Sunday, August 02, 2015

Fargo Forum: It's getting foolish at UND

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
Our friends to the south just can't help themselves. They fall all over themselves coming up with suggestions for UND and what they should do when it comes to the UND nickname. Don't do it, worry about your back-to-back-to-back-to-back NCAA FCS championships.Seriously, that's an impressive feat, no doubt about it. That being said, I don't recall any of us asking for their help.

Per the Fargo Forum:
A new nickname at UND is a nice idea, but many backers of the school don’t want one. Many feel if they can’t have Fighting Sioux, then go with nothing. There is so much animosity towards Kelley and the NCAA, and so much passion for the Fighting Sioux, that it will be tough for a new nickname to be accepted. Some hope that by going with no nickname now, the Fighting Sioux nickname will eventually come back. That’s not going to happen.

It will look foolish to people outside of North Dakota, but if UND fans don’t want a new nickname, then there’s no point of having one. More of the mess that needs to be sorted out is who gets to vote, and how the ballot is worded. Voters should be asked if they want a new nickname or keep UND/North Dakota. If more than 50 percent say yes to a new nickname, then they should vote on the final five choices.
Everyone has a solution to UND's nickname issue.

UND Nickname: A Couple of Ideas

This summer, the University of North Dakota has been moving towards selecting a new nickname. There've been various people weighing in on what UND should select for a new nickname. Daniel O’Shea from Grand Forks wrote a letter to the editor and suggested that UND be the Pride of the North.

Per O'Shea's letter to the Grand Forks Herald:
In my view, the nickname to replace the Fighting Sioux already is in use, in that UND has been using it to introduce the Marching Band at football games. It is the Pride of the North.

However, this name didn’t go very far in the nickname committee’s view. But perhaps now it is more worthy of reconsideration.

What better name would support UND and all of its students and alums

Steve Molvig of Lovelock, Nevada suggested that there's no harm with UND simply being North Dakota. There's quite a few people that feel the same way.

Molvig's letter to the editor:

As mentioned earlier, finances and expansion at UND have been OK since the Sioux logo was retired. It seems that not much was lost. What things have not come UND’s way because they had NO logo or a never existing mascot (except the Farce’s Kermit). In every poll conducted and published in the Herald, the North Dakota option has been the overwhelming choice. However, this top vote getting superior results has been passed off as somehow hanging on to the Sioux identity or sour grapes.

Why can’t it be that North Dakota option supporters are just that proud of the state, its residents, and they want UND’s recognition nationwide to be the great qualities of North Dakota?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Grand Forks Herald Letter: Sioux people deserve seat at UND nickname-selection table

I know I am a couple of day late on this. I did find this letter thought provoking. Rich Becker, a Republican, from Grand Forks, ND says the Sioux people should have a seat at the UND nickname selection table. What do you think?
Becker from the Grand Forks Herald:
I have visited with members of both the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock tribes, and they feel their voices now have been ignored twice regarding their gift to UND of permission to use the Sioux name.

First, they were ignored by the NCAA, which some legal experts believe did not have the authority in its bylaws to demand the nickname change in the first place.

Second, they were ignored by former Board of Higher Education and UND leaders, who have neither visited tribal leaders on their reservations nor asked them to come to UND to be involved in the naming discussion.

It may be hard for some to understand the sorrow and hurt that so many American Indians feel toward the university and state for the dropping of the Sioux name. Yes, the tribes have many negative issues that tribal members must overcome -- issues such as a lack of education, job and housing opportunities. But over the years, the members have found a steady and vital source of hope and encouragement in the association of the Sioux name with UND.

Now, for argument sake, Dr. Leander “Russ” McDonald, three-time UND alumnus and President, United Tribes Technical College is an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Tribe and was the Tribal Chairman.
McDonald is an enrolled citizen of the Spirit Lake Tribe in North Dakota and served as the tribe’s chairman. “We were very deliberate in conducting a national search to get the best qualified candidate,” said Tex G. “Red Tipped Arrow” Hall, United Tribes’ board president. “It came down to five who were qualified with post-doctoral level certification.” (Link to the rest of McDonald's Bio)
One could ask, why weren't more Native Americans on the UND Nickname Selection  Committee?  Hind sight is 20/20, but, should the committee included more Native Americans?

Herald Letter: Nickname not just about athletes

Apparently, UND Alumnus Ralph Sollom didn't appreciate Mike Jacobs op-ed the other day.  Thoughts?
Per the Grand Forks Herald:
The people of North Dakota built the University of North Dakota and alumni from all over the world support it in many ways. Students attending UND and people who work there all have a stake in UND. If they are interested in picking a nickname for UND, they should have an opportunity to vote. Picking a nickname is not something for only “active athletes.” Everyone who has a stake in this should be able to choose to vote. Many huge agencies and corporations conduct extensive voting procedures involving a worldwide constituency … I’m sure UND can do this, too.
When I first read Jacobs letter, I thought it was odd that the former editor of the Herald would suggest that only active athletes be allowed to vote on the new nickname. My first thought was that if you did something like that, you would alienate a whole swath of people.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fargo Forum: Faux Egalitarian Exercise to Select a Nickname Has Become Cartoonish

Wow! Are we entertained yet? I think the fight is only going to get nastier as time goes on. First, UND can't pick a nickname until they define the parameters for selecting one. Second, Kelly has already said he's going to wait to pick a nickname in the fall. That makes sense, wait till the students return to campus.

Per the Fargo Forum and here.
Silly, right? Well, no sillier than attempting (and ultimately failing) to be fair to all when it was crystal clear from the beginning that there was no way “all” could ever come to agreement, or even consensus, about a new nickname. And of course, the mossbacks who cling to the retired nickname will continue to do so no matter what.

Leadership requires leading. It means making unpopular – but right – decisions. The faux egalitarian exercise to select a nickname has become cartoonish. Purpose has been sacrificed to process. A nickname in and of itself isn’t much. But as a vessel, a reflection, an image, it’s very important. The character of athletes, the conduct of fans and the earned reputation of a university will define the nickname, whether it’s Ducks, Gophers, Mud Hens or Cobbers – or whatever at last emerges for UND.
Mud Hens? If you're a duck hunter you will know this one. I kind of like that one. I don't remember that showing up in the initial vote.

Finally, if you're bored with the nickname issue, former All-American forward Zach Parise is celebrating his birthday today.

Classy Move by David Backes

Classy move by one of my favorite former WCHA players. Former Minnesota State Maverick forward David Backes has written a nice check to his former school.
Mankato, Minn. --- Captain of the St. Louis Blues and former Minnesota State Maverick men's hockey forward - David Backes - announced Monday at the school's Annual Blue Line Club Dan Meyer Golf Classic that he and his wife Kelly are donating $100,000 to Minnesota State Athletics that will serve as the lead gift in completing the David Backes Strength and Conditioning Room in the newly-remodeled Maverick Hockey wing at Verizon Wireless Center.

Backes, who has played nine full seasons in the National Hockey League, has served as team captain for the Blues since 2011. Selected by St. Louis in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2003 NHL draft, he made his NHL debut Dec. 19, 2006 when he suited up for St. Louis in a game at Pittsburgh. The Blaine, Minn., native is a two-time member of the United States men's hockey Olympic Team where he won a silver medal in 2010.

"I had a fantastic college hockey experience at Minnesota State and thanks to my coaches and support staff, I learned the value of hard work, teamwork and life skills," Backes said. "These skills helped me tremendously as I prepared for my career in the NHL. As a thank you to everyone at Minnesota State who has assisted me on my collegiate journey, we wanted to donate something back that would make a difference and help ensure the long-term success of the program."

Mike Jacobs: Limit UND nickname vote to active athletes

In today's Grand Forks Herald, former Herald editor Mike Jacobs suggests that the current athletes pick the new UND nickname. I could live with that, but you're going alienate a bunch of fans. So, I don't see that happening.

Now, if they UND used this method to select a new nickname, there's a very good chance that we wouldn't end up with the moronic nickname Sundogs. Right?

Per the Grand Forks Herald.
The best, most credible constituency to vote on a new nickname is the university's active athletes.-- the people who will wear the name on the ice, on the field, on the track, in every athletic venue.

In other words, they are the one who will represent the university.

Their opinion matters more than the opinion of any other potential voters. I am speaking as three times eligible, as a North Dakotan, an alumnus and a UND donor.

I am willing to forfeit these interests in favor of a credible constituency that can bring an end to this long-running controversy. We've been arguing about the nickname and logo for 20 years. It's time to end the fight.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Say What?

English: V. I. Lenin Français : V. I. Lénine -...
I was reading this letter today, and one thing that the author wrote caught my eye.

So, if I am reading this right, now it's a newspaper's job to help people move forward.

A newspaper's job is to inform the masses via news stories. I don't think so Tim. We live in a democracy. This line of thinking would Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin very happy.

Correct me if I am reading this wrong. Feel free to chime in.

Per Herald Letter: Bottom line: UND needs a nickname, not 'no nickname'
And that's a shame, because we generally rely on editorials to represent the views of the "adults in the room." The Herald needs to help people move forward on this issue.

As a supporter of the nickname, I realize that UND and the state fought hard to keep it, but they ultimately lost. I am baffled by the opposition; have people not been following this for years? Did they really expect a nickname committee to choose "No Nickname"?

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Wed., Oct. 14ChicagoPhiladelphiaNBCSN8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 20DallasPhiladelphiaNBCSN7:30 p.m.
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Redwing77's Endorsement and Prediction

by Redwing77

Let's Recap:

Nickname Committee failed in many ways (not all of the ways listed by Goon or myself, but I'm not going to sling mud at what is now a defunct committee).  There was, predictably, uproar about the omission of the "North Dakota" option.  President Kelley rebutted that he'll consider re-adding the option to the vote.  Stakeholders backed off.

The Prediction

President Kelley isn't going to be UND President in 4 months time.  He just has to keep the status quo until the new guy comes in.  It would not be unbelievable to have him drop something of a bit of a PR mess in the lap of the next President...especially if he feels that his replacement is someone who is a threat to his legacy.  Remember, pettiness runs hand in hand with bureaucracy.  Therefore, until it is actually re-added, I think his "consideration" of readding the "North Dakota" option will end with his consideration.  He will not re-add the "North Dakota" option to the ballot.  Here's the list of reasons why:

1.  He's afraid that the public will overwhelmingly vote for this option and force the past year or so to be considered a waste of time, energy, and worst of all, money.
2.  People aren't remember for changing nothing.  They're remembered poorly for only changing it partially.  It's all or nothing when it comes to politically motivated legacies.
3.  The mere consideration of doing so was simply just a PR ploy to get everyone just to back the hell off.

Let's face it.  UND has faced this type of thing before.  Charlie Murphy did the same thing.  He refused to allow his people to vote for the Fighting Sioux nickname, using hardships as an excuse, because he was afraid that his people would vote to approve the nickname.  It was an issue that could have been resolved (for or against) at his reservation with almost no effort nor time commitment.  But, it was indefinitely tabled.

If President Kelley and the University Senate (and the nickname committee) weren't concerned about the "North Dakota" option winning out and instead was simply out there to come up with a short list of acceptable nicknames based upon the parameters laid out by the NCAA and public opinion, this whole broohaha wouldn't have occurred.  There's no harm in having it an option on the ballot if there's no concern about the option winning.

My Endorsement and Recommendation

I am and always will be FOR the no nickname option.  It became that way when they eliminated "Spirit" from contention.  Up until that point, I was willing to look at multiple options (like being happy with something other than just "North Dakota").

Inevitably, my highly cynical and pessimistic outlook predicts that this option will not be available.

So what should we do?

My opinion is this:  Vote for "NoDaks."  It's a lame nickname, sure.  It doesn't even roll off the tongue as well as other options, sure.  But it is the easiest to co-opt and ignore.  Yup.  Vote for NoDaks and simply continue calling us North Dakota.  We cannot expect anything good to come out of the merchandise department nor expect the media to follow our wishes.  The media, in this case, will cover the scandal aspect until that blows over and then simply call UND whatever the UND administration wants UND to be called.

We, as students and alumni (and perhaps staff and faculty as well) can only control what we can control.  Students will eventually become alumni and alumni can do what they feel must be done.  Either shrug their shoulders and move on, or simply stop giving money and time to UND.

I hope common sense prevails and the PC agenda fails.

Friday, July 24, 2015

UND Nickname Opinion

With all of the hustle and bustle in the last week over the list of potential names being downed to the final five, many people have had their opinions on the list of names at hand and many of them were not too positive. The general public was upset over the fact that the committee said that the public's voice would be heard and accounted for, but when the time came to shrink the list to five, the option of staying UND/North Dakota, which was the public's majority pick, was not in that group it made stakeholders furious.

Reports then came out saying UND President Robert Kelley suggested to the committee that if the UND/North Dakota option was not removed, the committee could be disbanded, leaving another big speed bump in this process. This report was the last straw for the public stakeholders and many alumni and current students sounded off with opinion letters to the Grand Forks Herald and over social media.

As for me, the only option I saw as a suitable fit was to remain staying simply as the University of North Dakota. No name, just the same tradition and history of the university. No matter what name is chosen, nobody will be able to back it. However, a friend and I shared some text messages earlier this week when the news broke, and he said that he would choose the Fighting Hawks because when the PA would sound off before games and announcing goals, they would say "Here's your University of North Dakota Fighting...." and when he says 'hawks' we all could scream Sioux and all would be normal. So just an instance of someone with a positive outlook on a touchy subject in UND country.

Any new nickname will be tough to swallow for anyone. I remember when the Sioux logo was dropped towards the end of my freshman year at UND. That was hard to take and I had just started taking in the history and traditions of the university. I eventually got behind this 'temporary' name/identity for the university and maybe someday I can accept the new name too. Well maybe not if it's the 'Sundogs.'

Grand Forks Herald: UND/No Nickname Option Will Be Considered

UND president Robert O. Kelly has done the right thing. In my opinion, this is also a response to the backlash from UND fans that were unhappy with the UND Nickname Committee deciding to remove North Dakota as an option for a final nickname. I believe this is the right decision.

Per the Grand Forks Herald:
UND President Robert Kelley will consider adding “North Dakota” to the list of nickname finalists for the public to vote on, he said in a letter emailed this morning to staff and UND community.

“I will consider the possible addition of “North Dakota” in the vote process,” he said in the letter.

The letter follows public backlash after the UND Nickname Committee earlier this week eliminated “North Dakota” or no nickname, from a list of five finalists for a public vote to replace the “Fighting Sioux” nickname that was retired in late 2012.

The UND Nickname Committee earlier this week decided to remove the option of continuing to play without a nickname, which the school has done since the last nickname was retired.
Of course, there are going to be fans that are unhappy with this move.  Personally, I am unhappy that Sundogs is still one of the remaining nickname choices.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dave St. Peter on the 'No Nickname' Option for UND

If you haven't seen this, UND Nickname Committee member Dave St. Peter, Minnesota Twins president, gives his opinion on the North Dakota nickname option.

  Per Howard Sinker, Star Tribune.
St. Peter said he had two reasons for wanting to keep the no-nickname option. "I thought there was something incredibly powerful and unique about having the words 'North Dakota' stand alone without a nickname. I thought maybe this was a way to reinforce the heritage of the state. Others did not share it but it was something I got personally comfortable with watching our teams perform as 'North Dakota. The second reason was that it was clear to me from the constituency I represented (on the committee), the alumni base, felt very strongly about 'North Dakota' being an option -- and all of the public polling available seemed to indicate that North Dakota was clearly the popular choice. I wasn't comfortable eliminating it."

St. Peter added: "Some of the committee might disagree, but I think the politically correct thing to do was to eliminate 'North Dakota.' That was almost the sense I had, because of the connection to 'Fighting Sioux.' "

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Catch-22 of Political Entities aka Why the Nickname Committee is Doomed to Fail

by Redwing77

Goon asked me to turn my rather long winded comment into a blog post.  So, here it is, with a little more explanation:

It's sad that I say this about my alma mater but... I am beginning to think that this is Marquette all over again.

Brief Recap:  Marquette used to be known as the Warriors and were under as much (perhaps more) pressure to change the nickname.  The Board (including the University President) decided to change the nickname to "The Gold" away from the student and alumni supported nickname, "Golden Eagles."  The result was a firestorm of consternation and animosity towards the University by just about everyone.  Like typical politicians, the powers that be spoke of stunned confusion wondering why such a backlash ensued, as the nickname's unofficial nickname was "The Blue and Gold" and "The Gold" was simply a reference back to the school colors.  Needless to say, they quickly turned the nickname over to the alumni and students (they gave 10 options) and Golden Eagles was resumed.

The TRUTH:  The Fighting Sioux nickname is dead.  All those UND fans and alumni who say "Fighting Sioux forever" and other such claptrap are just flatout delusional.  I will side with the PC crowd in say "move on."  However, that's the ONLY thing I'll side with them about.

In any case, I wonder how much money UND is standing to lose over this whole thing.
It's funny.  Congresspeople often go against their constituency for a variety of reasons (usually due to special interest groups, riders on the bill that favors their constituency (see Bridge to Nowhere), or some sort of personal or party agenda) and though people gripe about it, they get over it because it may be for the better of the nation somehow and we, as the public, may not have all of the information they have.

This is NOT that case.  In the case of a nickname, it's an identity of the University's staff, faculty, students, athletes, and alumni (not to mention fans and supporting community) and it CAN be decided by popularity as long as the name that is selected follows the criteria set up by the overseeing body: in this case both the UND President and Board of Directors and the NCAA.

Sadly, at one point I looked up to Bridewell.  He was my advisor at UND and I really liked the man, but his comment in that article said it best:  "If we say no nickname, then Kelley might dissolve the committee."  The committee has tasted power and it has corrupted most of the committee.  This nickname is its legacy and they do not want to be seen as being sacrificed in the name of what the people want.  They want to make a change.  Let's call this "Myles Brand Syndrome."  They are making a change for the sake of making a change.  In political circles, it's called "political suicide." 

Not all of the committee is a farce, as you say.  There were a few, like St. Peters and Goehring, who understand what the TRUE purpose of the nickname committee is:  To produce a short, concise list of acceptable nicknames for the people to vote upon to help direct the future identity of the University.  Having UND/North Dakota on the ballot does not endanger the committee at all, as they'd also include their idiotic suggestions like Fighting Hawks (which I thought was eliminated from the final five), Sundogs, and the future lawsuit favorite North Stars.

Politically speaking, this is what the PC crowd tainted with liberalism truly represent.  The public at large is too clueless, racist, sexist, and ignorant to know what is best.  There needs to be an overriding authority to tell them what is best for them and to "guide" them towards "enlightenment."  Orwell, eat your heart out.

My guess that, if the vote isn't a hoax, people will now overwhelmingly vote in "NoDaks" and simply continue to use North Dakota.  It's what I'd do.

Sadly, I fear that the backlash will cost UND a LOT of money.  I wish I could find out how long Marquette was known as "The Gold" but it wasn't very long... perhaps less than 6 months.

So, Mr. Bridewell, what's better:  Be disbanded for standing up for what the public wants or being nullified in effigy a few months after your disasterous decision goes final when the University is forced to revisit the nickname due to massive loss of alumni support?

Edit: UND Nickname Selection Process is a Farce

I have been on vacation since last Thursday evening, and I left my laptop computer at home, instead of bringing it on my vacation. So, yes, I am a little late to the party. That doesn't mean I haven't been thinking/seething about this. Because I have.

First, while I love the Fighting Sioux nickname, I understand that the University of North Dakota can not go back to being the Fighting Sioux. It's never going to happen, especially in today's day and age where you have a God-given right to not be offended. That's not the point of this blog post. I am just going to give my brief opinion on a the very flawed process UND has taken to come up with a new nickname.

In my opinion, the UND Nickname Committee should go back to the nickname suggestions that didn't make the list and find some better choices. There are many nicknames on that list that are better than five remaining choices. Without looking at the list, Aeros, Aviators and Nokota come to mind. Sad that they didn't make the list.

I have had a few people tweet me that UND has already picked a new nickname and this is nothing but a side show or a farce. It "almost" looks like this becoming reality. It's a matter of if UND is the North Stars or Sundogs. North Stars is better than Sundogs. 

Last night, while I was watching television with my father, Twitter blew up with the announcement that the UND Nickname Committee had decided to drop North Dakota as an option from the remaining nickname choices. Another great decision from that group. Shocking, yes, but not unpredictable.

There're a lot of people that aren't happy with this decision, to include Karl Goehring. If you don't believe people are upset with this decision go back and check out twitter.

Per the Grand Forks Herald.
The decision to eliminate playing as UND/North Dakota didn't please everyone on the committee, as Chairman Karl Goehring wanted to let the public decide whether to essentially move forward with no new nickname.

"I have several friends who are athletes, and not a single one plays hockey," committee member and UND student Jazmyn Friesz said. "They just want to stay UND, not to bring back Fighting Sioux."

Regardless, committee member and UND alumna Diane Hillebrand made the motion to eliminate UND/North Dakota. Committee member and UND faculty member John Bridewell seconded it.

The motion passed seven to four with Friesz, Goehring and committee members Dave St. Peter and Lowell Schweigert, a UND alumnus, casting dissenting votes.
While I believe the UND Nickname Committed has done a subpar job, they're in a tough spot. There're many people from the politically correct crowd chirping in their ear and telling the UND Nickname Committee how they've got to pick something, just not North Dakota.

Moving forward with simply "North Dakota" can't be an option. Just ask the anti-Fighting Sioux nickname crowd (obviously, there's other fans that don't like the no nickname option, I realize that, they're just not as vocal). Their reason, remaining UND or North Dakota is a pseudo way of keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname alive. Whatever. 

So, what do you tell the UND athletes that are chiming in on Twitter today? Does their opinion not matter? Their opinion matters more than some troll from another fan base that replies to their tweet lecturing them and telling them that they have to move on. It's also easy for a newspaper writer from another town to tell people to move on. Especially when they have no skin in the game. 

I have chatted with a number of former athletes that would like to remain simply "North Dakota". I guess their opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Let me tell you something; when the UND president picks one of the five remaining horrible nicknames, people are still going to yell "go Sioux" at UND sporting events. That's a true statement. It's going to happen. You can bank on it. 

When the national anthem is played at UND sporting events, they're still going to have fans yelling "Sioux." No matter how hard the handwringers try, it's not going away. Not anytime soon. The anti-Fighting Sioux nickname people can scream and write all of the letters to the editors that they want, but it won't change anything.

I want to caution President Robert O. Kelly, if he decides to go ahead and disregard the will the people (Alumni, former student-athletes, current athletes and current UND students) and picks the wrong nickname, i.e. Sundogs, he's going to set off a firestorm.

IMHO, I am for any  remaining nickname, just not Sundogs. I preferred North Dakota. 

More flawed logic

Per Dave Davidson, Sr. Devils Lake ND.
To replace an honorable and beloved name that stood for 80 years with one as suggested is calloused and insulting to American Indians.

Grand Forks Red River High School—whose nickname is Roughriders—is not national; it is local. It is not moving on from an American Indian image and never had one. It is an entirely different situation, and in its case, the nickname is neither hostile nor derogatory, and it represents the high school with dignity. There are no similarities to the UND situation.

For these reasons as well as many others, Roughriders should not be considered as a nickname for UND. If the Herald were an investigative-reporting paper rather than an advisee-group-supporter paper and told the whole truth instead of convenient truths only, then the state could make an informed decision.

This line of thinking is how the Univeristy of North Dakota ends up with the unacceptable nickname Sundogs.  So, now Rough Riders is offensive to Native Americans and we can't have that nickname? I am endorsing anything but Sundogs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Murphy officially to ASU; Gerlach to Major Juniors

by Redwing77

Forward Wade Murphy has transferred officially to Arizona State University per Brad Schlossman.  In my opinion, it's not surprising but rather disappointing.  I had heard great things about Murphy coming into his time at UND and he just couldn't put things together.

He has to sit out a year (in 115 degree heat) before being able to lace the skates up, but all the best for him.  He'll be in a great position to be the leader on a young-ish team.

In other news:  Max Gerlach bolted for the WHL.  The Texas-born winger played in Colorado last year.  He's off to the Medicine Hat Tigers organization.  He was listed as a 2017 recruit.

It's yet another example of why I believe players will go to the NCAA (if drafted by Major Junior teams) only if they actually suit up.  Next to go Major Juniors?  Jost and/or Fabbro.

I guess that means I'll care about him if/when he gets to the NHL.  Best of luck.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Here Comes Your Fighting Sundogs, Hopefully not

The UND Nickname Committee has decided that these are the seven remaining nicknames: Fighting Hawks, Green Hawks, Nodaks, North Dakota, North Stars, Roughriders, Sundogs. Six of the seven nickname choices are acceptable. I like the no nickname option or Rough Riders. I could live with one of the Hawks. I find nickname Sundogs to be intolerable and down right moronic.

If the University of North Dakota selects this horrible nickname, they will make a mockery out of the University. Don't do it. Yet, this horrible selection remains on the list. Be very afraid.
Tom Dennis, Grand Forks Herald -- So, we wonder: How on earth can someone claim the nickname Roughriders stirs some sort of sexual connotation and that it shouldn't be used as the next mascot of the University of North Dakota sports teams?

It was discussed last month by UND's nickname committee. After noting "Roughriders" received the most points during a recent round of nickname discussion, consultants from PadillaCRT -- a company lending aid to the committee -- said the nickname has an inappropriate double meaning.

"This crosses the line and could be embarrassing and problematic," said Kelly O'Keefe, one of the consultants.

Oops. Don't tell that to the 1,200 or so kids who attend Grand Forks Red River High School, which also uses Roughriders as its nickname. Or the thousands of alumni who have passed through the halls of Red River.
As long as Sundogs remains on the list, I am leery. After reading Tom Dennis' opinion piece today, I remain even more skeptical. I almost wonder if they're setting us up? No, there's not a black helicopter with a swat team landing in my back yard.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Twenty players headed for salary arbitration

There are 20 NHL players headed toward salary arbitration. As you can see, there's a college hockey connection for some of the players on the list.

Arizona Coyotes: Philip Samuelsson (July 21) B.C., Brendan Shinnimin (July 20)
Calgary Flames: Lance Bouma (July 22), Paul Byron (July 30), Josh Jooris (July 28) UC
Colorado Avalanche: Andrew Agozzino (July 20), Mat Clark (July 22)
Edmonton Oilers: Justin Schultz (July 24) * UW
Minnesota Wild: Erik Haula (July 31) MN
Nashville Predators: Craig Smith UW (July 20), Colin Wilson (July 28) BU
New Jersey Devils: Eric Gelinas (July 21), Adam Larsson (July 29)
New York Rangers: Derek Stepan (July 27) UW
Ottawa Senators: Alex Chiasson (July 23) BU, Mike Hoffman (July 30)
Philadelphia Flyers: Michael Del Zotto (July 21)
Toronto Maple Leafs: Jonathan Bernier (July 31)*
Washington Capitals: Braden Holtby (July 23), Marcus Johansson (July 29)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's Hard Being Phil Kessel

English: Phil Kessel, 29.04.2007 USA-Belarus I...
I have been watching the Phil Kessel trade unfold in the media the last couple of weeks and it's been interesting.

During my lifetime, I have not seen a player receive so much negative press. In fact, some of the stuff that has been written about him is downright malicious.

Here's some of the stuff that's caught my eye since Kessel was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After all he's been through, Kessel enjoyed his time in Toronto.
“Toronto was a place I loved, and it’s not easy leaving that, even with everything else,” he told writer Dejan Kovacevic. “That’s the first thought. And then after that, I just see (Wednesday’s trade) as a great opportunity to be part of something special in Pittsburgh with some great players. I’m excited.” (Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun)
Questions about Kessel's weight never seem to subside. Apparently, the hot dog vendor in his neighborhood is going to miss him.  Per self-proclaimed Kessel hater Steve Simmons:
The hot dog vendor who parks daily at Front and John Sts. just lost his most reliable customer.

Almost every afternoon at 2:30 p.m., often wearing a toque, Phil Kessel would wander from his neighbourhood condominium to consume his daily snack.

And now he’s gone. Just like that. The Maple Leafs could no longer stomach having Kessel around, the first player to be both punished and rewarded for the saddest Leafs season in history.
Another Toronto Sun writer thought it was time for Kessel to leave.
OK, let’s be clear, I’m not defending Phil Kessel, who was traded by the Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

People who are close to the situation say almost unanimously that it was time for Kessel to leave.

But the question I have is, did it really have to get to this point? (Bill Harris, Toronto Sun)
Sports Net's Elliotte Friedman says that Kessel will be missed in Toronto.
At the end of the day, Kessel was traded because he was Toronto’s most marketable player they were willing to deal. He could get the best return, including cap space. Nothing else excited them and bringing back the same group was unacceptable to Brendan Shanahan. There’s no doubt this was unfulfilled potential for him and for the team. He’s a lightning rod, a polarizing figure and is responsible for that. But the toughest thing the Maple Leafs lose is a talented player who (for the most part) could ignore the market noise. You need guys like that in Canada, who either embrace it (Subban) or tune it out (Sedins). That’s hard to find. And I think there are some charities who will really miss him. He did a lot, very quietly.