Buffalo bringing back hockey, adding to CCHA?

Buffalo could be part of a revamped CCHA, according to a published report in the (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune.

The Bulls are exploring the possibility of restoring their varsity hockey program, the school confirmed to the paper late last week. Buffalo is one five schools involved in discussions with Bowling Green regarding the future of college hockey and possible league affiliation.

The Bulls were a CCHA affiliate from 1973-1975, competing in Division II with Western Michigan and Lake Forest. The school was known as the State University of New York at Buffalo at the time.

“The University at Buffalo athletic department has been in conversations with established Division I hockey conferences to examine the possibility of returning our hockey program,” Buffalo athletics director Warde Manuel said in a statement.

Buffalo’s program was downgraded from varsity to club status in 1988. The program was playing at the NCAA Division III level when it became a club team.

“While we are flattered to have these discussions, there are several things that would need to occur both fiscally and within conference alignments for this to work for UB at this time,” Manuel added.

Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, may be willing to fund all or part of the Bulls’ hockey program, according to the article. Jacobs’ other business, Delaware North Companies, is headquartered in Buffalo and he donated $10 million to the school in 2008. Jacobs is also a graduate of Buffalo’s school of management, holds an honorary doctorate from the school and has served on a number of leadership boards at the school.