Kudos to The Free Press' Mark Fischenich for tracking down some hockey news during his busy day today. Actually, our political writer was covering Wednesday's event to drum up support for state bonding money for the Mankato civic center expansion project, which includes upgrades to the hockey side of the arena. Minnesota State University President Richard Davenport spoke to business leaders and government officials (and media) at the event and had some interesting things to say about the coaching search.
Among his comments:
• "The candidates we have, you're just going to be blown away by. They are just outstanding."
• "We're going to nail down one of them with a contract in just a few days."
• "Right now as I speak — and I have to leave in a couple of minutes — we're entertaining top coaches for our hockey program to put us back into the winning circle where we haven't been for awhile."
I tried to follow up on that last comment and got the impress from those I talked to that he was referring to the process and that there weren't actual candidates on campus — at least at that time — on Wednesday.
If Davenport's "just a few days" comment is accurate, then MSU is moving quite quickly on this, even faster than what athletic director Kevin Buisman suggested last week. Does this mean the university has its guy or at least has its short list made even shorter?
Meanwhile, the new coach now has a full recruiting class for next season as the last of the eight incoming freshmen, defenseman Nick Buchanan, signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, which was the first day of the signing period. Buchanan committed to MSU in mid-December.
Staying on the subject of Buchanan. He and another MSU recruit, Bryce Gervais, were celebrating the BCHL playoff championship on Wednesday night. Their Penticton Vees defeated the Powell River Kings (and future Mav Jon Jutzi) 3-2 in the clinching game.