March 20th, 2018 at 3:41 PM ^

We'll see who they get. Their problem right now is theyre actually pretty good, but so are a bunch of the other Minnesota schools. St Cloud State is #1 and Duluth has been real good lately and has a relatively nice new area. They should expect to do pretty well, but they might have too high of expectations.


March 20th, 2018 at 4:18 PM ^

Texas is the Minnesota of football, maybe. 

The University of Minnesota is the crown jewel of the sport. They don't have the titles we do, but nowhere in college hockey is the sport more celebrated or more emphasized. They get statewide media coverage and fan attention. They have great facilities, alumni, and financial support. 

Lucia has underachieved for years. It's one thing to be looking up a bit at North Dakota, which is the big dog in the state school and has the nicest arena in the country and tons of money. It's another to be cleanly passed by UMD and SCSU. The rough equivalence would be Oakland passing Michigan State in basketball. 

It's time. 


March 20th, 2018 at 4:46 PM ^

I've seen people suggest SCSU's Motzko, who has a worse arena and a worse program and fields a better team than Minnesota from within the same state every season. That might be the ticket. But if I'm Minnesota the first person I call is Denver's Jim Montgomery. 

I have no insight at all, but my guess is that Montgomery might have some NHL hopes, and a trip to Minnesota won't help that, so Minnesota will probably get Motzko. But if Montgomery wants to be a college coach, Minnesota is the best place.


March 20th, 2018 at 5:57 PM ^

DU. The guy has a great gig there. He has probably the best program over the last 4-5 years. He has a great arena, and DU has tons of money so that won't be an issue to sway him.  If he is interested in the NHL he is in as good of a place as anywhere with the success he is having.


March 20th, 2018 at 6:03 PM ^

He might not want to leave. College hockey is a nice job, but it's not the same as college football or basketball where the best coaches are financially set for life after a year or two. Considerations like the house you live in and family are real ones (incidently, ones that gave Mel real pause about leaving for Tech when he was an assistant here). 

Minnesota is the only program that could tempt someone in Montgomery's spot. Denver has a great program, but Minnesota is a step above to almost everyone, and they (and pretty much only they) could possibly offer enough of a pay bump to make it happen, should they be so inclined. 

It's only something for Montgomery to consider if he thinks college hockey is something he'll do for a minimum of 10-20 more years. If so, he could build Minnesota back into a dominant power and be an all-timer. 

But he can coach at Denver for as long as he wants, so he might just not want to bother.


March 20th, 2018 at 5:25 PM ^

But in my despair of being a Red Wings fan, I was digging around in mock drafts last night and as of right now they will get around the 4th pick, if the math holds. The mock has them taking a defenseman, but not Hughes, he goes 3 picks later. I can’t help but think he is just what the Wings needs, smooth skating, intelligent decision maker, that can control the blue line, sounds like someone else I used to see in the red and white.

Also Bode Wilde going at 14 overall. UM gonna have some serious firepower.

Matthias Samuelson as the last pick in the first. Still haven’t heard why he decommitted.

Michigan Arrogance

March 20th, 2018 at 4:32 PM ^

not sure if this will affect recruiting for "the U."

I disagree that the UMD and SCSU emergence is all on Lucia - just as the eastern schools have seen, the smaller schools are getting overagers and winning with 20y/o FR and 24 y/o SRs. UMinn will out talent those teams, but that doesn't mean they will win. BU, BC, Cornell, and some other Ivies have seen Union, Lowell, QU play great team hockey with overagers these days. 

Minnesota should never lose more than they win, but missing a tourney once in a while and not winning every title in a league with M, Wisc, MSU(lol I know), ND under JJackson and an upstart PSU and OSU is not grounds for "UNACCEPTABLE" -ness, IMO. 


Season GP W L T Finish NCAA Tournament
2011–12 43 28 14 1 1st, WCHA Lost in NCAA Frozen Four, 1–6 (Boston College)
2012–13 40 26 9 5 T-1st, WCHA Lost in NCAA First Round, 2–3 (OT) (Yale)
2013–14 41 28 7 6 1st, Big Ten Lost in NCAA Championship Game, 4–7 (Union)
2014–15 39 23 13 3 1st, Big Ten † Lost in NCAA First Round, 1–4 (Minnesota-Duluth)
2015–16 37 20 17 0 1st, Big Ten Missed Tournament
2016–17 38 23 12 3 1st, Big Ten Lost in NCAA First Round, 2–3 (Notre Dame)
Big Ten 5th   W 19 L 17  T 2

this was a down year, but that's a lot of recent 1st places and Frozen fours.


March 20th, 2018 at 4:44 PM ^

This is deceptive. Four years of first place finishes in the B1G? Sounds great.

Except that the Big Ten had six teams. One of them, Ohio State, has never made hockey a big emphasis. One of them, Penn State, was a brand new program that wasn't even old enough to go to kindergarten.

And three of them--Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan--were all-time national powers all simultaneously enduring their worst stretches of hockey in a generation. 

Minnesota had almost no choice but to win the conference title in those seasons. Too many great programs taking dives. 

In truth the program has been underperforming for at least 10 years. 

And the proof is in what the non-conference rivals are doing. SCSU has become a leading program in the country. UMD has won a national title, made another final, and is a perennial contender. North Dakota and Denver have been consistently better, every year. They were gifted an exceptionally weak conference for four years and could not get results. And the little brothers are clearly better.

There is no reason Minnesota shouldn't be better than SCSU and UMD. No reason at all. Yet here they are.


March 20th, 2018 at 5:36 PM ^

I don't believe they're analagous at all.

1. BU and BC have both won national titles (in BC's case, multiple national titles) more recently than Minnesota. BU's current coach took over for legend Jack Parker and has only been in the chair for a few years. 

2. Cornell is an Ivy League school playing in the ECAC. In no way whatsoever are they comparable to the University of Minnesota in terms of facilities, support, history, or pressure.

3. All three have been every bit as good as or better than Quinnipiac and Lowell, and while Union has a more recent title they have not been consistently good in the same way.

4. BC is coached by Jerry York, perhaps the best college hockey coach of all time, a man who is now losing his fastball but has earned the chance to pick his retirement date after thoroughly dominating the entire sport for 15 years. 

5. None of these schools are Minnesota, which has a unique position as the flagship of a state that cares about hockey like no other state in the country. It's simply different than anywhere else.

Michigan Arrogance

March 20th, 2018 at 6:02 PM ^

fair points, sure, but I don't see how any of this says that Minn should be some type of juggernaught. That fact is, they won 2(?) titles since Brooks left and Lucia won them, along with several conf titles and tons of NCAA appearances. they have the same s'ship numbers as Holy Cross. (well, maybe - now that I think about it some of those AHC teams may not run full allotments)

I feel like you (and most Minn fans) have an expectations problem b/c in the last 40 years, they haven't been as good as what you and Minn fans think they have been. 

SCSU and UMD are allowed to have better hockey teams than Minnesota (the same way union is allowed to have a better program than Cornell). It happens - they have good coaches. they are also in Minnesota and have access to talent. LSSU was better than the entire country for 10 years. Ferris St won some (old-) CCHA titles. Western had good teams for a while. ND and OSU are good now - that was laughable for 40 years since they started their programs in 1973.

Minnesota hockey truely is ND football. or is it the reverse?


March 20th, 2018 at 6:13 PM ^

Minnesota is Alabama football. The fans will demand success and a good coach until they get one. 

Minnesota has much better history, infrastructure, funding, fan support, media distribution, and any other nameable asset than every other program in the state, and really the country. Their fans want to win. Is it any surprise that they see Motzko doing a better job an hour up the road in Saint Cloud playing in a cinder block and think they should do better?

It's acceptable to Minnesota hockey fans for SCSU to outperform Minnesota in the same way it's acceptable to us for MSU to outperform Michigan in football. Could it happen? Sure. Should it continue?



March 20th, 2018 at 9:42 PM ^

Mr. King, I often read your (usually) well informed posts and you often bring up great points, bit I have to ask you....

Have you been drinking?

Minnesota hockey has never had a decade in their entire existence that could be compared to Alabamas most recent. It’s not even remotely debatable.

If I had to pick a football program to be the analog for Minnesota hockey, it would be the Florida Gators.

The both are the most important state university in the state with the most high end talent. They both have the best facilities in that state and the most fans.

Both fan bases have completely unhinged expectations AND views of the programs past successes.

Both watch instate upstart programs with less tradition and resources regularly out produce them, and both are in deep denial about this and think something is wrong with the universe if they do not rule the state and the country.

I feel that’s a reasonable program to compare to Minnesota hockey.

Not Alabama. Not close.


March 20th, 2018 at 11:51 PM ^

Florida is a johnny-come-lately sharing a state with two programs at least the equal of their tradition and history. BC in hockey if you want to be generous to Florida. They're not like Minnesota at all.

Minnesota, like Alabama, has a rich tradition that goes back deep into the sport's past. Minnesota, like Alabama, has a fanatical fanbase that demands winning and is willing to break eggs to get it. Minnesota, like Alabama, is not the winningest program in the sport by certain stats but is awfully close. Minnesota, like Alabama, had amongst its most hallowed figures a legendary coach (Herb Brooks, Bear Bryant) that towers over the sport. Minnesota, like Alabama, is arrogant and myopic about their role in the history of the game. And Minnesota, like Alabama, has the resources to dominate the sport if they just find the right guy to run it.

Minnesota and Alabama have histories that go back a lot further than the last decade, and if you think my comparison stops (or even begins) at the last 10 years you are mistaken. Minnesota now is similar to Alabama in the Mike Shula era. Talent, fans, history, facilities... but nobody to do anything with them. Get the right guy and everyone is looking up at them.

Look past the last ten years. The dedicated football fans do. The dedicated hockey fans do. Programs are built over generations, not a few years.


March 21st, 2018 at 1:02 AM ^

Well if we're gonna go by "winningest program", as far as titles they're behind even their rival Wisconsin in that department. That's why I've started to really get irritated at our "winningest program" crap in football because nobody cares how many overall wins you have, they mesasure success in titles. Alabama wins that argument in football easily, they have two coaches that are top five all time without a doubt plus success even before Bear Bryant. Minnesota doesn't have that. Minnesota is more like us in football than Alabama, great overall but underachieve all the time.

Michigan Arrogance

March 21st, 2018 at 7:34 AM ^

Look, I get that Minn gets their pick of the 5-8 best Minn kids that they want every year and Minn is the #1 hockey state. but that doesn't mean they are also preventing the next 5-8 (and the next after that) guys from signing with ND, MNst, SCSU or that those program aren't getting very good CDN and/or overagers. Not to mention that the rest of the B10 are among the best hockey programs in the country or that the east gets plety of talent as well.


Since Brooks left, I skimmed the Minn wiki page and saw 2 national titles in 40 years. 2. no more than M, not far off from anyone else given the tourney format. there were some light years where they missed the tourrney, but a lot of conf titles and other FFs as well. 


Minn, BU, BC, M, NoDak are the 1st tier and if Minn thinks they are greater than any of the other 4, they are delusional.

Wisc, MSU, Denver, Cornell, are the 2nd teir that have experienced more significant down times than the above teams but at their heights have been at the level of those above. 

After that, you're looking at teams like Maine, LSSU, maybe SCSU, that have had some extended and elite success under one or two coaches but have otherwise been meh to bad. Minn can't expect to be better than those guys ALL the time. 

Look, maybe they pull the Dever or SCSU coach and he'll win 40 games every year and 5/7 national titles. you never know. But Lucia was that guy when he was hired and after his 1st 4-5 years (during which he won back to back national titles) that program has been about what you expect, maybe missing the tourney 1-2 more than you'd expect, maybe getting bounced out of the plinko touney 1-2 rounds earlier than you'd expect. But by and large, Minn is what it is supposed to be - a team with more talent than all but 6-8 schools who has won about as much as those 8 schools over the last 40 years. I contend that it's not as much of a coaching problem as minn fans think.

If you want to start talking about the Brooks years and prior, great I have a fondness antiquity. Ned Harkness, Vic Heyliger, Amo Bessone. The Broadmore hosting the national title every year. black and white photos are cool. 


March 20th, 2018 at 5:54 PM ^

a legendary coach of a top flight hockey program, who has failed to meet expectations of late. They find the right man they will bounce back quickly. Probably a good move for everyone involved.