Rick Comley talked with College Hockey News about announcing his retirement. This was strongly hinted at his initial press conference, but Comley was pretty up front about the fact that he was being forced out. Though he places much of the blame for his team's failures on being hit by early departures, and suggests a system similar to college baseball in which players couldn't sign pro contracts until after their junior season. Aside from being a dumb idea, ironically, it would have been largely irrelevant in Comley's case, since most of his program's pro signings came after three years anyway. Besides defenseman Mike Ratchuk leaving after his sophomore season, you have to go all the way back to Duncan Keith walking out on the Spartans midway through Comley's first year in East Lansing, and Keith didn't sign an NHL contract when he left, so even that would have been hard to mandate.
There's lots of interesting names being thrown around as replacements, and some truly awful ones--my personal favorite was Bob Boughner, whose entire resume reads: Very successful in a league willing to let him cheat. Half season as NHL assistant coach".
Denver head coach George Gwozdecky is probably the biggest name being mentioned. I don't think MSU would be willing to pay him the same amount of money that Denver would pony up, at least up front. However, MSU does carry a pretty big bargaining chip in that they'll likely be part of a Big Ten hockey conference in a couple of years, and Denver could be left in a conference with seven schools in the upper Midwest that are wondering why they're splitting a tournament share with a school that brings maybe 100 fans to the conference tournament.
Three former WCHA players made their NHL debuts last night. The most exciting was former Colorado College defenseman Lee Sweatt, who, after a long journey through Europe and the minor leagues, was called up by the Vancouver Canucks, and scored a goal on his first career shot, which ended up standing up as the game-winning goal. Former Minnesota State forward Travis Morin got to make his NHL debut after three and a half years of working his way up from the ECHL, to the AHL, and now, at least temporarily, in the NHL. And former Minnesota-Duluth goalie Alex Stalock got called up by the San Jose Sharks and got to dress and sit on the bench as the team's back-up goalie last night.
Former Ferris State Garrett Ross is facing a length suspension after jumping an opponent and kneeing him in the head. Thank goodness he was playing with the respect that half shields bring. Had he been wearing a full cage, he may have taken his skate off and tried to stab someone a la Happy Gilmore. At least the OHL has fighting to police that sort of thing. Otherwise things might have been ugly.