Apologies for the late notice on this, but SB Nation is teaming up with the USHL to cover the Futures and Entry Drafts tomorrow and Wednesday. We're going to be doing an online radio program tomorrow on Rinkside Radio. So if you're interested in hearing me awkwardly stammer my way through the future of college hockey, listen in. We've also got Green Bay Gamblers head coach Jon Cooper, USHL commissioner Skip Prince, former NHLer/TV personality/USHL dad Eddie Olcyzk, and hopefully a draftee or two scheduled to appear.
You can also follow the draft's live via the USHL's website.
If hard scientific evidence isn't really your thing, I've got some gruesome anecdotal evidence about the whole half-shield/face mask debate. The former boss, James Mirtle, proves why he's too good for us these days, with a killer article on dental injuries in the NHL. Among the stories is Keith Tkachuk taking a shot to the mouth, shattering his upper jaw, and causing most of his top teeth to fall out with nothing holding them in place. Tkachuk is going to have surgery that takes a part of his hip bone and moves it into his mouth to hold false teeth in place. Pleasant.
I argued about keeping face masks from a purely safety standpoint, but as others have pointed out to me, the big reason college hockey hasn't made the switch before, and probably won't now, is because the cost of insurance would skyrocket. Hip-to-mouth surgery isn't cheap, and insurance companies aren't dumb enough to buy the argument of lack of protection making the game safer in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary.
Also, as a side note, Capitals team dentist Thomas Lenz is the father of HT Lenz, who played in the USHL last year, and will play next year for the University of Vermont.
College hockey lost a legend over the weekend. Harold Paulsen died in Mankato at the age of 91. Paulsen starred with John Mariucci at Minnesota in the early '40s, and then went on to restart the Michigan State hockey program after World War II.
Tom Reid's Restaurant in St. Paul is holding a party to help former FSN broadcaster Frank Mazzocco kick off his photography business.
Buffalo Sports columnist Bucky Gleason thinks Buffalo could become a college hockey hotbed if the schools in the area got serious about hockey. A fifth conference based in western New York would be nice, as it opens up some spots in the already bloated ECAC and Atlantic Hockey.