Report: Hockey East looking to add Connecticut?

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Hockey East representatives visited the Connecticut campus and hockey facilities Thursday, further adding speculation to the rumors that UConn may be joining the conference down the road.

“I did have a conversation,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said during an afternoon news conference at the Capitol. “Clearly, the University of Connecticut is contemplating whether they would want to join Hockey East and Hockey East is contemplating whether they would want UConn to join it. They’re on a fact-finding mission to understand how serious UConn may be.”

Per Title IX rules, if UConn were to add 18 men’s hockey scholarships, 18 would have to be added to a women’s program. The women’s hockey team awards scholarships and is already a member of Hockey East.

Also, while games would be played at the XL Center, the Freitas Ice Forum would need a major upgrade, if only for recruiting and practicing.

In December, UConn hired a sports consulting firm to evaluate men’s hockey. The purpose was “to assess the program’s current level of support to that of Atlantic Hockey league members and other programs in the region.”

Connecticut coach Bruce Marshall could not be reached by the Courant on Thursday.