here is an idea...
i am playing the agitator. but i do feel the WCHA and AHA need to shake things up to not only keep things from getting boring but also make the conferences better (as is, its no good).
between the WCHA, the AHA, and ASU you have a total of 22 teams.
have AHA give up AF... so they can go down from 11 to 10 teams making scheduling and traveling much easier and cheaper - all AHA teams would be really close to each other. AF and army can still have their bouts in the likes of the governors cup that UAF and UAA fight for every year, but in a NC way. call it the military cup.
the AHA has now 10 teams, they are set. now have ASU and AF join the WCHA making it 12.
travel in the WCHA is a big issue so create three mini-regions;
west - UAF/UAA/AF/ASU
central - MNSU/BSU/MTU/NMU
east - LSSU/FSU/BGSU/UAH
play most of your games within your region and make sure to schedule games with the other two with a rotation every year. keep things simple opening up more (then now) NC games with teams around you. as an example west could play DU and CC, central can play UofMN and SCSU, and east can play MSU and MIAMI.
top two from each region moves on, together with two wild cards based on record.
maybe seed the eight teams based on the PWR? could make it exciting for it involves the NC record.
reduce travel, same money, save time, and play more NC games.
take a d*** chance, do it. DO IT!
this here is interesting and relevant;
GO TECH GOLD!