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mtu_huskies
11-28-2010, 10:45 PM
This newest recruit, Khaira, seems like an interesting kid. He's doing well int he BCHL and pretty young for the league. Here's a blurb about playing for Tech.


Rookie Commits to Michigan Tech

PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The Prince George Spruce Kings Junior ‘A’ hockey club of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) are extremely excited to announce that Jujhar Khaira (pron: jah_jar care-ah) has committed to a four year scholarship at Michigan Tech University and their NCAA Division I hockey program.

A sixteen year old rookie in the BCHL, Jujhar Khaira was identified by the Prince George Spruce Kings through their scouting network. Khaira is fifth on team scoring with 7 goals and 15 assists which places him among the top five rookies in the league. Eligible for the NHL Draft in 2012, Jujhar Khaira is focused on the game and his education. A grade 11 student, Khaira earned a spot on the Principal’s List with a 94% grade average.

Michigan Tech is a NCAA Division I school that prides itself in its engineering programs and is a nationally ranked school for engineering bachelor degrees awarded. Founded in 1951, the Michigan Tech Huskies have a history steeped in tradition and success including 36 NCAA championships. The Huskies play in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) against some of the top ranked hockey schools.

“Jujhar’s success this year is a testament to his work ethic and passion for the game of hockey and to his commitment to his educational goals,” said Spruce Kings President, Darcy Buryn. “It is further proof that players can thrive and will get noticed in the Spruce Kings program.”

The Khaira family and the Prince George Spruce Kings would like to acknowledge the significant efforts of Ed Dempsey for his role in assisting Jujhar to attain this scholarship.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)



Also, here's an article from Oct. about him playing in the BCHL. It also says how to pronounce Jujhar Khaira's name, Judge-ar Care-ah. Link (http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/35669-Prospect-Watch-Jujhar-Khaira.html)

MTUHatTrick84
11-29-2010, 12:57 AM
I wanted a quick distraction before bed, so I decided to look into the history of Tech hockey and see if it would be justified to change coaches at this point. Note that the last time I saw this hockey team, they were flying high and undefeated. They haven't won since. Welcome back to Tech hockey, at least it will likely look familiar this weekend when I actually make it to a game again.

When Coach MacInnes left this program after the 1981-82 season, the Michigan Tech hockey program was 175 games over .500 for its history. They were +5 the next year under Jim Nahrgang, so the program peaked at 180 games over .500 in the spring of 1983. In Nahrgang's second season, the losing started, and it hasn't stopped since, with very few exceptions. A turning point was met, and the momentum has lasted 28 seasons and counting. Seven coaches resided behind the bench at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena during this abysmal period.

In 27+ seasons, Michigan Tech has gone from a program that was 180 games over the break-even mark, to a program that now resides 154 games below. That is an average of -12.25 games per season. They have ranged from historically awful to just barely mediocre during that span.

Where does Russell stack up in the putrid mess? Well, as many of you guess, he is not at the bottom of the list.

Watters averaged a -17.4 games per year in his tenure (I gave him the entire year he was fired).
Boxer was a -12.6 average in five seasons with the Huskies.
Sertich was -17 average, but he only was here two seasons to stop the bleeding and did the best with what he had.
Brown averaged -9 over 2 seasons.
Mancini had by far the most success during this run, only averaging a -4.25 in four seasons.

Coach Russell has been at the helm for a number of seasons now, and he is coming in at -14.4 games per year during his tenure. Not late 1990's awful, but still nowhere near this program needs to be.

Now, one would say, "there have been bad years, but look at 2006-07, we were over .500!". True. That was a fun year. And the next year was fun as well, despite it being a -6. However, I would also bring to your attention that Tim Watters had a 17-20-3 year in his tenure, which is pretty near .500 for Tech at the time. So what does that tell you? Herb Boxer eked out a break-even year surrounded by large losing seasons. Mancini was on to things, but those things ended up being outside of Tech. I guess the point here is that there have been coaches in the last 27+ seasons that have seemed to be turning the corner, only for the losing to return with vengeance. Every time this program looks to have a bright future, it turns out to be an aberration and the trend continues.

Coach Russell has been the continuation of the trend, not really breaking it. It really felt like a change in the culture of this team was occurring at times during his tenure, but it always ends up being derailed. It must be noted, Michigan Tech does not have the depth to weather a bout of injuries or dismissals/suspensions and expect to be able to go out and win. But even so, the first 5 games of this season felt like a culture change, and now just a few short weeks later we are on a 6 game losing streak. The type of losing streak that we have become accustomed to in the last 27 seasons.

I don't know exactly what I am trying to say. This program is not where it was when Russell took over, and tangible improvements have been seen. But it hasn't been enough to get this team back to the level we would expect (mid-pack WCHA).

Unfortunately for Michigan Tech, there is no slam-dunk coaching option with ties to the program to bring in. This isn't like Michigan football, where Harbaugh is waiting in the wings to get out of coaching an apathetic Pac10 school to get to his alma mater and bring it back to glory. Unless I am missing somebody, who is Michigan Tech's Harbaugh? Is there really any coach that could come here and take us out of the basement, and then decide to stay here for a while?

I seem to have lost myself in my train of thought. I still haven't figured out whether or not a change is needed in the coaching staff. Even with 7+ years of data to work from, I can't decide whether the noticeable improvements highlight hope for the future, or just mark the continuation of the natural fluctuations of Michigan Tech hockey for the last 3 decades. Was 2006-07 the aberration, or the promise of things that may come?

Maybe we are suffering from the Curse of the CCHA? Things started to go downhill when we left for "the other conference", and even though we came back, we have never been the same. The historically inept teams have their curse, could this one be ours?

manurespreader
11-29-2010, 07:42 AM
Well put.
It's hard to say that the coach is the problem when basically every one of them has had the same result. Some obviously were better coaches than others. I think the answer lies elsewhere.
I have a good friend who is one of the top soccer coaches in the US. I chatted with him this week about recruiting and about the system we use in the US to find players. To make a long story short, the teams not at the very top, and those don't stay there long, well those teams can really only compete by a couple of things. (and this was oriented to NCAA soccer, and MLS soccer)
1. they have to have top quality coaching, first and foremost. By that I mean the kids love playing there, they learn a lot, and they respect the program and it's direction. I think we have that. 2. He said you have to work really hard at recruiting and get a little lucky at times. We have been unlucky lately losing recruits, but maybe that is changing. 3. He said over time the program and the coach will get a reputation with the better lower level coaches,( like little Caesar's here in Detroit).
I never brought up MTU, just recruiting in general, but I think once there is a quality program, changing the coach is just not the answer.
Hell look at the dissatisfaction coming out of st cloud or mankato, or UML. Getting top talent to come to a small school that's not easily gotten to is a challenge. I don't think the situation is the same as the MacInnes years.I think it's much more competitive.
Bottom line, there has to be other things we can do to help the program get better. If I knew what, I'd be doing it. I suspect a lot of this revolves around money as usual though.

JohnsonsJerseys
11-29-2010, 11:45 AM
Another thing to keep in mind is that just any "great coach", may not be a great coach for the college game. I look at Davis Payne for example. Obviously he has paid his dues and has been a great coach at every level and now holds the reins for the St Louis Blues. However, that does not necessarily mean that even he could step behind the Tech bench and create a winner. Dealing with the college game vs professionals is a whole 'nother world. Scott White would be another good example. He wasn't seen as the future for MTU, but clearly he has a great hockey mind as he has had a steady stream of promotions in pro hockey as well. Just look at how coaches bounce between the NFL and NCAA football. Some pull off the change and win, others fall flat on their faces.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I really don't think the coaching is the only, or the largest, problem. Even wth John McI back behind the bench, I don't think it turns Tech into a 20+ win team. Talent factors in there as well. There is a reason that the top teams usually win, they are just more talented. Hustle and attitute will get you a win here and there, but more likely a bunch of lazy, self-centered, first round NHL draft picks biding their time in college before their big payday will still win 70% of the time or more because they have the talent.

Ryan J

JohnsonsJerseys
11-29-2010, 11:51 AM
PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The Prince George Spruce Kings Junior ‘A’ hockey club of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) are extremely excited to announce that Jujhar Khaira (pron: jah_jar care-ah) has committed to a four year scholarship at Michigan Tech University and their NCAA Division I hockey program.

I'm calling it right now, his nickname in the 'room is going to be "Binks"...
Ryan J

http://images2.makefive.com/images/entertainment/movies/best-star-wars-character/jar-jar-binks-7.jpg

FadeToBlack&Gold
11-29-2010, 11:51 AM
It all goes back to money. The big schools have it, and we don't.

A school like St. Lawrence which is even smaller than Tech, has stuck with Joe Marsh for over 25 years and through a number of bad/mediocre years, but he's also delivered a couple Frozen Four appearances and eight trips to the tourney. Obviously, coaching in the ECAC versus the WCHA is different (due to the type of schools who make up the ECAC membership, it's a much more cyclical conference), and Russell will be the first to agree with you on that. However, I say this because I think our AD has studied a number of other programs, and feels that coaching stability is one of the most important things in the current NCAA hockey world. With all the additional competition for recruits, all the extra money now in the sport (The FF is big enough to fill an NHL barn no matter where they hold it), and the new NHL CBA, it's now very difficult for a small school to remain competitive more than 2-3 years at a time.

Beer Pong Horn
11-29-2010, 12:30 PM
PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The Prince George Spruce Kings Junior ‘A’ hockey club of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) are extremely excited to announce that Jujhar Khaira (pron: jah_jar care-ah) has committed to a four year scholarship at Michigan Tech University and their NCAA Division I hockey program.

I'm calling it right now, his nickname in the 'room is going to be "Binks"...
Ryan J

http://images2.makefive.com/images/entertainment/movies/best-star-wars-character/jar-jar-binks-7.jpg

Too late :p:


I'm already declaring that we need to call him The Judge.

Though, I think it'll depend on how well he plays :o

bigblue_dl
11-29-2010, 12:34 PM
I will call him "The Dot - AntiSioux"

Yager
11-29-2010, 10:25 PM
Go to 1:17 and check out a nice slow-mo punch.

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MTUHatTrick84
11-30-2010, 12:32 AM
I will admit, I am not very good at recognizing talent and which players have what it takes to succeed on the NHL level. But, it feels good to flip on SportsCenter, and see former Michigan Tech Husky Chris Conner as part of the Pittsburgh Penguin highlight package.

And it got me thinking about this roster we have now. We haven't had a explosive/elusive/fast puck-handling scorer like Conner since he graduated. We haven't, it seems to me, had a player at the caliber of Colin Murphy, who was excellent at the set-up and a great team leader. Don't get me wrong, we have had solid players, but these two stood out in ways that made opposing teams specifically game plan against that line. No matter what else was going on with the team, we were going to roll Conner-Murphy-Desmet out there and they were going to produce.

It feels like Tech has many players that can score, but nobody that stands out as the guy who just makes things happen on the ice. There is something to be said for balanced scoring, and the opposition never knowing where the next lamp lighter is going to come from. But, there is also something to be gained from the sniper or the magician, the type of player who you know is coming over the boards for that final shift when the team is down by one and it is all on the line. Tech is a team right now of system players that can make a play, but no true playmaker. I am not saying that this is a bad thing, just an observation.

So back to the NHL. Which player on our current roster do you feel has the best chance of making it to the pros? Is there any? As I previously admitted, I have absolutely zero scouting ability and thus I can't pick. There are a few young players near the top of Tech's statistic sheet that have good size and have shown potential this season, which hopefully grows into something over the next few years.

But really, I am asking those with more hockey knowledge out there, do we currently have a player that is going to develop into the go-to guy? Do we have the player that is going to get some time on the NHL-level? Two separate questions, both spawned by very rare hockey coverage on SportsCenter.

techcodemonkey
11-30-2010, 01:16 AM
It feels like Tech has many players that can score, but nobody that stands out as the guy who just makes things happen on the ice..
just to get my 2 cents in....I think Baker is the guy you speak of that just makes things happen...it's just between the injuries it's always hard to tell who's consistent

huskyfan
11-30-2010, 08:36 AM
say what you will about John Scott's skating or puck handling or whatever, that guy can fight. he's reaching a rare place where other guys just don't want to take him on.

du78
11-30-2010, 10:39 AM
I will admit, I am not very good at recognizing talent and which players have what it takes to succeed on the NHL level. But, it feels good to flip on SportsCenter, and see former Michigan Tech Husky Chris Conner as part of the Pittsburgh Penguin highlight package.

I was at the Ranger/Penguins game last night and Conner is like a little waterbug out there. He can't be anymore than 5' 5" but can skate like the wind. Malkin towers over him. He did get a goal last night and he seems to play with a lot of heart. Will be interesting to see if he sticks with the Pens all season.

JOHN SCOTT ROCKS
11-30-2010, 06:48 PM
Got my hockey fix this weekend watching Cal beat up on Hancock. Great show! Saw a number of coaches in attendance. Combined shots in the 2 games around 100-20 Cal.
Jujhar Khaira (http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/rosters_profile.cfm?clientID=1413&teamID=267278&leagueID=2393&playerID=688080), Tech's latest recruit is drawing rave reviews in the BCHL for playing so well as a 16-yr-old rookie to the league who was not previously recruited anywhere but walked on in Prince George this fall; something like 23 pts. in 30 games.

Levi Erkkila, 9 pts in first two high school games as a soph.; nothing to lose sleep over eh?

JOHN SCOTT ROCKS
11-30-2010, 07:01 PM
So back to the NHL. Which player on our current roster do you feel has the best chance of making it to the pros? Is there any? As I previously admitted, I have absolutely zero scouting ability and thus I can't pick. There are a few young players near the top of Tech's statistic sheet that have good size and have shown potential this season, which hopefully grows into something over the next few years.

But really, I am asking those with more hockey knowledge out there, do we currently have a player that is going to develop into the go-to guy? Do we have the player that is going to get some time on the NHL-level? Two separate questions, both spawned by very rare hockey coverage on SportsCenter.

Olson and Seigo. Olson has the smarts, size, skating and shot to fill a Patrick Eaves/Drew Miller type role in the NHL. If he remains healthy he'll likely be gone after this year as a free agent- may have to spend a year or two in AHL but he's definitely the closest to the show. Seigo needs to gain weight and strength but has the skating and talent to move on; excellent on the PP and moving the puck. Hasn't been drafted so has three years to gain strength but will sign with someone after junior or senior year.

geezer
11-30-2010, 09:11 PM
Levi Erkkila, 9 pts in first two high school games as a soph.; nothing to lose sleep over eh?

No question, he was the best player on Saturday. Wicked good hands, unbelievable puck control. I'm hoping he'll grow another 18 inches and lift weights a lot, he might get some ice time in college. He reminds me a lot of Kevin Manninen at 16.

Yager
11-30-2010, 09:37 PM
Great dance here. Jansenn looks tiny but he is increibly strong to keep his balance and push Scott around as much as he did.

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techcodemonkey
12-01-2010, 12:07 AM
Great dance here. Jansenn looks tiny but he is increibly strong to keep his balance and push Scott around as much as he did.



yeah watching that fight, everytime you think Scott is gonna just start wailing on him, Janssen comes back and pushes him around, even fight for both of them

Yager
12-01-2010, 12:18 AM
yeah watching that fight, everytime you think Scott is gonna just start wailing on him, Janssen comes back and pushes him around, even fight for both of them
Smart guy to keep in so tight on Scott; Scott couldn't get those big hits in there, just some jabs. I loved when it looked like Janssen was asking Scott to call it quits and then gives him a quick jab; it surprised scott a lot.

mtu_huskies
12-01-2010, 07:06 AM
Here's Drive Time Notes, no Jamie, Ian Marks and Brett Olson were in studio with Dirk:
Brett took a shot to the hand, broke a bone on the index finger, clean break, dislocated from joint, and broke in half
It's a six week prognosis, hopefully be back right after GLI
In Duluth, everything collapsed at about that time, the team and Brett took some penalties and he got injured
Watching MN games, we were a little sluggish, could be new lines combinations
Just didn't have the edge to get through trouble
Hopeing Thanksgiving gave us a break, very important to get two wins this weekend
From day 1, Freshman have adapted very well, we have a lot of older freshman like Brett was
Brett agreed, MN struggles were partly because people were waiting for someone to lead or people were puck watching, waiting for someone to make a play
Brett Olson's background: Played baseball in highschool, for hockey got some exposure senior year, and started to realize he had a shot to play at next levels
Tough not to be in lineup, trying to be a fan and less critical of teammates
He's around and involved as much as possible
We have talent, we're finally out of these awkward breaks, this weekend is a big weekend, hopeing we step up and take 2 wins





Dirk also mentioned there's a postgame blueline club party at the Best Western Franklin Square after Saturday's game