USCHO's Todd Milewski reported on Wednesday that the Big Ten Hockey Conference is not only an inevitability, but that it could be made official as soon as Monday, and that the league will begin play in 2013-2014. It's a very informative piece. It also contains this possibly unintentional, but certainly awesome line about life post-Minnesota and Wisconsin:
The WCHA has a tentative agreement to keep its postseason tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., and will be gathering data at the Final Five this weekend.
Also, maybe I'm reading into things with my personal opinions, but it maybe says something when one conference commissioner says smart-sounding stuff like, "What we’re trying to do in terms of any proactivity is to be communicative..." while the other runs for outside help to do his job for him. I just hope they didn't go with the same consultants that helped with the website and logo redesign.
In my effort to make a point yesterday, I perhaps painted with a bit too broad of a brush when it came to hockey writers in Ontario, because there's some legitimately great ones out there. I probably wouldn't be writing here if it wasn't for James Mirtle, now of the Globe and Mail, and love the Buzzing the Net crew. There's plenty of blame for everyone--the teams, fans, media--so they shouldn't be singled out.
After narrowly defeating Hibbing in the state tournament, Hermantown head coach Bruce Plante said Hibbing's Adam Johnson should be playing for Minnesota-Duluth. Ask and ye shall receive, especially when ye's son, Derek, is an assistant coach at UMD. Johnson committed to UMD yesterday. Johnson's father Davey played for the Bulldogs in the late 70's/early 80's.
This didn't make it into my last post about the Michigan Tech coaching vacancy, but an interesting side story to keep an eye on involves Michigan assistant Mel Pearson. Pearson is a Tech alum and reportedly had a chance at the job and wasn't interested last time to seat was vacant, with the assumption that he'd be next in line to take over for Red Berenson. Eight years later, does he double down on his gamble by staying at Michigan and hoping he gets the job over fellow assistant Billy Powers--who has become a more than legitimate head coaching option in the interim--and whatever big name outside hires might be out there when Red retires, or does he take the head coaching gig this time around? A quick two-year turnaround at the helm in Houghton might even give him a step up on the Michigan head coaching position when it becomes available.
ISS put out their March top 30 for this summer's NHL Draft. Western Michigan's Chase Balisy is the big story, moving into the top 100 after a great year this year at Western Michigan.