Unraveling threads


Right now, with *Miracle playing in the background, I’m letting the recent college hockey shake-ups marinate.

Already we knew that the Gophs and Badgers were leaving for the Big Ten. I was mentally prepping for that situation. But now, the college hockey world I’ve grown up with is changing. The conference I have always been loyal to is falling apart at the seams.

The threads of college hockey are being ripped apart. Teams are shifting. Preparing to soar to new heights and change the pattern of college hockey.

At least, that’s the hope.

The reality is that the new league will forever weaken the WCHA. The power houses that have forever dominated the Final Five are moving to the just-officially-announced National Collegiate Hockey Confernece (NCHC).

Denver University. Colorado College. University of North Dakota. University of Minnesota-Duluth. Miami University-Ohio. University of Nebraska-Omaha. And possibly Notre Dame.

That leaves the WCHA with bottom-rung teams that have struggled in recent years. Teams that have been overshadowed by the big boys since the day they entered the D1 scene.

Like in every off-season of change, people debate, question, and fight for their viewpoints.

Some argue from the standpoint of fairness and equality. Some argue from the standpoint of revenue and ratings.

But in the end. We all argue the same thing.

What is best for college hockey? What is best for college hockey players?

That’s the argument we need to keep in mind. Through all these snips and cuts, we have to keep perspective. Big picture.

And I hope that these changes raise eyebrows at the next level. Because the NHL needs to pay attention. AD’s, coaches, commissioner’s are shaking things up for one reason: college hockey is not what it used to be. Players are no longer committed. Verbally they commit. They sign and play. But then they leave. Early. Before they’ve had a chance to put their mark on the college hockey world. Before they’ve had a chance to play for a National Championship. Before they’ve had a chance to receive a diploma. Where do they go? To the pros.

And you can’t develop a program – any program – if the good go.

So, in the end, this change in the college hockey world is a symptom of a bigger problem.

Until that problem can be solved, we’re all going to adjust to new conferences.

Things always unravel before they can be stitched and patched together again.

* I watc Miracle at least one time every summer since it came out on DVD. Never gets old. ________________________________________________________

I ask. You answer.

  1. Thoughts/reactions to the NCHC?
  2. Do the new conferences – NCHC and Big Ten – change who you will cheer for?
  3. Is this going to help or hinder the development of college hockey players?
  4. Will this keep college hockey players from leaving early?
  5. Who should be the NCHC commissioner?
  6. Any suggestions on logos??
  7. How soon before the CCHA and WCHA drop off the face of college hockey?
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