Here are a few things happening on the college-hockey beat, both in and out of Mankato.
• In case you missed it, money for upgrades to the Verizon Wireless Center were left out of Minnesota's state bonding bill. What will Mankato do? One option, according to Dan Linehan's story in The Free Press, would be to start some of the hockey part of the project anyway, including replacing boards and ice-making equipment. However, the city is not sure whether it would be able to do that before the upcoming season. There's no question that, given the age of the arena, that those fixes have to be done.
• Some news out of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference: the upstart league has hired Joe Novak as its director of hockey operations. Novak is the assistant athletic director at Air Force. He will be in charge of officials, discipline and scheduling. ... Also, there are more rumblings around the NCHC that it will hold its conference championship at Target Center in Minneapolis. How does that affect the WCHA? It could leave the Xcel Energy Center open every other year when the Big Ten is not there. However, the WCHA has a lot to figure out; there seems to be no ideal locations/format right now.
• Former Maverick Ryan Carter is going to the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals with the New Jersey Devils, who defeated the Flyers 3-1 on Tuesday to take the series. Carter played 11 minutes on Tuesday after sitting out Monday's game with food poisoning. Apparently, Carter's playoff mustache and inability to grow a proper playoff beard has been a popular subject around the Jersey dressing room.
• Madison's Andy Baggot reported this week that Wisconsin is losing a couple of players who wil be transferring to Division III programs. One of those players, New Prague's Tyler Lapic, appears to be headed to Gustavus Adolphus after playing in just four games for the Badgers as a freshman.
• The USHL's Clark Cup Finals are set and will begin on Saturday. Future Minnesota State goaltender Stephon Williams and the Waterloo Black Hawks will take on the Green Bay Gamblers for the title. Williams is 8-2 in the playoffs with a .925 save percentage and 2.21 goals-against average. He has one shutout.