Thursday, July 24, 2014

New York Times, N.C.A.A. Players’ Winning Streak, Off the Field

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...
This article is a must read, the last paragraph should make things a little more clear for you. The big school in division I athletics are going to be making their own rules. It will be interesting to see if this has any effect on college hockey.
Marc Tracy, New York Times -- The N.C.A.A., the Big 5 conferences and a few other universities have seemingly begun to retreat.

In April, weeks after the star point guard Shabazz Napier of Connecticut complained during the Final Four that there were “nights that I go to bed and I’m starving,” the N.C.A.A. changed its rules to allow universities to provide unlimited meals to competing students. (The N.C.A.A. said the change had been in the works for some time.)

The N.C.A.A.’s president, Mark Emmert, testified this month before a Senate committee investigating student-athletes’ well-being. While defending the current model generally, Emmert acknowledged several concerns expressed by the senators. He said he supported guaranteed four-year scholarships.

Last week, the N.C.A.A. released a revised governance proposal that, if approved by its board of directors in August, would make it easier for the Big 5 conferences — the A.C.C., the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12 and the Southeastern Conference — to make their own rules.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New York Times, Spartan Hockey Helmets Going Under Microscope

Casque de hockey
Casque de hockey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is an interesting read about hockey helmets.
Jeff Z. Klein, New York TimesHockey helmets may be on the verge of a radical makeover, as scientists and engineers at Virginia Tech prepare a rating system that measures each brand’s and model’s ability to reduce the risk of concussion.

“After football, hockey is the sport that produces the highest rate of concussion,” said Dr. Stefan M. Duma, a Virginia Tech professor and the head of the university’s biomedical engineering department. “We want to produce a mechanism to try and reduce that risk of concussion.”

That mechanism is a five-point rating scale called the STAR system, which the Virginia Tech football team began applying to its helmets in 2011. While there is still disagreement on whether concussions can be reduced by improving helmets, the football rating system quickly became influential, leading manufacturers to substantially increase internal padding. Sales for five-star football helmets have soared, and those for low-rated helmets plunged.
As a former football player, I have always often wondered about difference between football helmets and hockey helmets. It's obvious that hockey helmets are a lot thinner and lighter than football helmets. Both sports (hockey and football) are extremely physical and both sports have a lot of high impact collisions. It will be interesting to see how the various hockey helmets are ranked.
Virginia Tech engineers cut a hockey helmet and a five-star football helmet in half to show the contrast. The hockey helmet contained two thin layers of relatively rigid padding, but the football helmet had three thick layers of soft padding. The greater cushioning inside the football helmet is designed to slow the acceleration of the brain after a strong impact, thus lessening the risk of concussion.

NCAA Hockey: Expanded video replay criteria approved for men's, women's hockey

An ice hockey referee signals a penalty for hi...
An ice hockey referee signals a penalty for high sticking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here are some of the changes to come down from the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved several changes to the criteria for allowing video replay in men’s and women’s ice hockey, effective for the 2014-15 season.
The replay changes were recommended by the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee during its meeting in June as part of a number  of recommendations intended to improve the game and were circulated to coaches and conferences for comment prior to PROP’s approval.
The added scenarios are:
Goals may be reviewed to determine if they are scored before a penalty occurred.
• If an offsides or too many men on the ice penalty is missed and a goal is scored, the play may be reviewed if the puck remains in the offensive zone after the missed infraction. If the puck leaves the attacking zone, the offsides or too many men on the ice penalty is no longer reviewable.This replaces the previous wording that only allowed a review if the missed play directly led to a goal.
• It was clarified that the video used for replays may come from any source that is available to the game officials. Previously, the video used was required to come from a television broadcast.

Former NHL Tough Guy confesses to robbing two banks in Quebec



This is one of the stories that's making rounds right now. I guess you never know who's playing on the home town team. Cote played in 105 NHL games and scored (1g-2a—3pts). Cote's last season in the NHL was 2000-01.
Trudie Mason, CJAD News -- A former NHL player has been sent to prison for 30 months after confessing to a pair of bank robberies on the South Shore.

39-year old Patrick Cote caught the eye of police in May when the car he was driving broke down in Candiac. When the patrol officers realized the car had been reported stolen in Ontario, they took Cote to the station for questioning.

That's when he admitted to investigators that he'd robbed a CIBC branch in Brossard in May and a Laurentian Bank in Saint Constant a few days later.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Minnesota Wild's NBC TV Schedule.


The Minnesota Wild are going to have 11 games broadcast on NBC Sports Network this season. 

Full Wild National Broadcast Schedule (all times CT):
Oct. 9 — vs. Colorado, 8pm
Oct. 28 — at Boston, 6pm
Dec. 17 — vs. Boston, 7pm
Jan. 6 — vs. Sharks, 7pm
Jan. 11 — at Chicago, 7pm
Jan. 13 — at Pittsburgh, 6pm
Feb. 3 — vs. Chicago, 7pm
Feb. 22 — vs. Dallas, 7pm
Feb. 26 — at Nashville, 7:30pm
Apr. 7 — at Chicago, 7:30pm
Apr. 11 — at St. Louis, 2pm/6:30pm*

UND Hockey: Popular anthem singer Lindquist retained full-time (Video)



This is very good news and a smart move by UND. Mark Lindquist sang a few national anthems last year and he was simply amazing.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – UND Athletics and the Ralph Engelstad Arena are pleased to announce that Mark J. Lindquist has been retained as the full-time national anthem singer at UND men’s hockey games for the 2014-15 season. 

Lindquist’s talents were on display at multiple UND Athletics events during the 2013-14 season and his rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” has become an anticipated portion of the North Dakota hockey game experience. With a significant amount of positive feedback from fans, as well as the desire to add to the unique experience of UND men’s hockey games at “The Ralph,” the decision was made to ensure a consistent performance of the national anthem.

Lindquist is a nationally-recognized speaker and world-touring entertainer who has performed live for over a half-a-million people throughout his career. As an actor, he has appeared in ABC’s “Lost,” CBS’ “Hawaii Five-O” and the Universal Studios movie “Battleship.” 

Currently, Mark travels the country performing the national anthem for collegiate and professional sports teams, delivers keynote addresses for businesses, associations, conferences and school assemblies, as well as educational financial seminars in cities across America. 

This summer, Mark has performed at the College World Series and will be performing at Fargo Redhawks and Minnesota Twins games in July, as well as for the Los Angeles Dodgers in August.
“It's such an honor to become a consistent part of such a storied hockey program. The national anthem is my favorite song to sing and I am proud to bring my rendition to UND Athletics and the Ralph Engelstad Arena,” said Lindquist.

Lindquist makes his home in Fargo, N.D., and co-founded Breath Is Limited Motivational Speaking LLC as his way of bringing a message of hope, passion, perseverance and joy to people all over the world (www.BreathIsLimited.com). He is also a partner at The 7 Mindsets out of Atlanta, Ga. 
Lindquist is a former sergeant in the United States Air Force and an Afghanistan war veteran who grew up in Ortonville, Minn.

Vanek connected in federal gambling investigation



This story just broke this afternoon. I hoping this turns out to be nothing.
Russon's Rants --- WHEC-TV in Rochester, N.Y. is reporting (and has video) that recently-signed Wild winger and former Buffalo Sabre and Rochester Amerk Thomas Vanek was in federal court today in upstate New York as part of an ongoing gambling investigation.

According to the station, Vanek's appearance stems from the June arrest of three owners/managers of the Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte, N.Y. on gambling and money laundering charges. The three men were allegedly conducting an illegal gambling business out of the bar since January 2012 (see above links and this article).

The TV station reports, "Vanek is not charged with any crime and he voluntarily came to the federal court building with his lawyer."

In a statement sent to me by Vanek's agent Steve Bartlett, Vanek said, "Representatives of the U.S. Federal Government have asked for my cooperation in an investigation. I am not the subject of any investigation or prosecution. I will fully cooperate with the U.S. Federal authorities in their investigation or in any proceedings arising out of it."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Red Wings to get $650 million arena



If you're a Detroit Red Wings fan, you've got to be pretty happy today. They're getting a shiny new arena. They will begin constructing it this September, with the ground breaking.



Grand Forks Herald, 'UND moving gingerly toward a new nickname'



I would have commented on this story earlier, but I have been on vacation and I just finished up a project that I was working on.

So it begins. We knew that this day was coming. I am leery, and I am also worried that my favorite college teams are going to end up with a stupid nickname that none of us can really embrace. My head is going to explode "if" UND becomes the Sun Dogs.
Anna Burleson, Grand Forks Herald -- UND is allowed by law to pick a new moniker after January 2015, but after several racially charged incidents on campus, President Robert Kelley has been pressured to take concrete steps and move away from the Fighting Sioux nickname.

“In the minds of many, many people it’s still an issue, it’s still problematic, and I understand that,” Kelley said in May. “I’m not blind to it and I get it. But it is retired officially, so now we’ve got the next step.”

This next step will mean consulting with stakeholders — students, children, residents, faculty, staff and alumni — and laying out the steps the university will take in picking a new nickname.

“We don’t have a process yet but what we’re doing is preparing to create a process,” UND spokesman Peter Johnson said.
I also don’t know if the legislature will be able to extend the deadline to 2017, that will be a story all by itself. If UND can’t be the Fighting Sioux, which they can't, I would rather have no nickname at all. The past season, having no nickname, at all, kind of grew on me. I do like the fact the alumni are going to be part of the process in picking the new nickname. Now, lets just hope the right alumni are selected.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Oshie sporting the #CAWLIDGEHAWKEY shirt


Tyler Seguin goes golfing



s/t to Puck Daddy. Don't try this at home folks. Tyler Seguin let a fan hit a golf ball off of his groin.


Score, Six players who will never win a Stanley Cup



Interesting list by the Score. Noticed Phil Kessel and Alex Ovechkin are part of this list.

Gabe Guertler leaves Minnesota for the OHL



Would be sophomore forward Gabe Guertler has left the University of Minnesota Hockey team for the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL. In 24 games with the Gophers, the Plantation, Florida native scored (2g-3a—5pts).

Last September, Guertler was arrested for driving will impaired, while operating his moped, by the University of Minnesota Police Department. Because of this incident, Guertler was suspended for by the Gophers coaching staff and didn’t play his first collegiate game until the November 8, 2014, game against Notre Dame. This is the second players in two season to leave Minnesota for the CHL.

EDIT: Per Jason Gonzalez of the Startribune, A tumultuous first year likely didn’t help in determining how Guertler fit into the Gophers’ future plans and he was given the option to take a release. That has dismissal  written all over it.

Drake Caggiula out to prove himself



Soon to be junior UND forward Drake Caggiula recently attended the Buffalo Sabres development camp. From all accounts that I have read, it appears that the diminutive forward turned some heads in Buffalo. 

Last season, Caggiula was one of the more physical players in the UND lineup. During one of the media days, I asked Caggiula how much he weighed. Caggiula told me, that he weighed about 175 pounds. Of course I was skeptical. Looking at him, Caggiula looks more like he weighs 150 pounds. Though Caggiula is a small framed player, he plays more like he weighs 190 pounds.

Joe Ray, Beyond the Boards  – Because I didn’t get drafted, it adds a little more fuel to the fire as motivation for myself. I kind of use it to prove people wrong, like, ‘Well, maybe you should have drafted me.’ At this point, it’s over and free agent life isn’t too bad. And here I am at a development camp anyway. It all works out. I’ve just got to keep working hard to get better.

Being small, you’ve got to be strong and you’ve got to be heavy on the puck and all that. Going to college, that definitely gives me a little extra time to develop physically. Being a free agent right now and being a little bit smaller gives me more time to develop and set me up for a bit of a different future.

My freshman year was kind of up-and-down, and I thought last year – my sophomore year – I kind of stepped it up and became a lot more consistent. Obviously I want to do a little bit better than that this coming year and step into a big leadership role there, whether it’s with a letter or not.
Caggiula’s comments should excited UND fan’s going into this season. I think there's a good chance that Caggiula will have a breakout season this year. There were times last year that he was one of the better players on the ice. Caggiula is one of those players that has a lot of offensive imagination and he's able to free defenders with his speed and moves. I don't think a 20-goal season is out of the realm of possibility.

Matheson to return to the Boston College Eagles



The Boston College Eagles received some good news when Michael Matheson announced that he’s returning to the Eagles for his junior season. The Pointe-Claire, Quebec native played in 38 games for the Eagles last season, scoring (3g-18a—21pts).
Alain Poupart - NHL.com --- The Fellow defenseman Michael Matheson, the Panthers' first-round pick in 2012 (No. 23), had a strong outing in the same game, although he didn't score. He won't be in training camp with the Panthers two months from now, though, because he'll be preparing for his junior season at Boston College.

For Matheson, waiting one more season is simply part of the process.

"I have to go back there and work hard and make sure I develop my game so that I can get it to this level," Matheson said. "I just felt that I could develop more at BC and that I have some more developing to do there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Crosby "might" need wrist surgery



During the NHL Playoffs, people were asking what is wrong with Sidney Crosby. Especially, after th All-Star player underperformed during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This revelation would explain a lot of things. Also, if Crosby is out for any amount of time this season, it could prove costly for the Penguins
Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- Sidney Crosby isn't having arthroscopic surgery on his injured right wrist, after all.

Not yet, anyway.

But if the injections he has decided to receive in lieu of an operation don't have the desired effect, Crosby still could undergo surgery before training camp opens in September.

"If this treatment works, you avoid surgery and move on," Pat Brisson, who is Crosby's agent, said Tuesday. "If it doesn't, he will have to go that [surgical] route."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, citing a source who requested anonymity, reported last Wednesday that Crosby was going to have surgery on his injured wrist "within the next few days."

Brisson confirmed that, as of July 8, "a couple of doctors [had] recommended the surgery," but said Crosby sought another opinion the next day and received yet another -- this one, from the doctor who suggested the injections -- Monday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fox Sports, Group of San Jose Sharks fans outraged over team's recruitment of 'Ice Girls'



Seriously? You've got to be kidding me? Now Ice Girls are offensive? Doh-kay! Here's the facebook page link.
Brent Smiley, Fox Sports -- A coalition of San Jose Sharks fans have formed the group "Say No to Sharks Ice Girls" in response to the team's proposed uniform change for its co-ed ice team.

Previously, members of the Sharks ice team wore full outfits that did not expose any skin, while this year's uniforms for the ladies "May be form fitting with some skin exposure." Males would not expose their possibly hairy midriffs.

At least 1,108 persons and counting think the proposed change for women and not men is offensive, sexist and "reinforces a negative double-standard where men are taken seriously but women are sexualized and objectified."

Stay in School part three, Louis Leblanc



I am an advocate of college hockey. According to College Hockey Inc., 31 percent of the players in the NHL came from the college ranks. Recently, I have been profiling college hockey players that have left their college teams early, for the lure of the big money in the NHL/professional ranks.

Here’s another example of a player that could have benefited from a couple more years at Harvard. Louis Leblanc was drafted in the first round, 18th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. Last week, Leblanc signed a one-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks.

In 50 NHL games with the Habs, Leblanc scored (5g-5a—10pts). In 163 AHL games, Leblanc scored (34g-34—68pts). In hind sight, I wonder if Leblanc wished he had spent a few more seasons in college? Maybe not!

Is the Big Sky moving to 14 football teams?

I am all for it. If you read this tweet, it would appear that there's a chance that it could happen.
Craig Haley (@CraigHaley) tweeted at 10:12am - 14 Jul 14: Fullerton: Idaho, New Mexico St. out there as possible 14th Big Sky football members. Only when time is right. #BigSkyKickoff
Perusing ESPN, they touched on this subject as well. Hey the more the merrier right? I am sure that our comrades to the south will find a way to malign this move. Whatever! To each his own.
Lynn DeBruin, AP Sports Writer -- The Big Sky definitely wants Idaho to become its 14th football-playing member, joining regional schools Idaho State, Eastern Washington, Montana and Montana State.

Commissioner Doug Fullerton said the Big Sky may be part of the Football Conference Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA -- but he argues that it wouldn't be a step down for Idaho.

He said the Idaho Vandals would become stronger in the FCS than at the bottom of the FBS "because they will become successful."

As for the WAC, Fullerton wasn't as optimistic. He said he can envision it disappearing completely in one year, or playing only basketball -- but would be surprised, "barring major help," if it remains an FBS conference.

Drake Caggiula attending Sabres Development Camp



University of North Dakota forward Drake Caggiula is currently attending the Buffalo Sabres Development camp, he's a free agent. Here’s some of the other college hockey players that are attending the Sabres development camp.

BUFFALO SABRES 2014-15 DEVELOPMENT CAMP ROSTER (College Players)

FORWARD

Caggiula, Drake C/LW 5’9” 180 L Pickering, Ontario June 20, 1994 North Dakota
Compher, J.T. LW 5’10” 182 L Northbrook, Illinois Oct. 12, 1993 U. of Michigan (Big 10)
Fasching, Hudson RW 6’2” 213 R Burnsville, Minnesota July 28, 1995 U. of Minnesota (Big 10) 40
Malone, Sean C 5’11” 186 L Buffalo, New York April 30, 1995 Harvard (ECAC)
Samuels-Thomas, Jordan LW 6’3” 195 L Hartford, Connecticut May 28, 1990 Quinnipiac (ECAC)

DEFENSE

Florentino, Anthony D 6’1” 226 R Boston, Massachusetts Jan. 30, 1995 Providence (H-East)
McCabe, Jake D 6’1” 210 L Eau Claire, Wisconsin Oct. 12, 1993 U. of Wisconsin (Big 10) Buffalo (NHL)
Prochno, Andrew D 5’11” 185 L Edina, Minnesota Nov. 3, 1991 St. Cloud State (NCHC)

College Hockey in Arizona?



Here's an interesting story, it could be noting more than conjecture at this point. I suppose the NCHC would be a logical location for the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Justin Emerson, House of Sparky -- "He said ‘Mr. Anderson, if you provided varsity-level hockey at ASU ... you would be able to attract so many students from the East and from the North and even from Canada to want to come to Tempe, Arizona to play the sport at a high level,'" Anderson said. "He said ‘I guarantee you, there would be so many prospects for you.' And you know what, I believe that."

Arizona State hockey and coach Greg Powers have done a superb job bringing in high-level talent. Six players next year will be alumni of the United States Hockey League, one of the top junior hockey leagues in North America. That number is by far the highest in the ACHA.

Current USHL veterans include current NHL players like St. Louis forward Paul Stasny, Montreal forward Max Pacioretty, San Jose forward Joe Pavelski, and Olympic hero T.J. Oshie of St. Louis.

There are 11 members of next year's Sun Devil hockey team chose Arizona State over NCAA Division I schools, and one- defenseman Connor Schmidt- played NCAA last season.
I will believe it when I see it. Also, it’s not as easy to start a Division I Hockey team as the author suggests. That being said, it w would be a nice road trip for fans during the cold winter months. Allegiant Air flies from Grand Forks, ND to Phoenix.

Bruins to Focus on Team Toughness



With the loss of tough guy Shawn Thornton, the Boston Bruins are going to focus more on team toughness.
Joe Haggerty , CSNNE.COM – “I believe [the team toughness] is already there, I do. We have a couple of candidates that played in Providence that surely could fit in if we need them. But I really think it’s already there, I do,” said Chiarelli. “You’re going to see Adam [McQuaid] back, whoever’s playing D, so we’ve got some tough guys there that can hold up their own. So I believe it’s already there.”

On any given night the Bruins will feature multiple players capable of dropping the gloves if the team needs an emotional spark, or if there’s an opponent taking liberties with members of the Black and Gold tribe. Clearly Milan Lucic would be the most intimidating name at the top of that list, but defensemen Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid are no slouches in that category either.