it might be happening
Unfortunately, a miss. ALSO JACK HUGHES?! Oliver Wahlstrom will play at BC next year. Michigan is still waiting on Jack Hughes, who everyone says will either play at the NTDP next year or accelerate like Zach Werenski. Mike Spath just said today on Inside the Huddle that Hughes hasn't made a decision yet, but: "there's a very strong likelihood" that he accelerates and that he's "in position to do so."
Per Spath, the potential catch is that if Quinn Hughes gets drafted and decides to sign, a major motivation for Jack to accelerate goes away. The upshot: "if Quinn and the family decide to come back for one more year at Michigan, look for Jack to join him."
Zach Shaw suggests you'd prefer the Rangers or Red Wings grab Hughes, then.
— USA Hockey NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) October 22, 2017
The Big Ten hockey schedule is bad again. Prepare for another year with the vast majority of Michigan hockey's home games in the fall semester, when everything is happening. The Big Ten schedule features just four home games after the break:
2018-19 Michigan B1G Schedule
Nov. 9-10 -- Notre Dame
Nov. 16-17 -- at Penn State
Nov. 23-24 -- Wisconsin
Nov. 30 -- at Michigan State
Dec. 1 -- Michigan State
Dec. 7-8 -- Minnesota
Jan. 4-5, 2019 -- at Notre Dame
Jan. 11-12 -- at Ohio State
Jan. 24 -- Penn State
Jan. 26 -- Penn State (Super Saturday, New York, N.Y.)
Feb. 1-2 -- at Minnesota
Feb. 8 -- Michigan State
Feb. 9 -- vs. Michigan State (site TBA)
Feb. 22-23 -- Ohio State
March 1-2 -- at Wisconsin
Notable bad things: two(!) bye weeks, the Notre Dame series are not home-and-homes, and Michigan is shipping a Penn State game to NYC. The latter is payback for PSU doing the same thing. While it's slightly annoying for season ticket holders at least 1) the AD didn't announce this after season tickets were due, 2) after asserting a price cut that moving the MSU game actually turned into a price increase, and 3) to play in front of nobody in an outdoor game in Chicago. Announced attendance at the first game was almost 14k.
Hopefully Michigan can fill in those blank spots with nonconference home dates, but even then those are more likely to be Arizona State-ish teams than actually compelling games.
Also of interest: the Michigan State game that is traditionally at the Joe is now listed as TBA. The new version of the JLA might be too crowded to accommodate them? If so they should probably just move those games back to campus. There's no other arena worth having an MSU-M game in.
An outdoor game that's a good idea! The January 5th game at Notre Dame is going to be outdoors:
According to WTKA’s Michael Spath, the Michigan hockey team will return its game to the great outdoors this winter, as the Wolverines are slated to face off against Notre Dame at the Fighting Irish’s football stadium as part of the festivities surrounding the 2019 NHL Winter Classic.
The main event, which will pit the Chicago Blackhawks against the Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium for the 11th installment of the event, will take place Jan. 1, 2019. While official details for Michigan’s game have yet to be announced, a source indicated to WTKA’s Inside The Huddle that the game is set to take place Jan. 5, one week after the Wolverines’ annual participation in the Great Lakes Invitational in downtown Detroit.
My tolerance for outdoor games has about bottomed out but this one passes muster. It'll be jam-packed. Hopefully the appeal of that outdoor game is an incentive to return for Quinn and attend for Jack.
Matthews decision status. Charles Matthews spoke to the media after one of his draft workouts, and you can try to read between the lines:
“Really just trying to wear all my options out,” Matthews said while attending a workout with the Denver Nuggets this week. “Basically go through all of the workouts that I have scheduled and just reconcile with my family and do what we feel is best. …
“It has been really good, especially if I do come back to school,” Matthews said. “Get some good experience to know what this process is like. If I choose to stay in, raise my confidence overall.”
Not a whole lot there, but the press conference did cause Andrew Kahn to reiterate the data he'd gathered about missing the combine. I'd been looking for since Matthews didn't get invited to the combine:
Should he keep his name in the draft, experts don't think his name will be called on June 21. ESPN's Jonathan Givony projects Matthews as a late first-round pick in next year's draft, as does NBAdraft.net. Givony does not list Matthews among his top 100 prospects at this time.
Last year, 137 college underclassmen declared for the draft, many without signing an agent. Eighty-four of them were not invited to the combine. Only four of the non-invitees kept their name in the draft; none were selected.
So you return unless you can't go back to school because of your academics or are staring down the prospect of getting 15 minutes a game because Tom Izzo's got his eye on a walk-on. I'd imagine Matthews returns for a final year, a la Moe.
LET'S GOOOOOOO. Our long national nightmare is finally, finally, finally over:
BREAKING: Jim Connor, who spent the past several years playing football fanatic Larry Culpepper in Dr. Pepper commercials, has told me that the company will not feature Culpepper in commercials going forward. Connor says the decision “Rocked my world” and was “An incredible gig.” pic.twitter.com/an0DJBKO0w
— Adam Carriker (@AdamCarriker94) May 21, 2018
Dr. Pepper. You had Pitbull under an overpass, and then saddled us with this epic doof for years and years. Choose light. Choose Pitbull again.
Etc.: Barstool, imo.