Excellent Grantland article on College Hockey

Submitted by JeepinBen on November 28th, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Katie Baker, Grantland's hockey writer, headed to the Twin Cities to take in Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. She talks about a lot of stuff, and it's a good (long) read.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8684840/a-visit-eden-minnesota-where-college-hockey-endures

Michigan is barely mentioned, but she does discuss B1G hockey and how NCAA hockey is on the rise in general.

 

When the Big Ten announced in March 2011 that it would be formally adding hockey to its slate of conference-sponsored sports beginning in 2013-14, the news triggered a seismic shift in a historic, if increasingly precarious, landscape. Gone from the storied WCHA next year will be the two teams I traveled to see: Minnesota, one of its founding members, and Wisconsin, one of its most successful. The Gophers and the Badgers will no longer share an intraconference rivalry with heated rival North Dakota.9 Instead, they'll be doing battle against traditional football foes like Michigan, which has a storied hockey history to rival their own — as well as Penn State, whose D-I hockey program, funded to the tune of over $100 million by PSU alum and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, just made its debut this fall.

Comments

lhglrkwg

November 28th, 2012 at 5:21 PM ^

it seems to be on a precarious path right now. Reshuffling has always been advertised as a way to make it easier for other big schools to join in, but it also harms the little guys so if we don't see the big guys starting to jump in, college hockey may shrink by 5-10 teams over the next decade or so

We probably won't know for 20 years the real effects of realignment, but I think it's more likely smaller schools drop out than it is for a significant number of big schools to join in. Unless the BTN literally makes so much money for B1G schools that several others add hockey as a "ehh I have $100 million dollars sitting here, why not?" sort of deal

stephenrjking

November 28th, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

It's worth a try; the old method wasn't working anyway, and we were on course to lose teams regardless. I'm pessimistic that there will be a lot of new college hockey teams, but at least the ones that are there have a place to go.

The question will be the viability of the new WCHA. If it can at least tread water, everything will be fine.

littlebrownjug

November 28th, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

It will be great to see regular matchups with Minny and Wisconsin, but part of me will be sad about losing some of our traditional foes in the CCHA (Western MI, Ferris St., Lake St., BGSU).

lilpenny1316

November 28th, 2012 at 8:13 PM ^

If those non-B1G programs can stay afloat financially, there could be some really good non-conference matchups with the old rivals.  Unlike football and basketball, any bad blood by the non-B1G programs would have to be replaced by the need to sell tickets and pack those arenas.  They will need to do what they can to stay afloat.

justingoblue

November 28th, 2012 at 8:26 PM ^

about a "state championship" tournament. You could have it on campus sites throughout the season, or expand the current GLI. Playing a round-robin tournament with MSU, Tech, Ferris, WMU, Northern and LSSU would be really cool.

It would also cut travel costs for all the programs, which seems quaint at M and to a lesser extent MSU, but I'm sure everyone else would appreciate not spending the extra cash.