Thursday, June 14, 2012

WCHA wraps up 'productive' meetings

The revamped WCHA issued a press release on Thursday touting its meetings in Detroit.

The league approved a 28-game league schedule for 2013-14 as well as a nine-team playoff format. The latter, however, had no specifics about what that playoff format would be. Will the regular-season champion get a bye into the Final Five? Would there be a play-in game involving the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds? Stay tuned ...

UPDATE: Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman said the regular-season champion will get a bye into the Final Five. The other eight teams will play a best-of-3 series to get there, and the Final Five will be the traditional format, with a play-in game into the semifinals.

UPDATE 2: As for those first-round series, the WCHA decided to go with a cost-cutting measure due to its crazy geography and pit the two Alaska schools against each other in the first round regardless of finish (unless, of course, one of them wins the McNaughton Cup). Buisman called it "less than ideal," but said the league did consider playoff formats that dropped the first round entirely or went with just four or six teams.

Read my Free Press story here.

As for the Final Five, the league still called the event that name in the release but did not decide on a set venue. It said the "membership discussed and continues to explore several potential venues for the annual WCHA Final Five playoff championship."

"This is certainly an exciting time for the newly-integrated WCHA," said Minnesota State President Richard Davenport, who is the chair of the league's President's Council. "Our meetings this week were spirited and full of camaraderie, and we are all looking forward to the 2013-14 season. Across the board we are 100% committed to putting a highly competitive product on the ice in the WCHA, to compete for championships, to give our student-athletes the best possible experience and to provide our fans with a great game-day experience. The WCHA brand is strong, historic and full of rich tradition and we will carry on that tremendous tradition and also build upon it."

According to the release, the WCHA also updated league bylaws, discussed expansion and potential future members (Alabama Huntsville?) and talked about marketing and public relations initiatives.

You can read the WCHA's entire press release here.

5 comments:

Nathan Tish said...

I think they'll find that a play-in game between the #8 and #9 seeds will be the only reasonable solution for a 9 team playoff format.

Also, with 4 of the 9 WCHA schools located in Michigan (and Bowling Green not too far down the road), I'm afraid those of us who support the smaller Minnesota schools (MSU and Bemidji) aren't going to have very much pull in keeping WCHA playoffs close to home.

Nathan Tish said...

Just saw the update. That's ridiculous!

Theoretically, the Mavericks could finish a season 5th in the conference, which would secure home-ice playoffs... UNLESS neither of the Alaska teams finished better than 6th.

In that case, the 5th seed would have to play in a best-of-3 series on the road against the 4th seed. If they won, they could find themselves in the play-in game at the 'Final Five'...

And if they survived those 3 or 4 playoff games on the road, they would play against the #1 seed - who doesn't have to play in a single playoff game until the semifinals of the Final Five tournament?

I hope this is just a bad joke.

Hockey Girl said...

This is ridiculous. It's not fair to the Alaska schools as only one could ever have any hopes of making the Final Five. Of course, it also guarantees that an Alaska school will make the Final Five, in which case you might have a bubble team crying foul. It's also unfair to whoever finishes 5th and has to play on the road.

Also, couldn't they just invite UAH to play as the 10th seed so there is no bye team, similar to when MSU was invited to play before joining the conference. That way UAH gets a shot at an auto-bid and no team gets an advantage with the bye.

There is still time to fix this before the conference alignment happens, let's hope that they do.

MSUMaverickFan said...

This is just terrible. I'm not sure I've ever heard of a playoff scenario so backwards and ill-concieved. The same two teams playing each-other in the playoffs year after year after year. Asinine.

This type of announcement sure doesn't bode well for the future. Tough to listen to this cheerleading about "competitive product" when the conference tournament itself will defy the fundamentals of fair competition.

Here's to the future on the island of misfit teams!

MSUMaverickFan said...

This is just terrible. I'm not sure I've ever heard of a playoff scenario so backwards and ill-concieved. The same two teams playing each-other in the playoffs year after year after year. Asinine.

This type of announcement sure doesn't bode well for the future. Tough to listen to this cheerleading about "competitive product" when the conference tournament itself will defy the fundamentals of fair competition.

Here's to the future on the island of misfit teams!