A lot of this boils down to finances. So a few unrelated observations.
I don't think anyone is going to put asu in their league unless there is a rink under construction. I also don't think the WCHA is going to be a destination for them because they turned down the WCHA last year.
I think we ought to schedule atlantic hockey when we can because otherwise, as this year shows, we could end up below them in the power.
I'd like to see a few more ECAC schools in our schedule.
I'm sure a number of teams are interested in reducing the costs of transportation... So you can figure that Mankato is as good as gone. Just one year or maybe two later than planned. And when they are gone, the NCHC will get on their high horse and tell people it won't hurt the rest of college hockey.
I wonder how the NCHC teams feel about additional travel to Phoenix on top of what is already a difficult schedule.
The total BS that the fine gentleman from north dakota, Schlossmann puts out, about the NCHC caring about the rest of college hockey, is laughable.
I don't think teams will continue to schedule ASU in Arizona long term without a new rink.
I hope the league, after this years' playoffs, is more stable financially and I'm pretty sure they are. I'm hoping like crazy that translates into more help for the struggling teams and a better league performance nationally.
I think we have seen that the two for ones with the B1g are not a good deal for us. I think they will be fewer and fewer going forward as we get some substitute teams to play. I hope the ones we do are paid more highly, in effect requiring the big to subsidize some of our teams.
I'm somewhat surprised the big would go to 7 teams unless there is some other motivation.
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It's my understanding that ASU has applied to the WCHA and, will present a proposal that includes a fairly significant travel cost coverage -- similar to what the Alaska's and Huntsville currently provide to the league -- at the meetings in Naples later this month. It's also my understanding that their acceptance is basically a done deal. I've also heard a plan for a new arena will be announced either at that time or, shortly afterwards. I haven't heard any information regarding conditions (buy out or not) on long-term membership. Nor, have I heard anything about how their addition may or may not affect the playoff format. I also haven't heard of any other teams joining. From what I've heard, the NCHC doesn't have any interest in adding Mankato in the near future so, my understanding is they're in the WCHA for the foreseeable future. Do I trust my sourcing? Absolutely. Have I been wrong before based on their info? Absolutely.....
Now, if other things that are rumored to possibly be occurring (UND to B10) actually do occur, does that affect the long-term stability of the league? Yes, then all bets are off..... So, much like most statements on these forums, take them for what they're worth.
But I do hope that, in addition to the travel dollars, that their acceptance is contingent on ASU putting shovels to dirt & getting an arena built. Not just a plan, look what happened with the Coyote's deal, but actual, tangible proof that an arena is being constructed.
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I am kind of torn on the whole 24 game schedule. Part of me would love to see it just because it would open up some dates to try and get SCSU and Minnesota on the Beavers' schedule. You could then "revive" the North Star College Cup and just have it as a round robin schedule with Bemidji, Mankato, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud. Of course the two games that count between Bemidji and Mankato would have to be stated ahead of time, but I think that would be interesting.
The down side of a 24 game schedule is still the fact you have to find willing dance partners. As stated by others, would WCHA teams get locked into 2 for 1 deals? Would we just see a bunch of non-conference games between conference opponents? I don't think any of the fans want to see that and those types of games would do very little for the Pairwise Rankings.
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As the fan of a team in a former league with a 20-game league schedule, I think going below 28 is a fool's game that you'll lose every time. Even the B1G having a small schedule just hasn't opened up the NC slate. But then I should keep putting fingers to a keyboard on 24 first...
I don't see ASU getting into a conference until they are moving dirt at their new rink site. Since there isn't even a valid proposal on the table anymore, I don't see ASU being a conference member in the next two seasons. Best they could hope for at this point is some sort of non-conference scheduling agreement.
Each team would have two designated rivals that they play 4x each year and the rest of the schedule would rotate over 8 years, versus the 4 years now...
For an 11-team WCHA with current teams these would make sense for rivals:
ASU: UAA, UA_
UAA: UA_, ASU
UA_: UAA, ASU
UAH: BGSU, BSU
BGSU: UAH, FSU
BSU: MSU, UAH
FSU: BGSU, LSSU
LSSU: NMU, FSU
MSU: BSU, MTU
MTU: NMU, MSU
NMU: MTU, LSSU
From what I have looked up, for the 1996-1999 years, the CCHA played a mix of full weekend series and split weekends so each team played 30 league games.
Obviously the WCHA isn't going to increase to 30 league games.
The schedule is going to be unbalanced no matter what. Who gives a sh**? Not unless we cut to eight teams like the NCHC and play each other four times a year.
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