Monday, September 26, 2016

The Oilers New Mascot - Hunter

Speaking of mascots, that the heck is this thing? It looks like a Bobcat.

UND Starts out at Number 1

Preseason Division I Men's Poll

September 26, 2016

Team(First Place Votes)RecordPointsLast Poll
1North Dakota(43)34- 6-49931
2Quinnipiac( 1)32- 4-78562
4Boston University( 5)21-13-577414
5Boston College( 1)28- 8-56413
7St. Cloud State31- 9-15695
9Notre Dame19-11-750213
10Providence27- 7-44767
11Michigan25- 8-54706
14Bowling Green22-14-6370NR
16St. Lawrence19-14-433618
17Michigan Tech23- 9-528516
18Yale19- 9-428311
19Minnesota State21-13-715317
20Ferris State20-15-612615
Others receiving votes: Cornell 92, Nebraska-Omaha 85, Penn State 63, Clarkson 62, Rochester Institute of Technology 62, Ohio State 33, Air Force 17, Vermont 16, Miami 11, Wisconsin 10, Dartmouth 6, Robert Morris 6, Michigan State 5.

UND starts out the 2016-17 season ranked first in the USCHO Preseason Poll. UND is also picked to finish first in the NCHC preseason media poll. Four NCHC teams make up the USCHO poll. 

Last week, the NCHC released the preseason Media Poll. 

2016-17 NCHC Preseason Poll
North Dakota – 235 points (25 first-place votes)
Denver – 200 (3)
Minnesota Duluth – 173 (2)
St. Cloud State – 155
Omaha – 119
Miami – 96
Western Michigan – 65
Colorado College – 37

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

David Backes not Impressed with Phil Kessel's Tweet

Last night, after Team Canada beat Team USA 4-2, Phil Kessel tweeted this. Apparently, some didn't like Kessel's tweet.

From Puck Daddy:

“It’s disappointing. It’s almost to say that we were coasting or don’t care, weren’t representing our countries as well as we could have and for other guys that have worn the jersey, it’s disappointing,” Team USA forward David Backes said. “I understand there’s hard feelings if you weren’t picked for the team or if whatever, but the comments are, I think – as a team guy and as a guy that stands by my teammates, win lose or draw, it’s a little distasteful and aggravating but everyone’s got a Twitter account and you can have freedom of speech to say whatever you want and so be it. But those comments don’t get lost in the fray and those comments are there and have been read and I think will be remembered when whatever happens going forward happens going forward.”
First, I thought Kessel's tweet was spot on. During the first two games, I thought Team USA looked slow, uninspired and old. They lost all of the 50/50 battles. Team USA didn't look like they even wanted there. Finally, I am more than disappointed with the team that built to beat Canada.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Herald Letter: New logo conspicuous by its absence at UND

Yesterday, while reading the Grand Forks Herald letters to the editor, I came across this interesting letter. Mr. Johnson isn't the first one to ask this question. When Brad Schlossman tweeted the picture of the ice going in, missing was the new logo. There were a few tweets back asking where and when the new logo was going to be at center ice.
UND's new nickname is the Fighting Hawks. So, why is UND not getting behind it and painting in on the ice at Ralph Engelstad Arena—or on the basketball or volleyball floor at Betty Engelstad Arena—or on the football field at the Alerus Center?

Instead, those facilities are using the interlocking ND logo, which is being phased out. Why? Does UND not even like the Fighting Hawks logo?

The university wants all the fans to get on board with the new logo, but the school itself has not even fully embraced it.

J.R. Johnson

Grand Forks
From what I have heard and read, the new logo isn't going to be on any playing surface this season. However, we're to expect to see it there during the 2017-18 season.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

ASN to Broadcast 10 NCHC GAMES in 2016-17

Today, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced that American Sports Network will carry 10 of the league's games. This is very good news, it gives the NCHC more exposure on the national level.

For UND fans that don't live in the area or like to watch hockey games through an Internet hookup will be able to see two more of their games on TV via cable or a satellite dish (DirecTV or DISH).

Per the NCHC:

Games selected to air on ASN are centered on member institutions that have limited local/regional television exposure from their home venues. With that in mind, CC and WMU each host a trio of ASN games, while Omaha will host two ASN broadcasts and Denver and Miami will each have one ASN telecast originate from their arena. Eight of the 10 games ASN will air are conference games with only two non-conference contests on the slate. 

“The announcement of 10 additional NCHC distributed games through American Sports Network speaks to our commitment toward national exposure,” NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton said in an official press release. “We appreciate ASN’s partnership with our conference and their overall coverage given to college hockey. We look forward to another great year on their network.”

2016-17 NCHC ASN Television Schedule
Time (ET)
Fri., Oct. 21, 2016
Vermont at Omaha
8:00 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 4, 2016
Miami at Western Michigan
7:00 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 11, 2016
St. Cloud State at Colorado College
9:30 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 18, 2016
Air Force at Western Michigan
7:00 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 9, 2016
Minnesota Duluth at Denver
9:00 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 7, 2017
North Dakota at Omaha
8:00 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 13, 2017
Denver at Western Michigan
6:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 13, 2017
Omaha at Colorado College
9:00 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 28, 2017
North Dakota at Colorado College
8:00 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 18, 2017
Denver at Miami
8:00 p.m.

Jake Brandt Returns to Midco Sports Network for UND Hockey Games

Another hockey season is almost upon us. Like last season, former University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux goalie Jake Brandt will do color for hockey games broadcast on Midco Sports Network.

Not so Fast

It appears the Holy Cross to Hockey East rumor might be a bit premature.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Holy Cross to Hockey East?

Looks like college hockey realignment might not be done after all. According to Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram, the Holy Cross Crusaders could be headed to Hockey East.
According to multiple sources, Holy Cross has been approached about replacing Notre Dame in Hockey East when the Fighting Irish leave after this winter. That move would require the Crusaders to play their home games at the DCU Center.

And in the event the change in leagues occurs, Holy Cross would be sharing the building with the new Worcester Railers of the ECHL.

The Railers are scheduled to begin play in October, 2017.

“We became aware of it (Monday),” said ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna, “and we’re very concerned about it. Beyond that, we don’t care to comment further.”

Neither Holy Cross athletic director Nathan Pine nor Railers owner Cliff Rucker would comment about the Crusaders’ possible move to Hockey East and the DCU Center.
Got to love the duck by the DCU Center staff. Where there's smoke, there's fire. For those that haven't heard, former Michigan Tec head coach Jamie Russel is going to be the head coach of the new ECHL team.
Sandy Dunn, general manager of the DCU Center, referred all questions to Holy Cross. However, in an interview during the NCAA hockey tournament in the building in March, Dunn was asked if the DCU was ready to play host to the Crusaders should they need a bigger home.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ryan Anderson's New Goalie Mask

Thoughts on Ryan Anderson's new goalie mask? Courtesy of headstronggrafx. I live in Grand Forks, and I have started to see the community embrace the new Fighting Hawks logo.

Now before you bite my head off.

I see the new logo around town, more and more. While a big percentage of hockey fans' aren't on board or with the new logo, the other sports programs that aren't hockey (players and fans) seem to be embracing the new logo. I have to say, I thought that the new logo looked okay on the football helmets. I also love the new uniforms. I see kids wearing the new logo on the way to school. I talked to a manager at Scheels and he said that the new clothing with the Fighting Hawks logo is moving off of the shelves.

A photo posted by Jason Livery's (@headstronggrafx) on

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Torts, "I'm not backing off."

At first, when I read this, I didn't think it would be an issue. That being said, Torts reiterated again today that he's not backing off. Don't stand for the national anthem and you won't play for team USA.

“There is no chance an anthem and a flag should come into any type of situation where you are trying to make a point,” Tortorella told Aaron Portzline Wednesday. “It’s probably the most disrespectful thing you can do as a U.S. citizen is to bring that in because that’s our symbol. (I’m) all for express yourself. That’s what is so great. Everybody does. But no chance when it comes to the flag an anthem. No chance.”

“I have no problem (with it),'" Seth Jones told the Columbus Dispatch. "You’re not going to see anything from any of us with Torts, so I have no problem with that.”

While many fans and media aren't a fan of the firey coach from the Columbus Blue Jackets, no one can accuse him of being wishy washy. He's sticking to his guns.

“Understand: I’m not criticizing anybody for stepping up and putting their thoughts out there about things. I’m the furthest thing away from being anything political,” Tortorella told SportsNet.

“This is your anthem. This is your flag. That shouldn’t come into play for a second. Not what these people do.”

Check out what former UMD Bulldog forward J.T. Brown tweeted on the matter.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Fighting Hawks not Flying at Center Ice

The 2016-17 college hockey season is almost upon us. Finally, the ice is going back in the Ralph and the #neverfightinghawks fans will be happy. At least for this season, there will not be a Fighting Hawks logo at center ice this season.

Torts, Stand For Anthem or Don't Play

Today, team USA World Cup of hockey head coach John Tortorella was asked what would happen if one of his players took up Colin Kaepernick's cause and failed to stand for the National Anthem. Some will like his response, won't.

“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” Tortorella said.

So, if the USA players don't stand for the national anthem they will sit.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Collin Kaepernick's Stand, He Refuses to Stand

I am sitting here alone at work on Labor Day I am looking through some of my friends Facebook posts. Of course, there’s the usual, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump posts.

There’s been one topic that hasn’t’ died and seems to have a life of its own. You know the one, the San Franciso backup quarterback Collin Kaepernick’s and his refusal to stand for the national anthem. Last week, Kaepernick made the following statement when asked why he wouldn’t stand for the national anthem.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

This week, President Barrack Obama weighed in on Kaepernick’s position.

“[H]e’s following his constitutional right to make a statement,” President Obama said at a press conference in Hangzhou, China. “I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so. ”The president added, “I don’t doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about. And if nothing else, he’s generated some conversation around some topics that need to be talked about it.”

Like I have said in the past, I am not all that fussed about Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem. As an American, he has that right to take this stand, or in this case, not to stand. Whether we like it or not, it’s protected speech under the first amendment.

It doesn't matter if we have a pen and a phone. We're a nation of laws. We can’t pick and choose what amendments or  laws we like to follow. As a constitutional conservative, I am not offended by this man's opinion. Do I agree with it? Nope. But it's not about me.

This is America, people are allowed to have differing opinions. We also have the right to "respectfully" disagree with these folks. Not everyone is going to see the world the same way or have the same personal experience. In my case, I have no idea what it's like to be a rich person or a minority.

There’s another side to this story. Kaepernick has also worn socks that depict cops as pigs. This move has offended police and law enforcement officers nationwide.

Now, the Santa Clara Police Officers Association (their police department's union) has come out and said some of their officers aren't going to work the San Francisco 49ers games.

"I'm already hearing it this week that next week on Monday Night Football, some officers are not going to work," said Frank Saunders, president of the Santa Clara Police Officers Association.

Before you go off on these police officers and say that they’re ducking their responsibilities and disregarding safety, they're not. They're exercising their first amendment rights. Like Kaepernick, they also have the same protected speech. They have choice to not work these events, this isn’t mandatory overtime. This is an overtime gig to supplement their incomes. They’re also exercising their freedom of speech by failing to sign up for the overtime shifts. There will be other officers that will take those shifts.

This is the beauty of America, you can’t pick and choose. It's hypocritical to approve of one’s protected first amendment speech and then turn around and say, “Hey! They can’t do that.” Everyone is protected under the first amendment, whether you like it or not. Live with it. In other words, the law enforcement officers that Kaepernick attacks can also turn around let him know their feelings about his actions. That's life.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Did the Vikings Give up Too Much to Get Bradford?

Today, we found out that the Minnesota Viking acquired Sam Bradford of the Philadelphia Eagles for a first-round and fourth-round draft choice. I’ve been told by a few people that the Eagles have officially fleeced the Vikings.

Bradford, 28, is an oft-injured quarterback and it will be interesting to see if he can lead the Vikings back to the NFL playoffs in 2016. As you can see, he's got the curse of the Heisman Trophy.
Sam Bradford, the first-overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams, has thrown for 14,790 yards, 78 TDs, 52 INTs and has a 81.0 passer rating in his 63 career games, all of which are starts. Bradford, who was acquired by Philadelphia via trade during the 2015 offseason, set Eagles franchise records in completions (346) and completion percentage (65.0%) and finished fourth in team history in passing yardage (3,725) in his lone season with the club. The former Heisman winner and 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year still holds the NFL rookie completion record (354). (

I keep reading how the Vikings got the short end of the deal. I also read a reference to the Hershel Walker trade. So, did the Vikings give up too much to get Bradford? I guess we will soon find out.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Coltyn Sanderson Signed by the Solar Bears

Today, it’s been a great news day and another great story. The Orlando Solar Bears of the East Coast Hockey League has signed former University of North Dakota forward Coltyn Sanderson. In my humble opinion, Sanderson's last season at UND was very exciting, he ended up being one of the top goal scorers for UND the second half of the season. Sanderson ended up showing us an offensive flare and scored a couple of big-time goals.

Former UND Goalie Aaron Dell penciled in as Sharks backup

According to Kevin Kurz of, former Fighting Sioux goalie Aaron Dell is "currently" the San Jose Sharks number two goalie. It will be interesting to see if he ends up being the number two goalie on the Sharks opening day roster.
2015-16 year in review: In his first full season in the American Hockey League, Aaron Dell seized the number one job on the Barracuda by posting a 17-16-6 record, 2.42 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 40 games. That earned him a two-year, $1.25 million contract extension with the Sharks this offseason, and he’s currently penciled in as the backup to Martin Jones on the depth chart.

Dell’s extension also fulfills the Sharks’ obligation to expose at least one goaltender under contract for the upcoming expansion draft next summer, allowing them to protect Jones.

2016-17 outlook: It’s difficult to predict just how Dell will fare in what is expected to be his first taste of NHL hockey, but the University of North Dakota product is much older than your standard NHL rookie, so it’s unlikely his game will drastically change at this point in his career. By all accounts he was outstanding with the Barracuda last season, so he’s earned a chance to make his NHL debut.

Three Former UND Players Make Blackhawks 2016 Rookie Tournament Roster

Today, the Chicago Blackhawks released their roster for the 2016 Rookie Tournament today. The tournament will be held at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Michigan, from Sept. 16-20. If you look at the Blackhawks rookie tournament roster there are three former UND players on it.

The fourteen forwards on the roster include Nick Schmaltz, Bryn Chyzyk and Luke Johnson.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Teddy Bridgewater out for season

Yesterday, the Minnesota Viking lost their starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the 2016 season. The word out of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is that Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and torn ACL. Waiting in the wings, to take Bridgewater's place is 14-year veteran Shaun Hill. The 34-year-old Hill is the prototypical backup quarterback. Hill 16-18-0 as a starter and his career numbers aren’t mind blowing. Over the course of his 14-year career,  he’s thrown for 8,053 yards, 49 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions. His career reception completion rate is 62.0 % and he has a career QB rating of 85.2.
NFL.COM --- Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is out for the season after completely tearing his ACL during practice Tuesday.

"Teddy Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury today at practice. The injury was quickly identified as a dislocated knee. The injury was stabilized, and he was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and evaluation. After undergoing an MRI, it was determined that Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage. Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. Surgical repair will be scheduled within the next few days. Although the recovery time will be significant, we expect Teddy to make a full recovery. I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and our athletic training staff for all of their help today. Teddy has already displayed the attitude needed to overcome this injury and attack his rehab." - Statement from Vikings Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman.
So Viking fans, is it time to panic? Can the Vikings still make a run to the Super Bowl?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Teddy Bridgewater Injured in Practice

Coming into the season, the Minnesota Viking had high hopes of making a deep run into the NFL playoffs. Some have said that the Vikings have the talent to win the Super Bowl. Well, today, those hopes might of have been crushed. The Vikings starting quarterback went down to a non-contact injury.
Per Rotoworld --- Bridgewater went down in a heap, and his teammates immediately called for the trainer. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, players were cursing and throwing their helmets. They gathered around Bridgewater in prayer. The scene was described as "complete shock." The Vikings canceled practice and an ambulance was summoned. Obviously, it has the looks of a potentially season-ending injury, which would be a devastating blow even considering Bridgewater's game-managing ways. Journeyman veteran Shaun Hill is the next man up on the depth chart.
Wow! This could end very badly for the Vikings.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Whether You Like It or Not, Colin Kaepernick Is Protected by First Amendment

By now you've heard of the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The five-year pro out of Nevada has created quite the firestorm for refusing to stand for the national anthem during a recent preseason game.

When asked why he wouldn't stand for the anthem, he said "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Fellow NFL fans, players, and coaches have taken to twitter to show their feelings on the matter. Now, Eagles linebacker Myke Tavarres has said that he will join Kaepernick in not standing for the national anthem.

"Oh, I thought about it. Believe me, I definitely thought about it," Tavarres told ESPN. "And usually I'm front and center on the line with the rest of the guys, and that's since pre-K all the way up. Saturday's game, I stepped back, I was in the background, and it didn't feel right to me at all, and so I will be taking a stand — or sitting down — for the fourth game.

"We've got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up. We've got that right. There's just a lot going on that people don't want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we're looked at as role models. And I feel like with Colin Kaepernick, he's doing a great job for standing up in what he believes in, and most people may not like that, but that's his opinion, he's entitled to it, and I respect him for doing it."

Kaepernick's former coach Jim Harbaugh isn't supportive of his former QB's stand.

"I acknowledge his right to do that. I don't respect the motivation or the action," said Harbaugh.

Before you set out to boycot the 49ers, consider this. According to Pro Football Talk, Kaepernick might be hard pressed to make the 49ers opening day lineup .

“Regardless of politics or not, he has a very, very big uphill battle to make this team,” Glazer said. “I’d be shocked if he’s on the 49ers by the time this season ends. It has nothing to do with political views whatsoever. He lost a ton of weight this offseason, had three surgeries, couldn’t work out, lost that double threat, that size-speed ratio. No political views, he just hasn’t been effective. He’s regressing as a player. I’d be shocked if he’s on this roster by the end of this year. He may not be on it in the next two weeks.”

I've been reading some of the posts about this matter on Twitter and Facebook. Honestly, I am not going to get all that fussed about it. Hey, if the guy wants to act like this it's his right. Who am I to say he can't make these statements. It's protected speech. Hey y'all this is why we wore the uniform, right? Defend the constitution. We can't pick and choose which amendments we want to follow.

Second, it's Kaepernick's first amendment right to take this stand. We don't have to like it, but it's his right and we can respectfully disagree with him.