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College Hockey:
NCHC planning ‘two pretty big announcements’ in coming week

The new National Collegiate Hockey Conference expects to make “two pretty big announcements by Wednesday of next week,” commissioner Jim Scherr said on Tuesday.

Details were few, but Scherr will be in Minneapolis next Tuesday after spending the weekend in Naples, Fla., where he will talk with league officials and coaches attending the American Hockey Coaches Association’s annual meetings. An announcement on Tuesday likely concerns the new league’s postseason venue or the hire of the conference’s first director of hockey operations.

More than 160 people applied for the hockey operations job, making for a lengthy and detailed interview process for the former United States Olympic Committee chief executive officer, who is working to establish a league office.

The Big Ten announced last week that its postseason tournaments will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., in 2014 and 2016, and at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in 2015 and 2017. The Big Ten’s inaugural tournament is slated for March 20-22, 2014.

Both the Big Ten and NCHC begin play with the 2013-14 season. The formation of the six-team Big Ten conference prompted six members from the WCHA and CCHA — Colorado College, Denver, Miami, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota — to form a new league based in Colorado Springs in July 2011. St. Cloud State and Western Michigan joined the NCHC in the fall after Notre Dame chose Hockey East.

The remaining nine teams from the WCHA and CCHA will combine into a new-look WCHA in 2013-14. The CCHA will cease operations.

It has been reported that the NCHC or the WCHA could alternate with the Big Ten’s tournament site. Another possibility is Minneapolis’ Target Center, which hosts the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and was the site of the WCHA Final Five in 1999 and 2000.

The process of hiring other league staff members will begin after the hockey operations director is announced, Scherr said. The hockey operations hire has been deemed to be critical by some because Scherr’s extensive sports executive experience does not include a direct involvement with hockey.


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  • Ams1117

    maybe they will announce that they will finally do something unselfish and take in UAH . . .

  • Guest

    The NCHC will announce a seven game suspension for Messa Whirled Peas.

  • Yooperhockey

    Maybe they will announce they have a website and a hockey person involved in the day to day operations.

    Also, an interlocking schedule with the AHA might happen.

  • Yooperhockey

    The NCHC will announce they are changing they league name to Hockey West to counter Hockey East.

    • BulldogFan

      UMD, DU, CC, UND,UNO and SCSU are leaving get over it.  This guy has half of the comments on this story and is always making comments when there is a story about the National.  Looks like the National has a stalker.  Kinda of creepy but I guess I’d be pissed to if my team had to play with the left overs..fighting it out with 9 (UAH will be in by the end of the summer) other teams for the one auto bid.  Finish in 4th in the National means a trip to the NCAAs…finishing 1st in the nWCHA and losing in the conference tourney means your sitting at home for the NCAAs.  Yeah I see why he’s upset.    

      • Yooperhockey

        Yes, Denver, CC, North Dokata, and UMD are leaving the WCHA. I will just throw out sixty years of college hockey history out the window.

        I dont count UNO Mavericks because they are will be playing in their Third confrence in six years which equals no stability.

        Then you can add WMU Broncos who have had three coaches in three seasons.

        If Miamiis coach didn’t have such great ties with Denver they would not be considered for the National.

        The big picture is the schools left because they couldn’t see outside of the box which means the teams couldn’t see beyond the mountains of Colorado or the plains of North Dokata. Like-minded means self profilling.

        Bemdji hasn’t even been in the league long and to say they are not completive without given a chance.

        Mankato hires a reputable coach with long winning history the USHL.

        MTU hires a coach with reputable recruiting skills and beats Wisconsin, CC, Denver, Minnesota, and UMD.

        UAA is UAA.

        The NCHC just never gave the WCHA a chance. Four teams were part of the league for at least sixty years and three teams just do the walk.

        Yes, the teams you left are in tiny, remote, no money programs, small seating arenas, and not revenue making programs to the likes of DU, CC and ND.

        Just remember the WCHA is the birthplace of college hockey, storied trophies, legend coaches, great players, and WCHA playoff tourney with great memories.

        I don’t want to see it disappear.

        Long live the WCHA and in the same sentence Save the WCHA.

        • B.D.

          Once again you have totally discounted the departure of both Minnesota and Wisconsin from the league.  I guess they are sticking around for next year in the WCHA?

          • Yooperhockey

            B.D.

            Do you relize that when Minnesota and Wisconsin left the WCHA would still have ten teams left which would make it a functional league.

            Then Denver, CC, North Dokata, UMD, UNO, and St cloud leave which leave the WCHA with a whopping five teams. Don’t you think the six WCHA that leave to the NCHC have left the remaining bottom dwellers high and dry to survive without the proper number of teams to qualify for the NCAA’s.

            Which in turn the WCHA had to react quick and got NMU on board right away to make six. Then out of desperation the WCHA had ask the remaining CCHA merge. Alaska and LSSU quickly accepted.
            Ferris later accepted and Bowling Green later accepted after the deadline making nine.

            The NCHC left the WCHA high and dry with five teams.

          • B.D.

            Once again, THEY LEFT THE SAME TIME as Minnesota and Wisconsin and in response to it.

          • Yooperhockey

            They might have left at the same time but the Big 10 was known beffore the NCHC formation. The NCHC formation was after the BIg announcement,

            So in turn the NCHC left the WCHA with five teams.

          • B.D.

            Sure, the Big Ten has been around forever….   But the decision to move was at first a rumor which caused the NCHC teams to prepare to cope with the absence of two of their flagship teams.  The announcements came in parallel.

            You seem incapable of noting just that, the NCHC was formed in response to the Big Ten becoming active in hockey.

            From the perspective of a UND fan, we lost our whole raison d’etra for participating in the WCHA when our two top rivals (Minnesota/Wisconsin) departed.  Don’t get me wrong, we like games played in Bemidji, but seek a higher level of competition.

            If the WCHA stayed put following the departure of the Big Tenners, it just would have been a totally lesser league with several teams that would be repetitively beaten up and two (Denver and UND) that would have routinely been at the top.

            It would have mirrored Hockey East with the two Boston Schools repetitively pummeling the other eight teams who are meat on the table.
            Who wants to watch that?  I doubt the players want it as they seek the most competitive environment possible which would have flown the coop with post big ten WCHA.

            The teams remaining in the WCHA will just have to cope with the creation of a premiere league (The NCHC) and a high-press league of lesser ability (Big Ten).

          • Yooperhockey

            But the NCHC is made up of the present WCHA teams so in logic you are competing against the same teams but with more teams.

            Also, to note the NCHC had to get second fiddle in pursuing the AD at University of Minnesota Joel Maluri and pursuing Notre Dame instead the league ended up with a Commish with no hockey background and instead of Notre Dame the league ended up with WMU Broncos. The name is misleading in National. The league should have pursued teams from Boston,New York, and Chicago to be considered National.

            I blame people in North Dokata and Colorado for this mess. The sad reality is Houghton, Michigan and Ankorage, Alaska just weren’t attractive areas to play college hockey anymore for the big boys of college hockey. The guaranteed wins for the marcqee programs in very obscure places is not okay. The good programs in basketball and football play easy wins all the time in college sports.

            The New WCHA will move on not easily.

          • B.D.

            I think you will find that a hard sell. 

            The teams that joined the NCHC are the best of the west with the exception of the Minnesota and Wisconsin teams which joined the Big Ten.  Add to that the perenial CCHA powerhouse of Miami and you have the toughest league.

            The self selection process ensured that.  Speaking of attractiveness of college hockey, the teams you mentioned simply did not make the grade, sorry.

            So now you are mad because they used the name NATIONAL?  Really, thats your latest?

            You are also mad about who they selected to be commissioner?  REALLY?  Why would you care?

            Dude, you are simply becoming the crazy old uncle who stalks the cute teenage girls.  Stop it before you have a problem, okay?

          • Yooperhockey

            You said the NCHC has ” teams that joined are the best of the west….”

            Ok in that statement tells me they misnamed the league the NCHC. It should be Hockey West. The National is far from a National conference they should have invited BU, BC, Clarkson, Cornell, ND, MTU and LSSU.
            Then I would call it a National conference.

            As for the Commish a hockey guy would have been nice. But they just picked a guy in the Nationals backyard. How nice.

            I can’t wait fior the new announcement is the NCHC is playing in the championship at the Target Center a good place to watch basketball.

            I just have to get my frustrations out because it will be sad when some teams struggle after eight teams leave the best hockey conference in the US.

            imagine eight teams leaving the SEC in football to form their own leagues?

          • B.D.

            Dude, really?  You are being that guy we all feel queasy watching.

            Do you want to rage agains their choice of sandwich items as well?
            Regarding the name.  The conference has members from the west and central areas of the country, thus national is a neat fit.

            Regarding the target Center.  Who cares.
            Regarding the Commisioner.  Who cares.

        • BulldogFan

          I don’t disagree with your statement it does suck the WCHA is breaking up but to blame the NCHC is misguided.  Without the Big Ten forming a hockey conference this doesn’t happen.  Yes, the Big Ten had every right to do this but this set the ball in motion for the NCHC.  I have heard that both UMD and UND are going to play MTU in NC and I would bet that both team will be making trips to Hougton on a one for one basis.  I would also bet they both will make trips to Bemidij also.  Want to put the odds that any Big ten team will play any team from the nWCHA in that teams barn I would bet no chance, Minnesota once in a great while, PSU will not go West, Ohio State  maybe but honestly who cares about them, MICH, MSU, and especially wisconsin think its perfectly acceptable to not make return trips they just give the team some money and say your welcome now go away. 

      • Mike

        You hope and assume finishing 4th gets you in the NCAA tournament.  That is yet to be seen.

  • JamesDee

    Bob Mancini!!!!!

  • YuppieScum

    HEA has some experienced referees we’d like to send your way..

    • MPLS Sioux

      They can’t be worse than the WCHA refs….at least I hope not

    • Wainwrightd

      there ECAC has some even better ones (Laughing out loud) that we will send as well

  • guest

    Maybe the NCHC could get an actual office with a staff. Then they might be taken more seriously.

  • Guest

    People are wondering where the new conference will get its onice officials. I don’t know where the conference will get its officials, but after the 2012-2013 season the CCHA will no longer exist. Just a guess, but the CCHA on-ice officials may be contacted by the new conference.

  • Sivgopher

    Target center is a dump hopefully they find somewhere else Pepsi center would be better Ralph center to much advantage for nd

    • Scott Reed

      Ralph center….really?

      • GopherBroke

        Hey Slurpy how’s your off season going?  how are those 7 titles working for you?  bwahahahahahahahaha

        • Scott Reed

          Great the banners look as good as ever, And even without recent national titles its comforting to know we have been a much more revelant program for the last decade that the gophers. At least when we don’t win it all we are at least in the mix.  Can’t same the same for the gophers except the great choking performance this year. 

          How does it feel to be a retard?

    • LHS_FightingSiouxFan

       I dont think you have ever been west of the Mississippi.

  • Bee

    Maybe they will apolgize for destroying college hockey!

    • Yooperhockey

      We can only hope this is true. The NCHC is living a pipe dream.

      • B.D.

        Explain?

        • Yooperhockey

          The NCHC forced the small programs from the WCHA and CCHA to merge as leftovers.

          Small programs may fold with the New WCHA setup for the 2013-2014. Season.

          Especially the UP and Alaska schools are in a situation where nobody will play games in their home rink.

          No playoff, tv and home game money means a potential demiise of some Division 2 schools playing Division 1 hockey in middle of nowhere.

          The NCHA is responsible for destroying college hockey not the Big 10.

          • B.D.

            I totally disagree.
            The big tenners jumped ship in order to profit from Big Ten coverage (Not much profit there in the long run actually).  This abandonment of the current structure of College hockey forced the NCHC group to look to their own self interrest.

            THe NCHC sought out the best teams available and consolidated themselves into what will become the premiere league in college hockey.  NOt a poor program in the lot.

            If you have a concern about the lack of TV coverageand thus profits for the smaller teams who will remain in the WCHA, then I am certain you will demand that Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn State, and the other Big Tenners play 50% of their schedule against the remnants of the WCHA just to solve this problem.  RIght?

          • Yooperhockey

            B.D.

            Please explain how” the abandonment of the current structure of college hockey FORCED the NCHC group to look for their self interest?”

            Couldn’t the WCHA and CCHA stayed intact when the BIg formed? Yes

            How many Big schools are going to travel to Alaska or Soo or Houghton or Bemdji? Not many.

            How many of the Big schools are going to schedule the lonely schools in the Bush like NMU, LSSU, both Alaska schools, and Bemdji? Not many.

            The New WCHA will be at risk of folding some teams because of the formation of the NCHC.

            Yes the NCHC has a tv contract and ability to schedule Big schools that is money that won’t be available to the New WCHA teams in a couple of seasons. Plus we can throw the old WCHA playoff money out the window.

            The NCHA is responsible for the future demise of some college hockey programs.

          • B.D.

            From the UND perspective, when the Big Ten lured its two key rivals away to essentially a substandard, but cash rich environment UND was forced to seek a suitable replacement for league rivalry.

            Is Michigan Tech suitable?  Not really.
            Alaska Anchorage?  Extremely doubtful.
            Alaska Fairbanks?  Not on your life.
            Bemidji State?  I wish, I really love the fact that my childhood adoptive second hometown has a Div 1 team, but they just will not rise to the level necessary.

            Nope, the saving grace was that the NCHC arose from the ashes of the split up WCHA caused by the defections of Minnesota and Wisconsin and offering UND an improved level of competition in the absence of such post Big Ten creation in what will in short notice become the premiere league. 

            I can forsee a time in the out years when the NCHC will outdraw the Big Ten for television revenue, particualrly when teams such as UND face other real power houses such as Denver or maybe Minn Duluth.

            And again I ask, why not pin the rose on Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and the other Big Tenners for this crisis for the remnants of the WCHA and ask them to focus their non-league games on them?  Or are they immune for some reason?

            Regarding travel to Bemidji, I imagine that UND will play them each winter due to proximity and the shared population base (It often seems half of Grand Forks summers at the lakes surrounding Bemidji)

            Regarding the teams in Northern Michigan, I recommend that your ire should be pointed towards the Big Ten for luring your flagship school away.

          • Yooperhockey

            I would like to know how teams from Oxford, Ohio and Kalmazoo, Michigan can help increase the level of competion compared to the already established WCHA.

            How do fans in North Dokata relate to teams from such obscure places in Michigan (Kalmazoo) and Ohio(Miami) over Mankato and Bemdji Minnesota just doesn’t make sense to me. All of these teams from each of the different conferences have similar ice rinks. I would think playing the closer teams would make more sense then taking two CCHA teams that North. Dokata has never seen before.

            I think the NCHC should have got the bigger name teams from the whole US to join like a Notre Dame, Boston College, Boston University and Cornell instead of small town teams from Duluth, Oxford, and Kalmazoo.
            If the league wasn’t able to get the big name schools to do it they should have never formed the league if they weren’t able to follow By the name “National” which is misleading it should have been called “Hockey West” not NCHC if you know what I mean.

            The NCHC has killed a sixty year of traditions especially from charter teams Denver,CC, ND, and MTU that were part of the WCHA.

            I don’t believe that Minnesota and Wisconsin are at fault because they are joining a conference which they are affiliated in all sports which only makes sense to the NCAA.

          • B.D.

            So the defections of Minnesota and Wisconsin were meaningless but not the defections of North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth?   How is that reasonable?

            You speak of sixty years of tradition breaking, but are ever so desirious of giving Minnesota and Wisconsin a pass due to “Afiliation in all sports” which has up to this point been meaningless in college hockey and likely will remain so since the Big Tenners are being forced to dig up a team at Penn State just to have enough teams for competition.

            Regarding the additions of teams from the towns  you list.  They have shown an ability to support teams in an increasingly higher standard of play.  The others left behind in the remnants of the WCHA simply have not.  End of story.

          • Yooperhockey

            How is the Big 10 forced into forming a conference just because Penn State starts a hockey program?

            How is the NCHC forced into forming just because the Big 10 is formed?

            While nobody cares that the CCHA is folding and the WCHA gets the leftovers.

            I hope the WCHA moves it’s offices to Madison where the women’s WCHA is located and hire the CCHA Commish Fred P. And his staff to locate to Madison.

            Also, play the 2013-2014 WCHA playoffs in Duluth, Minnesota at the new Amsoil Arena. With a 6,000 seat arena and is in good driving distance
            For the UP schools, Minnesota Schools and fly from Alaska wouldn’t be that bad either.

          • Yooperhockey

            I believe Madison would be a great place for the New WCHA offices because women’s WCHA offices are already there it would be cost efficient.

            I believe Fred Platsch and his staff should be hired immediately to run both the WCHA and CCHA next season with a move a move Madison the following season. The WCHA men hockey having a presence in important in the long run.

            Also playing the 2013-2014 WCHA playoffs in Duluth Amsoil arena would be a great place and within driving distance for all the teams.

          • B.D.

            Ummmmm, okay, fine.  Whatever…

          • B.D.

            I earlier wrote of the raison D’etra of the two teams who departed the WCHA for the Big Ten.  In order for the surviving quality teams to remain relevant they were forced to self select those teams who could and would support the teams approriately. 

            Not sure I have an issue with the WCHA moving its headquarters, just don’t care.  And where the remnants of the WCHA play their play offs is also unimportant to me.

          • Yooperhockey

            I knew Denver,CC, and UND have been finding a way to get away from MTU Huskies for years because they have been so uncompetive with a ton of coaches since the 500 win Mighty Mac was the coach. I

            I bet if MTU would have stayed in the CCHA after the 1984-1985 instead of coming back to the WCHA all the Western teams would have been happy and they would have never formed their own league today.

            Also another important time would have been when the WCHA put a vote on the table in 1979 to split the WCHA into east and west divisions which was voted down and after that four teams left the WCHA(Michigan,MSU and Notre Dame) and MTU which returned three seasons later.

            The Charter members are from 1959-1960 included Denver,CC, North Dokata,Michigan, Minnesota, MSU, and MTU. After next season the MTU Huskies will be the only charter member left in the New WCHA. Obviously, the western teams have something against MTU or they would have not left. Sixty years of playing each other and MTU may never see Minnesota, Denver and CC ever again in regular season play again. I hear MTU might North Dokata in NC games, maybe.

            MTU has had 555 wins from 1956 to 1981. MTU has three national championships, 7 WCHA championships, and four national runner-ups.

            Also, MTU has had the first American player drafted in the NHL Herb Boxer.

            Another accomplishment is Bob Olsons WMPL radio started the first to talley college hockey scores from all over the country when coaches would call in the scores and they also stared the first college hockey poll of college hockey.

            it is to bad that all the other eight teams decided to walk out on MTU Huskies and form their own leagues and possibly kill the storied WCHA.

            I hope the new league enjoys filling seats in their arenas with a lot tv camaras in places where fans dont even know what offsides is (UNO).

            If think young programs like WMU, Miami, UNO, St Cloud, and UMD have anything close to the history that MTU has done for college hockey you have another thing coming. MTU has played college hockey since the early 1900′s and all MTU gets from their opponents is a kick in the a$$.

            Thanks N$H$. Thanks for nothing.

          • B.D.

            Persecution complex?  I think you need to have that checked….

          • Yooperhockey

            Next season at the last game when CC plays Tech in.March. I would like to see the AD of CC present the MacNaughton Cup back to MTU so they can put into their trophy case for the following season.

            Also, they can bring the Broadmoore Cup to Houghton so MTU can throw the trophy into Portage Canel from the Portage Lake Bridge.

          • B.D.

            Guess they will have to play well for any of those scenarios to approach reality.  But that is doubtful….

          • Yooperhockey

            You say who cares where the WCHA men’s hockey office is in the future.

            But I think since the location was moved from Madison to Denver has had major impact on the defection of the western teams. I believe the location hurt communication within the league which placed MTU as the fall guy and it didn’t help they were losing and had a dozen coaches.

            Had the offices stayed in Madison instead of Denver this exodus would never would have happen.

            Also had NMU stayed in the WCHA instead of leaving for the CCHA in 1999. The NCHC would not have been formed.

            Had the WCHA voted yes in 1979 on having a East and West divisions the league would not have lost UM,MSU, and ND. The NCHC would have not been formed.

            The location of the WCHA offices in Denver(bias location out west) hurt the survival of the WCHA as we know it next season.

            Thanks N$H$ for killing the WCHA.

          • B.D.

            Boy, and if NMU had been in the WCHA then the world would have remained sunny and bright with no storm clouds…

            And if I had a unicorn…

            You make so many unprovable assertions that it broaches the fantasy level.

            Regarding the WCHA headquarters location, there are fewer thing immaterial to college hockey than where any particular league headquarters is located.  I really doubt any of the denizens of Denver or Madison even had a clue that the WCHA HQ resided even close to them.  Nor would they care.  In reality those League Headquarters could be physically located in Peru for all their locational effects….

    • B.D.

      No, that will be the responsibility of the “Big Tenners”.  After all, they were the ones who started the stampede…

    • Yooperhockey

      When is this announcement going to be that they are destroying college hockey it can’t be soon enough.

      Maybe they will announce that they are reconsidering in forming the N$H$ because they don’t have the funds to run their own league.

      Bruce McLeod will be announced as the new Director of Opperations. I heard he didn’t even know that a new league was forming and he has his office right on DUs campus right under his nose six teams formed the NCHC. How is this possible?

      Target center invites NCHC except they have to play on a Tuesday because High School basketball will play during the weekend.

      Good luck to the new league hope it expands to 12 teams when Iowa State, UAH, Air Force, and Army join the National.

      • B.D.

        Once again, you are being the crazy old uncle in the room over the garage who chases the girls as they ride by on bicycles.

        So, just because Michigan Tech cannot find its way into the premiere league, the premiere league is destroying college hockey?  Explain THAT one.

        Regarding funding for the league headquarters, how expensive can it possibly be at this point?  Answer:  Not very expensive…..

  • FliryVorru

    Let us not forget the obligatory annual “Keep-Alabama-Huntsville-Out-of-a-Conference” announcement. Probably by a conference that could use all the help they can get.

    *stares at the WCHA*

    • Yooperhockey

      I thought that was the CCHA that declined UAH.

      • ThePsifonian

        I think his/her point was that with the CCHA now defunct, it’ll be some other conference’s turn to decline UAH’s application.

        It’ll be a little hard for whatever conference gets UAH, but we gotta get them in a conference. We (meaning NCAA Hockey) can’t lose that small presence we already have in the south. The south is slowly developing into a market worth fighting for (check out how many northerners are moving to the south as of the 2010 census). It’d be nice to see some NCAA teams pop up in North Carolina, Kentucky, maybe even Tennessee or Texas.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YJCYMXJ27RENTZL47JMYUP4ISU inuiyak

     This week?! Where is the announcement? Methinks the NaCHo sets a precedent. Announcement with no announcement, designed to keep the B1G on it’s toes? Yet who really cares. when they don’t deliver on what they promised.

    • B.D.

      I imagine it will be some meaningless house keeping news that will be anti-climactic.

  • guest

    I think the decisions will include the format of the ranking of the new conference and the championship site.