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Thread: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

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    LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Another disappointing season is in the books. Does Damon Whitten get the boot for the Lakers missing the playoffs?

    Anyone know who the Lakers play non-conference for next season? I know we play Michigan at home and play at the GLI? Any other teams?
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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    I believe Damon has been extended for how many years I'm not sure.

    I know this weekend didn't go the way we would have hoped it would but the team played hard and they should hold their heads up. Ferris State has a huge home ice advantage in their rink in Big Rapids.
    If someone would have told me two or three months ago that the Lakers would be holding their own playoffs destiny in their hands going into the last weekend of the season l would have asked them to share what they were on. Tough season but they dug deep,good job Lakers.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    The Lakers were picked to finish 6th and maybe even higher was the preseason position for them .

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Quote Originally Posted by PerkyforPrez View Post
    I believe Damon has been extended for how many years I'm not sure.

    I know this weekend didn't go the way we would have hoped it would but the team played hard and they should hold their heads up. Ferris State has a huge home ice advantage in their rink in Big Rapids.
    If someone would have told me two or three months ago that the Lakers would be holding their own playoffs destiny in their hands going into the last weekend of the season l would have asked them to share what they were on. Tough season but they dug deep,good job Lakers.
    I heard he was on board through next season. It could be longer I guess although I didn't hear that. We have an interim president (Peter Mitchell) and a new AD (Dave Paitson), so I can see where they might have given Damon a renewal for another season. At that point, we'll have a new president and Dave Paitson will be in his second year as AD, and they'll be in a better position to make a decision about Damon's future as coach. That also gives Damon another season to see if he can turn things around.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    I think the level of frustration for many is the fact this team this year and last seems to be the result of being under achievers . I think so many of us as well as the media and coaches poll having picked the Lakers to finish at least 6th if not higher became a big disappointment missing the play-offs and struggling to win just 10 games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sm2pk View Post
    I think the level of frustration for many is the fact this team this year and last seems to be the result of being under achievers . I think so many of us as well as the media and coaches poll having picked the Lakers to finish at least 6th if not higher became a big disappointment missing the play-offs and struggling to win just 10 games.
    But if we fire Roque everything will just get so much better. You can keep changing the name on the coaches door, but thereís an old saying that says, if you always do what you always did, youíll always get what you always got. If we keep doing it like we have, 6th place will always seem like a highlight season

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RapidsCity View Post
    But if we fire Roque everything will just get so much better. You can keep changing the name on the coaches door, but thereís an old saying that says, if you always do what you always did, youíll always get what you always got. If we keep doing it like we have, 6th place will always seem like a highlight season
    I never once said fire the coaches. I said the coaches need to examine their tactics and figure out why this team which seems to have talent come out as under achievers. I know Whitten is not going anywhere and I keep pushing for the coaches to take a long hard look at their coaching techniques and maybe find an answer in themselves for this team . Self examination can be hard to do but it may be what they need to do .

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    I guess it's a good thing the preseason polls don't mean anything. I mean, Northern was slated to be 7th in both polls, but here they are in 2nd.

    I highly doubt Damon's extension is for more than a season, mostly for the reasons that Bill stated. There's been a lot of turnover in the Athletic Department that Paitson needs to take care of already without having to worry about finding a hockey coach.

    The coaching staff does need to take a look at what they're doing for sure, but nobody can put 100% of the blame on them. There were certainly some players this season that just acted as a body on the ice: some may have started to turn it around, but others remained mostly useless out there. If they don't jump ship this offseason, then I sure as hell hope they get their head in the game...or else bring in a couple extra bodies so they can sit next to the press box.

    With some of the names I've heard floating around on who will be here next season, a few of them are known goal scorers. Combine that with some of the playmakers we got in the second half like Ambrosio and Miura, I think the team next season will be a lot more fun to watch, though who knows about the record.

    But a little bright spot we have: Diego Cuglietta is #4 in the nation at the end of the regular season in faceoffs won (435), behind Brady Ferguson of Robert Morris, Jake Evans of Notre Dame and C.J. Suess of Mankato. He was also second in total faceoffs.
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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Deman View Post


    With some of the names I've heard floating around on who will be here next season, a few of them are known goal scorers. Combine that with some of the playmakers we got in the second half like Ambrosio and Miura, I think the team next season will be a lot more fun to watch, though who knows about the record.
    My best guess at this point for new players next season (subject to change) is Veillette, Mucha, Calder and Guy at forward, Mannara and another guy at D. I'm thinking Nordqvist and Pilawski are still a season away at D and the coaches might find/sign another older D to bring in with Mannara. If they don't find another D, then maybe Nordqvist might come in with Mannara. Veillette and Mucha have to come in next season because they are aging out of juniors. If any guys leave early for the pros (or any other reason) then that opens up other possibilities. Boudon (and maybe Blueger) might be another possibility for next season depending upon how things work out.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Randy Russon laying out the facts in his article Sad state at Lake State

    http://www.hockeynewsnorth.com/ncaa/...te-lake-state/

    Damon Whitten has had four full seasons to reverse the sad state of the Division 1 men’s hockey program at Lake Superior State University.

    But Whitten has not even come close to making the Lakers a winner.

    The numbers clearly show that Whitten has done a sub-par job as head coach of the Lakers, who failed to qualify for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs this 2017-2018 season.

    To be sure, Whitten’s record as bench boss of the Lakers is not pretty, regardless of any excuses that he or his backers may have.

    It has been four losing seasons in a row for the Lakers under Whitten with uninspiring, respective records of 8-28-2, 14-22-5, 11-18-7 and 10-22-4.

    Do the grade school arithmetic and Whitten’s four-year, overall record as the Lakers head coach stands at 43-90-18. Which is not even close to a passing grade.

    In fact, in going from 8 wins in 2014-2015 up to 14 in 2015-2016 and then back down to 11 in 2016-2017 and further down to 10 in 2017-2018, it can be stated that the Laker program is going backward instead of forward under Whitten.

    In all, the once-proud, three-time national championship hockey program at Lake Superior State has had six straight losing seasons and 10 in the past 11 years dating back to before Whitten when Jim Roque was coaching the Lakers.

    And as Roque proved to be a failure and was ultimately fired as the head coach at LSSU, the good ship Laker has continued to flounder with Whitten at the helm.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Oh, Randy decided to write something on the Lakers? He didn't bother writing anything on the Lakers this season, good or bad, other than that Wright was chosen to be captain. He only seemed to care while Headrick was on the team, so forgive me if I don't give him any clicks.
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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Deman View Post
    Oh, Randy decided to write something on the Lakers? He didn't bother writing anything on the Lakers this season, good or bad, other than that Wright was chosen to be captain. He only seemed to care while Headrick was on the team, so forgive me if I don't give him any clicks.
    I'm curious as to what you disagree with in his article?

    I think Randy nails it, as usual.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Serum View Post
    I'm curious as to what you disagree with in his article?

    I think Randy nails it, as usual.
    I never stated that I necessarily disagreed with anything he said, it's just the point of the matter.

    An entire season went by and the only mention of the Lakers he had was that Wright was chosen to be captain. The two before that were almost a year ago in March slamming the coaches, again, and how disappointing the team was.

    Maybe if he wrote regularly about the team I'd give a shake at what he has to say about the team. Even something as simple as acknowledging when one of the guys gets a WCHA Player of the Week accolade.

    Randy is a fine journalist, and I'm sure he's a good guy. He seems to cover the midget hockey scene well, as well as a number of the junior teams in the area, but it certainly feels like the Lakers have taken a backseat since Owen Headrick left for Erie, and even before that, most of what Randy wrote focused on him, since he's a Sault, ON boy, which while annoying, I can understand and appreciate - using your platform to push a local kid.
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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    I have to agree with Deman.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Coaching isn't the problem. Funding is. At current funding levels, i wouldn't be surprised if LSSU goes to D3 in the near future.
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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4talent View Post
    Coaching isn't the problem. Funding is. At current funding levels, i wouldn't be surprised if LSSU goes to D3 in the near future.
    Ok I'll take the hit. What additional funding do they need? Coaching? I would think a young coach do well at LSSU and they could use as a spring board to a better paying coaching job. Everyone wants better facilities which is something that may be needed. I thought they had additional funds for traveling to recruit players. I don't mean to be snarky but I really am curious as to what else they need funds for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye4talent View Post
    Coaching isn't the problem. Funding is. At current funding levels, i wouldn't be surprised if LSSU goes to D3 in the near future.
    It would cost LSSU just as much money to be in D3 as D1 as the travel costs would be high as well. There isnít that many teams close enough. Replace many of the hockey scholarships with academic scholarships and the cost savings arenít there. Coaching salaries would go down but thatís about it.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    I believe you've got to take the entire athletic department to D-3, not just one sport.

    EDIT: If I'm reading properly, it's a 4-5 year process, for the entire athletic department. That likely spells suicide for the entire department, including hockey.
    Last edited by Hammer; 02-26-2018 at 09:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laker54 View Post
    Ok I'll take the hit. What additional funding do they need? Coaching? I would think a young coach do well at LSSU and they could use as a spring board to a better paying coaching job. Everyone wants better facilities which is something that may be needed. I thought they had additional funds for traveling to recruit players. I don't mean to be snarky but I really am curious as to what else they need funds for.
    The recruiting budget is still at or near the bottom of the league. Good young coach? Grant Potulny got $196,000 at NMU. Thatís about $96,000 more than Whitten is getting. Think LSSU will pay that for a young coach looking to move up? Would they give this ďgood young coachĒ a suitable budget for quality assistants and a mid-point of the league recruiting, equipment, travel expenditure? Donít go shopping for. Yugo and expect a Corvette. Donít even expect a Chevette.

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    Re: LSSU Lakers 2018 off-season thread

    Where does this idea come from that if a coach isn't being paid the same as other coaches, he just isn't going to be a good coach or work his tail off to make himself and his team a winner. Most people regardless of what they are making take pride in their work and would want to have a winning program to reflect that pride. Jeff Jackson was a great coach and he wasn't making nearly what other schools were paying their coaches. Had Anzalone not had his personality issues he would of not only had been a great coach his whole coaching career but would have moved on to bigger pay checks and bigger programs.

    knowledge and the ability to coach isn't dependent on income and every coach out there knows the better the program they create the greater chance they have in obtaining a higher income. If I were a coach at Lake State, I would work my tail off to create a winning program to open up my own future to all the possibilities that come with being a successful Division 1 coach. Sometimes being at the bottom of the income ladder is a great motivator to creating a program that opens up your own future to bigger pay checks and bigger programs to lead.

    I have said it and I will say it again . I do not want the coaching staff fired. I think the Lakers do have talent and are bringing in more talented players each season but my question is why are they appearing to be under achievers ? That is where the coaching staff needs to rethink everything from conditioning programs to strength programs to game plans to absolutely everything that happens in games and at practices. Motivation,lack of motivation, players not learning from mistakes but making same bad decisions over and over . The coach is there to make better players , not players making coaches better. The coach is the teacher and the player is the student. People like to learn and I think the players at Lake State want to learn. Whitten needs to be their teacher .

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