.
Now, some had suggested that UND didn't need to select a new nickname. They're right, but somewhere along the line, there would've been a group or organization that would've filed a complaint against UND. Others complained that being simply North Dakota was a pseudo way of keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname. UND needed a nickname to move on. I don't know. Picking a nickname didn't stop fans from yelling Sioux and Sioux forever. Right? So, that theory was shot down.
As I mentioned in a tweet, if UND had retained the Fighting Sioux nickname, UND wouldn't be hosting a NCAA West Regional in Fargo, ND again. Hosting in Fargo gives UND a major advantage. It could mean the difference between advancing to the Frozen Four and staying home.
Finally, I am a supporter and a alumnus of the University of North Dakota. I think that UND football head coach Bubba Schweigert said it best. 
“UND football is going to embrace this logo and what it represents,” said Schweigert, adding the logo will be on the helmet for the team’s first game Sept. 1.
In conclusion, I will support the UND sports teams no matter what name they play under. It's up to each individual fan if they want to do the same.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Redwing77's Take on the New Logo...

by Redwing77

As Eric said, it's getting mixed reviews and from what I read, I understand it.  The ONLY thing UND has done correctly in this whole affair is to seek advice from its staff, students, faculty, and alumni.

After that, it simply disregarded what those groups were saying in favor of the overriding political mantra "We can't do what you want because we're acting for the greater good and you're too stuck in the wrong to notice."

I don't recall a time (in more facets that mere athletics) where the "greater good" was so corrupted by agendas than the last 10 years or so.

In any case, here's my take on the new logo.

If this logo had been the winning submission from a community outreach program, such as a contest, I think it would be more palatable than the reality of the situation:  We paid millions of dollars for what was correctly deemed to be an overly simplistic, almost canned generic font for the ND and as for the "hawk..."  Gosh if that doesn't look like a slightly modified version of:

Just remove all of the blue and add black highlights and black dots for eyes and well...

My problem isn't that it is ugly.  It's not a good looking logo, but it's not ugly either.  My problem is that we wasted a LOT of money on a logo that surely will become the crown jewel of wasted taxpayer money (whether or not it was taxpayer money or otherwise).

Nevertheless, I argue that UND couldn't win this logo idea anyways.  The only way UND would have come out of this debacle looking at least ok is if they would have allowed the no nickname option on the ballot.  Sure, the PC crowd wouldn't have been happy but that would have constituted less than 40% of the UND greater community (I would assume).

However, people are already forgetting the silver lining:  a logo isn't static.  Many MANY teams have alternate logos.  It would be very easy for UND to alter or change their logo after a year or so and relegate this new one to an alternative jersey format or, if Coach Schweigert likes it so much, it could be football only.

If I were the new UND President, whomever that is, I'd turn to UND's art department, alumni association, and perhaps even the greater UND community and hold a contest to design the new logo much like what got us the final Sioux logo.  The University can stipulate what would constitute a legal submission and what would not.

For example, the hawk can not have any feathers even remotely resembling an eagle feather simply due to the fact that the Native Americans hold a de facto copyright on ALL such representations.

It's doable and I'm fairly certain that, at this point, they will strongly consider it.

New Fighting Hawks Logo Gets mixed reviews.

Today, the University of North Dakota introduced the new Fighting Hawks logo. Here's some of the responses the new nickname recieved.

I would say that the new logo received mixed reviews. It appears that fans of opposing teams were more receptive to the nickname than actual UND fans.Some of the responses from the current and former players is interesting. A few of the coaches had great responses to the new logo.

Bubba ball Embraces the New Fighting Hawks Logo

I think the response to the new Fighting Hawks logo was predictable. First, no logo would ever be able to replace the Fighting Sioux logo. Some people aren't ever going to like it. Also, you can't expect everyone to like or embrace the new logo. I am still on the fence, but I don't think it would look bad on a football helmet.

That being said, some of the UND sports programs on campus are already supporting the Fighting Hawks logo. When a UND football recruit commits to UND, it's not uncommon for them to make mention of being proud to be a member of the Fighting Hawks Nation. Or something along those lines.  Today, the UND football team took that first step when head coach Bubba Schweigert announced that the new logo will, in fact, be on the football helmets when the Hawks take the field in September.

“UND football is going to embrace this logo and what it represents,” said Schweigert, adding the logo will be on the helmet for the team’s first game Sept. 1.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Your UND SID Lineup

First, I want to throw some kudos to the University of Sports Information Directors. I think they do a great job and conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism. They also serve as pseudo-therapists for the fans when the sport they work for isn't doing well.   Second, I think they’re underpaid and at times, they're underappreciated. I also think some of them take some unnecessary abuse.
Over the past few seasons, I have seen comments from fans talking how SID so and so needs to step it up. Or, SID so and so isn't doing his job. Many times, after further investigation, they're not even complaining about the right SID.
So, if you new to UND Sports, here are some of the important names you need to know. I also bolded the major sports that each SID covers.  
Media Relations
Assistant AD, Media Rel. (MHKY, XC, T/F)
Associate Director (FB, MBB, M/WGOF)
Assistant Director (SOC, WHKY, SB, TN)
Assistant Director (WBB, VB, BB, S/D)

Wild Were Banged Up

According to Chad Graff, the Minnesota Wild were banged up pretty bad by the end of the season. We also know that Thomas Vanek had broken and displaced ribs and was unable to play during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In addition to Dubnyk (broken finger) and Zach Parise (back), Fletcher revealed that forward Erik Haula and defensemen Marco Scandella, Jonas Brodin and Jared Spurgeon played through injuries this season. Haula has a hip injury that Fletcher said limited his speed. Scandella might require sports hernia surgery. Brodin had a foot injury that limited his mobility. Spurgeon was slowed by an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Fletcher said Spurgeon played most of the season at “80 percent.” “That kid is the toughest
That being said, all NHL hockey teams suffer injuries and it's part of the game.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Toronto Star: Hockey Has Gotten Boring

When I read this article, I can relate.
Vinay Menon, Toronto Star --- That’s right. Hockey has gotten downright boring.

This season that just ended in triumph for the Pittsburgh Penguins will be remembered by many Canadians as the season they forgot about hockey and didn’t miss it one bit. Yes, our national mediocrity — this was the first season no Canadian team earned a spot in the playoffs since 1970 — did much to torch our enthusiasm.

But the slow melting started years ago.

Forget who hosts on TV. The underlying apathy and malaise of who watches is what stakeholders should be scrutinizing through their corporate visors. Is the problem league overexpansion? Is it NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s remarkable capacity to be the most grating executive in any professional league? Is it on-ice changes?
Reading this article, I can relate. This year during the 2016 Stanely Cup Playoffs I found myself watching Netflix instead of some of the series. I told a buddy of mine that the matchup between the Lightning and the Penguins was the best series of the 2106 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In my humble opinion, the second best series was between the Capitals and the Penguins.

Also, during this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, there were no villains, no players to despise. There were no real controversies. I found the playoffs to be very vanilla and at times very boring. There were no Kings, no Blackhawks after the first round. No players that you could vilify. For the first time in a very long time, there were no Canadian teams. Not one. There were no players like Alex Burrows or Brad Marchand to hate on. I thought the playoffs were very B-O-R-I-N-G.

To be honest with you, I am glad that the 2015-16 NHL season is over. After watching the hometown seal the deal for the first time in 16 years, I was emotionally drained. Nothing could compare to the UND's title drive. When the Wild took a dive in the first round, I basically lost interest. When the last UND alum was eliminated from the playoffs, I checked out. there was nothing there to keep my attention. So, again, I can relate with the Canadians.

Startribune: Minneapolis/St. Paul has the longest title drought (Major Sports)

So, when the boys at KFAN refer to the Twin Cities as Loserville, they're not kidding.
Michael Rand, Startribune --- Also, this Minneapolis/St. Paul title drought designation is being measured against only those U.S. markets that have at least three pro teams spread among the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL. Hence markets like Portland or Salt Lake City are not included. There are 18 U.S. markets that have at least three of those teams (Toronto also qualifies if we expand to North American markets and has won a World Series more recently than the Twins).

With those asides considered, these facts remain:

*The Twins were the last of the “big four” teams in Minnesota to win a championship, in 1991. Washington D.C. is close behind, with a Super Bowl in early 1992 (won in Minnesota, no less) being that city’s most recent “big four” title. The Boston area has won approximately 11 billion championships in that span, using rosters comprised of roughly 87 percent Minnesota connections.
Having read this, the Vikings are the Twin Cities best hope to break this streak.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Viva Las Vegas

It looks like this is finally going to be a done deal. Yes, this seems like a great destination to watch and NHL game.
Associated Press -- The NHL has settled on Las Vegas as its choice for expansion, provided organizers can come up with a $500 million fee, a source told ESPN's Scott Burnside.

The league's board of governors is scheduled to hold a formal vote during its meeting on June 22. Quebec City was also considered for expansion.

A person who had been briefed on the decision told the Associated Press, which previously reported the decision, that Las Vegas was a "done deal" after the recommendation of the NHL's executive committee.

Odds to win the 2017 Stanley Cup

Here’s the early odds for the 2017 Stanley Cup via Bovada. I am surprised that the Minnesota Wild are so high.


Pittsburgh Penguins                              8/1

Chicago Blackhawks                             10/1

Washington Capitals                              10/1

St. Louis Blues                                      12/1

Los Angeles Kings                                14/1

San Jose Sharks                                   14/1

Tampa Bay Lightning                             14/1

Anaheim Ducks                                     16/1

Dallas Stars                                         16/1

Detroit Red Wings                                 18/1

Minnesota Wild                                     18/1

Nashville Predators                               18/1

New York Rangers                                 18/1

Montreal Canadiens                               20/1

New York Islanders                                20/1

Boston Bruins                                       25/1

Florida Panthers                                    25/1

Philadelphia Flyers                                25/1

Colorado Avalanche                              33/1

Calgary Flames                                     40/1      

Edmonton Oilers                                   40/1

Ottawa Senators                                    40/1

Arizona Coyotes                                    50/1

Carolina Hurricanes                                50/1

Columbus Blue Jackets                         50/1

New Jersey Devils                                 50/1

Vancouver Canucks                               50/1

Winnipeg Jets                                       50/1

Buffalo Sabres                                      66/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                             66/1

Monday, June 13, 2016

Is Vanek Done in Minnesota?

Thomas Vanek came to the Minnesota Wild as a free-agent signing period during the summer of 2014. Since signing in Minnesota, Vanek has underperformed (scoring 39 goals and 93 points) and been the center of a lot of criticism. Some of the criticism was warranted, some not. Some of it was downright rude. Needless to say,  Wild fans weren't happy with his two-year performance.

That being said, Vanek wasn't pleased with his performance either.  In April, he told the Twin Cities media, "I'm not happy with my year, but I still believe I'm a 30 goal scorer." You have to credit Vanek, he's a very honest person.

Yes, there were a lot of fans and bloggers chuckling about that comment.

For a second year in a row Vanek was hurt at the end of the season. This season, Vanek had broken ribs and was unable to play during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

According to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk, Vanek's time in Minnesota could be over.

Rumblings have Minnesota considering a Thomas Vanek buyout. Vanek, 32, is heading into the last of a three-year, $19.5 million deal with a $6.5M cap hit, and is owed $7.5 million in salary. He’s coming off a disappointing year in which he scored a career-low 18 goals.
As a Wild apologist, I would rather see the Wild buyout a few other players first. I am looking at Jason Pominville, first. Question: are you on the buyout Vanek wagon? Do you want him to return and play out his contract? I am on the fence.

Mike Yeo's New Job

Not long after being fired by the Minnesota Wild, it appears that Mike Yeo will be the St. Louis Blues head coach staring during the 2017-18 season.
Tom Timmermann and Jeremy Rutherford St. Louis Post-Dispatch ---Mike Yeo was named as the successor to Ken Hitchcock as coach of the Blues on Monday. Yeo agreed to a one-year deal on Monday as an assistant coach -- the coach-in-waiting -- and a three-year deal to take over as coach after Hitchcock retires after next season.

It's an unlikely turn of events for Yeo (pronounced "Yo"), whose Minnesota Wild eliminated the Blues in the first round of the playoffs two seasons ago. At that point, it seemed that Hitchcock wouldn't be back the following the season while Yeo's star was rising with the Wild.
According to Jeremy Rutherford,  former Wild assistant coach and UND alum Rich Wilson has also been added to the St. Louis Blues staff, too.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

SCF, Game 5: Sharks and Penguins Scrum

It took five games but it appears that neither team likes the other very much. I want to ask the non-Penguins fans a question. The Penguins seem to do a lot of yapping on the ice and then turtle or look for the refs to bail them out. Is that an accurate assessment?

If I was playing against Penguins forward Patrick Hornqvist, it would be very hard not to retaliate against him. San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns appeared to get his pound of flesh against Penguins forward Carl Hagelin.

College Hockey's Influence on the NHL's Scoring Race

2015-16 NHL Leaders

While I was perusing some NHL hockey stats at hockey reference, I didn’t realize that three of the top-10 scorers in the NHL had college hockey experience. I guess that seems about right since 31% of the NHL's players comes from college hockey. Looking at the top-10, we have a Minnesota Gopher, a Wisconsin Badger, and a Boston College Eagle. I also find it interesting that they all finished with 78 points. 

What's even more remarkable is that Johnny Gaudreau has only been in the NHL for just over two seasons. This past season, he scored almost a point a game. In 79 games, Gaudreau scored 30 goals and 78 points. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Is the NHL to Vegas a Done Deal?

So, is the NHL to Vegas a Done Deal? From reading this Las Vegas Review-Journal, it doesn't sound like it. Dustin Nelson of the Hockey Writers writes that the announcement could come on June 22, 2016.
Steve Carp, Las Vegas Review-Journal --- The NHL’s nine-member executive committee met for just over four hours Tuesday in New York, but would not reveal its decisions on expansion and what recommendations it would make to the league’s Board of Governors when the 30 owners meet June 22 in Las Vegas.

Three options were being considered: expand by one or two teams for 2017-18, delay expansion until 2018 for one or two teams, or put expansion on hold indefinitely. Las Vegas and Quebec City have submitted applications for expansion teams and been involved in a long process since July.

Bill Foley, the billionaire businessman who is the major force behind Las Vegas’ expansion bid, said he did not know the outcome of the meeting.

“I wasn’t there,” he said. “I wasn’t invited to the meeting. Nobody has said anything to me.”

A spokesman for Joe and Gavin Maloof, who are minority investors and were in Las Vegas on Tuesday, said, “We haven’t heard anything.
I guess we will find out if Vegas is getting an NHL team or not.

My Top-Five Picks for a Frozen Four

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...
This past week, Brad Schlossman reported that the University of North Dakota will bid to host a future Frozen Four in St. Louis, Missouri. Here's my question where would you like to see a Frozen Four held?

After pondering this subject for a few days, I came up with my favorites. Here're my top-five choices.

1. I am a big fan Florida, and I love the Sun Shine State. So, I would like to see a Frozen Four held in the Florida Panthers home arena, the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

2. Staying in Florida, this past year's Frozen Four was a big success. So, I am cool with the Frozen Four going returning to Tampa Florida on a semi-regular basis. Obviously, UND also had success at Amalie Arena.

3. Last week, it was announced that Las Vegas is getting an NHL team. We were told it was a done deal. So, let's get the NCAA to change their mind about holding a NCAA championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently, the NCAA doesn't hold championships in states where gambling is legal. T-Mobile Arena looks like a great place to hold a Frozen Four.

4. The Xcel Energy Center is another great venue to hold a Frozen Four in. There's not much more that I can add to that. While the weather in Minnesota can be dicey in April. It's a great hockey venue and the Frozen Four should return to the Xcel frequently.

5. Finally, I like the idea of holding a Frozen Four in Phoenix. Currently, the Coyotes play in Gila River Arena. That could change.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Brock Turner’s 6-Month Sentence is a Joke

When I read this story, I am disgusted. A six-month sentence for raping an unconscious victim. I am thinking a 10-20-year sentence would be more appropriate. We're sending out son's and daughters to school to get an education, not to become a  victim of a sexual assault. Please don't be that person to defend this P.O.S., he's not a victim.
Sam Levin, the Guardian -- A former Stanford University athlete convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation in a case that has shed light on what advocates say is an epidemic of violence on college campuses.

Brock Allen Turner, a 20-year-old swimmer who dropped out of the elite California university last year, appeared stoic in court in Palo Alto on Thursday, two months after a jury convicted him of multiple felonies, including assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman.

The 23-year-old victim delivered an emotional speech at the hearing, decrying rape culture and asking that the judge send a strong message about the severity of Brock’s attack on her.
What's even more disgusting is the comments by Dan Turner, Brock's dad. I took a screen shot so you can read his moronic, buffoonish, crass, indefensible comments. This guy must have an IQ of about 50. So, we're to believe that his poor son is a victim, right? If you think I am being too harsh on this piece of excrement, imagine if you sent your daughter to Standford or any other college and she was sexually assaulted. Imagine that the subject only received a six-month sentence. 

The judge in the case is also getting a lot of heat for his pathetic sentence. The man should be disbarred from the bench.

 Finally, this is the face of the sexual predator. Rapist Turner, should be in jail for a very long time. He's not a victim, he's a piece a garbage. Here's my question, do we live in a culture where rape and sexual assault has been decriminalized or do athletes sometimes just get off because of their status? This guy should be in a jail cell for a very long time.

Monday, June 06, 2016

We're Getting Closer to a New Logo

Good Monday Morning. After being sick for half the week and out of town, I am catching up on a few things. First, I am interested in seeing what the new logo looks like. I’ve said in the past, blow the new logo design and the hockey fans will never, ever get behind and embrace the new logo. While the other programs and sports fans have sort of embraced the new nickname. The UND hockey fans have been skeptical and slow to accept the Fighting Hawks nickname. Personally, I thought Fighting Hawks was the best choice of five bad logo options. I would recommend dropping Fighting from the nickname. If I had a choice, no nickname would have been the best option.

Former North Dakota Governor and current Interim President Ed Schafer had some interesting things to say about the nickname process.

Anna Burleson, Grand Forks Herald – Schafer said he isn't bothered by the continued popularity of the Fighting Sioux nickname but wishes the process of selecting the Fighting Hawks name had been done in a more professional way.

"It's a good nickname and we're going to build value to it, and in 10 years or so it's going to be very meaningful to the university, but we're not starting out saying this is really meaningful to North Dakota," he said. "It's not some unique special thing North Dakota has so we have to build value to that final nickname and logo. That's going to take longer and it's going to be harder to do than if you'd put the elements in up front."

The process involved two committees working for more than a year, accepting more than 1,000 submissions from across the country, which were then narrowed down and voted on by various stakeholder groups such as students, alumni, donors and university employees.

"We took 2,000 amateurs and said choose which one you want, so that's what we have," Schafer said.
I find Schafer's comment interesting. Thoughts?

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Paul Martin's High-Sticking Penalty, Malkin Embellishment

First, I want to be clear, this was a legitimate high-sticking penalty. The thing that upsets me is the embellishment by Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. Notice, after San Jose Shark's defenseman Paul Martin's stick makes contact with Malkin, in a delayed reaction, he snaps his head back to make sure that he's drawn the penalty. That's unnecessary in my opinion.