Even though it is the offseason, there has been plenty of drama to keep the college hockey world interesting over the past day or so.
Drama #1: Michigan assistant coach Mel Pearson seemed all lined up to be the next head coach at Michigan Tech, right up until he wasn't. Over the weekend rumors surfaced that Pearson was ready to accept the job and would be announced as the new head coach this afternoon. This afternoon came and went and no announcement was made, other than various people reporting rumors that Pearson was no longer interested in the job. USCHO's Todd Milewski reported that Pearson was on campus for an interview, but that no decision has been made. We'll have to wait to see how this plays out, but it doesn't necessarily sound promising for Tech to land Pearson.
I'm still interested to see who they hire. Michigan Tech is always going to be a tough place to win, but looking at their situation right now, it doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to make the program better. Between the talent coming in and the law of large numbers dictating that they'd almost have to be healthier next year, Tech seems primed for a rebound. That would have to make the job a little more attractive.
Drama #2: Fresh off his national title, UMD head coach Scott Sandelin will interview for the Penn State job opening, according to Kevin Pates. Making the situation more interesting is that Sandelin's wife is an alum of Penn State. Sandelin is in the midst of negotiating a contract extension with Minnesota-Duluth, and if the national title trophy wasn't enough leverage for him, he'll have this potential offer as well.
Of course, I've already made the point about some UMD players, but perhaps the idea of getting out while the getting is good applies to Sandelin as well. As high as Sandelin's stock is right now, he still has a losing overall record at UMD and life pre-Connolly Boys wasn't exactly pretty. There were plenty of rumors and corresponding results to suggest that some of his teams completely quit on him. He might not want to stick around to experience life post-Connolly Boys, especially if he has an offer for one of the premier jobs in college hockey.
Drama #3: Earlier this morning, goaltending coach David Marcoux, who has worked with North Dakota goalie Aaron Dell reported that Dell had received a contract offer from the Montreal Canadiens. This set off a wave of speculation that Dell could turn pro, leaving North Dakota in a bit of a lurch with their goaltending situation. By the end of the day, Dell had stated that intends to return to North Dakota for his junior season.
That's probably not a bad decision. Despite the fact that a pro contract isn't necessarily a guarantee for Dell in the future, the track record for goalies leaving school early is almost universally bad. Even if Dell signed now, he'd be a few years away from competing for an NHL spot under the best of circumstances. Finishing out his career at UND is probably a better alternative to working his way through the low minors.
Drama #4: The QMJHL Draft is approaching, which means all eyes will be turned towards Shattuck's Nathan MacKinnon, rated as the best available player for the draft. Baie-Comeau Drakkar, which is apparently a hockey team and not a cologne, holds the top overall pick, but it's one of those tiny towns that top prospects aren't real keen to play for. MacKinnon claims to have not made any decision as to whether he'll report to the Q or stay on the route to play NCAA hockey. It mostly seems like a ploy to control where he ends up playing in the Q. And perhaps that's the right decision. MacKinnon is probably one of those rare cases where it doesn't make sense to wait around for two years just to play one year of NCAA hockey.