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College Hockey Expansion

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The NCHC was designed to be a league of elite teams. The SEC of college hockey. With that in mind, I don't see how St Thomas would be invited anytime soon. While I'm hopeful that they make the jump, they aren't ready for the NCHC. Mankato and ASU have better shots. Heck, BG and Michigan Tech have better shots than St Thomas. 

If they do go D1, I suspect that St Thomas will either join the WCHA, or try to form a league with the other homeless teams. 

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39 minutes ago, Rebel_Sioux said:

The NCHC was designed to be a league of elite teams. The SEC of college hockey. With that in mind, I don't see how St Thomas would be invited anytime soon. While I'm hopeful that they make the jump, they aren't ready for the NCHC. Mankato and ASU have better shots. Heck, BG and Michigan Tech have better shots than St Thomas. 

If they do go D1, I suspect that St Thomas will either join the WCHA, or try to form a league with the other homeless teams. 

UST will be in the WCHA initially, but if they fund a large arena they intend to be elite.

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14 hours ago, Rebel_Sioux said:

The NCHC was designed to be a league of elite teams. The SEC of college hockey. With that in mind, I don't see how St Thomas would be invited anytime soon. While I'm hopeful that they make the jump, they aren't ready for the NCHC. Mankato and ASU have better shots. Heck, BG and Michigan Tech have better shots than St Thomas. 

If they do go D1, I suspect that St Thomas will either join the WCHA, or try to form a league with the other homeless teams. 

Well, if ASU had its arena situation sorted out a few years back MNSU and ASU would be getting ready to join the NCHC next season but I digress.

The reality in the WCHA is that the Alaska Schools are about to cut there hockey programs, hell possibly all there athletic programs, the simple reality is that even if they move into a Canadian league the travel expenses are still going to be high - not as high as their current arrangement but with the deep cuts happening its going to be hard to justify keeping both athletic programs. That means for the WCHA 7 there are two options, stick with the WCHA , Try to reform it, and hope UAH and Ferris can get the pick of the littler leaving the AK schools and get there programs out of the gutter. Option two, Still leave the WCHA and try to do what the NCHC did all be it for schools with generally smaller sizes and Budgets.

Now before the whole St. Thomas D-I announcement I would have I would have said the choice would have been based primarily on if they though they could reform the WCHA men’s conference or not, reality is that they would have eventually extended UAH an offer, UAH is build new facilities and investing more money into hockey, arguably you could say they are doing more to show there commitment to hockey than Ferris State. However, the possibility of St. Thomas going D1 makes this a bit a different story. There are three Scenarios as I see it when it comes to St. Thomas.

Option one - St. Thomas goes Full D-I and coughs up the money for all the sports it currently has to become D-1. In the option its very likely that St. Thomas would join the WCHA 7 and form a new conference with UAH going back to being independent, however given that ASU and MNSU are still interested in joining the NCHC, there is a strong possibility that UAH could be welcomed into the fold to keep the conference even, and as I have said before if the AK teams are no longer in the picture then having UAH is a travel school isn’t that bad. St. Thomas would likely be at the bottom of the league to start and its facilities would definitely not be at the same level as other members… except for Ferris State. However, the WCHA would overlook that for the same the Summit League and MVFC are likely to overlook it, getting a foot into the Twin Cities/Minnesota Market.

Option Two - St. Thomas goes Full D-I but cuts hockey to save money, demoting the team to a club sport to save money on scholarships and funding. Worst case scenario hockey fades in to memory as it did at Crookston. Best case scenario the club team find enough wealthy alumni to help it grow and get to ACHA D-1 levels, and to become a D1 program in waiting, and maybe 10-1 years down the line when St. Thomas has upgraded facilities and has it other programs set the athletic department will say what about adding hockey. Of course by that point who knows how much the college hockey landscape will have changed.

Option Three – St. Thomas either due to their own financial restraints or an NCAA decision to not allow them to move up directly to DI, in which case they would likely go DII, in which case in all likelihood this means they would be picked up by the NSIC, which depending on how the NCAA deals with hockey now, I have heard some say that a move to Full D1 is required to field a D1 hockey team, I have heard others say that you can still choose to play up or down as long as you adhere to the scholarship rules for that level, its possible that the WCHA could pick up St. Thomas, especially given that they would be in the same conference as Bemidji and Minnesota State for all other sports allowing the potential for a new rivalry to build.

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23 hours ago, Rebel_Sioux said:

The NCHC was designed to be a league of elite teams. The SEC of college hockey. With that in mind, I don't see how St Thomas would be invited anytime soon. While I'm hopeful that they make the jump, they aren't ready for the NCHC. Mankato and ASU have better shots. Heck, BG and Michigan Tech have better shots than St Thomas. 

If they do go D1, I suspect that St Thomas will either join the WCHA, or try to form a league with the other homeless teams. 

Hi.  Bowling Green interloper here.  Long time listener, first time caller.  Hopefully I can help focus some of the ongoing speculation.  The NCHC wasn't a fit for us when Fenton asked if we were interested in applying for membership (this happened at the time Mankato and ASU applied so you can say BG is to blame for Mankato being stuck in the WCHA) and nothing has changed in the interim.  BG isn't looking to join the NCHC for the foreseeable future if ever.  

As an Ohioan I wasn't familiar with UST but the more I hear the more intrigued I am.

Now before I hang up and listen to your answer, the juicy rumor floating around northwest Ohio is that Bergeron, who was never enamored with the NCHC, wouldn't mind Miami joining up with the WCHA 7.  Personally I find that exceptionally hard to believe, especially since Western is happy where they are -- and you'd expect they'd be a package deal.  But there you go.

I enjoy reading this forum.  Lots of really smart people and great discussion.  I see stuff here that isn't duplicated elsewhere.  Carry on.

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On 10/1/2019 at 8:04 PM, SiouxVolley said:

Defending champion Minot State is the preseason#1 ACHA DI club team according to the rankings.  Jamestown is #17.

Minot State just moved their women’s team to DI in club.  Think both U Mary and Minot St will both move their clubs to varsity when the WCHA breaks up.  If Bemidji State can, why not Minot? 

http://achahockey.org/view/achahockey/acha-hockey-news/news_525282

Bemidji has hockey tradition at varsity level. Minot is well Minot. Club hockey isn’t the same as what Bemidji has. Hockey is bigger in Bemidji than in Minot especially looking at the support for BSU Beaver hockey. I don’t see this happening ever.

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50 minutes ago, Sioux>Bison said:

Bemidji has hockey tradition at varsity level. Minot is well Minot. Club hockey isn’t the same as what Bemidji has. Hockey is bigger in Bemidji than in Minot especially looking at the support for BSU Beaver hockey. I don’t see this happening ever.

Minot State only moved from NAIA to DII so they could take hockey DI IMHO.   They would have stayed NAIA if they valued club hockey.  Almost nothing has been successful at DII, but they still on to the DI hockey dream.

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1 hour ago, TalonsUpPuckDown said:

Hi.  Bowling Green interloper here.  Long time listener, first time caller.  Hopefully I can help focus some of the ongoing speculation.  The NCHC wasn't a fit for us when Fenton asked if we were interested in applying for membership (this happened at the time Mankato and ASU applied so you can say BG is to blame for Mankato being stuck in the WCHA) and nothing has changed in the interim.  BG isn't looking to join the NCHC for the foreseeable future if ever.  

As an Ohioan I wasn't familiar with UST but the more I hear the more intrigued I am.

Now before I hang up and listen to your answer, the juicy rumor floating around northwest Ohio is that Bergeron, who was never enamored with the NCHC, wouldn't mind Miami joining up with the WCHA 7.  Personally I find that exceptionally hard to believe, especially since Western is happy where they are -- and you'd expect they'd be a package deal.  But there you go.

I enjoy reading this forum.  Lots of really smart people and great discussion.  I see stuff here that isn't duplicated elsewhere.  Carry on.

Have you ever heard that Toledo, Buffalo and Akron want DI hockey started?

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1 hour ago, TalonsUpPuckDown said:

Hi.  Bowling Green interloper here.  Long time listener, first time caller.  Hopefully I can help focus some of the ongoing speculation.  The NCHC wasn't a fit for us when Fenton asked if we were interested in applying for membership (this happened at the time Mankato and ASU applied so you can say BG is to blame for Mankato being stuck in the WCHA) and nothing has changed in the interim.  BG isn't looking to join the NCHC for the foreseeable future if ever.  

As an Ohioan I wasn't familiar with UST but the more I hear the more intrigued I am.

Now before I hang up and listen to your answer, the juicy rumor floating around northwest Ohio is that Bergeron, who was never enamored with the NCHC, wouldn't mind Miami joining up with the WCHA 7.  Personally I find that exceptionally hard to believe, especially since Western is happy where they are -- and you'd expect they'd be a package deal.  But there you go.

I enjoy reading this forum.  Lots of really smart people and great discussion.  I see stuff here that isn't duplicated elsewhere.  Carry on.

BGSU looked better then Miami from what I saw.

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1 hour ago, TalonsUpPuckDown said:

Hi.  Bowling Green interloper here.  Long time listener, first time caller.  Hopefully I can help focus some of the ongoing speculation.  The NCHC wasn't a fit for us when Fenton asked if we were interested in applying for membership (this happened at the time Mankato and ASU applied so you can say BG is to blame for Mankato being stuck in the WCHA) and nothing has changed in the interim.  BG isn't looking to join the NCHC for the foreseeable future if ever.  

As an Ohioan I wasn't familiar with UST but the more I hear the more intrigued I am.

Now before I hang up and listen to your answer, the juicy rumor floating around northwest Ohio is that Bergeron, who was never enamored with the NCHC, wouldn't mind Miami joining up with the WCHA 7.  Personally I find that exceptionally hard to believe, especially since Western is happy where they are -- and you'd expect they'd be a package deal.  But there you go.

I enjoy reading this forum.  Lots of really smart people and great discussion.  I see stuff here that isn't duplicated elsewhere.  Carry on.

Here's a good primer on UST:

http://www.citypages.com/news/excommunicated-st-thomas-proved-too-good-at-sports-and-building-a-college/561900561

I never understood why people paid so much to attend there rather than, say, Pepperdine or another private institution, but it sounds like they are generous with financial aid.

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8 hours ago, SiouxVolley said:

The proposed hockey arena in Clarksville, TN, would have the Nashville Predators as facility manager and Austin Peay State U as a tenant.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theleafchronicle.com/amp/2019291001

A southern college hockey looks like it could be:

Austin Peay

Lindenwood

Liberty

High Point

FGCU

And another unnamed school

Alabama Huntsville wouldn't be a part of this?

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46 minutes ago, UNDBIZ said:

Alabama Huntsville wouldn't be a part of this?

Total brain fart.  UAH would be a part.

Austin Peay only has about 10k students and a low endowment of $20 mill.  The thinking could be Nashville would be receptive to college hockey.

There other public schools in Nashville metro like Middle Tennesse St, which is FBS, and Tenn St, which absorbed Tenn-Nashville.  APSU can't afford a higher level FBS team and can barely afford scholarship FCS, so if the arena is paid for, hockey might doable.

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22 minutes ago, SiouxVolley said:

Total brain fart.  UAH would be a part.

Austin Peay only has about 10k students and a low endowment of $20 mill.  The thinking could be Nashville would be receptive to college hockey.

There other public schools in Nashville metro like Middle Tennesse St, which is FBS, and Tenn St, which absorbed Tenn-Nashville.  APSU can't afford a higher level FBS team, so if the arena is paid for, hockey might doable.

I went to undergrad at MTSU, they have a decent intramural hockey program. I'm actually surprised there isn't a push to start a D1 hockey program. It's the state's 2nd largest school that is constantly in UTK shadow. College hockey would set it apart. 

Biggest problem is no ice in Murfreesboro. 

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4 hours ago, northernraider said:

I went to undergrad at MTSU, they have a decent intramural hockey program. I'm actually surprised there isn't a push to start a D1 hockey program. It's the state's 2nd largest school that is constantly in UTK shadow. College hockey would set it apart. 

Biggest problem is no ice in Murfreesboro. 

Could see the Predators seeking out all the "local" Nashville schools:

 Vandy - no because not the schools wanting to associate with

MTSU - need to spend more on FBS, not hockey

Tenn St - no

Belmont - no

Lipscomb- no

Tenn Tech - no

Austin Peay - if Clarksville builds an arena, maybe

The Predators are crusaders for local college hockey IMHO, even with Clarksville being a like a St Cloud to Nashville, not a suburb.

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I found this today, former NHL goalie Peter Budaj who happens to live in Bozeman Montana is coaching the Bobcats ACHA team. His wife went to Montana State and is from Montana. 

I don't see Montana State adding hockey anytime soon without an arena. 

https://www.kulr8.com/regional/meet-bobcat-hockeys-new-coach-three-time-olympian-and-nhl/article_1ef96133-de91-5b9f-8a2d-6a76701c56ad.html

 

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22 hours ago, cberkas said:

I found this today, former NHL goalie Peter Budaj who happens to live in Bozeman Montana is coaching the Bobcats ACHA team. His wife went to Montana State and is from Montana. 

I don't see Montana State adding hockey anytime soon without an arena. 

https://www.kulr8.com/regional/meet-bobcat-hockeys-new-coach-three-time-olympian-and-nhl/article_1ef96133-de91-5b9f-8a2d-6a76701c56ad.html

 

Bozeman used to have a D1 caliber rink (low end of the range, anyways). Not 100% on the year, but I think 2006 or 2007 the owner shut it down and it became a warehouse for a beer and liquor distributor.  Their juniors team used to play in the NAHL, the rink closing likely coincided with when the team downgraded to a lower tier of juniors.

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16 hours ago, AlphaMikeFoxtrot said:

Bozeman used to have a D1 caliber rink (low end of the range, anyways). Not 100% on the year, but I think 2006 or 2007 the owner shut it down and it became a warehouse for a beer and liquor distributor.  Their juniors team used to play in the NAHL, the rink closing likely coincided with when the team downgraded to a lower tier of juniors.

They are building another arena next to the current one.

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19 hours ago, AlphaMikeFoxtrot said:

Bozeman used to have a D1 caliber rink (low end of the range, anyways). Not 100% on the year, but I think 2006 or 2007 the owner shut it down and it became a warehouse for a beer and liquor distributor.  Their juniors team used to play in the NAHL, the rink closing likely coincided with when the team downgraded to a lower tier of juniors.

Bozeman looks like it’s tossed a bid in for the 2026 Winter Olympics.  Five other American cities are interested.  No idea of the status, but Bozeman could get an Olympic quality rink and hockey would be a natural.

http://www.bozeman2026.com/

Sorry, but Milan and other Italian cities have already won against a bid by Sweden.  No American city bid presumably because LA won the 2028 games in a deal with Paris..   But Bozeman needs a decent rink for a future bid.

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On 10/8/2019 at 9:12 PM, SiouxVolley said:

Have you ever heard that Toledo, Buffalo and Akron want DI hockey started?

Zero, zip, nada to all 3 of those schools starting DI.  With respect to "MAC Hockey," there's more of a likelihood of a UMass and UConn hockey connection than those three.  UMass was a football only MAC school not too long ago and there's been scenarios tossed around where UMass and UConn join the MAC as football only.  The consensus from the MAC side is that's non-starter.  So yeah, still more likely to see a MAC hockey conference with UMass/UConn than Buffalo, Akron, and that $hithole school 25 miles north of us.

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On 10/8/2019 at 9:32 PM, cberkas said:

BGSU looked better then Miami from what I saw.

That's because we ARE better.  By a lot.  "The Brotherhood" is a bottom third WCHA team right now.  And BTW we're better than Western Michigan, too...

While there's a lot of bad hockey played in the WCHA, there's also some pretty good hockey played as well.  And while time will tell, it shouldn't surprise anyone if the reborn CCHA (or whatever it's called) consistently becomes a 2-bid league after jettisoning the "dead weight."  

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12 minutes ago, TalonsUpPuckDown said:

Zero, zip, nada to all 3 of those schools starting DI.  With respect to "MAC Hockey," there's more of a likelihood of a UMass and UConn hockey connection than those three.  UMass was a football only MAC school not too long ago and there's been scenarios tossed around where UMass and UConn join the MAC as football only.  The consensus from the MAC side is that's non-starter.  So yeah, still more likely to see a MAC hockey conference with UMass/UConn than Buffalo, Akron, and that $hithole school 25 miles north of us.

Only asked because Toledo has a new 8000 seat rink, so starting hockey wouldn’t require a new facility.  Toledo has supported minor league hockey well for years.

Buffalo presumably could bet help from Pegula. 

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1 hour ago, SiouxVolley said:

Bozeman looks like it’s tossed a bid in for the 2026 Winter Olympics.  Five other American cities are interested.  No idea of the status, but Bozeman could get an Olympic quality rink and hockey would be a natural.

http://www.bozeman2026.com/

Sorry, but Milan and other Italian cities have already won against a bid by Sweden.  No American city bid presumably because LA won the 2028 games in a deal with Paris..   But Bozeman needs a decent rink for a future bid.

There has been talk to build a new arena to replace the Brick Breeden Feildhouse.

If I remember right the IOC begged the US to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. But the USOC wanted LA summer games so bad.

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28 minutes ago, SiouxVolley said:

Only asked because Toledo has a new 8000 seat rink, so starting hockey wouldn’t require a new facility.  Toledo has supported minor league hockey well for years.

Buffalo presumably could bet help from Pegula. 

It's a really good question.  If you're an FBS school, football runs your athletic department and the reality is that MAC schools simply can't compete with the FCS $chool$. But, due to the current college football landscape, they have to keep trying.  Take Miami and BG.  Miami is towards the top of the MAC in athletic department expenditures while BG is towards the bottom.  However, Miami is also towards the top of the MAC in borrowing from the general fund to cover athletics overruns while BG is toward the bottom.  And according to Bergeron, Miami's travel went up $200k in the NCHC's first year.  That's not sustainable with all that football cashola being shoveled out the door when neither school sniffs a New Year's Day bowl payday (you can count on two fingers the number of times a MAC team played on New Year's Day). Subsequently, the rest of the MAC schools fall somewhere in the middle but none of them escape the football wars.  Heck, Akron built a new football stadium which they don't have the money to pay for -- they ain't startin' hockey... 

For MAC schools, facilities aren't necessarily the issue...it's football and Title IX.  So yeah, ain't happenin'.  And Miami and Western aren't "hockey schools," they're FBS football schools.  Like BG, Akron, Buffalo, etc.  Follow the money.

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