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komey1
05-25-2012, 04:31 PM
I wouldn't foresee SU or URI joining Atlantic Hockey. If anything, they would try to join either Hockey East (a little tough now that they're up to 12) or the NCHC. Sure, SU is in the CHA, but so is Penn State, mainly because the Big 10 will only have four women's teams (MN, WI, and tOSU being the others).

Geographically, the NCHC does not make sense for SU. Also, those schools don't have any meaning for them. There aren't any major players in that conference in sports other than hockey.

LtPowers
05-26-2012, 11:48 AM
Geographically, the NCHC does not make sense for SU. Also, those schools don't have any meaning for them. There aren't any major players in that conference in sports other than hockey.

Miami doesn't fit geographically into the NCHC either. =) It ain't called "The National" for nothing. =)

I tend to agree that Syracuse wouldn't want to join a cost-containment hockey league. If they add men's hockey, there'll be a lot of shuffling as a result.


Powers &8^]

Tom Naeger
05-29-2012, 06:06 PM
I tend to think UAH has to wind up in the AHA or UAH is dead. Program was on its death bed as it was this year, if they are not in a conference by end of year I don't see how they are going to survive. AHA administration should find a way to take them even if the cheap skate school don't want them. From "rumors" I have heard UCONN move to Hockey East is not going to be the end of the changing college landscape and I see it as inevitable that at least one, if not more teams from the AHA will jump ship in the next couple of years. The way college hockey is going these days you got to be willing to spend money to just have a chance, I think some may just decide to fold in the AHA instead of spending the money...

schiegs
05-29-2012, 06:47 PM
Assuming we are talking about 11 votes, which six schools (if a simple majority is what it takes to add a member) would vote to add UAH, and why?

burgie12
05-29-2012, 09:58 PM
Assuming we are talking about 11 votes, which six schools (if a simple majority is what it takes to add a member) would vote to add UAH, and why?
I'd be shocked if it takes less than two-thirds to ratify a new member.

LtPowers
05-30-2012, 09:54 AM
Assuming we are talking about 11 votes, which six schools (if a simple majority is what it takes to add a member) would vote to add UAH, and why?

How should we know? I doubt any of us are privy to internal discussions at more than one of the schools, and most of us at none.

But we all know 11-team leagues are hard to schedule; that right there might be reason enough. UAH is a program with a long history -- and a successful one at certain levels. It expands the conference's footprint into a new market and will help save a program that needs saving. The main difference compared to the Niagara/RoMo addition is that UAH is considerably farther away. But I think that's offset by the desire to get back to an even number of teams.


Powers &8^]

komey1
05-30-2012, 06:53 PM
Here are my guesses as to how teams would vote:

Practically certain YES: RIT, Air Force, Niagara, Robert Morris, Mercyhurst
Practically certain NO: AIC, Sacred Heart
I'm guessing a YES from Canisius
So I think it would come down to Bentley, Army, and Holy Cross.

fangers
05-30-2012, 07:17 PM
Here are my guesses as to how teams would vote:

Practically certain YES: RIT, Air Force, Niagara, Robert Morris, Mercyhurst
Practically certain NO: AIC, Sacred Heart
I'm guessing a YES from Canisius
So I think it would come down to Bentley, Army, and Holy Cross.

I would think that Army would be a yes: travel costs not a real issue; former UAH assistant on staff; Huntsville is home to Redstone Arsenal, one of the largest Army bases, which would make for a good trip/crowd.

RSTuthill
05-31-2012, 09:57 AM
I think the AHA has an obligation to take UAH. For the good of the game. Almost all their former opponents are currently in the AHA. Full stop.

If Navy and URI start teams, then good, they can join the AHA too and make it two divisions. But there is a program in peril and it is worth saving.

schiegs
05-31-2012, 11:18 AM
Here are my guesses as to how teams would vote:

Practically certain YES: RIT, Air Force, Niagara, Robert Morris, Mercyhurst
Practically certain NO: AIC, Sacred Heart
I'm guessing a YES from Canisius
So I think it would come down to Bentley, Army, and Holy Cross.

Since we're using idle speculation, I would guess that:
a.) Both Army and AFA would vote the same, either by purpose, or by common goal.
b.) Both would vote "no". Why would two teams that do not benefit (in fact are competively harmed) by adding scholarships to the league limit vote to add a team that would most likely vote for that if/when it came up?

schiegs
05-31-2012, 11:20 AM
I think the AHA has an obligation to take UAH. For the good of the game. Almost all their former opponents are currently in the AHA. Full stop.

If Navy and URI start teams, then good, they can join the AHA too and make it two divisions. But there is a program in peril and it is worth saving.

Does that "obligation" fall to any other conference as well, or just AHA? :rolleyes: Would any of the other conferences be willing to help with any additional travel costs, or is that part of our "obligation" as well?

mar7967
05-31-2012, 11:28 AM
Does that "obligation" fall to any other conference as well, or just AHA? :rolleyes: Would any of the other conferences be willing to help with any additional travel costs, or is that part of our "obligation" as well?

It falls on everyone, but mostly on conferences with odd numbers of teams - which would be AHA and the new WCHA I believe...(HE will have 12, B10 has 6, NCHC has 8, ECAC stays at 12, AHA has 11, WCHA 9 if my numbers are correct).

burgie12
05-31-2012, 11:36 AM
Since we're using idle speculation, I would guess that:
a.) Both Army and AFA would vote the same, either by purpose, or by common goal.
b.) Both would vote "no". Why would two teams that do not benefit (in fact are competively harmed) by adding scholarships to the league limit vote to add a team that would most likely vote for that if/when it came up?
May as well throw RIT and UConn (oh wait) in that set of no's then, since they can't / won't offer scholarships.

So, based on your tremendous powers of logic, we've got three firm no's in AFA, Army, and RIT. That means that we need to bat 8-for-8 with the remaining teams to give UAH a home in the AHA. Yup, that's definitely going to happen.

Jim
05-31-2012, 11:59 AM
Here are my guesses as to how teams would vote:

Practically certain YES: RIT, Air Force, Niagara, Robert Morris, Mercyhurst
Practically certain NO: AIC, Sacred Heart
I'm guessing a YES from Canisius
So I think it would come down to Bentley, Army, and Holy Cross.If this is to add UAH to replace UCONN, I think that would be different from a vote to add scholarships. On the former, I think most schools would vote yes, but would do so only after working some form of deal over travel. Maybe reorganize the pod system. I'm not sure how it would work exactly. Like it or not, AHA was founded and still has many members committed to the cost-containment model. That would come into play. I'm not sure it does anyone any good to have say AIC drop hockley in order to "save" UAH. On the scholarship issue, I think Bentley, Holy Cross, Army and Canisius have usually opposed increasing the limit. So I think some deal would be necessary

schiegs
05-31-2012, 03:47 PM
I'm not sure it does anyone any good to have say AIC drop hockley in order to "save" UAH.

You made this point much quicker and better than I have ever been able.

Many fans have a knee-jerk reaction to proclaim "Spend, spend, spend, on travel, facilities, scholarships, etc. for the good of the sport!" This does not expand or even support participation in the sport, but instead risks the elmination of programs who can't/won't keep up. If you decry the lack of growth of college hockey, then you should support a home for those programs that want to participate, but can't/won't afford 12,000 seat arenas and 18 scholarships. That philosophy has a home already in HE et al. ....then.... if you agree you support such a conference's place in the greater landscape, don't gripe about the cost-containment philosophy. (And please don't join the conference and then b!+ch about it.)

Also, would the acceptance of UAH into the league be associated with a discussion of the scholarship limit? I would think it would be naive and myopic to not have that discussion as part of the admission process.

RSTuthill
05-31-2012, 05:18 PM
Well said, Scheigs. UConn was able to have a program these many years because of a cost containment pathway (playing down in D-3 then in the AHA in D-1). Now they find themselves in a position to step up. But if there had been no cost containment pathway to begin with, there would have been no stepping up. There simply would not have been a team.

komey1
05-31-2012, 06:26 PM
The reality is that for some of the teams that are whining about joining the AHA is that they would be in a similar boat as UAH without the conference. But I think a time is coming where some of the teams that have started making strides away from cost containment break away, and the cost containment schools could be left behind without enough for a league.

Humanoid
05-31-2012, 09:39 PM
The reality is that for some of the teams that are whining about joining the AHA is that they would be in a similar boat as UAH without the conference. But I think a time is coming where some of the teams that have started making strides away from cost containment break away, and the cost containment schools could be left behind without enough for a league.

The problem with adding UAH boils down to the fact that the AHA is already at a point where they needed to do cost-cutting measures for the good of the sport. The conference has given as much as possible with teams like Sacred Heart, AIC, and Bentley, all three of which are doing what they can with the resources allotted. Remember that increasing spending on men's ice hockey means the schools have to invest an equal amount in a women's sport, which for AIC and Bentley is virtually impossible at the D2 level. And SHU's women's team is all but a D3 team, so investing on that side would signify a huge fundamental shift for a team that's in limbo as it is. So we're looking at breaking cost containment, but the inflation of which would be larger than some schools would care to burden themselves with.

There will be some type of shift, but 11 teams isn't the worst thing in the world, especially with AFA in Colorado. Virtually, the AHA as it is represents 10 teams plus Air Force. Taking on UAH would be a major disaster in terms of spending on travel, and that's something the league got away from by making teams fly once every other year to Colorado instead of every year (as it was with 10 teams).

The rest of college hockey has an obligation to UAH, just as the AHA does. AHA teams are scheduling UAH. And Penn State, although a big name, represents a chasm in terms of power rankings. No team will schedule an independent and risk losing major points in the PWR. AIC is playing 3 games against both. They've more than ably come to the plate.

I think it's time the WCHA, which rose from the ashes to protect itself, steps to the plate. UAH and Alaska in the same conference isn't desirable, but maybe if they split into two divisions and schedule accordingly, they can protect teams from having to travel to both Fairbanks and Huntsville in the same season, just as AHA has done with travel to Air Force.

Humanoid
05-31-2012, 09:41 PM
The problem with adding UAH boils down to the fact that the AHA is already at a point where they needed to do cost-cutting measures for the good of the sport. The conference has given as much as possible with teams like Sacred Heart, AIC, and Bentley, all three of which are doing what they can with the resources allotted. Remember that increasing spending on men's ice hockey means the schools have to invest an equal amount in a women's sport, which for AIC and Bentley is virtually impossible at the D2 level. And SHU's women's team is all but a D3 team, so investing on that side would signify a huge fundamental shift for a team that's in limbo as it is. So we're looking at breaking cost containment, but the inflation of which would be larger than some schools would care to burden themselves with.

There will be some type of shift, but 11 teams isn't the worst thing in the world, especially with AFA in Colorado. Virtually, the AHA as it is represents 10 teams plus Air Force. Taking on UAH would be a major disaster in terms of spending on travel, and that's something the league got away from by making teams fly once every other year to Colorado instead of every year (as it was with 10 teams).

The rest of college hockey has an obligation to UAH, just as the AHA does. AHA teams are scheduling UAH. And Penn State, although a big name, represents a chasm in terms of power rankings. No team will schedule an independent and risk losing major points in the PWR. AIC is playing 3 games against both. They've more than ably come to the plate.

I think it's time the WCHA, which rose from the ashes to protect itself, steps to the plate. UAH and Alaska in the same conference isn't desirable, but maybe if they split into two divisions and schedule accordingly, they can protect teams from having to travel to both Fairbanks and Huntsville in the same season, just as AHA has done with travel to Air Force.

And just as a last point - Bentley, for example, has the backing of the administration and is committed to being a D1 program for hockey. But they're trying like hell to raise money to become a completely viable D1 program. I think they need to focus on building a repertoire on campus before saving another program. They need to commit themselves to building the program and build, for example, an on-campus rink to become a legit D1 program before they reach out to save others. If you can't help yourself, you can't help others.

beaverhockeyfan
06-01-2012, 09:51 AM
I think it's time the WCHA, which rose from the ashes to protect itself, steps to the plate. UAH and Alaska in the same conference isn't desirable, but maybe if they split into two divisions and schedule accordingly, they can protect teams from having to travel to both Fairbanks and Huntsville in the same season, just as AHA has done with travel to Air Force.

You left out Anchorage. So the nWCHA would have Anchorage, Fairbanks and Huntsville, the three outliers in college hockey. That does a lot for the old travel budget. Everyone keeps saying it is time for the nWCHA to step up to the plate and take UAH "for the good of hockey". Well, all I see is everyone else wanting to protect their own interests. Why shouldn't the nWCHA do the same?

Don't get me wrong, I am all for UAH being in the nWCHA so BSU and UAH can continue their rivalry that has developed and it is a trip I like to make. But I can also see why schools in the nWCHA are a little reluctant to allow them in. From what I have heard on the scheduling front (and a lot of that is speculation), the schools are already looking at one trip a year to Alaska, with the possibility of once every four or five years making two. Now you throw Huntsville into the mix. I know Huntsville is not a six to eight hour flight or a three or four time zone jump like the Alaska's, but it is perceived as a "long" trip.** You can fly right into Huntsville with a connection or two, or you can fly into Nashville or Atlanta and make a little drive. So from a scheduling standpoint, you may now be looking at two "long" trips a year. None of the lower 48 schools are in major metro areas with easy flight access. So you either jump a "puddle jumper" from your local airport, or you bus to the nearest one.

Heck, when a group I was out in Amherst for the NCAA regionals one year with BSU, people had a hard time comprehending that we had to drive four hours just to get to a major airport (Minneapolis-St. Paul). Amherst had something like seven within that length of drive. The locals also thought we were crazy that we were considering driving to Wocester to watch North Dakota play after BSU was knocked out. A two hour drive and we were going to go there and come back in the same night to the hotel we already had! Eastern fans are spoiled when it comes to travel.

Just to give you an idea of the travel involved for the nWCHA, here is a spreadsheet I put together. Of course you can throw Moorhead out.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuvVIE1j4KkTdGlpQmhHcUsyOXkwdTJtRHVoZmw1U VE#gid=0

The average trip, not including the Alaskas or Huntsville, for the nWCHA members is ~450 miles. By bus, you are looking at least 8 hours on average, one way. Could someone like BSU fly to some of those destinations? Yes, but by the time you get to the airport, through security, wait for an hour for your flight, make the flight (provided it is direct), get everyone together, get the gear, load the bus and then drive to whereever, you are already pushing your eight hour average that was by bus. Throw in a connection or two and the wait time involved there, and the bus average has just been blown out of the water.

**I have made the trip five times and it isn't bad. Once was on a chartered bus from Bemidji, once I drove 22 hours (straight through both ways) with friends from Bemidji, twice we flew into Atlanta and drove three hours and once I flew into Huntsville (Brainerd, Minneapolis, Detroit, Huntsville on the way down, Huntsville, Memphis, Cincy, Chicago, Minneapolis, Brainerd on the way back, all because of plane problems with my original flight in Huntsville). If there is a next time I go, I may fly into Nashville and make the hour and a half drive.