Report: Hockey East wants Connecticut as 12th member for 2013-14

According to an Associated Press report Tuesday, Hockey East’s expansion plans include adding Atlantic Hockey member Connecticut, perhaps as early as the 2013-14 season.

The 10-member league, already in the process of adding Notre Dame for 2013, has been looking for a 12th member to ease scheduling problems.

Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said that a decision could come during a meeting of member schools in June.

“Our attention is pretty focused on the University of Connecticut,” Bertagna said in the report. “There are other institutions that have had casual conversations, but I think it would be disingenuous to suggest that there is someone else, that our conversations are this far along.”

“The window is small,” Connecticut athletic director Warde Manuel added. “It is a great opportunity should it be offered to us to move into the strongest hockey league in the country.”

Manuel also said that the school would move games from the on-campus Freitas Ice Forum to the XL Center in Hartford.

“Most of our programs on campus play in that type of a high-profile league and we’d like to be on the same playing field as that,” Connecticut hockey coach Bruce Marshall said in the AP story. “They probably were worried about logistics when football was being upgraded, too. We’ve got to find a way to make this happen.

“When the door opens, you sometimes have to go through the door.”