Friday, July 8, 2011

More from the Breakaway Conference (updated)

Still trying to come up with a name other than 'Super League' (Siouxper League, perhaps?) ...

Anyway, it's been a crazy day in the college hockey world, and several people are trying to make heads and tails about the future. Here are some links to stories all around the remains of the WCHA:

Here's the link to my story for The Free Press. Kevin Buisman repeated some of the same things he said in Thursday's paper, but it's clear that MSU and others need to put their "contingency plans" in place ASAP.

The story includes information from the Associated Press, including one no-comment quote from Troy Jutting (who did not return a phone call to the Freep): "I don't involve myself with speculation." The WCHA is also not responding as of yet. Spokesman Doug Spencer said via email: "We are aware of rumors but have seen nothing officially released yet. Until that time, and until the league feels it is appropriate, the WCHA will reserve comment."

The story that started it all by crack hockey scribe Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald. He's been on top of this story all week. Kudos to him. He also wrote an analysis piece saying this could actually be a good opportunity for the leftover teams, opening the door to better chances at conference titles and national-tournament bids. This isn't the first time I've heard that theory floated and I may have more to say about that next week.

The Colorado Springs Gazette's Joe Paisley confirmed that Colorado College is part of the Breakaways. Interestingly, CC athletic director Ken Ralph, who would not confirm, said "if" there is a press conference in the Springs next Wednesday, as reported, that it would not be held on the CC campus. (By the way, the World Arena is not on campus. Just a thought.)

The Denver Post's Mike Chambers got some telling comments from Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky before the Herald's story broke: "We want to be aligned, and want to continue to be aligned, with schools of like-minded thinking (that) operate as we do. If that means the WCHA schools, that's great. ... Our intention is continue to be a strong partner with the other members of the WCHA while the process continues."

College Hockey News has some full-scale coverage, including Adam Wodon's wondering why exactly this is happening.

And there's more on USCHO, including Todd Milewski's look at some comments WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod made on Tuesday. Among them: "There's going to be some awful, awful hard feelings."

UPDATE: More links!

Kevin Pates of the Duluth News-Tribune has one of the most extensive articles of yet, with quotes from Bruce McLeod, a report that Western Michigan apparently is out and the possibility of Versus (!!!) being a TV home for the Breakaways.

Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal says, "Don't blame the Big Ten." PucKato tends to agree with most of his opinions on this well, thought-out piece.

Chris Dilks of the Western College Hockey Blog, adds to the list of questions that will have to be asked next week in Colorado Springs. (Seriously, Colorado Springs?)

No comments: