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WCHA Extends Invites to CCHA Schools

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Following their meeting earlier this week, the remaining schools in the WCHA have decided to extend an offer to all five of the remaining CCHA schools to join the conference.

The CCHA schools were given a 30-day ultimatum to make their decision. Alaska and Lake Superior, apparently not afraid that ignoring the 3 Days rule would make them appear desperate and loose, have already accepted their invitations. Ferris State hasn't formally accepted the offer, but is expected to. Western Michigan is still waiting to see what conference Notre Dame will end up in, hoping that Notre Dame can help get them into the Secondary Six. One step behind them is Bowling Green, who could be hoping that if Western Michigan gets into the Secondary Six, they might follow as a result of Mid-American Conference solidarity. That seems unlikely, but it would be a tragicomic twist to see a few schools destroy the old WCHA in order to join a conference with Bowling Green.

I wouldn't exactly call this a good move for the WCHA, but the remaining WCHA schools do deserve a ton of credit for stretching themselves to do what was better for the game of college hockey as a whole, even if it seems to have come at their own personal expense.

There's a multitude of issues to work out. The WCHA will be, at a minimum, a 9-team league, and possibly an 11-team league, which ends up becoming a little too unwieldy. It's going to be a tough sell convincing fans to care about a bunch of new conference members from schools they've never heard of. It becomes even tougher when those fans may only see an opposing team once every other year--and traveling to road games is pretty much impossible. An 8-team conference at least allows for everyone to play everyone four times, allowing new rivalries to build.

But again, an 8-team WCHA would leave somebody on the outside looking in, and ultimately, that was an even worse scenario.