According to a published report in the Sentinel-Tribune, discussions regarding a merger of the CCHA and WCHA were held this past Tuesday in Chicago.
Representatives of the two leagues met for “exploratory talks” about a merged 10-team league, CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch told the publication. Pletsch said the league commissioners will go back to their respective athletic directors to determine if further talks will take place.
The 11-team CCHA has lost five members in the last five months during realignment for 2013, while the 12-team WCHA has lost seven members during the same span.
Most likely, according to the article, a merged league from the CCHA and the WCHA would consist of Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State and Alaska of the CCHA and Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, Northern Michigan and St. Cloud State.
Northern Michigan recently left the CCHA for the WCHA, also effective after the 2012-13 season.
The other remaining CCHA schools are Notre Dame and Western Michigan, but Notre Dame is not expected to remain in the CCHA once all of the realignment is complete. The school is reportedly considering playing as an independent.
Notre Dame will inform the CCHA of its decision at the league’s annual summer meetings Aug. 15-16 in Dearborn, Mich.
“In our conversations with Notre Dame, they have been waiting for some television information,” WMU AD Kathy Beauregard told the Kalamazoo Gazette about ND’s decision.
The NCHC currently has six teams and is expected to expand to eight.
WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod is going to visit Fairbanks later this month to learn more about the school and its hockey program, the (Fairbanks) Daily News-Miner reported.