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e.cat
10-20-2019, 09:16 AM
No cupcakes were discussed. Getting ready to hang a banner in that new arena? 😄

That's pretty funny Ref. That shiny new arena could use a banner after that BIG win over the UNH juggernaut;)

Darius
10-20-2019, 12:15 PM
Nice to be at the practice and STH luncheon.
Souza on the way on a recruiting trip. Talk of the plans to "shrink the rink" when they refurbish the refrigeration system. 200 by 90 is the preferred plan...Looking to upgrade the guts of the 'Whitt for team amenities which will take private funding..Was the talk that 200 x 90 is definitely happening or that it is being evaluated and depends on the final bids and cost?

Darius
10-20-2019, 12:26 PM
So what estate of a recently deceased research librarian who discovered his love of hockey in his final months will they raid this time? How about they spend ten percent of that money and increase the recruiting budget.Perhaps the amenities, at least, will be funded similar to the football locker room:

https://www.unhcatclubfootball.com/the-unh-locker-room-renovation-project/
https://unhwildcats.com/news/2019/9/18/an-impressive-football-home-makeover-thanks-to-donors.aspx

Might recruiting (operating) and facilities (capital expenditures) be in different budgets?

e.cat
10-20-2019, 01:07 PM
Perhaps the amenities, at least, will be funded similar to the football locker room:

https://www.unhcatclubfootball.com/the-unh-locker-room-renovation-project/
https://unhwildcats.com/news/2019/9/18/an-impressive-football-home-makeover-thanks-to-donors.aspx

Might recruiting (operating) and facilities (capital expenditures) be in different budgets?

Thanks for the links Darius. I didn't know the locker room was renovated. Looks great!

wildcatdc
10-20-2019, 02:09 PM
Perhaps the amenities, at least, will be funded similar to the football locker room:

https://www.unhcatclubfootball.com/the-unh-locker-room-renovation-project/
https://unhwildcats.com/news/2019/9/18/an-impressive-football-home-makeover-thanks-to-donors.aspx

Might recruiting (operating) and facilities (capital expenditures) be in different budgets?

Precisely. Iím hearing that ~1/3 of the funds will come through fundraising.

Aerman
10-20-2019, 07:19 PM
Was the talk that 200 x 90 is definitely happening or that it is being evaluated and depends on the final bids and cost?

Not a done deal, either the dimensional decision or that it will happen at all. Souzaís preference is apparently for 90í as he thinks thatís where the world - both pro and amateur - is going.

Dan
10-20-2019, 08:56 PM
UNH built the Whittemore Center with an Olympic ice surface based on where they thought the world was headed in 1995. There is no need to waste money or make a knee-jerk decision based on a hunch (again)...

Rink size has long been an excuse out of the UNH program and administration. The 200x100 surface has been blamed for NCAA Performance and sub-par recruiting. The reality is those issues have nothing to do with UNH's home ice surface. Many schools have recruited to and won while playing home games on an Olympic surface. UNH plays regularly on NHL surfaces throughout the season and has ample opportunity to practice on NHL sheets at nearby facilities. They had plenty of success recruiting to the Whitt in the past, but are struggling now - interestingly enough, the sheet didn't change but the recruiters did! In 2003 they advanced to the NCAA Title Game and got their third-period, rear ends handed to them by a team that plays its home games on (wait for it) an Olympic Ice Surface. Having said all this, I would share the concern of others that the rink size debate is not rooted in actually benefiting the program (or would benefit the program in any tangible way) but is simply a way of rationalizing recent struggles...

Now if UNH is dead set on shrinking the rink - that wouldn't bother me too much (though I much prefer hockey played on the International ice). I'm afraid that investing so heavily in an irrelevant and cosmetic change like this might actually HURT the program. This is a program and athletic department that is constantly crying poor and claiming it lacks the funding to keep up with the BC's, BU's, Michigan's and Denver's of the world. Now they're talking about investing (millions?) into changing the size of their playing surface and moving tons of granite in order to reconfigure seats around said rink size? What will they NOT be able to do after spending all that money? That's my concern. If the recruiters are good enough than they can/could convince kids to play on an Olympic rink. Other's have. If they're not good enough than simply playing on a 100x90 surface isn't going to do the work for them. Plenty of programs stink on NHL or hybrid rinks...

I'd imagine moving so much rock is extremely expensive and I'd imagine that for the same amount of money they could find another way to build (even better) amenities (like a player's lounge or weight room), make regular (or even more regular) recruiting trips to B.C., the Midwest and Europe (if they're serious about recruiting here this is key), upgrade team travel (more Midwest games in front of potential recruits), make additional aesthetic upgrades to the Whitt, contribute to cost of living scholarships that bigger schools are able to offer and even mix in a third-jersey or some other such. Those would all be much better ways to cater to your student-athletes and sell yourselves to recruits. Those are all ways that are much more likely to tangibly improve a program (i.e. on ice talent and results). If any of those are sacrificed for the purpose of changing the width of Towse Rink than I will be extremely disappointed - but not surprised...

If UNH is going to raise a bunch of money and go all in - and accomplish all of this stuff - that sounds great. I'm all for it. I think we all know that is NOT the case. So, if they're still operating on a budget, than forget the rink width and put that money into more impactful areas and spread it around to make multiple impacts instead of throwing all their dollars in one basket, so to speak. Rink size is a red-herring, the more you even worry about it the more you are distracted from more affordable changes that can make much more noticeable impacts...

Snively65
10-20-2019, 10:01 PM
That's pretty funny Ref. That shiny new arena could use a banner after that BIG win over the UNH juggernaut;)

"Other than that, what did you think of the new arena, Mrs. Lincoln?"

HockeyRef
10-20-2019, 10:23 PM
UNH built the Whittemore Center with an Olympic ice surface based on where they thought the world was headed in 1995. There is no need to waste money or make a knee-jerk decision based on a hunch (again)...

Rink size has long been an excuse out of the UNH program and administration. The 200x100 surface has been blamed for NCAA Performance and sub-par recruiting. The reality is those issues have nothing to do with UNH's home ice surface. Many schools have recruited to and won while playing home games on an Olympic surface. UNH plays regularly on NHL surfaces throughout the season and has ample opportunity to practice on NHL sheets at nearby facilities. They had plenty of success recruiting to the Whitt in the past, but are struggling now - interestingly enough, the sheet didn't change but the recruiters did! In 2003 they advanced to the NCAA Title Game and got their third-period, rear ends handed to them by a team that plays its home games on (wait for it) an Olympic Ice Surface. Having said all this, I would share the concern of others that the rink size debate is not rooted in actually benefiting the program (or would benefit the program in any tangible way) but is simply a way of rationalizing recent struggles...

Now if UNH is dead set on shrinking the rink - that wouldn't bother me too much (though I much prefer hockey played on the International ice). I'm afraid that investing so heavily in an irrelevant and cosmetic change like this might actually HURT the program. This is a program and athletic department that is constantly crying poor and claiming it lacks the funding to keep up with the BC's, BU's, Michigan's and Denver's of the world. Now they're talking about investing (millions?) into changing the size of their playing surface and moving tons of granite in order to reconfigure seats around said rink size? What will they NOT be able to do after spending all that money? That's my concern. If the recruiters are good enough than they can/could convince kids to play on an Olympic rink. Other's have. If they're not good enough than simply playing on a 100x90 surface isn't going to do the work for them. Plenty of programs stink on NHL or hybrid rinks...

I'd imagine moving so much rock is extremely expensive and I'd imagine that for the same amount of money they could find another way to build (even better) amenities (like a player's lounge or weight room), make regular (or even more regular) recruiting trips to B.C., the Midwest and Europe (if they're serious about recruiting here this is key), upgrade team travel (more Midwest games in front of potential recruits), make additional aesthetic upgrades to the Whitt, contribute to cost of living scholarships that bigger schools are able to offer and even mix in a third-jersey or some other such. Those would all be much better ways to cater to your student-athletes and sell yourselves to recruits. Those are all ways that are much more likely to tangibly improve a program (i.e. on ice talent and results). If any of those are sacrificed for the purpose of changing the width of Towse Rink than I will be extremely disappointed - but not surprised...

If UNH is going to raise a bunch of money and go all in - and accomplish all of this stuff - that sounds great. I'm all for it. I think we all know that is NOT the case. So, if they're still operating on a budget, than forget the rink width and put that money into more impactful areas and spread it around to make multiple impacts instead of throwing all their dollars in one basket, so to speak. Rink size is a red-herring, the more you even worry about it the more you are distracted from more affordable changes that can make much more noticeable impacts...

Dan, good points. But at this stage in the game, and, I could be wrong, my impression that the big thing was the refrigeration system was way out of date and that was the main reason for digging up the ice etc. And while we're at it kind of thing....let's pull in the dimensions? As per recruiting, the coaching staff has been on trips to Europe; not sure where Mike Souza was jetting off Saturday afternoon. I'm behind any improvement to facilities if that's what they think will bring in the talent but, am not for making any excuses why the program isn't winning Regionals etc because of them.

To this observer UNH offers a heck of a lot and a fancy players lounge shouldn't be the deciding factor of whether or not someone wants to play there. In my short tenure as a fan (and I don't pretend to know the inside stuff) I honestly haven't heard that our player amenities, our rink, etc has been a big 'factor' for lack of recent trips to the NCAA's etc. Remains to be seen what's going to happen...

e.cat
10-21-2019, 08:47 AM
"Other than that, what did you think of the new arena, Mrs. Lincoln?"

I liked it. Very nice. Cozy and comfortable. The "Cube" was interesting.

I got a kick out of the business school band when they played the theme song to "The Office." Very clever!

What's the "Mrs. Lincoln" reference?

Snively65
10-21-2019, 09:09 AM
I liked it. Very nice. Cozy and comfortable. The "Cube" was interesting.

I got a kick out of the business school band when they played the theme song to "The Office." Very clever!

What's the "Mrs. Lincoln" reference?

Good to hear positive comments about the Arena, and the band, e.cat. Bentley did not have a band at the JAR in Watertown, and I like the one we have now, as they play a variety of genres.

I substituted "Arena" for "Theatre" in the supposed question to Mrs Lincoln in 1865, equating the UNH loss in OT (sometimes called sudden death OT) to her husband's assination.

e.cat
10-21-2019, 09:38 AM
Good to hear positive comments about the Arena, and the band, e.cat. Bentley did not have a band at the JAR in Watertown, and I like the one we have now, as they play a variety of genres.

I substituted "Arena" for "Theatre" in the supposed question to Mrs Lincoln in 1865, equating the UNH loss in OT (sometimes called sudden death OT) to her husband's assination.
Gotcha!

BTW, a friend's son committed to Bentley for the '21/'22 season on a 3/4 scholly so I'll be keeping a closer look then.

bakchk20
10-21-2019, 12:19 PM
Nice to be at the practice and STH luncheon.
Souza on the way on a recruiting trip. Talk of the plans to "shrink the rink" when they refurbish the refrigeration system. 200 by 90 is the preferred plan...Looking to upgrade the guts of the 'Whitt for team amenities which will take private funding..

What!? Oh my!!?? :D

Aerman
10-21-2019, 12:25 PM
"Other than that, what did you think of the new arena, Mrs. Lincoln?"

And by the way, where were YOU hiding Friday night? Thirsty UNH fans want to know. 😉

bakchk20
10-21-2019, 12:25 PM
UNH built the Whittemore Center with an Olympic ice surface based on where they thought the world was headed in 1995. There is no need to waste money or make a knee-jerk decision based on a hunch (again)...

Rink size has long been an excuse out of the UNH program and administration. The 200x100 surface has been blamed for NCAA Performance and sub-par recruiting. The reality is those issues have nothing to do with UNH's home ice surface. Many schools have recruited to and won while playing home games on an Olympic surface. UNH plays regularly on NHL surfaces throughout the season and has ample opportunity to practice on NHL sheets at nearby facilities. They had plenty of success recruiting to the Whitt in the past, but are struggling now - interestingly enough, the sheet didn't change but the recruiters did! In 2003 they advanced to the NCAA Title Game and got their third-period, rear ends handed to them by a team that plays its home games on (wait for it) an Olympic Ice Surface. Having said all this, I would share the concern of others that the rink size debate is not rooted in actually benefiting the program (or would benefit the program in any tangible way) but is simply a way of rationalizing recent struggles...

Now if UNH is dead set on shrinking the rink - that wouldn't bother me too much (though I much prefer hockey played on the International ice). I'm afraid that investing so heavily in an irrelevant and cosmetic change like this might actually HURT the program. This is a program and athletic department that is constantly crying poor and claiming it lacks the funding to keep up with the BC's, BU's, Michigan's and Denver's of the world. Now they're talking about investing (millions?) into changing the size of their playing surface and moving tons of granite in order to reconfigure seats around said rink size? What will they NOT be able to do after spending all that money? That's my concern. If the recruiters are good enough than they can/could convince kids to play on an Olympic rink. Other's have. If they're not good enough than simply playing on a 100x90 surface isn't going to do the work for them. Plenty of programs stink on NHL or hybrid rinks...

I'd imagine moving so much rock is extremely expensive and I'd imagine that for the same amount of money they could find another way to build (even better) amenities (like a player's lounge or weight room), make regular (or even more regular) recruiting trips to B.C., the Midwest and Europe (if they're serious about recruiting here this is key), upgrade team travel (more Midwest games in front of potential recruits), make additional aesthetic upgrades to the Whitt, contribute to cost of living scholarships that bigger schools are able to offer and even mix in a third-jersey or some other such. Those would all be much better ways to cater to your student-athletes and sell yourselves to recruits. Those are all ways that are much more likely to tangibly improve a program (i.e. on ice talent and results). If any of those are sacrificed for the purpose of changing the width of Towse Rink than I will be extremely disappointed - but not surprised...

If UNH is going to raise a bunch of money and go all in - and accomplish all of this stuff - that sounds great. I'm all for it. I think we all know that is NOT the case. So, if they're still operating on a budget, than forget the rink width and put that money into more impactful areas and spread it around to make multiple impacts instead of throwing all their dollars in one basket, so to speak. Rink size is a red-herring, the more you even worry about it the more you are distracted from more affordable changes that can make much more noticeable impacts...

According to a lot of people involved in the sport, including a few former UNH players I've talked to, it's not a subtle difference; it's a lot more than cosmetic...

https://www.grandforksherald.com/sports/4381281-once-trend-college-hockey-olympic-sized-rinks-are-going-away
https://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2018/01/30/bigger-ice-make-a-big-difference-for-olympic-hockey-teams.html

Greg Ambrose
10-21-2019, 04:55 PM
Re: the dimensions of the rink. Using the size of the Whit as the cause, positive or negative, has been a major topic of discussion since it opened in November, 1995. That first year, what with prolific skaters like Mowers, Nolan, Boguniecki, etc al, I was sure that the Wildcats would win at least 25 and challenge for the national title. Except their goaltending stunk and they were not deep defensively. Then came 1996-1997, the season when UNH had a 14 game winning streak and blew the socks off most who ventured into the Whit. But they lost in the HE finals to BU at the Fleet Center, then got blown out by DU at the Centrum in the first round of the NCAAs. Thatís when the yakking that ďplaying on a big sheet hurts us come playoff timeĒ started and really has never stopped. After watching the team play at the Whit and on the road, mostly on NHL size rinks for the past 25 years, I am of the opinion that itís the quality of the players that count, not the size of the sheet they play on. The indisputable fact is that the quality of the players at UNH has diminished over the years and it wouldnít matter if they were playing on a 100x200 sheet, 85x200 or even the egg shaped dimensions of the old Boston Arena, they would more often than not lose because the other team was better. UNH won an awful lot of games, even big ones, on smaller sheets when they had guys like Mowers, Krog and Haydar wearing the uniform. Now? Guys of that caliber donít seem to be walking through the door with any regularity so the team will continue to lose more, regardless of the rink size, until that changes.

e.cat
10-21-2019, 05:55 PM
Re: the dimensions of the rink. Using the size of the Whit as the cause, positive or negative, has been a major topic of discussion since it opened in November, 1995. That first year, what with prolific skaters like Mowers, Nolan, Boguniecki, etc al, I was sure that the Wildcats would win at least 25 and challenge for the national title. Except their goaltending stunk and they were not deep defensively. Then came 1996-1997, the season when UNH had a 14 game winning streak and blew the socks off most who ventured into the Whit. But they lost in the HE finals to BU at the Fleet Center, then got blown out by DU at the Centrum in the first round of the NCAAs. Thatís when the yakking that ďplaying on a big sheet hurts us come playoff timeĒ started and really has never stopped. After watching the team play at the Whit and on the road, mostly on NHL size rinks for the past 25 years, I am of the opinion that itís the quality of the players that count, not the size of the sheet they play on. The indisputable fact is that the quality of the players at UNH has diminished over the years and it wouldnít matter if they were playing on a 100x200 sheet, 85x200 or even the egg shaped dimensions of the old Boston Arena, they would more often than not lose because the other team was better. UNH won an awful lot of games, even big ones, on smaller sheets when they had guys like Mowers, Krog and Haydar wearing the uniform. Now? Guys of that caliber donít seem to be walking through the door with any regularity so the team will continue to lose more, regardless of the rink size, until that changes.

Amen! Couldn't agree more Greg.

Dan
10-21-2019, 07:06 PM
According to a lot of people involved in the sport, including a few former UNH players I've talked to, it's not a subtle difference; it's a lot more than cosmetic...

https://www.grandforksherald.com/sports/4381281-once-trend-college-hockey-olympic-sized-rinks-are-going-away
https://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2018/01/30/bigger-ice-make-a-big-difference-for-olympic-hockey-teams.html

UNH plays close to half their games every season on smaller sheets. Whatever adjustments they have to make switching between the surfaces they should have down pat by now. If thereís any disadvantage it should be for teams who play very few Olympic ice games coming into the Whitt...

And visiting teams are 13-15-6 at the Whitt the last two years so they donít seem to be too concerned with the adjustments.

Again, if they want to drop all this money on making this change so be it. But if we hear down the road that they canít maximize their recruiting budget, play Western teams for the benefit of their PWR (or to get in front of Western recruits) or make more important and necessary investments for the program because they spent all or much of what they had on changing the rink size than I will be very upset. Iím with Greg in that long-standing complaints about the rink size have done nothing more than mask the real concerns surrounding UNH Hockey and excuse those stewarding the program from having to take full responsibility...

If they have all the money they need (or it can be raised) to address all of their desired upgrades, recruit to the max ability under NCAA bylaws and to support their student-athletes at the highest levels then go ahead and do it all! However, I doubt thatís the case and with all their needs and other opportunities to more directly impact the program - using substantial money on changing the rink size is malpractice...

A much cheaper and simpler alternative (and something I imagine they already do) would be to play small ice games or exclude the extra width from use during practice before heading on the road to change angles and work on playing with less space. Itís not complicated to pretend your rink is smaller - like it would be to pretend an NHL sheet is larger. Just be creative and mentally tough, then spend the money on recruiting, a lounge, a weight room instead, cost of living money or perhaps to take advantage of future NCAA opportunities to offer further financial awards to athletes due to the winds of change (because those may end up being tangible sacrifices for the act of shrinking the rink). Ask yourself, if they have to choose between alternatives what would actually help the program (and recruiting to the program) more...?

Now, Ref, if youíve heard this is nothing more than a cheap fix due to other needs than OK. But I find that hard to believe and based on what Iíve heard here and elsewhere there is a lot more than would go into this than just moving the boards and shrinking the surface - namely reconfiguring seats around the new surface. This seems like something that would chew up a lot of cash for a program that has long claimed not to have enough. And has a long list of self-perceived needs to address...

ó-

When UNH was a nationally competitive program they won a ton of road games - why would winning regular season road games be any different than winning neutral site games on NHL rinks late in the year? There are many variables at play when comparing regular season NHL sheet games to post-season NHL sheet games, but the ice size isnít one of them...

(And as Greg notes, the difference between now and then is more talent based than anything).

The reality of the UNHís post-season struggles as they relate to rink size are summed up in two post-seasons for me...

1) In 2003 they got their doors blown off in the third period on an NHL rink during the NC game - by Minnesota - a team that also plays on an Olympic surface and wasnít bothered in the least...

2) In 2008 as the #1 seed in the West (25-9-4, 11-3-2 away) UNH was blessed with a trip to Colorado Springs. On top of having a vastly superior roster to Notre Dameís (and JVR, the most talented player in the ice by far - he finished with three assists) the Wildcats were playing on an Olympic surface against a team with an NHL sized home arena. A perfect recipe for a win. Instead, the NHL-rink skating Irish dominated UNHís in one of the most disappointing results in program history...

Many would tell you itís a tightness problem. Others that UNH just got beat. Either way these two results point away from ice size adjustments to other realities.

Ice size adjustments are a problem if you allow them to be a problem. To me if weíre determined to blame the size of the rink, Itís less about actual size and more about the mindset that allows one to wonder (when looking ahead or back) if something like ice size is problematic in the first place...

HockeyRef
10-21-2019, 08:57 PM
Dan, I'll reply here rather than to tag your post. I didn't mean to simplify the situation; sure, there has to be motivation to shrink the rink. Found it interesting the comments in the articles provided by bakchk20 how some schools are indeed pulling in their Olympic sized rinks, and, that none have been built since the late 90's. I'll keep this brief: I agree that ice surface does not matter; seems to me that it all comes down to: having the horses, having the coaching, and having the support of the powers that be (AD etc) to make sure adequate funds are available to promote the team to its best advantage. That said, I'd like to think that if UNH made these changes to it's rink size the reason would go beyond "no one has this style of ice anymore". If it was such a disadvantage than you'd start seeing other schools with that ice sheet start making changes pronto. Pssssttt...don't tell UMass but their ice size is a disadvantage. (who says that?? :eek:) Anyway, I continue to be educated about such things and appreciate the info.

Snively65
10-21-2019, 09:26 PM
Re: the dimensions of the rink. Using the size of the Whit as the cause, positive or negative, has been a major topic of discussion since it opened in November, 1995. That first year, what with prolific skaters like Mowers, Nolan, Boguniecki, etc al, I was sure that the Wildcats would win at least 25 and challenge for the national title. Except their goaltending stunk and they were not deep defensively. Then came 1996-1997, the season when UNH had a 14 game winning streak and blew the socks off most who ventured into the Whit. But they lost in the HE finals to BU at the Fleet Center, then got blown out by DU at the Centrum in the first round of the NCAAs. Thatís when the yakking that ďplaying on a big sheet hurts us come playoff timeĒ started and really has never stopped. After watching the team play at the Whit and on the road, mostly on NHL size rinks for the past 25 years, I am of the opinion that itís the quality of the players that count, not the size of the sheet they play on. The indisputable fact is that the quality of the players at UNH has diminished over the years and it wouldnít matter if they were playing on a 100x200 sheet, 85x200 or even the egg shaped dimensions of the old Boston Arena, they would more often than not lose because the other team was better. UNH won an awful lot of games, even big ones, on smaller sheets when they had guys like Mowers, Krog and Haydar wearing the uniform. Now? Guys of that caliber donít seem to be walking through the door with any regularity so the team will continue to lose more, regardless of the rink size, until that changes.

Spot on, Greg (and Dan). But, do not forget that Coach MS 7 also almost took us to the promised land as a player. :-)

Aerman, I was "hiding" behind the Bentley bench, but I did cruise around the other side looking for other UNH fans at the beginning of the second intermission, but only saw HR. Will make up beer to you at Libby's. :-)