Northern Michigan moved closer to joining the WCHA after the board of trustees approved the attempt this morning.
Here’s another possible reason for “The National” from an unnamed source. It appears an attempt to remove WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod was percolating to the surface.
The biggest misinformation debunked — it was a quote from the commish by the way — at the press conference was the unanimous vote by the WCHA members in April to stay together. The proposal for the five members to leave was mentioned during the league meetings and met by a motion to impose a six-figure fine on each school that left.
That punishment motion was withdrawn so no fines are expected, though hard feelings about “The National” certainly remain.
Here’s perhaps the best enunciated reason why for the move:
“We’re with schools that have a burning desire to win a national championship,” said CC AD Ken Ralph. “They are willing to fund their programs to that level, staff to that level and build facilities to support that. From that perspective, it’s very exciting.”
And why this particular group came together:
“Each (of the remaining WCHA teams) has some of those things at different levels of their programs,” said UND AD Brian Faison. ” This is a combination that provides the best opportunity to continue furthering UND’s hockey program.”
Both quotes provided by the Grand Forks Herald, by the way. I was busy going from room to room to talk to as many league folks as possible.
Here’s the CCHA response to the press conference: “Today’s announcement does not come as a surprise as we have been engaged in discussing this topic with Miami, and other CCHA schools, for several months now. The league respects the right of all members to examine institutional and geographic similarities with other schools, and ultimately determine their own place in college hockey.”
Duluth standout J.T. Brown allegedly ran afoul of the law.
Mike Guentzel was hired as the associate head coach at Minnesota as expected.
“Super Mario” Lucia– I haven’t been able to do an entire blog post without using the word super in the past 7 days, why stop now? — is leaning toward Notre Dame and said the Irish are telling recruits they are joining the NCHC. They will likely announce their decision in August with Western Michigan anxious to join at the same time.
The Broncos administration followed Wednesday’s press conference closely and will start the search for a new head coach immediately, with a list of candidates, which should include longtime CC assistant Joe Bonnett, determined by later today.
Indications from league officials are that expanding to eight teams is not a sure thing, though the coaches would prefer that. The ADs would be satisfied with seven, especially if the 7th was the Irish.
Also, the NCHC members stressed they hope to continue playing WCHA foes in nonconference games.
Here’s a couple good blogs from the Post’s Mike Chambers who dealt with why Omaha deserves to be in the league and how CC and DU are attached at the hip. Can anyone imagine not being in the same league as your biggest rival?
Minnesota State-Moorhead may see the new landscape as a chance to move up to Division I. Let’s hope more schools take advantage to grow the sport.