Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday-morning reading

Yeah, it's a little early for a Friday-morning skate, but I'll be out of town for a few days and want to get ahead on a few items ...

I've stopped by a couple of Minnesota State practices and there hasn't been too much to report. It's hard to tell much out of captains' skates when guys are playing shinny (no-check) hockey. Coaches got some ice time with the team this week and will get a couple of hours next week before the season officially starts on on Saturday, Oct. 2.

I'm told the captains this season will be seniors Channing Boe, Rylan Galiardi and Ben Youds, but it has yet to be determined who will wear the "C." Boe was an assistant captain last season but all three seem capable.

Speaking of Youds, it looks like he'll be blogging this season. You can read his first post here. He sheds a little more insight on the Mavericks' preseason happenings. I talked to Youds this week, and he is very excited about the season and is raving about the team chemistry already, saying it's the best he's seen in his four seasons at MSU. It seems like I hear that from somebody every year but maybe this will be different.

The big news on Friday will be Penn State's likely announcement that it is adding men's and women's hockey. I wrote on Tuesday that this may start much-talked-about Big Ten hockey conference's wheels. More recent stories from around Big Ten country sure make it sound like it's coming sooner than later:

• Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is already talking about the "logistics" of leaving the WCHA, while a source tells Wisconsin State Journal hockey writer Andy Baggot that, "There's going to be Big Ten hockey" by 2014, if not sooner.

• Meanwhile, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post speculates that if Penn State plans on making a big splash with its new hockey team, it might just think about going after DU coach George Gwozdecky. Gwozdecky is a Big Ten guy, having played at Wisconsin and working as an assistant at Michigan State. He won national titles at both stops and also won two with Denver.

• U.S. College Hockey is reporting that Penn State could start playing as soon as a year from now and maybe even try to have a coach in place by this Thanksgiving (I'm guessing that might rule out Gwoz?).

• Finally, how quickly could the Big Ten grow? Could it get to eight teams? What about 10 or 12 (the number it will have in most major sports next year when Nebraska joins)? There is already speculation about interest from other schools. Illinois and Indiana have been tossed out there, while in PucKato's opinion Iowa and Nebraska seem like schools that might make sense based on the success of junior hockey in those states.

3 comments:

Dave said...

I have said on numerous other message boards that there is NO WAY, NOW OR EVER the University of Iowa will sacrifice the money they spend on football, basketball, and wrestling to be a bottom feeding D-1 hockey team in a state that really doesn't care that much about hockey. Proof that they don't care about hockey is that the state lost 2...yes 2 AHL affliate hockey teams in a years time with the Iowa Stars(Dallas Stars) and the Iowa Chops(Anaheim Ducks).

I think that the state of Iowa is fine with supporting the junior teams in the state which the teams might be successful but go to a game sometime and see that fan support only brings in half full houses...maybe, unless they are on a playoff run...bandwagon hockey fans Iowa people are!

This is just my 2 cents from a guy who grew up in Iowa and moved to Mankato a couple of years ago who now loves hockey but remains a Iowa Hawkeye football and wrestling fan(basketball really isn't a sport).

MSUMaverickFan said...

I'm not ready to buy into this whole Big Ten hockey bit just yet. This is obviously a huge preseason talker and one of the bigger pieces of college hockey news in some time. There's been a lot of speculation, but I need to hear it from the horse's mouth, and no, Barry Alvarez is not the horse in question. Anyone can see that Wisconsin has the most to gain from all this. In a city which equates football prestige as hockey revenue why wouldn't this be a great idea? The Alvarez quote is the only one I've found to substantiate the situation all together. More important to me is the collective response from the coaches and fans. Does every school not have to agree to join? Minnesota is the state that has more to lose by separating the U of M from the rest of the state's schools. In-state rivalries would suffer and dissolve. Minnesota would also become the westernmost school by about 400 miles and even they could feel the impact of reduced out of town visitors. The WCHA would potentially lose one of it's best assets in the facilities that Minneapolis provides, and the revenue the Final Five in Minneapolis creates for the league. I also believe Minnesota isn't interested downgrading leagues. You heard it! WCHA schools like Denver, North Dakota, CC, Duluth, and St. Cloud are still powers that not even Big 10 schools can trump. In short, this story has a long ways to go before I'm willing to accept it as fact. There's a lot of questions that need to be answered, a lot of negatives are jumping out at me. If after all the facts are on the table, and Big 10 hockey still seems like it makes sense, I won't be brought to tears. Though I hope this decision isn't made on a whim, and that all potential impacts are taken into consideration.

LetsGoMavs said...

I can see why Galiardi could be a choice for the "C" with his energy and non-stop chatter. Things like that are good for firing up the team.

My one major concern though is that the WCHA refs are very touchy about comments and swearing and Galiardi's love of the F word and comments in the past may come back to haunt him and the Mavs on a respect level when chatting with the refs on ice. I'm hoping that getting the "C" will change the jawjacking and curb the F bombs for him.

Personally I think Boe would have been the better choice, as he already has the respect of the refs in the league and has proven to be a good leader back in Juniors.

I guess time will tell with the captain choice. Sometimes the choices surprise me, like SCSU going with Roe this year. If I have reservations about refs interactions with Gali...just imagine what those SCSU fans are thinking with Roe!