Ever since Wisconsin's first round loss to North Dakota in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, it has been nothing but bad news and worst scenarios for the Badgers(and also this). But in the past few days, beleaguered head coach Mike Eaves has begun the process of digging Wisconsin out of the hole the program is currently in.
The process begun yesterday with the announcement that the Badgers had hired John Hamre has the team's new director of hockey operations.
The bigger announcement, however, came later in the day when reports surfaced that the Badgers have hired Madison Capitols(USHL) head coach Luke Strand to fill one of his two vacant assistant coaching positions. Eaves had been reportedly turned down by former assistant and current AHL coach Mark Osiecki and Penticton Vees(BCHL) head coach Fred Harbinson. But Strand brings strong local recruiting connections and a lot of USHL experience.
Strand appears to have paid immediate dividends on the recruiting trail, as former Dartmouth commit Will Johnson, who played for Strand last season in Madison, has committed to Wisconsin for next season. Johnson scored 36 points in 30 games for the Capitols last season before an injury cut his season short. The Badgers desperately needed more forwards for next season, especially with the surprise departure of Morgan Zulinick, and Johnson is a player that could contribute immediately and is an excellent find this late in the summer.