The news to come out of Florida from the Coaches Convention/League Meetings was pretty bland this year, especially considering it was a rule change year.
The big news was that it now looks likely that college hockey will be making the move from full face shields to visors. I'm not a huge fan of the move, but I'm fine with it as long as we're all honest about the true reason for this move, which is to have college hockey players look like the players in every other league. The notion that it improves safety by taking away safety measure is downright silly. If it makes things safer, why does every player with a facial injury play with a full cage instead of no facial protection?
In other news, this paragraph made me want to cut myself:
The exact makeup of the board is still being haggled over. In one incarnation, it would involve the commissioners, three coaches and three athletic directors, comprising the six conferences that will be playing as of 2013-14. In another, it will be one commissioner and six athletic directors. And there are various combinations in between.
That's discussing the endless and needless bureaucracy that will be used to oversee College Hockey Inc. These are seriously the issues the people in charge think we need to hammer out to fix college hockey. I can't Tyler Biggs announced he was going to play anywhere but Miami without sticking around to find out if it was going to be four commissioners, and 2 ADs, or two commissioners and 3 ADS, or a commissioner, an AD, and third guy that more overtly sets money on fire. Meanwhile, there was no discussion about fixing the NCAA tournament format.
There were some other minor rule change discussions too. 4-on-4 overtime didn't get enough support. That stupid rule that cost Michigan State a goal in the NCAA tournament is getting fixed, which duh, and they're going to tweak the rules on directing the puck in with a skate. Everyone's life is much easier if they adopted my 'if it counts in soccer, it counts in hockey' rule, but the odds of the NCAA going beyond the NHL's rules are slim to none.
The NCHC hired their first ever director of hockey ops. Air Force assistant athletic director Joe Novak was given the job. Novak seems like a fine hire. It seems like they've got a decent front office set up. Here's a Q&A with conference commissioner Jim Scherr.
It's also been widely rumored that the NCHC is close to announcing the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis as the host of their conference tournament. Good luck with that.
North Dakota made a shocking announcement when they announced that they would not be renewing the contract of popular assistant coach Cary Eades. There were all sorts of crazy rumors out there about why Eades was let go--especially when Dave Hakstol gave a cryptic "There are no other reasons" in the press release announcing it--but it sounds like it was just a difference of opinion/coaching style between Hakstol and Eades. In searching for a new coach, North Dakota said they are looking for a former NHL defenseman, or someone who has coached defensemen in the NHL, for what it's worth.
As expected, Seth Jones signed with the Portland Winterhawks. It's a shame to lose out on a talented player, but given his unique position, it's not a terrible decision for Jones.
Michigan State has been working to upgrade their facilities this summer, especially since they'll be going from near the top of the pack in terms of arenas within their conference to the clear-cut bottom next summer when they join the Big Ten. There was some hope that MSU would build an entirely new arena, but unable to secure funding for a new building--They should contact the Minnesota legislature, who is running out of schools to give arena money to instead of Minnesota State--, it looks like MSU will just make serious renovations to Munn Arena.
D-3 Hamline University in Minnesota hired former Alaska head coach Doc DelCastillo as their new head coach.