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A video worth your eight minutes

Maybe you’ve seen this YouTube video already this week, but if you haven’t, it’s worth eight minutes of your time, even amid the NCAA tournament madness we’re about to enjoy.

Even if you don’t cheer for Western Michigan, even if you don’t have a stake in the Broncos’ stay in the NCAA tournament, it’s good to know that there are good people in our sport.

This is the story of the Broncos’ interaction with the Schripsema family, the youngest of which is battling leukemia.

A running list of questions about the emerging Big Ten

Part of this is for my own sanity.

Great timing of the Big Ten Conference to announce it’s going to start men’s hockey in 2013-14, right during the busiest time of the college hockey season. Although, to its benefit, at least the league didn’t announce it during the conference tournaments. And, in its defense, I suspect the league has been getting some pressure to make an official announcement as to its status with men’s hockey, even though it can’t officially say it’s adding the sport because the presidents and chancellors haven’t yet approved it.

So, given that I have about 6,000 other things on my mind as we roll into the NCAA tournament later this week, I wanted to make a list of questions or things that need to be addressed about the emerging Big Ten hockey league. Some are rhetorical. Some are those to which I’d like actual answers. Feel free to add in your questions or thoughts in the comments below.

Question 1: What about those non-conference games?

Do the math. Twenty league games, so 10 at home. Teams can play 34, not counting some exempt tournaments and games in Alaska. Big programs like Wisconsin and Minnesota need to have 20 home games per season to make the financials work. So, with 14 non-conference games to work with, 10 of them are going to have to be at home.

I don’t like that balance, although I suppose that it’s been that way to some extent for a long time.

But which schools will go to the Big Ten buildings without a guarantee of a return series in their building in a future year? I can see some kind of scheduling arrangement being worked out between the Big Ten schools and their former conferences, but, at most, four of those games are going to be in the home buildings of those old conference rivals.

This is going to take some working out.

Question 2: Where’s that conference tournament going to be?

I’ve heard Chicago is the preferred location. But, remember, if the conference tournament and NCAA men’s basketball schedules stay the same, that could take a number of buildings (Chicago’s United Center, Milwaukee’s Bradley Center) out of the loop as a permanent home because they also occasionally host hoops regionals.

There are other locations, to be sure, but you’d like to have it somewhere easily accessible to all the teams and their fans, and still have a quality building in which to play.

Question 3: Which domino falls next?

Are schools like Notre Dame and Miami going to be content playing in a CCHA that doesn’t have Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State?

Does Hockey East try to lure them over there and make a 12-team league?

Where does Alabama-Huntsville fall in all of this?

More questions — and, hopefully, answers — to come when I get some more time.

Penn State starting to take shape; how long until Big Ten does?

We knew it wouldn’t take long for the Penn State program to take shape, and we’re starting to see a little bit of that emerge, on multiple levels.

This week, we learned the names of two Nittany Lions recruits thanks to recruiting guru Chris Heisenberg: forward Jake Friedman of the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s South Shore Kings and goaltender Tim Carr of the EJHL’s New Hampshire Junior Monarchs.

We also heard definitive word, through the Wisconsin State Journal’s Andy Baggot, that Penn State has received permission to interview Wisconsin women’s coach Mark Johnson for its men’s head coach opening.

My thoughts: We will hear more names connected to Penn State, so let’s not jump to conclusions. That being said, Johnson would be a great person for the job, and I figured his name would be connected to the opening in some fashion. I think it will take a lot to get Johnson out of Madison (and I’m not talking about money), but the lure of being able to do for Penn State what his father, Bob, did for Wisconsin could be appealing.

Meanwhile, I had a chance to meet Joe Battista, Penn State’s associate athletic director for ice arena and hockey operations, a few weeks ago when he was checking out a Minnesota-Wisconsin game in Madison as part of his tour of facilities. He was carrying with him designs for the Pegula Ice Arena — named for the program’s lead donor — and it looks like it will be an impressive building along the lines of many newer college hockey arenas. A single tier for student seating behind the goal the opponents defend for two periods could be imposing if it turns out like the pictures depict.

So what does this all mean for the future of college hockey? I get the sense that we’re going to start to get those answers soon. People who will be impacted by the development of a Big Ten hockey league are starting to get a little antsy for definitive words on when that entity will come about.

Here are my impressions from talking to people involved in the process: The Big Ten will sponsor hockey (like it or not), and if I was forced to predict the season that it starts, I would say 2013-14. Not everyone is convinced of that, or whether it would be good for Penn State to be playing Big Ten hockey in its second season as a program, but I think that’s where things are trending.

The Pegula Ice Arena should be ready for play in September 2013, a year earlier than projected last September, when Penn State confirmed its plans to form varsity programs. At that time, the school said it would be joining a conference in the 2014-15 season, but that timeline seems to have accelerated along with the facility’s.

What does it mean for the rest of college hockey? That, my friends, is the ultimate “stay tuned” question.

Jersey, stick auction benefits Minnesota-Duluth equipment manager

No matter the teams or the heat of the rivalries between them, it always seems like you can pair two equipment managers and find a pretty close bond.

It’s not that hard to figure out why: On the list of not-thanked-enough people in hockey, the equipment manager has to be pretty close to the top. There are an awful lot of hours spent working when no one else is around, doing things that go largely unnoticed but are critical to the success of a player and a team.

So they appreciate what their trade counterparts do, in a way that not many others do. That’s the connection that exists between them, even if there’s not a lot of personal ties.

When I heard there was a benefit auction being organized for Chris Garner, the Minnesota-Duluth equipment manager who is battling a condition called myelodysplastic syndrome, I figured it was the work of another member of his field.

Jeremiah Minkel, the equipment manager at St. Cloud State who worked with Garner when they were both student assistants for the Huskies, has pulled together an impressive list of items for an online auction to help pay for medical costs that aren’t being covered by insurance.

Minkel said the list of donated items includes 82 college and pro jerseys and over 20 autographed sticks. The auction starts Oct. 24 at obermanauction.com. (UPDATE: Here’s the direct link to the auction.)

Here’s a video about the auction and Garner, narrated by Minkel.

2010-11 national television schedule, the (updated) working version

UPDATE: FSN Rocky Mountain has released its 12-game schedule, which is reflected in the list below.

UPDATED AGAIN: FSN North has released its schedule for Minnesota games, and those are in the list.

We’ll find a more permanent home for this soon, but with the first entry on Sunday, I wanted to get our working version of the national television schedule for the 2010-11 season out there.

We’re still waiting on schedules for FSN North (Minnesota) and maybe ESPNU, but here’s what is on the list so far.

If you have more info on games that fit the criteria below, send us a message here.

Games available on national television and regional sports networks that are available on national cable and satellite providers:

Sunday, Oct. 3
Manitoba at North Dakota, 6 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Friday, Oct. 8
New Hampshire at Miami, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Massachusetts at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Saturday, Oct. 9
Massachusetts at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Friday, Oct. 15
Maine at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Alabama-Huntsville at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin
Nebraska-Omaha at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North
Boston College at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, Oct. 16
Nebraska-Omaha at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Friday, Oct. 22
Boston University at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. Eastern, NESN
North Dakota at Maine, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
St. Cloud State at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North
Wisconsin at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Wisconsin, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, Oct. 23
St. Cloud State at Minnesota, TBA, FSN North

Friday, Oct. 29
Denver at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Minnesota at Colorado College, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN North

Saturday, Oct. 30
Denver at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Minnesota at Colorado College, 7 p.m. Mountain, FSN North

Friday, Nov. 5
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin, FSN North
Minnesota-Duluth at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Colorado College at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, Nov. 6
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, Big Ten Network
Minnesota-Duluth at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Friday, Nov. 12
North Dakota at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin

Friday, Nov. 19
Boston University at New Hampshire, 7 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Yale at Cornell, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Minnesota-Duluth at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin
Bemidji State at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Friday, Nov. 26
Michigan State at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North
Notre Dame at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Lake Superior State at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, Nov. 27
Quinnipiac at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Notre Dame at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Sunday, Nov. 28
Michigan at Minnesota, 4:30 p.m. Central, Big Ten Network

Friday, Dec. 3
Boston College at Boston University, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Michigan at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, Big Ten Network
St. Cloud State at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Minnesota at Minnesota State, 7:30 p.m. Central, FSN North

Saturday, Dec. 4
Ferris State at Michigan State, 7 p.m., FSN Detroit
Boston University at Boston College, 8 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
St. Cloud State at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Minnesota at Minnesota State, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Friday, Dec. 10
New Hampshire at Maine, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Saturday, Dec. 11
Michigan State at Michigan, 3 p.m. Eastern, Big Ten Network/FSN Detroit (Big Chill at the Big House)
Bemidji State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin
Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Saturday, Dec. 18
U.S. Under-18 Team at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Thursday, Dec. 30
Great Lakes Invitational championship, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit
Massachusetts at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin

Friday, Dec. 31
Massachusetts at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin
Northern Michigan at Denver, 6 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, Jan. 1
Ferris State at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Friday, Jan. 7
Miami at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Michigan at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, Big Ten Network
Providence at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Robert Morris at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Saturday, Jan. 8
Michigan State at Michigan, 7 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit Plus
Robert Morris at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Sunday, Jan. 9
Boston University at Vermont, 7 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports

Friday, Jan. 14
Ferris State at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Massachusetts at Massachusetts-Lowell, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Minnesota at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports, FSN North
Army at Air Force, 8 p.m. Mountain, CBS College Sports

Saturday, Jan. 15
Harvard at Boston University, 7 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Minnesota at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports, FSN North

Sunday, Jan. 16
Boston College at Maine, 7 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports

Friday, Jan. 21
Miami at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Alaska at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit Plus
Boston College at Boston University, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Nebraska-Omaha at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Alaska-Anchorage at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, Jan. 22
Boston University at New Hampshire, 7 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Nebraska-Omaha at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Alaska-Anchorage at Denver, 7 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Thursday, Jan. 27
Michigan State at Ferris State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit

Friday, Jan. 28
Miami at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Massachusetts at Northeastern, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Alaska-Anchorage at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North
North Dakota at Colorado College, 8 p.m. Mountain, CBS College Sports

Saturday, Jan. 29
Miami at Notre Dame, 5 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit
Vermont at Merrimack, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Michigan vs. Michigan State at Detroit, 8 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit
Alaska-Anchorage at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Friday, Feb. 4
Michigan at Miami, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Michigan State at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, Big Ten Network
Maine at New Hampshire, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Minnesota at Minnesota-Duluth, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North
Denver at Colorado College, 8 p.m. Mountain, CBS College Sports

Saturday, Feb. 5
Michigan at Miami, 5 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit
Maine at New Hampshire, 7 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Minnesota at Minnesota-Duluth, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North
Colorado College at Denver, 7 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Monday, Feb. 7
Harvard vs. Northeastern, 5 p.m. Eastern, NESN (Beanpot)
Boston College vs. Boston University, 8 p.m. Eastern, NESN (Beanpot)

Friday, Feb. 11
Boston University at Massachusetts, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Ohio State at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, Big Ten Network
Denver at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North
Alaska-Anchorage at North Dakota, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Saturday, Feb. 12
Northern Michigan at Michigan State, 5 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit
Denver at Minnesota, 5 p.m. Central, FSN North
Ohio State at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, Big Ten Network
Alaska-Anchorage at North Dakota, 7 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Monday, Feb. 14
Beanpot championship game, 8 p.m. Eastern, NESN

Friday, Feb. 18
New Hampshire at Vermont, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Minnesota at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, Big Ten Network
Michigan Tech at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, Feb. 19
Western Michigan at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit
Maine at Massachusetts-Lowell, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Minnesota at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin, FSN North
Michigan Tech at Denver, 7 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Friday, Feb. 25
Niagara at Rochester Institute of Technology, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
Bowling Green at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit Plus
Vermont at Boston University, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Michigan Tech at Minnesota, 6:30 p.m. Central, FSN North

Saturday, Feb. 26
Bemidji State at North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports
Vermont at Boston University, 6 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Michigan Tech at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m. Central, FSN North

Sunday, Feb. 27
Bemidji State at North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. Central, Fox College Sports

Friday, March 4
CCHA playoffs first-round game, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit
New Hampshire at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN
Minnesota at Bemidji State, 7:30 p.m. Central, FSN North
St. Cloud State at Denver, 7:30 p.m. Mountain, FSN Rocky Mountain

Saturday, March 5
Colorado College at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Central, FSN Wisconsin
Minnesota at Bemidji State, 7 p.m. Central, FSN North

Sunday, March 6
Hockey East women’s championship, TBA, NESN

Saturday, March 12
Hockey East quarterfinal, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, NESN

Thursday, March 17
WCHA Final Five, TBA, FSN Wisconsin

Friday, March 18
WCHA Final Five semifinals, TBA, FSN Wisconsin
ECAC semifinals, 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
CCHA semifinals, 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit Plus
Hockey East semifinals, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern, NESN

Saturday, March 19
Hockey East championship, 7 p.m. Eastern, NESNPlus
ECAC championship, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS College Sports
CCHA championship, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, FSN Detroit Plus
WCHA Final Five championship, TBA, FSN Wisconsin

How I voted in WCHA preseason poll

The WCHA preseason polls were released the other day, and, to my mind, there weren’t many surprises near the top.

North Dakota is a solid favorite for the MacNaughton Cup, Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State should be in the mix and Denver could be hanging around the top, even without a number of the players that made it successful over the last few years.

Before I get into what did surprise me, albeit mildly, here’s how I voted in the media poll, organized this year by Bruce Ciskie:

1. North Dakota
2. Minnesota-Duluth
3. St. Cloud State
4. Denver
5. Bemidji State
6. Minnesota
7. Wisconsin
8. Colorado College
9. Nebraska-Omaha
10. Minnesota State
11. Alaska-Anchorage
12. Michigan Tech

Player of the year: Chay Genoway, North Dakota
Rookie of the year: Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College

I thought either Bemidji State or Nebraska-Omaha would appear in the top half of the polls, but they traded off eighth and ninth.

Honestly, I think either one could end up in the top half of the standings, but I put Bemidji State at fifth because I think it has a great chance of carrying over what it accomplished last season. The Beavers have most of their scoring and both of their goaltenders back, and they shouldn’t be awed by the transition to the WCHA because they’ve played a lot of the teams over the last few seasons.

All in all, though, I had a lot of hesitation about hitting the send button on the e-mail with my ballot. I don’t really like where I had Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado College and UNO, but I had to settle on something.

I can’t remember putting a team that played in the last game of the season so low in the rankings the next year. Then again, I can’t remember a team losing quite as much as Wisconsin did over the summer.

Minnesota is a mystery to me. So much talent, but we’ve seen where that doesn’t always matter.

I think Colorado College is a middle-of-the-pack team this season, but I have in my mind that whenever I think that, the Tigers turn out to be pretty good.

And picking a Dean Blais-coached team for ninth just feels wrong.

But it’s done, and we can put away the polls until March, when we can all have a good laugh.

Now it’s on to picking the national top 20 for the first USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll, which will be released on Monday. I know who I’m picking for first, but spots 2 through 20 are up for grabs.

More CCHA Reaction to Penn State

Since we posted the original group of statements reacting to Penn State’s announcement Friday that it’s adding men’s and women’s varsity hockey programs, a few more have come in from interested CCHA parties.

Here’s one obtained by USCHO’s J. Justin Boggs.

Mark Osiecki, Ohio State coach:

“We’re excited Penn State is starting Division I hockey for both men and women. It’s great for the growth of the sport.”

And here are a couple more that came in via e-mail.

Mark Hollis, Michigan State athletic director:

“Penn State’s announcement is outstanding for college ice hockey. Adding sports programs is out of the norm in today’s intercollegiate athletics world and I commend Penn State for this commitment. It is premature for anyone to speculate on Penn State’s transition process into Division I ice hockey. I look forward to working with Tim Curley and others in continuing to strengthen the sport nationally, a sport that is so important to the State of Michigan. At Michigan State University, we anticipate competitive games against Penn State in the future and look forward to hosting them at Munn Ice Arena.”

Rick Comley, Michigan State coach:

“I think that Penn State is a tremendous addition to college hockey. It is exciting, and a fantastic opportunity for our sport to add a school which will bring a substantial commitment and a national profile. We look forward to assisting Penn State in this process as they prepare for their first varsity season in 2012-13.”

What They're Saying About Penn State

Penn State has issued a lengthy list of statements from hockey dignitaries regarding its announcement that it is starting varsity programs for men and women in 2012.

Here’s what they’re saying:

Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner:

“The National Hockey League would like to congratulate Penn State University on its entry into NCAA hockey’s Division I. Given the tradition of academic and intercollegiate excellence that long has been synonymous with Penn State, I am sure the Nittany Lions will supply their fellow students and fans with winters full of thrills while providing college hockey’s traditional powers with stiff competition.”

Paul Kelly, executive director of College Hockey Inc.

“The entire hockey world is excited about Penn State’s joining the ranks of Division I college hockey. The addition of a world class academic and athletic institution like Penn State will provide a tremendous boost to NCAA college hockey and to the sport generally, especially in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. We are thrilled at this development.”

Mike Emrick, hockey broadcaster:

“Legendary football coaches have always shared a respect and interest in the game of hockey. Perhaps because of the shared aspects of speed and contact involved … or the curiosity of how hockey players could play at such an intense level MORE than once a week. It was Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne who was there on St. Joseph’s Lake in South Bend to help bandage the cut of a Michigan State player whose leg was sliced by an Irish’ skate blade. Bo Schembechler was a frequent visitor to Michigan’s Yost Arena to watch some of his select players who represented the Wolverines on both the gridiron and on the ice. I can only envision Joe Paterno finding some common ground between his iconic program and its new fledgling cousin in Happy Valley. I congratulate those at Penn State who have taken a leap of faith to bring this great game and all that comes with it to the next level. I look forward to seeing it grow the sport in a state that has quickly become the hockey hotbed of America.”

Barry Melrose, ESPN hockey analyst:

“Pennsylvania is probably the hottest hockey market in the country right now … if you take into account the recent success of the Penguins and Flyers, add on the Hershey Bears and their consecutive Calder Cups, the great fan bases in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Erie … interest in the game is at an all-time high. For Penn State to bring in a Division I program now, and to be able to provide opportunities for the sport to grow even more in Pennsylvania I think is fantastic!”

David Morehouse, Pittsburgh Penguins CEO:

“On behalf of Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins, I want to congratulate Penn State for creating an NCAA Division I hockey program. It’s a great day for hockey any time you can develop more opportunities for young people to play our great game — and I know fans in Happy Valley and across Pennsylvania are going to going to enjoy the speed, excitement and creativity of Division I hockey. With this year’s Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four coming to Pittsburgh, this is another sign of the tremendous growth of hockey in our region and our state.”

Ray Shero, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager:

“Adding another Division I hockey program in our state is a great step for hockey in Pennsylvania, so we salute the Nittany Lions for this achievement. Pennsylvania amateur hockey is producing more and more Division I players and pro prospects, and this will give more of them an opportunity to stay ‘home’ in Pennsylvania, get a great education, and play a high level of hockey.”

Craig Patrick, former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager and national champion at Denver (1968, 1969)

“Penn State’s move to Division I is the most significant event for the sport in years. Adding Penn State’s brand to hockey will make Pennsylvania one of the top hockey states in the country. With seven NHL teams within 225 miles of State College, there is already a strong base of hockey fans on the campus. This is a perfect environment for hockey recruits who will love the location, the academics, and the atmosphere. My sons C.J. and Ryan, and my nephew Curtiss all loved their total college experience as student-athletes in Happy Valley.”

Peter Luukko, president of Philadelphia Flyers parent company Comcast-Spectacor:

“Penn State’s new Division I men’s hockey program further solidifies Pennsylvania’s ever-growing hockey presence. This will have a very positive impact on the continued development of top-notch hockey players in Pennsylvania by providing an additional opportunity to play locally. Earlier this year, the NCAA recognized hockey’s ever-growing popularity and participation in Pennsylvania’s by awarding the NCAA Frozen Four to two Pennsylvania towns in consecutive years — Pittsburgh (2012) and Philadelphia (2013). Additionally, both the Pittsburgh Penguins and our Philadelphia Flyers have appeared in the last three consecutive Stanley Cup Finals. Pennsylvania is definitely one of the top hockey states in the U.S.”

Mike Milbury, former NHL coach and general manager:

“When you have a world-class institution with the prestige and name recognition that Penn State carries, anyone at any level of hockey will be thrilled to hear that they are joining the ranks of Division I. I hope that the hockey program can quickly reach the same level of national success that some of their other sports have achieved both on and off the field.”

Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and former Providence captain:

“This is wonderful news. Penn State is a great academic institution, with a rich athletic history. Hockey will be a great addition to their athletic department.”

Pierre McGuire, hockey broadcaster and former Hobart player:

“It is always good news for hockey when another opportunity for elite players is developed. The fact that the program is being created at institution with the academic and athletic legacy of Penn State makes it that much more special. This program has the potential to equal and surpass any other college program in the United States. As the late, legendary “Badger” Bob Johnson used to say … ‘It’s a Great Day for Hockey!’ Hats off to Penn State and best of luck to them!”

Mike Eruzione, 1980 U.S. Olympic captain and former Boston university player:

“Any time a university with the name recognition of Penn State decides to make a leap like this, it is tremendous on two fronts. One, for what they stand for and two, it gives kids another opportunity to play at the Division I level. I think it’s great for hockey.”

Joe Paterno, Penn State football coach:

“I’ve always believed that hockey could be a major sport here at Penn State, and I’m glad we’re getting behind it.”

Jim Delany, Big Ten commissioner:

“I’m excited to hear that Penn State will establish NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey programs beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. Big Ten institutions have always provided broad-based opportunities for student-athletes, and the introduction of ice hockey at Penn State will provide even more opportunities for deserving young men and women to experience intercollegiate athletics. With the addition of Penn State, the Big Ten Conference will have six institutions sponsoring men’s ice hockey programs leading to the presumption that there will be a Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Championship at some point in the future. We plan to have many conversations both internally with our chancellors, presidents, administrators, and coaches, and externally with the hockey community as a whole as we endeavor to balance all of the unique interests in play. Our expectation is that a conference championship would not take place before the 2014-15 academic year and our goal, like others, is to support, promote, and continuously strengthen the sport of hockey both locally and nationally. Whatever we do, we will communicate to all interested parties in a respectful and responsible way. We congratulate Penn State and wish them the best of luck as they embark upon this worthwhile endeavor.”

Red Berenson, Michigan coach:

“Penn State is a major university, so when they make a commitment to play Division I hockey, it will be good for college hockey nationwide. All programs should benefit.”

Ron Mason, former Michigan State coach and athletic director

“I think it’s wonderful that Penn State will have Division I hockey. I’ve long thought that if Penn State ever decided to elevate its program that it would be a school that would challenge for championships. This is a good move for the school and for college hockey.”

Jerry York, Boston College coach:

“I was very happy to learn that Penn State chose to elevate its men’s hockey program to Division I status. Any addition to the college hockey world is a good one and adding a Big Ten school like Penn State is great. The Nittany Lions have a first-class sports program that operates with great integrity.”

McLeod, Anastos Comment on Penn State

The WCHA and CCHA were quick to issue statements after Penn State’s news conference Friday.

Here’s WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod:

“Any time we receive news like this we are all excited, and on behalf of the entire membership of the WCHA, we welcome Penn State to the world of college hockey and wish them all the best.

“It is an affirmation of the strength of our game that such a prestigious institution would choose to add a program at this time and it is indeed a great day for hockey. The institutions that make up the WCHA are committed to the future of college hockey and the addition of Penn State is another positive step in that direction.

And here’s CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos:

“We are excited to hear that Penn State has decided to launch Division I men’s and women’s hockey and will be making such a substantial commitment to the sport. The CCHA and our entire membership welcome them to the college hockey family and look forward to supporting their transition into Division I hockey over the next several years.

“The CCHAs formation 40 years ago was based on the development of emerging programs and, as we set our sights on our next 40 years, we look forward to working with programs such as Penn State and hopefully others, in providing leadership that will increase the profile of college hockey and foster continued growth.”

Big Ten's Statement on Penn State

Here’s the text of the Big Ten’s statement in reaction to Penn State’s announcement that it’s adding men’s and women’s hockey:

The Big Ten Conference is excited about Penn States recent announcement regarding the establishment of NCAA Division I mens and womens ice hockey programs set to begin competition in the 2012-13 academic year. Our institutions have longstanding relationships with Division I, Division II, and Division III college hockey programs that have benefitted both our institutions and the entire national hockey community.

For many years, we have had five institutions sponsoring Division I mens ice hockey programs Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Big Ten rules allow for a championship whenever there are six institutions sponsoring a program in any given sport. This leads to the presumption that there will be a Big Ten Mens Ice Hockey Championship at some point in the future. A decision of that nature, however, cannot be made without a significant amount of discussion both internally with conference chancellors, presidents, administrators and coaches, and externally with the hockey community as a whole. Whatever we do, we will communicate in a respectful and responsible way as we endeavor to balance all of the unique interests in play.

We congratulate Penn State and wish them well as they continue to provide the most broad-based opportunities possible for their student-athletes.

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