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gfmorris
03-30-2014, 11:31 AM
Will the realignment talk keep going?

Who will leave early from FSU and MSU (if anyone)?

Will anyone else leave early (Tech guys seem to think that they might have a few)?

Who will be coming into the league (player-wise) next year, and who gets deferred?

Who will be the new commissioner?

These questions and more face the nWCHA going forward.

GFM

Pink Pony
03-30-2014, 01:02 PM
Who will be the new commissioner?

GFM

Dave Danis of Marquette should be the next Commish.

He knows logistics, money, and WCHA. Plus Marquette would be a great location as future home of the WCHA.

Squarebanks
03-30-2014, 07:00 PM
Dave Danis of Marquette should be the next Commish.

He knows logistics, money, and WCHA. Plus Marquette would be a great location as future home of the WCHA.

I am sure Marquette has many redeeming qualities but it won't be the home for any conference HQ.

Pink Pony
03-30-2014, 07:33 PM
I am sure Marquette has many redeeming qualities but it won't be the home for any conference HQ.

The WCHA offices can be at Stuckos.

Marquette is one of the most livable cities in America.

Freddie
03-30-2014, 07:39 PM
Marquette is one of the most livable cities in America.
...from June 15 to September 15.

Squarebanks
03-30-2014, 08:08 PM
The WCHA offices can be at Stuckos.

Marquette is one of the most livable cities in America.

Being livable has nothing to do with it.

davyd83
03-30-2014, 08:39 PM
...from June 15 to September 15.

Let's make that July 1 this year. We've gotta get the snow cleared for the parade.

davyd83
03-30-2014, 08:42 PM
I am sure Marquette has many redeeming qualities but it won't be the home for any conference HQ.

I'm not sure the league needs a brick and mortar HQ. It is already splintered between Denver, the Cities and Madison. Basically, I guess whatever the mailing address is will be called the "league office." It will likely be wherever the next commissioner resides.

davyd83
03-30-2014, 08:45 PM
Dave Danis of Marquette should be the next Commish.

He knows logistics, money, and WCHA. Plus Marquette would be a great location as future home of the WCHA.

And knows that right now in college hockey, the logistics and money don't mesh very well and there are no simple solutions. Common sense and logic were throw right out with the Zamboni snow a long time ago.

manurespreader
03-30-2014, 09:54 PM
I'm really happy to see 3 up and down teams in the frozen four. I hate the trap.

bigblue_dl
03-31-2014, 08:33 AM
They really need to pick the right candidate for commissioner, there are many improvements that could be made, and a forward thinking commissioner could be the first step in the right direction.

As far as conference alignments go, I'd figure out what is common sense, throw that idea in the garbage, and go with the exact opposite.

FadeToBlack&Gold
03-31-2014, 08:44 AM
As far as conference alignments go, I'd figure out what is common sense, throw that idea in the garbage, and go with the exact opposite.

Maine, Vermont, Dartmouth, Clarkson, St. Lawrence, LSSU, Northern, and Tech form the Big Snow Conference. Two Ontario schools join the NCAA and become the 9th and 10th members. ;)

bigblue_dl
03-31-2014, 08:49 AM
Maine, Vermont, Dartmouth, Clarkson, St. Lawrence, LSSU, Northern, and Tech form the Big Snow Conference. Two Ontario schools join the NCAA and become the 9th and 10th members. ;)

Then petition the government to change the time zones from being vertical to HORIZONTAL, so all games are in the same timezone. Wait, what?

purpleinnebraska
03-31-2014, 10:04 AM
Will the realignment talk keep going?

Who will leave early from FSU and MSU (if anyone)?

GFM

On leaving early from Mankato (And let me preface this by saying that I have ZERO inside information. This is just fan speculation.), the only one I see as a real possibility would be Stephon Williams. He is an Islanders draft pick, and they may see little value in having him stay a year if he isn't going to play. On the flipside, he's young for a goalie, and they may not want to use a roster spot on a minor league team until they've seen a little more of him.
Others who are unlikely to leave, but there might be a slim chance:
Teddy Blueger - Goals dropped from 6 to 4 last year, but assists were up from 13 to 22. More importantly, I think he developed a lot as a player. Was used on the PK more often as the season went on, and in the last few games of the year, he became our main faceoff guy (and won 55.4%). More defensively responsible, and played a little stronger. I would think, however, that the Penguins would want to see him stay another year. Pittsburgh already has some offensive talent on their roster.
Matt Leitner - Free agent. Tremendous talent. But a pro organization might want to see him improve his consistency, conditioning, and leadership.
Zach Stepan - Nashville prospect. Had a good (but not great) Freshman year. Very solid player who does everything well, but maybe nothing at an A+ level that would cause the Predators to want to rush him. Needs to add some muscle. The only reason Nashville might want to sign him would be that they're hurting for forwards.

As for realignment - Really? One year in, and everybody starts jumping ship? I know these new leagues seemed, in some cases, like an odd marriage, but they're not a Kardashian marriage. I think they'll last at least 3 years.

manurespreader
03-31-2014, 11:10 AM
I think there were some teams who joined, and had a lot of worry about how things would go. In fact I think most teams were concerned about it.

Now that we've had a year, the reffing isn't too bad, the administration is set up, and we have a handle on the finances going forward, I think everyone might just relax. As long as we did not as a league, lose money. I think overall most teams came out better than they thought they would financially.

I would like to know what UAH thinks about their first year and what their reality was vs what they thought when they got into the league. Plus do they expect to have a lot more fans next year. Based on the football stuff, maybe they will get a lot of away games early and a lot of home games late for instance.

gfmorris
03-31-2014, 12:25 PM
I would like to know what UAH thinks about their first year and what their reality was vs what they thought when they got into the league. Plus do they expect to have a lot more fans next year. Based on the football stuff, maybe they will get a lot of away games early and a lot of home games late for instance.

Well, it was the WCHA or no program at all. I can confirm that we would've dropped the program at the end of 12-13 if our bid hadn't been accepted.

Beyond being happy to still be playing hockey, I think that we're happy with the quality of play. Guys are looking at us now that wouldn't give us the time of day before, which you would expect, but we're getting more serious interest from better players, and I think that has a lot to do with the quality of hockey that's being played in the WCHA. I think that we can all sell guys on these facts: 1) the league is strong top to bottom; 2) if you're really good, you'll probably play right away; 3) scouts do notice us. All of the departures, early or on-time, help everybody for recruiting, but they especially help UAH. It's nice to be able to hang your hat on more than just Cam Talbot (although he makes a hell of a coat rack — tall and is used to holding his arms up for an hour).

I don't think that we'll see an up-tick in attendance in the fall for football- and performance-related reasons. If we've got five wins at the break, maybe people will take us a little more seriously. It's a hard sell right now getting teams in here over our SPHL franchise, even though the SPHL is rightly touted as the Stop Playing Hockey League. Those games appear better because they are more competitive. Give us a season where we're averaging 2-3 goals a game and things are different.

I'm optimistic.

GFM

davyd83
03-31-2014, 12:37 PM
On leaving early from Mankato (And let me preface this by saying that I have ZERO inside information. This is just fan speculation.), the only one I see as a real possibility would be Stephon Williams. He is an Islanders draft pick, and they may see little value in having him stay a year if he isn't going to play. On the flipside, he's young for a goalie, and they may not want to use a roster spot on a minor league team until they've seen a little more of him.
Others who are unlikely to leave, but there might be a slim chance:
Teddy Blueger - Goals dropped from 6 to 4 last year, but assists were up from 13 to 22. More importantly, I think he developed a lot as a player. Was used on the PK more often as the season went on, and in the last few games of the year, he became our main faceoff guy (and won 55.4%). More defensively responsible, and played a little stronger. I would think, however, that the Penguins would want to see him stay another year. Pittsburgh already has some offensive talent on their roster.
Matt Leitner - Free agent. Tremendous talent. But a pro organization might want to see him improve his consistency, conditioning, and leadership.
Zach Stepan - Nashville prospect. Had a good (but not great) Freshman year. Very solid player who does everything well, but maybe nothing at an A+ level that would cause the Predators to want to rush him. Needs to add some muscle. The only reason Nashville might want to sign him would be that they're hurting for forwards.

As for realignment - Really? One year in, and everybody starts jumping ship? I know these new leagues seemed, in some cases, like an odd marriage, but they're not a Kardashian marriage. I think they'll last at least 3 years.
I really liked Blueger this year. I don't think he's the guy that's destined to play on anyone's (NHL) first line, but I think he plays well enough at both ends to be a solid 3rd-4th line candidate. But not turning 20 until August, I'd bet they let him stay in college for another season. Leitner, a 31 point second half probably convinced a lot of people that he's ready for the next level. The only thing questionable is size. But it wouldn't be shocking to see either him or LaFontaine go pro. As for Williams, I think he's in an interesting quandry. I'm not sure if his age would prevent him from playing an OA year in Major Junior or the USHL. But you have to wonder if the Islanders weren't scared off a bit when he didn't perform as well as last year. I'm sure both he and the Islanders would love to see him in college another year at a place where he can be "the guy," but unless Hastings were to grant him release to another conference (like Ohio St did with Stepan), he may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. As for Stepan, being a 94, he has at least one more year if not two left in Mankato.

Squarebanks
03-31-2014, 12:51 PM
Will the realignment talk keep going?

Who will leave early from FSU and MSU (if anyone)?

Will anyone else leave early (Tech guys seem to think that they might have a few)?

Who will be coming into the league (player-wise) next year, and who gets deferred?

Who will be the new commissioner?

These questions and more face the nWCHA going forward.

GFM

Regarding early departures, the only possibility I can think of for Alaska is Colton Parayko. He is a Blues draft pick, and particularly as the season wore on he looked more and more like a man amongst boys out there. I really hope he stays as we are losing 82 points of production in Kunyk and Beck, but I wouldn't be too surprised if the Blues put him in the AHL for next year.

purpleinnebraska
03-31-2014, 12:58 PM
I really liked Blueger this year. I don't think he's the guy that's destined to play on anyone's (NHL) first line, but I think he plays well enough at both ends to be a solid 3rd-4th line candidate. But not turning 20 until August, I'd bet they let him stay in college for another season. Leitner, a 31 point second half probably convinced a lot of people that he's ready for the next level. The only thing questionable is size. But it wouldn't be shocking to see either him or LaFontaine go pro. As for Williams, I think he's in an interesting quandry. I'm not sure if his age would prevent him from playing an OA year in Major Junior or the USHL. But you have to wonder if the Islanders weren't scared off a bit when he didn't perform as well as last year. I'm sure both he and the Islanders would love to see him in college another year at a place where he can be "the guy," but unless Hastings were to grant him release to another conference (like Ohio St did with Stepan), he may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. As for Stepan, being a 94, he has at least one more year if not two left in Mankato.

Good response. I don't see much chance of Blueger or Stepan leaving this year, but I didn't see Copley going anywhere, either, so what do I know? As far as Williams, he'll be 21 in April, so I don't know where that leaves him as far as options. Hastings had several comments in 2012-2013, when questioned about splitting time with Cook and Williams, that the college schedule wasn't as taxing as the NHL or even USHL, and if a goalie is playing well, he'd keep riding him. So I don't think there will be any type of rotation next year. It's a one-man job in his view.

Around the rest of the conference - Petan and Pietila staying? Anyone else leaving Alaska?

gfmorris
03-31-2014, 01:30 PM
Re: realignment I'm bringing this from Freddie in the old topic to here.


Freddie Attempts To Inject Reason And Logic In To The Discussion

Many of us will continue to look back fondly on the good-old-days of the CCHA and the oldWCHA. There's nothing wrong with that; hell, I still enjoy watching old reruns of "The Andy Griffith Show". But, as for TODAY, we ARE where we are.

With today's technology; rumors, gossip, gripes, pipe-dreams and flat-out lies are disseminated indiscriminately, and frequently take on lives of their own. Any moron with a smart-phone or a twitter account can toss out a few misspelled words, and "voila" his garbage becomes gospel.

Having said that, I will tell you what I believe. And this isn't coming from any inside information, just coming from my own observations through the filter of someone who has followed college hockey for over 40 years.

1. Attendance at conference tournaments has been on the decline (except in the oldWCHA) for years, and
2. The recent conference realignments has done nothing except hasten that decline.
3. Increased travel expenses ARE and WILL CONTINUE TO BE an issue for many schools. These 3 lead directly to:
4. There WILL be further shake-out/aftershocks from this realignment. How soon it may happen is anybody's guess, but it would be entirely silly to believe the present conference structures can stay intact over the long term. As they are not financially sustainable.
5. Any number of possible dominos may fall, setting off a chain reaction similar to Penn State's coming on board:
A. Miami and WMU get tired of travel expenses and seek some sort of relief, leaving the door open for Bemidji and Mankato to fill the void.
B. BG, with or without Ferris looks east to reduce travel expenses.
C. The Ivys pull away from ECAC and form their own six-team, auto-bid-eligible conference, leaving ECAC with spots to fill
D. Niagara, RMU and a couple other AH teams tire of the drag on the RPI/PWR caused by their conference's scholarship limits look west (see B) or at a fractured ECAC (see C).


I make NO predictions about which of these may come about first, but I sincerely believe some further realignment WILL take place in the VERY near future...certainly within 3 years.

One thing that remains constant, no matter which scenario sets off the next tumble. The nWCHA is highly vulnerable because of the extreme travel to Alaska and Alabama. I mean NO disrespect to any of those schools, and I don't pretend to have any solution to the problem...but the problem is REAL, and it won't go away.

I largely agree, and I am obviously concerned. I don't like musical chairs I usually lost early as a kid. I think that the safest thing for UAH is a seventh conference, which will probably open up more non-conference games and make for larger NC slates. I don't know if that will happen, though.

GFM