I saw the comment above in the Grand Forks Herald chat and I had to include it in my blog post.
First, I think with the announcement that Arizona State University adding hockey is grounds for celebration. Hey, the more the merrier. I don't look at it as gloom and doom. After college hockey blew up a few summers ago with re-alignment many people were predicting that gloom and doom. I don't think that's the case. If you look at the USCHO poll, the top-20 teams are mostly Division II schools and mid majors. Gone from the top-20, traditional powers like Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Think about this, Union College won the NCAA title last year, they're a Division III school. So I don't believe that adding another Big-Five school is going to ruin college hockey.
Jeff Cox, SBNCollegeHockey --- However, college hockey has always been a niche sport in the colder regions of the country. It has thrived with smaller schools playing up and having success such as 2014 NCAA Champion Union College and Minnesota-Duluth in 2011. Little-known schools nationally such as Northern Michigan, Lake Superior, RPI and Bowling Green won national titles in the 80s and 90s. The current No. 1 team in the nation and winner of three national titles, Michigan Tech, is a small school located in the upper peninsula that certainly wouldn't even sniff such success in football or basketball.
When Penn State elevated its successful club program to the NCAA level a few years ago, we saw the dismantlement of the CCHA and the fraction of the WCHA into the Big Ten, NCHC and a revamped WCHA. Depending on which rumor you believe, the Sun Devils seem destined for the NCHC or WCHA, both could be argued as logical choices for the newest member of college hockey's fraternity.
None of this is a knock on Penn State or Arizona State. Both, rightfully so, are entitled to look out for their best interests. No school, big or large, is necessarily tasked with looking out for the interests of any other institution outside of their own. But, college hockey is a small fraternity and one that needs to keep all its members to ensure future success. The small schools with a rich hockey history have been vital to the sport. Going forward it is imperative that College Hockey Inc. and other powers that be in the sport maintain balance in expansion with keeping the glorious history of the sport alive.