Friday, April 20, 2012

News and notes

Things are pretty quiet around Mankato now that the coaching search is done and Mike Hastings is off on the recruiting for a couple of weeks. But here are a few hockey happenings from around the WCHA ...

Hakstol signs extension
North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol signed a new six-year contract on Thursday. Hakstol just finished his eighth season with UND and has won more games over that span than any other WCHA coach. According to the Grand Forks Herald, Hakstol will earn a base salary of $300,000 and has a chance to earn bonuses and other deferred income that could bump him up to $400,000 per year.

By comparison, Mike Hastings contract with Minnesota State will pay $225,000. I believe that contract does not include any deferred payments that could increase his annual salary. Looking at some past stories about WCHA coaches pay, I believe Hastings' compensation puts him ninth in the WCHA, ahead of St. Cloud State's Bob Motzko, Bemidji State's Tom Serratore and Alaska Anchorage's Dave Shyiak. In the "new" WCHA in 2013-14, Hastings will rank second behind Michigan Tech's Mel Pearson, who makes at least $250,000.

Big Ten picks St. Paul, Detroit
The first Big Ten hockey championship will take place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the conference announced on Thursday. The tournament will be played at the X in 2014 and 2016 and will go to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in 2015 and 2017.

Last month, it was reported that the Big Ten was working with the WCHA to have the latter's tournament in those buildings in opposite years (2014, '16 at the Joe; '15, '17 at the X), and that the NCHC was in negotiations with the Target Center in Minneapolis for its championship weekend. At the time, WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said that was one option, among others, his league was looking into.

According to Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman, the "new" WCHA is still looking into its championship, but he didn't expect anything to be decided until a June meeting. Buisman said representatives of the future league will not have much time together at next week's coaches convention in Florida and so have scheduled a June get-together. However, representatives do have regular conference calls.

Buisman said there are three main committees at work: championship/scheduling, marketing/broadcast and bylaws/administration.

Blais seeks assistant
Nebraska Omaha coach Dean Blais said he's not in a rush to replace Mike Hastings, telling the Omaha World-Herald that it will be tough to replace a "special" coach like MSU's new man in charge.

"We need a person of Mike Hastings' caliber to replace Mike Hastings," Blais said. "Guys like that are hard to find, but they're out there."

Be sure to click on the link above to see a great picture of Hastings.

1 comment:

Michael Napier said...

Any updates on the new WCHA's interest in a 10th team (and UAH's pursuit thereof)? Could that be decided in the June meeting?