Exit JT Compher

Submitted by Seth on April 25th, 2016 at 2:03 PM

The captain will join his CCM linemates in the NHL:

JT arrived with three boats of hope that he’d give Michigan a second Copp. He departs after centering a line I don’t think anyone in college hockey will improve upon for a very long while. Here’s one ridiculous thing:

There was some hope that he’d come back, especially once Red announced he would, to finish a business degree and earn his free agency (apparently they give you the Hobey for this these days). Michigan’s going to need to get dramatically better on defense for Red’s final (?) year not to be one of his worst.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go punch a turtle.



April 25th, 2016 at 2:18 PM ^

I think we all knew this was coming.  It looks like Michigan hockey is going to have to go through another one of it's periods in the wilderness, which is too bad when a fairly obvious solution is available.  But there's no way to remove Red against his will and come out looking like you're on the right side of the argument, maybe something good will happen this year, but I'm not expecting it.

Regardless best of lcuk to JT and may he find a better home than the Avalanche.


April 25th, 2016 at 2:42 PM ^


I certainly read a LOT of comments on this board about schools like Penn State, Florida State, Texas and others keeping head coaches on well past their expiration date and the consequences that brought to their respective programs.  Why is this different?

I get all he has done for the program and I get he is a legend's legend but if he's hurting the program (and this not saying he is or isnt) why cant he be removed against his will?

Serious question though - is Red actually the best option we have right now?  If Mel Pearson doesnt want to come back for whatever reason then is Red our best choice for next year - regardless of age?

I admidtly am not a huge hockey fan like many on the board but my next door neighboor at my cottage on Middle Bass Island is an assistant hockey coach at Michigan Dearborn and according to him Red lost connection to the team years ago and is just going through the coaching motions on muscle memory more than anything else.


April 25th, 2016 at 4:27 PM ^

It's the optics of it.

Similar to Bowden, Paterno, etc.  There's just no way to move these guys out against their will as these are the guys who built the program almost in their own image as you lose the PR battle every time until everyone is willing to admit it's time for them to go(like with Bowden) or something horrible happens(like with Paterno).  Red still has a ton of defenders and likely will for a while yet.  The thought of a scandal brewing with him also beggars the imagination and so the hockey program is effectively held hostage.  

Even if Pearson doesn't want to come I would argue there are better choices going forward if what you are claiming is true, but there's an emotional aspect to this that has to be dealt with as well.  Red is a legend and he's earned the right to go out on his own terms, I just wish it didn;t mean Michigan hockey is destined to go back to the wilderness for a bit, but it is looking that way.


April 25th, 2016 at 5:43 PM ^

This isn't what is going on here, though.  It's pretty clear that Red wants out soon.  He just got renewed to a 1-year contract.

Reading between the lines, I assumed this is something like what happened to Lloyd Carr after his 2006 season--he wanted to retire, he planned to retire, but the AD asked him to come back for one more year.  The difference is that Carr's situation was because of the Athletic Director not being prepared for a search; here I think it was more the Hackett / Manuel transition coming at a exactly the wrong time for finding a new hockey coach.

Although I have no knowledge of what happened, I have been assuming that Hackett tried to get Pearson to agree to come here and replace Red for the 2016/17 season, Pearson didn't agree (for whatever reason), and Hackett decided to let Manuel do a full national search and get "his guy" after the 2016/17 season.  Is that what happened?  Probably not.  Is it plausible?  Sure.  Berenson, being a company man to the last, told the press that he changed his mind and wanted to come back for one more year. 

I'm assuming there is a "Red Berenson Night" the night before Senior Night 2017, they raise his #9 to the rafters, and they announce his replacement the next week.


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April 25th, 2016 at 2:31 PM ^

Good luck to him, and happy he did so well here.

This further surprises me why Red came back. I doubt he'll have this level of relative success next year to go out on.


April 25th, 2016 at 2:35 PM ^


I think things started rolling when Motte left. Connor would be expected to leave, but Compher-Motte could still produce goals in bunches together. Without him, Compher doesn't have anyone that can reliably finish his passes, and his stats would have plummeted. 

We've been taunted by fans of other teams, asking why our team, with so many great players, couldn't perform better in the tournament. After all, it's not like our loss was a fluke; we were outplayed.

Unfortunately, I think they have a point. This was a fun team this season. But it could have been better. 

I hate to say this, but perhaps Red made the wrong choice. Almost no way this coming season isn't a relative disaster.


April 29th, 2016 at 6:03 PM ^

I doubt it's more of Mel not wanting to come than it is Red not wanting to leave.  As mentioned above, you can't force him out.  Mel needs the door to open for him before he can walk through it. 

I don't think next year's team is destined to win a championship, but I think the Freshmen will contribute.  The last 2 Freshmen classes been impressive to say the least.  Obviously there's no Larkin or Connor, but I'm sure they'll be ready to contribute. 


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