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Thread: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Season?

  1. #821
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by DLG View Post
    you lost me at allowing fighting
    OK - there's room for disagreement here. My point - from a UNH perspective, we've been sending way too many players into the ECHL wars unprepared for the realities of professional life at that level. Imagine we were sending out Business Majors into the real world with light and airy liberal arts courseloads, for example. Would we expect them to succeed? Heck no, they'd crap the bed. Same thing with "protecting" our future hockey professionals from future beatdowns. We want these guys to live their dreams, so we have to give them a fighting chance, no? Imagine an opportunity for UNH volunteer assistant coach Jay Miller? Talk about hands-on experience.

    All I ask is that you keep an open mind. There is a method behind the madness. Leading me to …

    (7) Legalize Retroactive Financial Aid - Coach Shawn Walsh (RIP) was a college hockey visionary in his lifetime, but this idea was something he got lambasted for, yet I think 25 or so years on now, it deserves a second look. D-1 programs recruit a wide range of prospects, ranging from blue-chip prospects with NHL ambitions, to fifth line walk-ons as roster filler/fodder/depth players. But what if, with most of the scholarship money allocated to the top kids, one of the lower profile kids emerges as a key player for the future? Sometimes you have to get creative … and the "Walshy Rule" would recognize that, allowing the programs flexibility to keep all of their key players happy, and not so easily distracted by Major Junior or ECHL or Euro pro opportunities.

    (8) Loosen up the Redshirt Rules - imagine if you have a perfectly fine, undersized, successful D-1 player who has no real prospects for long-term professional employment in the sport, unless it's as a regional assistant sales rep for a hockey equipment supplier. But you're really very good at your "job" as a player in your current D-1 program. Each program should get to keep one such player at a time on its roster, past their usual four-in-five eligibility window. Given a chance between continuing at UNH as a 6th/7th/11th year "super-senior" or "grad" player, cementing a place in the community AND an on-ice leadership role within the program, as opposed to spending a year-and-a-half in Wheeling WV or Toledo OH before shipping out for some third tier team in Europe … seems like this would be a great opportunity to pick the right player to be the "face of the franchise". Said player would be tasked with weekly community outreach assignments to talk up the program, and hopefully boost ticket sales. And if the guy can't handle those aspects of the job - well, c'est la vie. Goodbye and good luck in the real world, and "next man up" to step in.

    (9) Open Interview Process for HE Commish - we've got a year now to replace JB, we know he is professional enough to give the league the same solid effort he has for the last decade of solid progress utter stagnancy until he departs next year. I say, let's have an open ballot process at all HE arenas this coming season, and any fan can vote for any candidate. There would be no names on any pre-prepared printed ballots. Only write-in candidates allowed. No one currently employed by any of the member schools would be eligible. Each program nominates a candidate in this fashion, based on vote totals at each home arena through 12/31/19. The eleven "winners" advance to an open form debate, to be held between games at the Beanpot Finals on the second Monday in February in Boston. Four are selected from that field by a panel made up of all inactive Hockey East on-ice officials in attendance for the event, and the final two advance to a similar debate in between periods (twice) of the HE Finals. Next HE commissioner is then determined by a voice vote of all fans who are in attendance that evening. This allows the new HE commish to pal around at the FF with the "legendary" outgoing commish to learn the ropes (and his/her future adversaries).

    Yes, I realize I've barely scratched the surface on HE's future media policy. Please be patient; this may seem like a logical and semi-coherent platform, but I'm getting some strange calls from the 317 area code lately, so I can't afford to be reckless. Stay tuned …
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  2. #822
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Now, finally, the pieces de resistance of my platform for Making Hockey East Great Again …

    (10) Get Rid of Underperforming Member Schools That Don't Fit - not exactly a new idea, and definitely not something I've come up with on my own. But if the last generation's worth of HE history has proven anything, it's that bigger isn't necerssarily better. Actually, it's made it worse. It had to hurt JB and some of the fawning HE AD's who voted for Northern Indiana CC to implausibly join the conference a few years ago - the ones who could now drop "uh, honey, I'll be traveling to a league meeting at Notre Dame next week" into their dinner table discussions (or at least their cross-bedroom text messages) - but the failure of the concept was inevitable, and it did serve as a reminder that just because something sounds stupid to begin with, isn't a reason to move forward with it anyway to prove that conclusion beyond any shadow of a doubt. So … with NICC vanquished, let's take a further look around the conference table for other targets to trim the fat. Merrimack is the most obvious one, and there's no reason they wouldn't be welcomed with open arms by Atlantic Hockey. UConn is next up, lacking any real D-1 history, and if Atlantic Hockey won't take them back, then the ECAC could be convinced to do so perhaps … if only because the third and final program out the door would be UVM, which has never quite lived up to the promise many of us believed they had at the time they were added to the league. A couple of years ago, and UMass would probably have been on the HE chopping block, but Coach Carvel has saved their bacon - and just in time too. That's a nice even eight (8) team league right there.

    (11) Remove the Helmet Cages, Replace with Visors Only - just to bring out more of the visibility and humanity of the players (and because it helps with the rest of the plan), again while prepping the D-1 skaters for their future professional careers at ever-higher levels. Even a half-visor works for me - hockey players lose teeth all the time, it's the eyes we can't afford to be losing, so cover those. Of course, the visors would potentially help a lot with the following planks in my platform …

    (12) The Bachelorette - Hockey East Version - OK, so Hockey East has a media income (or lack thereof) issue. For years there has been a lot of postulating on how to attract new fans or the so-called "casual" fans to the game. Here it is, in one very neat and tidy,, all-encompassing package. Open auditions for the "Bachelorette" could come from (remaining) member schools, and as the objects of her affection, each HE member program would have to select at least one "Bachelor" for her consideration. Maybe even two from each team?? Imagine the drama … you're down to the final half-dozen of these would-be studs, and two share the same locker room … or as opponents, they meet in live action and duke it out (remember, fighting is now legal), and each week we'd have a new episode as a one-hour lead-in to a real live Hockey East game on a Monday night or Friday night. With just a little massaging, this whole concept could solve the league financial woes in one fell swoop, introduce new and casual fans alike to D-1 hockey, and the synergy would create a whole new buzz around the league to begin with, and eventually all of D-1. And finally ...

    (13) Base the Conference Tourney on Home Attendance Only - worried about low tourney attendance? Worry no more!! Let the PWR, RPI, AOC, etc. take care of the teams that perform well across the regular season, but save that autobid for one of the four teams with the best home attendance during the regular season. Regardless of records, make this one all about the Benjamins, and ensure the best HE tourney attendance on a regular basis. Also, make sure the HE tourney ALWAYS coincides with the St. Patrick's Day holiday. That always creates a better atmosphere, doesn't it? If we want to get more animated crowds to the tourney like the old days of UMaine, UNH, and one or two of the Boston schools (no worries, Lowell - I do like your chances over MinuteWagon @ Flagship), and avoid chronic mistakes like Providence or the other schools (already knee-capped by #10 above), this should do the trick. It might also provide incentives for programs to offer discount prices for the home tickets. Genius, right?



    Anyway … hopefully these 13 steps would be a big step forward to getting Hockey East thinking about a future that's not stuck in the mud like it's pretty much been for the better part of the last decade-plus.

    Or we can just keep doing the same old things over and over again, and hope for a different outcome.

    After all, it's not like that's the practical definition of insanity. Oh, wait …
    Last edited by Chuck Murray; 07-29-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    (10) Get Rid of Underperforming Member Schools That Don't Fit


    UNH final place in League Standings Last 5 years:

    8th
    Last
    10th
    10th
    8th

    Is that not underperforming?

  4. #824
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Elbowing View Post
    (10) Get Rid of Underperforming Member Schools That Don't Fit

    UNH final place in League Standings Last 5 years:

    8th
    Last
    10th
    10th
    8th

    Is that not underperforming?
    Underperforming on the ice? Heck yes. Underperforming revenue-wise, compared with the rest of the league? Doubtful. Part of the reason JB is heading off to earlier-than-planned retirement probably has a lot to do with the fact that programs like UNH and UMaine aren't around regularly any more to prop up the attendance (and revenue) derived from the HE Tourney.

    Oh … and that "Schools That Don't Fit" part, you'll notice that my 3 candidates for immediate exile have compiled the grand total of zero (0) HE Tourney or RS titles between them. combined. Ditto UMass Amherst, until last season. God knows I'd prefer to have kept UVM for the scenery, and I've lambasted and ridiculed UMA for years, but there are standards here that need to be upheld.

    Another less-controversial approach than #13 to better position HE to maximize league tourney revenue is …

    (14) Split the Eight Team League into Two Divisions

    Patriarca Division

    Providence
    BC
    BU
    Northeastern

    Bulger Division

    UMass Lowell
    UMass Amherst
    UMaine
    UNH

    Regular season - play 4 games against divisional foes, and 3 games against the other division. 24 games.

    Post-season - as with the NHL, playoffs come through the divisions first - at least to get to the TD Garden. Quarterfinals would be best of three, with all games at the higher seed's rink. Higher seed (again) is NOT based on results, but rather home attendance. Too many games in too short a time? Ties go to the home team as a win. Again, putting the emphasis on the revenue piece.

    Semifinals and Finals - semifinal games continue to be within the division. Hence, if UNH and UMaine advance, they would play each other, ensuring healthy attendance for the Finals. Ditto in the Patriarca Division, with the caveat that Providence cannot be allowed to advance to Boston. But the Hockey East league HQ would need to relocate to Providence. Hence, Providence would siphon off a chunk of the revenue generated in Boston. Befitting the namesake of this Division.

    The Lamoriello Trophy still goes to the winner of the Finals, but that game would follow after the newly-minted Bertagna Cup, to be awarded to the winner of the reinstated Consolation Game between the losers of the semifinals. All the more reason to give the traveling fans a reason to make a weekend of it in Boston, and boost the arena's revenues further. If the Bertagna Cup ends regulation in a tie, then instead of pushing the Finals off schedule, the two consolation contestants would immediately drop the gloves in a line brawl, to be officiated by a blue ribbon panel including Derek Sanderson, Stan Jonathan and John Wensink.

    Hasn't been much feedback lately, so hopefully my write-in campaign for HE Commish is still alive …
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Chuck, you started out like a ball of fire for the commissioners job. It seems like a month vacation to work it out with the family might be in order. We might want to reevaluate your allowing fighting in college hockey. You had us at hello, and I am thinking the fighting would be the deal breaker. The NCAA might be a minor problem as they are not keen to allow fighting. They have Junior Hockey for that and UNH would surely vote against fighting. You made many strong points and keep up the new ideas.

  6. #826
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by UNH1932 View Post
    Chuck, you started out like a ball of fire for the commissioners job. It seems like a month vacation to work it out with the family might be in order. We might want to reevaluate your allowing fighting in college hockey. You had us at hello, and I am thinking the fighting would be the deal breaker. The NCAA might be a minor problem as they are not keen to allow fighting. They have Junior Hockey for that and UNH would surely vote against fighting. You made many strong points and keep up the new ideas.
    Yeah, there were a few sarcastic additions to the platform for my "candidacy", easy to pick those out.

    And to think, I didn't even get to my usual stand-bys, like raising the crossbar and restricting the balloon-ish goalie gear to a more reasonable amount. Maybe I'm simply not cut out for this job … … but thanks for the encouragement, '32. Hope you're enjoying your summer as well!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    Underperforming on the ice? Heck yes. Underperforming revenue-wise, compared with the rest of the league? Doubtful. Part of the reason JB is heading off to earlier-than-planned retirement probably has a lot to do with the fact that programs like UNH and UMaine aren't around regularly any more to prop up the attendance (and revenue) derived from the HE Tourney.

    Oh … and that "Schools That Don't Fit" part, you'll notice that my 3 candidates for immediate exile have compiled the grand total of zero (0) HE Tourney or RS titles between them. combined. Ditto UMass Amherst, until last season. God knows I'd prefer to have kept UVM for the scenery, and I've lambasted and ridiculed UMA for years, but there are standards here that need to be upheld.

    Another less-controversial approach than #13 to better position HE to maximize league tourney revenue is …

    (14) Split the Eight Team League into Two Divisions

    Patriarca Division

    Providence
    BC
    BU
    Northeastern

    Bulger Division

    UMass Lowell
    UMass Amherst
    UMaine
    UNH

    Regular season - play 4 games against divisional foes, and 3 games against the other division. 24 games.

    Post-season - as with the NHL, playoffs come through the divisions first - at least to get to the TD Garden. Quarterfinals would be best of three, with all games at the higher seed's rink. Higher seed (again) is NOT based on results, but rather home attendance. Too many games in too short a time? Ties go to the home team as a win. Again, putting the emphasis on the revenue piece.

    Semifinals and Finals - semifinal games continue to be within the division. Hence, if UNH and UMaine advance, they would play each other, ensuring healthy attendance for the Finals. Ditto in the Patriarca Division, with the caveat that Providence cannot be allowed to advance to Boston. But the Hockey East league HQ would need to relocate to Providence. Hence, Providence would siphon off a chunk of the revenue generated in Boston. Befitting the namesake of this Division.

    The Lamoriello Trophy still goes to the winner of the Finals, but that game would follow after the newly-minted Bertagna Cup, to be awarded to the winner of the reinstated Consolation Game between the losers of the semifinals. All the more reason to give the traveling fans a reason to make a weekend of it in Boston, and boost the arena's revenues further. If the Bertagna Cup ends regulation in a tie, then instead of pushing the Finals off schedule, the two consolation contestants would immediately drop the gloves in a line brawl, to be officiated by a blue ribbon panel including Derek Sanderson, Stan Jonathan and John Wensink.

    Hasn't been much feedback lately, so hopefully my write-in campaign for HE Commish is still alive …
    Lot of great ideas here. :-)

    But, I say keep UVM, Yukon, and Mac, and add Bentley, with the first two part of the Bulger Division and the latter two part of the Patriarcha Division. Then, play teams in one's own division three times and teams in the other division two times, for a total of 25 conference games. Need to keep some cupcakes in HEA, as in "If you cannot beat the cupcakes, then YOU are the cupcake." HEA playoffs can be adjusted accordingly, and give each division's top two regular HEA season teams a bye in the first round.
    Last edited by Snively65; 08-10-2019 at 06:39 AM.

  8. #828
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    Yeah, there were a few sarcastic additions to the platform for my "candidacy", easy to pick those out.

    And to think, I didn't even get to my usual stand-bys, like raising the crossbar and restricting the balloon-ish goalie gear to a more reasonable amount. Maybe I'm simply not cut out for this job … … but thanks for the encouragement, '32. Hope you're enjoying your summer as well!!
    You are so amazing.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackI View Post
    You are so amazing.
    It's a tough burden to carry around sometimes, BlackI … but someone's got to do it.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas


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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas


  12. #832
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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Mad Again says that BvR will play as a top six forward and on special teams, but does not distinguish between PP and PK. Definitely a move up for him, I think. Best wishes to BvR, just not in games against us.

  13. #833
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Dan, if you’re out there, do you know a rising senior at Shattuck St mary’s named Michael Hong? Sounds like he is looking at east coast schools (including a trip to durham in a couple weeks). Been working with his dad on some stuff and he mentioned that Michael is making the trip. Likely a 2021 or 2022 entry

  14. #834
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Oh, and The Bachelorette? Yikes. 😆

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcatdc View Post
    Dan, if you’re out there, do you know a rising senior at Shattuck St mary’s named Michael Hong? Sounds like he is looking at east coast schools (including a trip to durham in a couple weeks). Been working with his dad on some stuff and he mentioned that Michael is making the trip. Likely a 2021 or 2022 entry
    Nikolas "Nik" Hong (DOB: 8/27/02), a forward with the Shattuck St. Mary's U16 last season, scored 5 goals and 15 assists in 55 games. He is currently rated as a 3 Star Prospect (out of 5 stars) by Neutral Zone. His team qualified for the U16 USA Hockey Nationals last spring but did not advance to the quarterfinals. Here's the NZ scouting report on his performance at Nationals:
    C+ Grade - "Hong is a good-sized, physical forward with a strong net front presence and willingness to lower his shoulder and drive the net. He doesn’t try to be something he’s not, he knows his role, plays to his strengths and doesn’t give up on the play."

    Here's a self profile written by Nikolas Hong:
    https://www.ncsasports.org/mens-ice-...s/nikolas-hong

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcatdc View Post
    Dan, if you’re out there, do you know a rising senior at Shattuck St mary’s named Michael Hong? Sounds like he is looking at east coast schools (including a trip to durham in a couple weeks). Been working with his dad on some stuff and he mentioned that Michael is making the trip. Likely a 2021 or 2022 entry
    DC - assuming you do in fact mean Nik Hong as CHC alluded below. I don’t know much about him, but he played on the SSM U16 team last season and would probably move up to the prep team this season.

    A few kids have already committed off the U16 team. Hong wasnt much of a scorer last season, but fared better the year before with the Midget team. He would probably play for the prep team next year??

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/team/10705/shattuck-st.-mary-s-u16/2018-2019?tab=stats

    His personal page lists him as born (and a citizen of) Russia, of all places, but Shattuck lists his hometown as Minneapolis - which I assume is how you know the family.

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/470027/nikolas-hong

    At one point I’m his first two years at SSM he would have played for Christian Bragnalo - Souza’s old UNH teammate of three seasons...

    Hong has also been a teammate of UNH legacy Scott Morrow at SSM who’s college interests I’d love to know!
    Last edited by Dan; 08-13-2019 at 04:05 PM.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcatdc View Post
    Dan, if you’re out there, do you know a rising senior at Shattuck St mary’s named Michael Hong? Sounds like he is looking at east coast schools (including a trip to durham in a couple weeks). Been working with his dad on some stuff and he mentioned that Michael is making the trip. Likely a 2021 or 2022 entry
    From Nik Hong's personal profile:

    "My experiences living and playing hockey have uniquely shaped me as a person and taught me the value of teamwork, leadership, commitment and perseverance - first, in Moscow Russia, where I played for six years as the only American (and non-Russian) in the Moscow Youth Hockey league from the entire 2002 birth year to now playing at an elite level with Shattuck-St. Mary’s. When I first moved to Moscow at age eight I was committed to continue to play hockey but I didn’t speak a word of Russian."

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Thanks guys. Yes, Nik. We’d been talking about a Michael this morning in our meeting and I conflated the two.

    Thanks for the info. His dad saw the UNH jersey on my wall (old school block letters!!) and made the connection. Was cool to hear of his interest!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Saw that the finished ice is down on a twitter post today; I know they put ads along the boards but on the ice? 2 big 'Eversource' and Bud Light (beer of KINGS Snively65 ) at Center Ice? I guess I don't remember that...? Anyway...getting close gang!!
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    One irony with the Eversource logos on the Lake Whitt ice is that the NH Supreme Court just ended probably permanently Eversource's quest (oops, dat word again) to build their Northern Pass tall tower electrical lines from Quebec through New Hampshire and its White Mountains.

    Bud Lite: beer of kings? Bleh!.

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