Showing posts with label CCHA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CCHA. Show all posts

Sunday, February 17, 2013

ND and Miami Scrum at the end of the game

Here was the end of the first game of the Hockey City Classic. I watched this scrum numerous times on my television, and it looks like, Notre Dame forward Jeff Costello spears some random Miami RedHawk at the end of the game. There were no penalties called on the play. It will be interesting to see if the CCHA officials review the video from the end of the game, to see if there is anything else that warrants additional supplemental discipline.
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Monday, September 10, 2012

NHL Hockey fans you have options

This post was originally posted at the Hockey Writers.
Due to the impending and inevitable NHL lockout this season a lot of hockey fans of the National Hockey league are going to be looking for other options to fill their NHL hockey void.
May I suggest, giving college hockey a try to fill your NHL hockey void.  
For the college hockey fans this is going to be a very exciting season. First time fans are also going to find out that this is going to be very historic season in the college hockey world as well.
Let me get you up to speed on what is happening in the college hockey world.
Historic Season
The landscape has changed drastically since the summer of 2011 – this was due to a very generous donation from Penn State University alumnus Terry Pegula in September of 2010  – that very large and generous donation allowed Penn State University to start a men’s and women’s division I college hockey team.    
With Terry Pegula, who is the founder and chief executive of East Resources Inc., opened his “rather large” wallet and wrote Penn State a check for $88 million to help the Nittany Lions build Pegula Ice arena.  None the less, that donation rocked the college hockey world, now that the Big Ten “will have” six teams that play college hockey – the B1G by conference rules is required to have a B1G hockey conference – with this generous donation by Pegula – this new conference will begin play during the 2012-13 season. 
With the addition of one University joining college hockey – a tidal wave of change came to college hockey landscape that set the ball in motion for what ended up being a very chaotic summer. With a swipe of a pen – the big name/money schools from the Big Ten Schools that were in both the WCHA and the CCHA dedided to leave the WCHA and CCHA conferences and form the Big Ten Hockey Conference.
On the outside, it would “appear” that the transition for the B1G schools was for the most part seamless.
Not to be out done and in response to the Big Ten hockey conference formation; Miami University from the CCHA decided to join North Dakota, Denver University, Colorado College, and University of Nebraska Omaha to form the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
The NCHC transition was seen as a little rockier as the NCHC schools made what some in the media perceived as a few unimpressive stumbles out of the starting blocks. One of these perceived blunders was in the NCHC’s attempt to lure Notre Dame to become a member of the six team super conference.
That effort fell short when the NCHC leadership didn’t wasn’t too keen on the idea of Notre Dame having their own television deal – the NCHC was looking at inking their national television deal with a sports network.
Hockey East had no problem with Notre Dame having their own television deal and Notre Dame decided to join Hockey East in October of 2011.  
While some fans were perplexed with why the NCHC didn’t look past Notre Dames TV deal the NCHC decided to move on and signed a television deal of their own with CBS Sports Network in the February of 2012. League fans of the NCHC weren’t happy with this deal because many of them thought an exclusivity deal with the NCHC that guarantees at least 18 games was as step down from their current television deals.
In some cases it was.
While the NCHC lost the Fighting Irish, they gained Western Michigan University of the CCHA and Saint Cloud State University of the WCHA.  
If your head is still spinning you’re not alone, the college hockey world wasn’t done changing – the remaining schools from the WCHA and CCHA merged into the WCHA – the CCHA which has been in existence for almost 40 seasons the league will disband after the 2012-13 season.
The new WCHA which will begin play during the 2013-14 season will have the following schools; Bemidji State University, Bowling Green University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Minnesota State University Mankato, Michigan Tech University, Northern Michigan University, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage.
If you thought the movement was over, it wasn’t.  Hockey East with the addition of Notre Dame was sitting at an unattractive and uneven number of 11 schools which makes conference scheduling more difficult. On June 21st, 2012 Hockey East solved that scheduling issue and accepted the University of Connecticut Huskies of the Atlantic Hockey Association. The UCONN Huskies will begin Hockey East play during the 2014-15 season.
With what has happened the last few summers – this season could shape up to be an exciting season of college hockey – especially with a long term labor dispute – college hockey could take center stage.
The CCHA will play it’s final conference tourney of their history at the Joe Louis Arena on March 21-23 in Detroit and the WCHA will play their final conference tourney the same weekend at the Xcel Energy Center under the current WCHA. Old rivalries will have one more opportunity to renew themselves before teams go their separate ways.
There will be many opportunities to watch college hockey on television, if the NHL gets involved a long term lockout and ends up losing the whole season.
No one knows how long the NHL work stoppage will be if the NHL owners lock the players out.
That being said, an NHL lockout is bound to benefit of Division I college hockey. As we get closer to the season a full television schedule will come out and this is especially handy if you have the sports pack on DirecTV where you  can watch numerous games in three time zones.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

BGSU Hockey To Join WCHA Beginning In 2013-14

Bowling Green State UniversityImage via WikipediaHere is the official press release from Bowling Green State University. It's a good pick up for the WCHA because they now get a school that is Division I in all sports.

— The Bowling Green State University Department of Athletics has accepted an invitation to join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) for the 2013-2014 season.

“I’d like to thank the presidents of the institutions in the WCHA for extending this invitation,” BGSU President Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey said. “Our University and our hockey program has many similarities to the current WCHA members and we are excited to join with these schools in two years.”

The offer came on behalf of the presidents representing the WCHA teams that will comprise the Western Collegiate Hockey Association membership following the 2012-13 season. Offers were also extended to fellow Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) institutions Alaska Fairbanks, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University and Western Michigan University. Alaska Fairbanks, Ferris State and Lake Superior State announced their intentions to accept the invitation.

Along with its CCHA brethren, Bowling Green will join Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, and Northern Michigan in the WCHA.

“The WCHA is a great fit for BGSU,” Director of Athletics Greg Christopher said. “WCHA teams are committed to the highest level of college hockey and competing for championships, just as we are at Bowling Green."

Bowling Green has played in the CCHA since its creation in 1971, and is the only founding institution to never leave the

The CCHA has yielded national collegiate champions, Hobey Baker award winners, and Stanley Cup champions in roughly 40 years of existence. CCHA players have combined for 174 All-American honors, including 88 First-Team selections. Bowling Green defenseman Ken Morrow was the CCHA's first First-Team All-American in 1978.

As a member of the CCHA, Bowling Green has produced seven conference regular season championships, five conference tournament championships, nine NCAA tournament appearances, two frozen four appearances, and one national championship (1984).

The Falcons have also yielded two Hobey Baker Award winners (George McPhee and Brian Holzinger) as members of the CCHA.

“We’re building our program to compete for championships,” Head Coach Chris Bergeron said. “I’m excited about the
direction our program is headed and the league we are moving towards because of the opportunities it provides for us to continue to develop BGSU hockey.”

The shift in the hockey landscape started in March when the Big Ten announced that it would form a new conference for the 2013-14 season. Along with Minnesota, Wisconsin, and newly formed Penn State, the new conference will include current CCHA members Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

The creation of a second conference in July marked even more change for the CCHA, as reigning tournament champion Miami announced it would depart for the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2013. The rest of the conference will be made up of former WCHA schools including North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Denver, Colorado College, St. Cloud State, and Nebraska-Omaha.

“We are committed to two more years in the CCHA,” Christopher said. “As one of the founding institutions of the league, Bowling Green hockey and the CCHA have been synonymous with each other. We will continue to build this program over the next two years to reach our goals when we begin play in the WCHA.”

Like the CCHA, the WCHA has been synonymous with college hockey success for decades. Since its inception in 1951, teams representing the WCHA have earned a record 37 NCAA championships, finished as the national runner-up 27 times, and qualified for at least one berth in the NCAA Men's Frozen Four in 55 of 59 seasons overall.

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

CCHA and WCHA merging?

S/T to my buddy Mike Swainey for giving me a heads up on this article. It would appear that the CCHA and the WCHA have had preliminary discussions about merging the remaining teams from the CCHA and the WCHA. I believe that this move would make a lot of sense and would form a pretty decent Division I college hockey conference.
Kevin Gordon Sentinel-Tribune - Discussions regarding a merger of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association were held Tuesday in Chicago. Representatives of the two leagues met for "exploratory talks" about a merged 10-team league, CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch said Tuesday.
Pletsch said the league commissioners will go back to their respective athletic directors to determine if further talks will take place. Bowling Green was represented at the meeting by Jim Elsasser, associate athletics director for internal affairs.

The 11-team CCHA already has lost five members in the last five months during its sport's realignment, while the 12-team WCHA has lost seven members during the same time span. All of the realignment becomes effective after the 2012-13 season.

Most likely, a merged league from the CCHA and the WCHA would consist of BG, Ferris State, Lake Superior and Alaska (Fairbanks) of the CCHA; and Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State (Mankato), Northern Michigan and St. Cloud.

Northern recently left the CCHA for the WCHA, also effective after the 2012-13 season. BG still is exploring its options for league membership starting with the 2013-14 season. University officials already have had discussions with the WCHA, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and four members of the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Jason Knavel, BG's assistant athletics director for athletic communications, said Tuesday the school has not made any decision in regards to what league it will join and no options have been ruled out.
The other remaining CCHA schools are Notre Dame and Western Michigan.

But Notre Dame is not expected to remain in the CCHA once all of the realignment is complete. The Fighting Irish are considering a move to the fledgling NCHC or Hockey East, or scrapping league membership entirely and playing as an independent.

ND will inform the CCHA of its decision at the league's annual summer meetings Aug. 15-16 in Dearborn, Mich., ND associate media relations director Tim Connor said. Once the Fighting Irish announce their decision, the rest of college hockey's realignment is expected to be completed quickly.
Western AD Kathy Beauregard has said all along her school would like to follow ND to whatever league it joins, if the Fighting Irish decide to join a league.

"In our conversations with Notre Dame, they have been waiting for some television information," Beauregard told the Kalamazoo Gazette about ND's decision not to announce its decision so far. One rumored proposal has the newly-formed Versus/NBC partnership airing college hockey games, including those from the NCHC.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Fairbanks and Anchorage belong in same league

Alaska Nanooks men's ice hockeyImage via Wikipedia
Here is another argument by Dermot Cole of the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer for UAA and UAF being in the same conference (the WCHA). What also caught my eye in this article was that this was another argument for the glass being half full instead of being half empty.

With these possible changes the Nanooks and Seawolves could now fight for an at-large NCAA tourney bid much easier and they wouldn’t have to compete with the bigger schools to get into the NCAA tourney (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, UND, DU). This has been an emerging opinion that has countered the argument that re-alignment is going to kill college hockey. Of course the flip side of this argument is that there are no guarantees that the bigger aforementioned schools are ever going to want to travel to Alaska to play either of the Alaska schools. Also, another argument is having two Alaska School in the same conference could raise travel costs for the WCHA and cut into the time the athletes spent in the classroom because the extra travel could take them away from the classroom. In the past the Alaska schools have paid the travel costs of the teams that travel to Alaska, there is no guarantee that the agreement to pay the travel costs would continue if both schools were in the same conference. It would be interesting to see if this agreement continued.
FAIRBANKS — With all the turmoil that has hit the college hockey conferences, I hope officials of the university campuses in Fairbanks and Anchorage can somehow find a way to get UAF and UAA in the same league.

It seems to me this would be one way to improve college hockey in Alaska. It could even be a way to save some money on scheduling and travel.

The Nanooks and the Seawolves can’t control the big schools Outside and they will not become members of the Big Ten, but they can do something about this.

Many of the big hockey schools have abandoned the conferences in which UAF and UAA play, and it’s not clear where the Alaska schools will be when it’s all over.

The CCHA, the conference the Nanooks belong to, is losing most of its biggest draws. The decimation of the conference is likely to lower the profile of the UAF hockey program, but the remaining teams could be more competitive among themselves. UAA is facing a similar situation.

One of the challenges for the Alaska schools is whether Outside teams would be willing to seek the necessary approvals to play one weekend in Fairbanks and the next in Anchorage. It does seem there are options for online studies that could reduce the amount of lost classroom time and make that a plausible alternative.

Travel time is an issue, but travel costs for visiting hockey teams have been paid for by UAF for years.

UAF spent more than $928,000 on travel last year for hockey travel. Of that total, $451,000 was for the Nanooks traveling to games and $397,000 was for the teams traveling to Alaska.

In addition, UAF spent $37,000 on recruiting trips, $32,000 for getting officials to Alaska and $10,000 for Nanook coaches going to league meetings and other work-related trips.

A friend of mine who follows college hockey closely suggests it is possible that whatever combination emerges, the absence of the major schools could lead to a more competitive situation for the Fairbanks and Anchorage teams and an improved chance of getting into post-season play.

The CCHA has lost Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State to the new Big Ten Conference and Miami (Ohio) to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The league alignments are changing for the 2013-14 season.
No one really has a clue what’s going to happen to the college hockey landscape until after the 2013-2014 season when the new league(s) kick off play. The re-alignment process isn’t over by any means there are still other teams moving and we aren’t sure where those teams will end up.

If UAA and UAF were to end up in the same conference would teams playing in Alaska twice get an extra four non-conference instead of two non-conference games added to their schedule for playing four conference games in Alaska? In the past, the carrot for teams traveling to Alaska to play in a tourney or play non-conference or conference games against UAA and UAF was getting the extra games added to your non-conference schedule, which could mean two more home games and extra money. So I would have to say that there is an economic incentive for teams to make the trip to Alaska even if the Alaska schools don’t pay for their travel. An extra two non-conference game could mean 100,000-200,000 extra dollars added to the athletic departments bottom line (that’s just a guesstimate).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday evening free for all

I have been reading a lot of comments from fans of the programs that weren’t invited to join the NCHC or the B1G. First off I understand the anger that some fans are experiencing. This is a scary time for college hockey and I believe all of the schools that are not in the B1G are nervous about their college hockey team’s future, I think that’s understandable.

I have to admit that I am nervous as well and like everyone else I am trying to make some sense out of all of this. First off, UND and DU fans seem to be getting a lot of undeserved flak from other college hockey fans, this anger is misdirected and the fans of these two fan bases are not culpable. I mean let’s be serious; the NCHC was formed by the athletic directors of the six charter member schools (UND, DU, UMD, MU, UNO, C.C.). To suggest that only UND and DU is driving this bus is misguided and wrong, why is it that the other schools aren’t receiving some blow back as well? Also, if you have a concern contact one of the AD’s from the various schools in the NCHC, let them know how you feel.

The day the WCHA and the CCHA died?

In my opinion, I also don't think that those schools were wrong to look into the prospects of the new league; I think the WCHA and the CCHA basically died the day the BTHC decided to make their own league, “WE” will never have what we once had. This is why we have the drastic changes that are happening right now. Let’s not kid ourselves it’s easy for a fan of one of the schools in BTHC to lecture the NCHC fans by telling us that the WCHA would have been fine and there was no reason to start another conference even though our schools are not going to be there. Does that not stink of elitism? Maybe, maybe not, I do think that mind set is short sighted to suggest one group of teams is OK to move forward and improve their lot in college hockey while the others are not and accused of ruining the college hockey landscape. I even read on line today that LSSU can blame UND for their plight, WTF? No I don’t think so.

That being said, I also don’t think it’s wrong to be just a little bit excited about the prospects of having our teams play in a new league as well. I am going to be honest here and say that I am torn, I love the WCHA in it’s “current” 12 team configuration, last season’s Final Five in Saint Paul, Minnesota was a blast, I enjoyed sitting in the press box of the Xcel Energy Center and reporting on the game, however, minus the Gophers and Badges the WCHA is just not as attractive of a league without the two Big Ten Schools. The CCHA looks even worse minus Michigan and Michigan State; I can see why Northern Michigan, Western Michigan and Notre Dame are looking at other options. All I can say is can we blame them and no one seems to be angry with them; at least right now.

Holding on to the status quo

I just don’t know how college hockey fans are supposed to process all of this and I do believe that there are going to be some hurt feeling when it’s all said and done. When I said that this stuff makes my chest hurt, I am being serious, there are too many variables out there, no one knows how this is going to end now that the proverbial genie is out of the bottle.

To a certain degree I believe that human being are afraid of change and want to hang on to the status quo as long as they can, I get that, I am the same way, I don’t want to lose the current WCHA either, so I guess I will have to enjoy the last two seasons before the seismic shift in the college hockey landscape.

Who do we really blame?

Moving forward there are two more years till the final Crescendo in the WCHA as we know it, two years are an eternity in college hockey a lot can still happen between now and then. I am hoping we can all get along and contrary to public believe there is a lot of blame to go around for why all these changes are happening, it’s short sighted to just blame UND and DU, there are more factors driving these changes than UND and DU wanting to improve their lot. DU and UND are just a small part of the equation, there are many other factors out there driving these changes in college hockey, there are teams in the breakaway five that unhappy with the WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod, there are also teams that aren’t all on the same page when it comes to vision on where they believe they want college hockey to go. There are other teams that aren’t as committed financially to college hockey as some of the other schools. Finally you can add the Big Ten Hockey Conference to this equation, there are all kinds of things going on.

I also think it’s funny that very few actually blame Terry Pegula and his act of kindness to donate 88 million dollars to Penn State University so that they could get the ball moving on Division I hockey. Also, I do remember something happening back during the summer of 2009 when a certain AD in the WCHA from Wisconsin was looking to improve his schools lot and wanted to play Michigan and Michigan State more in college hockey... s/t to Gandalf The Red and 60 Minutes...
There were several conference calls between the Big 10 schools w/ varsity hockey along w/ Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany to discuss the creation of a BTHC. There was support for the idea including UW in the form of UW senior associate athletic director Sean Frazier and AD Barry Alvarez. Joel Maturi (gopher AD) spoke out strongly against it, and for probably the only time in world history I agree w/ a ground squirrel.
So I wonder if some of these fans want to amend their statement and still say that it’s all UND and DU’s fault and that UND and DU are killing College hockey. It's more complicated than that.

That’s why I find it funny that no one is blaming Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez and Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany for any of this mess, didn’t Barry Alvarez inquire two seasons ago about having a BTHC? Or are fans just to blinded by their hate for everything UND? I think the later might be true. What do you think?
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday tornadoes bring college hockey links...

This is a map of the United States showing whi...Image via WikipediaThere is a lot of news going on right now in the world of college hockey… I will try to keep up to date as much as I can.

If you haven’t listened to this interview;  [Click this link] to listen to athletic director Forrest Karr talk about the changes in college hockey...

In case you haven't seen it, Dave DeLand; the sports editor of the Saint Cloud Times wrote this column that was in yesterdays newspaper -> Huskies are left with only questions. Talk about doom and gloom article that has a theme of poor me. If you don’t believe me take a look for yourself, below is the crux of the article. The schools involved in the new conference have said that they are going to need to play the teams left in the WCHA. So I wouldn't cancel any renovations yet.
»SCSU is getting ready to start a $28.8 million renovation project at the National Hockey Center. Is that even needed now that the building’s primary tenant is headed for a significant league downgrade — and, in all likelihood, an attendance downsizing?

» How does the WCHA implosion affect fundraising for the NHC renovation? Funds for the initial $14 million stage are in hand, but part of the funds for the $14.8 million second stage are supposed to come from future revenue — and that will almost certainly be diminished by the conference’s breakup.

» How do you sell naming rights for the arena of a team in a third-tier conference? In 2013-14, that’s exactly what the WCHA will be.

» How do you sell tickets for conference games against Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech and MSU-Mankato instead of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota-Duluth?

» How much will recruiting suffer? St. Cloud State has always been able to sell its elite WCHA schedule to recruits, but that advantage disappears when you’re playing conference games against Michigan Tech instead of Minnesota and North Dakota.

» The remaining WCHA schools keep pointing out that they’ll still play nonconference games against the Gophers and Sioux and Bulldogs, but will they play them at home? Or, will St. Cloud State just play road games at NCHC schools — sort of like the lower-rung cupcakes that the Gophers import during the nonleague portion of their football schedule?
Another aritcle from the same newspaper -> College hockey: 'It's a tough day for the WCHA'
There was sentiment from multiple schools that WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod needed to step down.

When the discussion turned to schools possibly pulling out of the WCHA, one of the small-school athletic directors made a motion that called for a six-figure fine to be imposed on all defectors, a point confirmed Wednesday by Faison. The sanction idea was supported by another small-school AD but subsequently withdrawn.
I keep seeing this same topic pop up over and over again in the various blogs and newspapers, and after thinking about it for a while I must ask; are the five schools leaving the WCHA the "only" schools that were in favor of getting rid of WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod?

The next question that I must ask is, are the other schools not in the mix of joining the new conferene; are you happy with the status quo in the WCHA under the leadership of Commissioner Bruce McLeod? I think these are legitimate questions that need to be asked, it would be interesting to see how they would answer that question if they could. Obviously they are still in the league and don't want to bite the hand that feeds them.

I have also read where some SCSU fans think that the reason the Huskies weren’t asked to join the NCHC because of their former president Roy H. Saigo and his stance on the Fighting Sioux logo… I highly doubt that was a reason for SCSU not being invited to join the NCHC... If that was a reason that SCSU was not asked to be in the NCHC, that would be very petty reason in my opinion... Also, the schools involved in this new league are very professional organizations and I can’t see this being a factor because UND AD Brian Faison UND President Robert O. Kelley are both on record as wanting to move forward away from the Fighting Sioux logo and the controversy that surrounds the historic nickname.

Moving forward does the WCHA (those schools that are left) really want Bruce McLeod as the face of their league if he is such a polarizing figure? If in fact one of the reasons these five power schools left the WCHA was because of Brue McLeod (it does appear to be one of the reasons) then maybe the league might want to consider getting rid of him even if it means spending some money to buy his contract out.

Another topic that keeps coming out is some of the AD’s in the WCHA said that they didn’t see this move coming. Yet the head hockey coach for BSU knew this conference was in the works for some time.
Eric Stromgren; Bemidji Pioneer --- When the National Collegiate Hockey Conference became a reality Wednesday, it was an announcement Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore saw coming.

“We knew this was probably going to happen,” Serratore said. “It has been in the fold for a few months and we’ve had time to digest this. Basically what we just need to do now is move on. We’re still in the WCHA.”

So I have to ask, if BSU knew about the new conference forming, how did the UAA AD Steve Cobb not know that this new college hockey conference was coming down the pike? Does he not have the Internet, email and a telephone/cell phone. Cobb said earlier this past week; "I blame everybody for being less than honest with their own league members. It's a really sneaky back-door deal." Again, I must ask where is the communication between member schools in college hockey. Do they not talk to each other? It would appear that they do not. I am going to call shenanigans on this one because I am just not buying it.

If this is the case, it’s time for the WCHA teams/schools that are not in the NCHC to start having more frequent communications with their fellow conference members. I mean; come on!!! Everyone and his brother knew that there was a very "big possibility" that the new “NCHC” was going to form. When I say "big ossibility” I mean there was a lot of unofficial talk that was out there and someone at UAA must have actually seen some of it, it’s not like it was a really big secret.

Where are the Irish going?

With the CCHA disintegrating before our very eyes and with NMU announcing that they are going to the WCHA pending final approval because of a legal issue, which should be resolved this up coming week.
WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod told ESPN 970-AM's Casey Ford Friday morning that 75 percent of the league would have to accept NMU, but the bylaws are unclear whether that applies only to the current 12-team WCHA or the 2013-14 five-team WCHA, as well.

League lawyers are expected to resolve the issue soon and "formal approval of Northern Michigan's application for membership in the WCHA will occur next week," according to Friday's WCHA statement.
Holding all of the cards at a poker game, the $64,000.00 question remains where are the ND Fighting Irish going. Mike McMahon from the Eagle Tribune seems to think that ND is going to Hockey East...
Word around the league is that Notre Dame, one of the leftovers in the wake of the Big 10 formation, is currently deciding whether to join the new NCHC or Hockey East, which it has connections to with other Catholic colleges (Merrimack, Providence and Boston College) as well as the fact that all of the Irish sports besides football compete in the Big East.

According to what I've been told by multiple sources within the league, if Notre Dame wants to join Hockey East, they would be welcomed with open arms.
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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

UMD: Also in the Super League mix…

This is a map of the United States showing whi...Image via WikipediaIt would seem that the plot is thickening. UMD beat writer Kevin Pates from the Duluth News Tribune has informed us that the defending national champions the UMD Bulldogs are also in the mix for the Super Conference as well. We could say that UMD is also being proactive; they are trying to do what is best for their University going forward.
Rink and Run --- Minnesota Duluth has been asked to join a discussion of a proposed seven- or eight-team Division I men’s conference, which would likely start in 2013-14, sources indicate.

The conference: UMD, North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College and Nebraska-Omaha of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and Miami University of Oxford, Ohio and Notre Dame of South Bend, Ind., and possibly Western Michigan of Kalamazoo, Mich., all of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

There’s talk that a resolution on a new Super League could come in July or by Labor Day. The current 12-team WCHA already has schedules for the next two seasons.

The restructuring of Division I conferences is being investigated by a number of schools in reaction to the formation of the Big Ten Conference, announced in March. Starting in 2013-14, Wisconsin and Minnesota will leave the WCHA, while Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will leave the CCHA, and join Penn State in the six-team Big Ten Conference.

While it’s unknown who is leading the charge to form an eight-team Super Conference, Denver and North Dakota are likely candidates. While UMD athletic director Bob Nielson wouldn’t talk specifically Tuesday about a Super Conference, he said his school isn’t standing still.
If you read between the lines there seems to be a lot of stuff being said here and I wonder if any of this is being received by the league office of the WCHA. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s going to be hard to put the genie back in the bottle once all of these things have been said and done as well. There seems to be a schism developing here.

Here is what I also think is key and driving this realignment chatter and one of the major reasons for the proposed talk about a move to a “Super Conference.” There are schools like UND, UMD, UNO, DU, and C.C. that see the writing on the wall or they probably don't like the direction the WCHA and college hockey is currently going but also more likely than not have questions about the WCHA leadership and direction of where they think the league is going. I think many fans do as well.

Since the announcement of the Big Ten Hockey Conference all we have heard from the Commissioner's office is that he wants to have a scheduling agreement with the schools that are leaving for the Big Ten, that’s about it.

I also believe that the schools in the mix for this Super Conference are trying to be proactive and want to align themselves with other schools that have similar philosophies like their own when it comes to college hockey… Also, it would appear that these schools might be upset with the current leadership in their conferences as well. If you look at what UMD athletic director Bob Nielson said, “His views mirror comments made by North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison…”
While it’s unknown who is leading the charge to form an eight-team Super Conference, Denver and North Dakota are likely candidates. While UMD athletic director Bob Nielson wouldn’t talk specifically Tuesday about a Super Conference, he said his school isn’t standing still.

“We’re concerned about the college hockey landscape. We’re looking at all the options of what could happen,” said Nielson. “Our hockey program is very important to our school and we want to be proactive.

“Our approach is to be active and examine potential opportunities, and have conversations about the future of Division I. Our intent is to be a member of the WCHA, but we’re considering options.”

Speculation about a Super Conference started in April and intensified last week when the Grand Forks Herald reported that North Dakota was weighing options about leaving the WCHA.

Nielson said his views mirror comments made by North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison in the Grand Forks Herald:
This is what UND Athletic Director Brian Faison said as well...
Faison told the Herald that he has concerns with “the administrative side of the WCHA.” So perhaps this is all a big power play.
Finally -> As you can see from the comment above, another question that is starting to emerge as well; is this a big power play? Here is the latest tweet from College Hockey News.
All the new "super conference" talk is likely a power play to get a management change in the WCHA ... CHN has more forthcoming
Edit: Just for the record I would gladly take a WCHA without Bruce McLeod at the helm and with Miami and Notre Dame added to the Mix… All I can say is stay tuned....
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