The Big Ten has made ventures towards the East Coast in recent years. Maryland and Rutgers joined as the thirteenth and fourteenth members this past year. The conference opened an office in New York City to complement its headquarters in Chicago. The 2017 B1G basketball tournament is being played away from the Midwest in Washington D.C. while the 2018 version will be in at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
None of these have had much effect on hockey, which is still based in the Midwest. The six Big Ten teams which sponsor hockey range from Minneapolis to State College, PA. While Michigan and Michigan State will be playing an outdoor game in Chicago, the first four conference tournaments are based in St. Paul, MN and Detroit, MI.
That appears to change now.
According to the Chicago Tribune and several media reports, the Big Ten will host a hoops and hockey doubleheader at the World's Most Famous Arena in both 2016 and 2017. The league will make an official announcement Tuesday (December 9, 2014) at Madison Square Garden.
Michigan and Penn State would make sense for a first version. Both have been a part of college hockey at MSG before and have drawn well. The Nittany Lions faced Cornell last month in the Frozen Apple in front of an announced 15,107 fans. Michigan drew 18K fans against Cornell at Madison Square Garden two years earlier. Basketball-wise the Wolverines have drawn well in Brooklyn the past two years.
Plus the two teams have, from a hockey standpoint, enjoyed a quick rivalry in the three years Penn State has had Division 1 men's hockey. PSU knocked the Wolverines out of the 2014 Big Ten conference tournament (and most likely a NCAA Tournament berth) with a 2-1 double OT win.
The 2017 participants are unknown although former Michigan forward Carl Hagelin and former Wisconsin player Derek Stepan, both current members of the New York Rangers, will be in attendance.
SB Nation College Hockey will have more following Tuesday's announcement.
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate