College Hockey Inc.'s Paul Kelly gave an interview to SBN. There's always a lot of good info when Kelly speaks. Most of the good stuff here is about potential expansion, and about Alabama-Huntsville. The UAH stuff looks pretty grim. Kelly said they may have to play as an independent for 3-5 years, a duration I can't see happening. There's also talk of making a trip to Alabama an exempt game for teams, but I'm not sure the NCAA would grant such a sport-specific exemption like that. Or, Huntsville could earn a spot in a decimated CCHA if a Big Ten Hockey Conference was ever formed.
He also mentions that NHL teams have "expressed a strong willingness to be helpful" in supporting college hockey teams in their market. That certainly makes sense from both the NHL and NCAA's standpoint, but I can't see the NCAA allowing teams to work too closely with pro franchises.
Basically, Kelly's optimistic five-year plan is to have the number of college hockey programs in the mid-60s. Personally, I've got a feeling that five years from now we'll be at 58 teams.
Speaking of stuff that would be a great idea to grow the game, but the NCAA would never do it: It's looking like EA Sports' version of NHL 11 will include every team from the CHL. It's a nice coup for the CHL to have video gamers starting a career mode in the CHL and working their way to the NHL--I'm assuming there's no sub-game where if you perform badly, all you can do is work in a nickel mine or oil field. I'll be interested to see if EA Sports is allowed to use real names or not. It's frustrating because I couldn't see the NCAA allowing anything like this. They're kind of moving in the direction of no video games altogether. There's no way they'd let their teams in a game under a professional banner.
The NAHL handed out their awards. Northern Michigan recruit Erik Higby is the league's MVP. The other awards had a very Minnesota feel to them. Northfield, Minnesota's Derek Docken is defenseman of the year. Champlin Park's Brandon Jaeger was the top goalie. And Monticello's Mitch Torrel won the Community Service award for doing some community service, and oh yeah, and for pulling a bunch of a senior citizens out of a burning building.
Also on the NAHL front, the Marquette Rangers are now the Michigan Warriors, after having been sold and moved to Flint--yes, moving TO Flint, not a typo. Adjust your lives accordingly.