OT: Arizona St AD hopes to bring D1 hockey to ASU

Submitted by gwkrlghl on July 15th, 2014 at 12:10 PM

A little fluff reading for the hockey fans around here. Arizona St AD Ray Anderson discusses with ASU's SBNation site the possibility of bringing D1 hockey (amongst other sports) to Tempe. ASU is one of the blue-bloods of ACHA (club) hockey and boasts having 11 players on their roster who had D1 offers.

The article is decidely non-commital but offers some hope of another big name jumping into Division I hockey sometime. If ASU was able to come in and join the NCHC, it would give D1 hockey it's first school in the west (outside of Colorado) since schools like UCLA and Cal had teams prior to WWII.

File ASU under the listing of teams that probably need a multimillion dollar donation to get this going, but it's an interesting read nonetheless

Link

Comments

gwkrlghl

July 15th, 2014 at 12:33 PM ^

Oklahoma is another power of club hockey, as well as Ohio U (aka OHIO!).

Its actually fairly interesting to look through the ACHA. Just about every Big 6 school has a club team in some level of the ACHA

LSAClassOf2000

July 15th, 2014 at 1:20 PM ^

This comment compelled me to look through the ACHA site and as I thumbed through the standings for different divisions, Arizona State University is in the same division - the WCHL - as Oklahoma. Both the University Of Colorado and CSU are in there as well and even UA fields a team. At other levels, West Vriginia, Navy, Delaware, San Jose State (Div. II) and Boise State (also Div II.) field some decent teams apparently. Definitely a random assortment indeed.  

ckersh74

July 15th, 2014 at 12:30 PM ^

I've seen them play at Adrian a couple times. That's a really solid club program that shouldn't have that much of a problem making the transition if they go that route.

mGrowOld

July 15th, 2014 at 12:33 PM ^

I know pro's arent the same but with Arizona dead last in the NHL in attendance I wonder how much support hockey's going to get in the desert.  Generating fan interest in a sport that few people have seen, much less played, growing up would seem to be a challenge to me.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

beerleaguestar21

July 15th, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

It would not be hard for them to recruit kids there.  Being in the warm weather, and the school itself if known to be a good time for college students.  I have heard they do get good crowds on campus.  Hopefully they make the move to D1, hockey needs some more teams to help grow the sport.

gwkrlghl

July 15th, 2014 at 2:23 PM ^

Big state school, party school, nice climate. They'd do alright for themselves.

If what they boast is true - that they have players on their ACHA team that had D1 scholarship offers - then they'd be set. I imagine they're probably getting guys with essentially walk-on / no tuition assistance offers to smaller schools like a Bemidji, Lake State, etc. but to do that as a club team I think speaks a lot to how easy it would be to recruit guys down there.

I mean...a) play for a small school in the middle of nowhere who probably isn't great at hockey and pay full tuition or b) play for a big state school who is excellent and pay full tuition

ChuckWood

July 15th, 2014 at 6:12 PM ^

As an ASU grad and someone who works close with the athletic department, it's not as easy as you might think. Girls, weather, and location only go so far. Ask our football team.

And yes, the club team draws some decent crowds.

gwkrlghl

July 15th, 2014 at 6:23 PM ^

I would agree when it's ASU vs. USC, UCLA, Oregon, etc. for football and basketball recruits but ASU vs. North Dakota, Miami (OH) and Boston University for hockey recruits might be a different story. Those schools are good on their own, but not exactly on par with who we and ASU compete with for football and basketball recruits

I doubt they would pull many from New England or Ontario, but they'd have some pull in the western US and Canada and would certainly hold their own against the middle of the pack D1 teams and lower

Wolverine Devotee

July 15th, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^

Their program could excel in the NCAA. They'd be the westernmost school in the NCAA passing Denver, have great weather in Hockey months (what other school can claim that?).....oh yeah and as per usual, ASU girls.

 

 

MaizeJacket

July 15th, 2014 at 3:55 PM ^

to get a program going.  This is the first I've heard of a program in the Southwest, especially outside of Colorado, that is even talking about D1 hockey.  It also got me wondering why Northern Arizona (in Flagstaff) doesn't have a hockey team.  It makes more sense climate-wise.  If Arizona State has a huge club following, why doesn't a school in the arid, elevation-dominated region of Arizona not (that we've heard of)?

kdhoffma

July 15th, 2014 at 4:31 PM ^

National Hockey League.  A nearby NHL team is the reason why Phoenix has on of the largest and best youth hockey programs in the southwest... which leads into ASU having a great club hockey program.

Here's a Daily article on Moffatt and the rise of youth hockey in Phoneix thanks to the NHL.  http://www.michigandaily.com/sports/moffatt

kdhoffma

July 16th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

Absolutely correct, Seth Jones is another Dallas product. The Dallas youth hockey is even stronger than Phoenix thanks to having a team for longer and winning a Stanley Cup.

For comparisons sake, Houston is a similar climate with even more people than Dallas. They have a longer hockey history thanks to the WHA Aeros and Gordie... Also due to the oil industry, they have a large amount of transplants from Western Canada. What they don't have is an NHL team (or any pro hockey team after the AHL Aeros left before last season.). As a result, their youth hockey numbers are probably one-fifth of the numbers in Dallas.

Mac Attack

July 15th, 2014 at 6:31 PM ^

It wouldn't take long for ASU to become a premier program.

Unless you had family ties to a particular blue-blood program or geographic area, why wouldn't some teenager not want to play puck and walk out of the rink to babes in bikinis in January?!