Minnesota State-Moorhead held their press conference today to announce the status of their hockey program. It didn't have the big-league feel of mispronounced names, dramatically revealed banners, and no real information, but it did introduce an exciting idea into college hockey, after a pretty rough couple of weeks.
The Dragons did not announce the formation of a new hockey team today, but did announce that they've been working on a plan for the formation of a hockey team, and went over some of the financials they would need to do so.
Moorhead's plan is to set up an endowment for the program to give them some financial security, and make sure they receive no taxpayer money(Because no state money has worked out great for the other MSU in the WCHA). They estimate that they will need $37 million to make that happen. So far, they've raised 40%, or $15 million of that goal in soft commitments(people who've said they'll write a check when the program is created). Part of that $37 million is allotted for "the best coach that money can buy."
There weren't really any other specifics since the program isn't official yet. They said they weren't looking at any specific conference, but it's pretty clear they'll be looking at the WCHA. When asked if they've spoken with the WCHA, they responded, "It depends on how you define WCHA. We have not spoken with Bruce McLeod" which sort of hints at where the WCHA's axis of leadership sits these days. It was mentioned that Scheel's Arena in Fargo would be available as an arena, though I don't know how available since the Fargo Force would also play there on weekend nights. They also plan to create a women's hockey program, which is nice because women's hockey could have even bigger realignment issues in the future and needs options.
The university president set a deadline of three months to raise the remaining $22 million, which seems a bit like an artificial deadline to increase urgency. But it's probably better to get moving on this sooner rather than later. Moorhead seems to have taken a pretty big first step, but now they've got a long ways to go.