Yale took home their first ever national championship on Saturday night, closing out the college hockey season in spectacular fashion. But aside from the Frozen Four, there was a lot of other college hockey news that happened over the weekend that you may have missed. Here's an opportunity to catch up on all those stories you may have missed.
First off, if you missed any of our Frozen Four coverage, I highly recommend giving it a look. We ended up with 50 stories from Pittsburgh, conveniently compiled right here.
Elsewhere, there was some serious movement on the coaching carousel. Though Denver has been slow to make any sort of comment explaining why they fired a coach that had turned the program into a consistent winner and regular NCAA participant--Monday is the two-week anniversary of George Gwozdecky's firing without any comment from Denver administration--the Pioneers were anxious to hire their next coach.
All signs pointed to Denver's top target being former Denver assistant and current RPI head coach Seth Appert. In order to keep their coach, RPI stepped up to the plate with a big contract extension for Appert to keep Appert at the school for a long time.
Denver then moved on to their next choice, Dubuque(USHL) head coach Jim Montgomery, who accepted the position. Even better for Denver, both of their current assistants are likely to stay on, which should help their program with the transition. Montgomery is a Maine alum and was widely considered the front-runner for the job vacated by fired head coach Tim Whitehead. There are still plenty of potential candidates for Maine to choose from, including George Gwozdecky, who expressed some level of interest in the job, but now just about anyone is going to feel like second place for Maine fans after losing out on the guy they really wanted in Montgomery.
There were some pretty big pro signings over the weekend as well. Shortly after losing their Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday, UMass-Lowell defenseman Chad Ruhwedel signed a free agent deal with the Buffalo Sabres, and was in their lineup by Saturday. Similarly, it was announced that Hobey Baker Award winner Drew LeBlanc had signed a one-year free agent deal with the Chicago Blackhawks shortly after he won the Hobey Baker. Both players were free agents, and signed after the trade deadline, so they're ineligible for the playoffs, although that should be a moot point in both cases, for different reasons. Rumors Sunday evening were also that Quinnipiac goalie and Hobey finalist Eric Hartzell had signed a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In terms of drafted prospects, Denver suffered another early departure when Nick Shore signed with the Los Angeles Kings. Shore had a strong year, and got a pretty sweet deal from LA, so it's hard to blame him for signing. With his brother gone, attention now turns to younger brother Quentin, who was close to jumping ship to the Portland Winterhawks earlier this year, and now has even less holding him to Denver.
The Calgary Flames were also quick to sign recently acquired prospect Ben Hanowski, ending any speculation that Hanowski might wait until later in the summer to become a free agent, thus (further) humiliating Flames' GM Jay Feaster.