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Thread: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    I don't think Russell deserves as much blame as he seems to get. Given the state of the entire program at the time he coached, I don't think we're able to get a real clear view on how he actually was as a coach. He was trying to field a team with a bare bones budget and tepid institutional support, and that is a tough spot to be in. Granted, I do think he made some mistakes, some of them big mistakes, but he also did many things well, and if he was given the support that Mel was, I wouldn't be surprised if he succeeded as head coach at Tech.

    From what I saw, Russell's biggest issue, that was somewhat in his control, was his inability to develop players. Players plateaued in their sophomore seasons way too often, and became complacent as upper classmen. The seasons when Russell had success were ones when he had strong senior leadership, the Mike Batovanja captain season comes to mine (I believe they finished like 16 in PWR that season). The mistake Russell made here was that he didn't do a good enough job of identifying this weakness, and hiring assistant coaches to boost that deficiency. Russell was a great recruiter, he got better talent to come to Tech than it appeared on paper and stat sheets, because that talent didn't develop. Look at Russell's recruits that were able to develop under Mel's regime, they were the first Tech team to get back to the NCAA tournament, were ranked #1 in the country, etc. He also had some pretty highly touted recruits that came in, and did not flourish under him, Jordan Foote was highly regarded out of the BCHL, Shelast was a highly coveted recruit, as were Brett Olson and Ryan Furne. If Russell had made better assistant coaching hires (which, admittedly, may have been difficult with the budget constraints), that were guys that were player development focused coaches, maybe things change a bit? Of course, it is possible that even with this, the lack of budget hamstringed him to the point where he had no chance of succeeding. We'll never know for sure.
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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by bigblue_dl View Post
    I don't think Russell deserves as much blame as he seems to get. Given the state of the entire program at the time he coached, I don't think we're able to get a real clear view on how he actually was as a coach. He was trying to field a team with a bare bones budget and tepid institutional support, and that is a tough spot to be in. Granted, I do think he made some mistakes, some of them big mistakes, but he also did many things well, and if he was given the support that Mel was, I wouldn't be surprised if he succeeded as head coach at Tech.

    From what I saw, Russell's biggest issue, that was somewhat in his control, was his inability to develop players. Players plateaued in their sophomore seasons way too often, and became complacent as upper classmen. The seasons when Russell had success were ones when he had strong senior leadership, the Mike Batovanja captain season comes to mine (I believe they finished like 16 in PWR that season). The mistake Russell made here was that he didn't do a good enough job of identifying this weakness, and hiring assistant coaches to boost that deficiency. Russell was a great recruiter, he got better talent to come to Tech than it appeared on paper and stat sheets, because that talent didn't develop. Look at Russell's recruits that were able to develop under Mel's regime, they were the first Tech team to get back to the NCAA tournament, were ranked #1 in the country, etc. He also had some pretty highly touted recruits that came in, and did not flourish under him, Jordan Foote was highly regarded out of the BCHL, Shelast was a highly coveted recruit, as were Brett Olson and Ryan Furne. If Russell had made better assistant coaching hires (which, admittedly, may have been difficult with the budget constraints), that were guys that were player development focused coaches, maybe things change a bit? Of course, it is possible that even with this, the lack of budget hamstringed him to the point where he had no chance of succeeding. We'll never know for sure.
    If MTU had just given him the budget to keep Ian Kallay, things probably would have been different. Let's also not forget the competition MTU was playing against.
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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    I don't lay all the blame in his lap but I will refer to it as the JR era because he was the HC at the time.

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by Shirtless Guy View Post
    If MTU had just given him the budget to keep Ian Kallay, things probably would have been different. Let's also not forget the competition MTU was playing against.
    I do think that keeping Kallay would have definitely helped. Hard to figure out how much though. The old WCHA competition is less of a factor, in my opinion. Because, while it was a very competitive, challenging league to compete, it also was a huge selling point to recruits, and also brought in a huge chunk of money to the program. If handled correctly, the old WCHA should been a positive.
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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by bigblue_dl View Post
    I do think that keeping Kallay would have definitely helped. Hard to figure out how much though. The old WCHA competition is less of a factor, in my opinion. Because, while it was a very competitive, challenging league to compete, it also was a huge selling point to recruits, and also brought in a huge chunk of money to the program. If handled correctly, the old WCHA should been a positive.
    I was more discussing the combination of the school not being financially as invested as now along with stiffer competition but yes, it should have been a selling point.
    Michigan Tech Legend, Founder of Mitch's Misfits...Posted by Yager on 12/18/09: Remember, remember, the 18th of October (2003).

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by Shirtless Guy View Post
    I was more discussing the combination of the school not being financially as invested as now along with stiffer competition but yes, it should have been a selling point.
    You're right that the point was about buy in, but in a lot of ways I do blame Russell. The whole team's attitude was a result of him. The philosophy totally changed when Pearson came in. it was more, lets focus on getting better, and not only that, it was a singular focus and a huge change in culture. It wasn't just the money.
    And the record or lack thereof was a telling report card.
    The players have to want to improve, you can't make them. Kevin Porter was still working on being better when he was a senior and Hoby winner. He spent time trying to become a better two way player. Every one of our guys could do with a refocus on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shirtless Guy View Post
    the point of that story wasn't that we need to be more like the Russell era, it was evidence to how important player buy-in actually is to success.

    Right or wrong your top players may struggle to buy in if they don't agree with or like the message. If you aren't getting buy in from your leaders maybe the message is wrong or they are not motivated by the message. For example, if you are a highly talented player used to playing a skilled puck control game and you're told to "go high off the glass out" and "dump the puck in" every time you have it you may rebel. Not saying the overall team skill existed to play a different style but it would get old for someone who played a skill game all their life.
    Same philosophy may apply to Coach Shawhan's style if it is not what you're used to.
    Do you abandon your leaders and try to mold your young guys or find a way to motivate the leaders.
    This sounds like what Coach Shawhan is struggling with.
    I think it's a fine line unless you are are willing to accept a couple down years until you flush the "softies".
    Last edited by rustedblades; 01-08-2019 at 09:02 PM.

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    IIRC, Shawhan talked about tightening things up on D when he took the reins, and targeting a few bigger guys than Mel did, but was quick to add that that didn't mean he'd be locking things down and playing the trap.
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    Question Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Happy New Year! Does anyone know what happened to the weekly USCHO blogs? The WCHA blog is stuck in March 2018.
    "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet"
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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Orange Husky View Post
    Happy New Year! Does anyone know what happened to the weekly USCHO blogs? The WCHA blog is stuck in March 2018.
    I thought I saw something a few months ago saying they dont have anyone to write a WCHA blog anymore.

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by MTUHuskies View Post
    I thought I saw something a few months ago saying they dont have anyone to write a WCHA blog anymore.

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by manurespreader View Post
    Writers get paid so little these days that it's not worth someone's time to do it.
    I rather doubt that they paid very much. It's a tough row to hoe.

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Tech has worked very hard on making the hockey program successful - not just at winning, but at being a fun event to go to. When I still bought season tickets and had the winter ones to give away, friends with little ones couldn't wait to get them. Kids up our way LOVE going to the hockey games. And us old timers like to see live hockey, all the better if its good hockey. And even when we were down and out we still got to see some first class players coming in from North Dakota, Minnesota, etc.

    Suzanne and her staff get a huge amount of credit for bringing the program into the 21st century. Promotion is light years ahead of what it was in the 90's.

    And if Joe isn't getting what he wants out of some of his players, well, then heads should be rolling. That's how sports work.

    Personally, I liked Jamie a lot. What went on in the locker room I don't know. Success, I know, we stunk. And to make a very inappropriate #metoo #metooforguys Ian Kallay had a real cute butt. We should have paid him more just for that. It was something to look at when we were behind 8-1. (just joking, please don't banninate me or sue me)
    Last edited by huskyfan; 01-10-2019 at 12:14 PM. Reason: misspelling
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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by huskyfan View Post
    Tech has worked very hard on making the hockey program successful - not just at winning, but at being a fun event to go to. When I still bought season tickets and had the winter ones to give away, friends with little ones couldn't wait to get them. Kids up our way LOVE going to the hockey games. And us old timers like to see live hockey, all the better if its good hockey. And even when we were down and out we still got to see some first class players coming in from North Dakota, Minnesota, etc.

    Suzanne and her staff get a huge amount of credit for bringing the program into the 21st century. Promotion is light years ahead of what it was in the 90's.

    And if Joe isn't getting what he wants out of some of his players, well, then heads should be rolling. That's how sports work.

    Personally, I liked Jamie a lot. What went on in the locker room I don't know. Success, I know, we stunk. And to make a very inappropriate #metoo #metooforguys Ian Kallay had a real cute butt. We should have paid him more just for that. It was something to look at when we were behind 8-1. (just joking, please don't banninate me or sue me)
    Growing up in the Copper Country, I lived for Tech hockey. When I was fortunate enough to get a chance to go to a game I almost got sick with excitement. And I still haven't outgrown it. It's no longer hoping someone will bring me to a game, it just trying to figure out how often I can get to Houghton without losing my job... or my wife.

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by huskyfan View Post
    Tech has worked very hard on making the hockey program successful - not just at winning, but at being a fun event to go to. When I still bought season tickets and had the winter ones to give away, friends with little ones couldn't wait to get them. Kids up our way LOVE going to the hockey games. And us old timers like to see live hockey, all the better if its good hockey. And even when we were down and out we still got to see some first class players coming in from North Dakota, Minnesota, etc.
    Suzanne and her staff get a huge amount of credit for bringing the program into the 21st century. Promotion is light years ahead of what it was in the 90's.
    )

    I can tell you there are other universities specifically looking to emulate the MTU game day experiemce

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by giwan View Post
    I can tell you there are other universities specifically looking to emulate the MTU game day experiemce
    Funny that this topic is being brought up today, I was thinking about it just this morning on my way to work, for some odd reason. I was actually thinking that they have an opportunity to take the next step, in the community. Tech has risen from the ashes, the program is reinvigorated, and it has been 4-5 seasons now that Tech has been competitive and nationally relevant. There is no doubt that in the Copper Country, the highest level of sport, is Tech hockey. It is time to embrace that more. I think the athletic department has the same ideas, and I've seen them start to take action. I think the vision should be to have Tech hockey be paid for and broadcast at multiple bars in town, its already started at the B&B. The school should encourage these things. Its small things to push Tech hockey into regular conversations among people at the KBC, DT, Dog, etc. Embrace the community, and infiltrate the psyche of the Copper Country. If they continue to do things to get this done, I think they'll only get better. They have made huge steps, but they can go further. Small communities with 1 clear top team have the ability to have special connections to their communities. You see it in college football, Canadian Jr. hockey, and in other college hockey communities.
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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    To change the subject slightly this is for bb. I know how much he likes music. the lyrics are this for the first verse.
    Woman is fickle
    Like a feather in the wind,
    She changes her voice — and her mind.
    Always sweet,
    Pretty face,
    In tears or in laughter, — she is always lying.
    Always miserable
    Is he who trusts her,

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Most Tech fans know that Bob Olson was the voice of the Huskies for over 30 years from 1970 until 2002, when he was succeeded by Dirk Hembroff who holds the spot today.

    Not many remember that for one season in the late 1980s, WMPL lost the radio contract for Michigan Tech athletics. For that one year 97.7FM (then known as Stereo 98) was the flagship station for Huskies hockey, and Norm Koski was the voice of the Huskies. "Mr. Norm" was a longtime fixture in broadcasting, working at both radio station families in the Copper Country and even in the TV6 Sports Department back in the 1960s. He was the authoritative voice of high school sports in the Keweenaw for decades.

    "Mr. Norm" left us this week at the age of 80. One of the great ones, he will be missed.

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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    For any Tech fans that may be making the trip to Bemidji and partaking in Hockey Day Minnesota, here is a link with a lot of useful information for each day. Parking/getting to the area could be a mess, but there are free shuttles available.

    https://www.bemidjiyouthhockey.org/p...minnesota-2019
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    Re: Michigan Tech 2018-19: Who Cares What They Name It, We Want It

    Quote Originally Posted by beaverhockeyfan View Post
    For any Tech fans that may be making the trip to Bemidji and partaking in Hockey Day Minnesota, here is a link with a lot of useful information for each day. Parking/getting to the area could be a mess, but there are free shuttles available.

    https://www.bemidjiyouthhockey.org/p...minnesota-2019
    Thanks for the info but we've got this pesky little thing called BGSU to worry about first.

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