2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Scherr leaves NCHC for European Games post

    Fri, May 31, 2013 by Joe Paisley with 1 comment

    bigger NCHC logoNational Collegiate Hockey Conference Commissioner Jim Scherr resigned Friday afternoon to become the chief operations officer for the inaugural European Games.

    The search for a new commissioner begins immediately. Reports that Scherr would take the new position by the end of the month first surfaced two weeks ago. Scherr dismissed the reports then as “premature.”

    Scherr, who served 17 months out of a 4½-year contract valued at $150,000 a year, will oversee the operation of the 49-nation competition in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan in June 2015. The Olympic-style games will feature more than 10,000 athletes.

    “Jim was presented with what is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph said. “While it is difficult to see him go, we understand his decision.”

    The NCHC begins its inaugural season this October.

    “We knew when we hired Jim that there would come a time when there would be competing bids for his services,” said board chairman and North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison said. “We know his expertise will greatly benefit their event.”

    Scherr was the chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee from 2005 to 2009, after serving as interim head for two years. He also worked as the organization’s chief of sport performance. He was executive director of USA Wrestling from 1990 to 2000.

    The league is in a good position thanks to Scherr and the efforts of hockey operation director Joe Novak, said Ralph, the league treasurer. The league met this morning to sign on official team hotels near Minneapolis’ Target Center for the postseason tournament in March 2014.

    “With what has already been done with our bylaws, operating manuals, office setup and personnel, officiating program, and championship site, we are in a great position for our inaugural season,” Ralph said. “Joe Novak has done a great job. His passion for the game is obvious.”

    Scherr-Podium_cropped_largeScherr often cited the passion around the league as a reason he liked his job.

    “Serving as commissioner of the NCHC has been a tremendous experience and it is a difficult position to leave behind,” he said. “I regret that I will not be there to lead the conference through its inaugural season, but I have full confidence in the coaches, administrators and conference staff that the NCHC will set the standard for excellence in college hockey.”

    The league formed in July 2011 with six founding members: CC, Denver, Miami, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, and North Dakota. St. Cloud State and Western Michigan joined on Sept. 22.

    Recent conference realignments started with the announcement of Penn State’s new Division I program in 2010, which prompted the other Big Ten schools to form a six-team conference that begins play in October. That league will include Penn State and former Central Collegiate Hockey Association schools Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State and past Western Collegiate Hockey Association members Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    The moves prompted the remaining western schools to form a new version of the 61-year-old WCHA. That led to the demise of the CCHA, which was founded in 1971 and ceased operations this offseason.

  • Weekend reading: Kivihalme’s NHL Draft prospects, CC jersey numbers; USA Hockey awards; Wisconsin rookie; coach, AD updates

    Thu, May 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Teemu-Kivihalme2014 or 2015 CC signee Teemu Kivilhalme has a chance at being drafted by the NHL in late June. Here is a profile on him. 

    Incoming freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson is a likely second- or third-rounder.

    The 2013-14 CC roster was released with junior defenseman Aaron Harstad switching from No. 5 to No. 27. 

    Here are the freshman jersey numbers: No. 5 Jaccob Slavin; No. 8 Luc Gerdes; No. 9 Sam Rothstein; No. 13 Gustav Olofsson; No. 15 Christian Heil; No. 23 Matt Hansen; No. 26 Zach Aman; No. 28 Alex Roos;  and No. 33 Tyler Marble.

    USA Hockey handed out its annual awards and incoming St. Cloud State rookie Charlie Lindgren was named as Goalie of the Year.

    Wisconsin added a power forward for this fall.

    The Alabama-Huntsville job came open on Wednesday as did the Alaska-Anchorage athletic director job. The outgoing administrator later declared the president who fired him insane.

    “When you give away the university to [lobbyist to have Cobb fired] Ashley Reed and a few local scoundrels, you are by definition insane and I intend to prove it in court,” said Cobb in the statement. “Gamble made the decision to fire me without speaking to one employee of the UAA athletic department, not one staff member, not one coach, not one student-athlete and certainly not me. Apparently, Ashley Reed is the final authority.”

    After leading Canisius to its most successful season in school history and an NCAA Tournament bid, Dave Smith signed a contract extension through the 2016-17 season.

    Mike Ayers, former goaltending coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program was named the new assistant at Boston College.

  • Former CC player makes U.S. inline national team

    Wed, May 29, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    evelandFormer Colorado College Tiger Dakota Eveland, whose ice hockey career was sidetracked by a severe neck injury, was named to the U.S. inline hockey national team.

    He is one of 15 players who will compete at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World InLine Championship in Dresden, Germany, June 2-8.

    Team USA has reached the gold-medal game in three of the last four world championships, most recently winning the gold in 2010. Last year, the U.S. claimed fifth place.

    “There was a great depth of talent when selecting this year’s team,” said Dan Brennan, general manager of the U.S. National Inline Team. “We have a great mix of youth and veterans and we’re excited to compete in Germany next month.”

    Eight players from the 2012 team return including C.J. Yoder of Colorado Springs and his brother Jami Yoder, formerly of Colorado Springs and now living in Hershey, Pa.

    Another newcomer is Nebraska-Omaha senior forward Matt White. Here is a link to the full roster.

  • Tuesday reading: Western Michigan, North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth commits; Maine coach hire; USHL coach honors

    Mon, May 27, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    gendron mugHere is a profile of Western Michigan commit and possible NHL Draft pick Aidan Muir. Future Broncos teammate Michael McCarron made the ISS Top 30 for the upcoming NHL Draft.

    Minnesota-Duluth landed a top 1998 birthday recruit. An NHL-Draft eligible North Dakota commit is profiled.

    Here is why new Maine coach Red Gendron will succeed. He was announced as the hire on Monday. Former Denver coach George Gwozdecky was not even a finalist.

    The Dubuque Saints of the USHL will play in the Junior World Cup in Russia in late August. Its coach , new Denver leader Jim Montgomery was named as league GM of the Year.

    Sioux Falls coach and former North Dakota assistant Cary Eades was named as USHL Coach of the Year.  Would he be a strong candidate for the open Alaska-Anchorage job? Yes. Would he want to step into that mess? We’ll see.

  • Former Tiger goalie McElhinney signs one-year NHL deal with Columbus Blue Jackets

    Fri, May 24, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    mcelhinneyThe Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday signed former Tigers goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a one-year, one-way NHL  contract that will pay him $600,000.

    McElhinney, who turned 30 on Thursday, spent the entire 2012-13 season with the Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. He went 29-16-3 with a 2.29 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and an AHL-best nine shutouts in 49 games. He played in the 2013 AHL All-Star Game.

    “Curtis is a solid pro who was one of the best goaltenders in the American Hockey League this past season,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalinen said.  “He is a veteran goaltender with NHL experience and we believe he’s earned the opportunity to be a part of our team in 2013-14.”

    A 2002 sixth-round pick of the Calgary Flames, McElhinney last played in the NHL 2011-12, going 1-0-0 in two games with the Phoenix Coyotes. In 69 games with the Flames, Ducks, Senators and Coyotes, McElhinney is 19-26-4 with a 3.10 goals against mark and .899 save percentage.

  • Weekend reading: Anchorage search; UND coach catches ESPN’s eye; Jaden Schwartz fundraiser; SCSU commit; Denver update

    Thu, May 23, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    jaden draft imageIt looks like the four finalists may be joined by a few more as Alaska-Anchorage looks to revamp its earlier selection process that put Air Force associate coach Mike Corbett in the top four.

    ESPN put out an opinion piece that lists North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol as the NCAA coach most ready to take over an NHL team.

    Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz will coach his old junior team as part of an exhibition fundraiser for his late sister Mandi’s organization and other charities.

    St. Cloud State received its first commit since its historic NCAA Frozen Four run.

    It seems less likely that former Denver coach George Gwozdecky will take the reins in Maine. New Denver coach Jim Montgomery is profiled.

  • CC signee garners USHL all-rookie team award

    Tue, May 21, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Olofsson-small1Incoming Tiger freshman Gustav Olofsson was named to the United States Hockey League’s all-rookie team for this past season.

    Here is the writeup for the Broomfield resident, who is projected as a second or third-round NHL draft pick on June 30.

    Gustav Olofsson (D), Green Bay Gamblers

    A native of Sweden, the defenseman played all but one of the 64 regular season games for Green Bay and collected 23 points (2g, 21a) while posting a plus-11 rating.  He dished out two assists in the first game of the season on September 28th.  His first USHL career goal was the game-winner in the 5-2 victory against Muskegon on November 23rd.  Twice this season he finished a game with a plus-four rating.  Olofsson is a top prospect for the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft and was selected by scouts to compete in the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.  He is committed to Colorado College.

  • Tuesday reading: Look at NCHC teams; UAA coach response; Gwozdecky mulls future; Nebraska-Omaha, Boston assistants leave

    Tue, May 21, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    BlaisHere is a look at the upcoming Nebraska-Omaha schedule and a brief take n the other NCHC teams.

    College Hockey News got a response from former Alaska-Anchorage coach Dave Shyiak about allegations of abuse put forward in a recent lawsuit.

    Former Denver coach George Gwozdecky is interested in coaching in the pros.  He remains a leading candidate for the Maine opening.

    Assistant Steve Johnson has left his position at Nebraska-Omaha as did Boston University’s Mike Bavis.

  • NCHC commissioner under consideration for another job

    Mon, May 20, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger NCHC logoNational Collegiate Hockey Conference commissioner Jim Scherr is under consideration to become the chief operating officer of the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku.

    Scherr said there was no deadline on a decision but said it would be “in the interest of everyone involved that it would be made sooner rather than later.”

    European media reported that he would take on the new position later this month.

    “That announcement is premature and incorrect at this time,” Scherr said, adding that negotiations are ongoing.

    Scherr did not rule out holding both his current position as league commissioner and COO of the Games.

    “That would be up to (the NCHC Board of) Directors to decide,” he said.

    The NCHC was not surprised by the development.

    “He (Scherr) has been forthcoming with information regarding a competing bid for his services,” the league said via email. “Since this is an internal personnel matter, the conference will offer no further comment at this time.”

  • URI, St. Anselm want into Atlantic Hockey

    Mon, May 20, 2013 by Joe Paisley with 2 comments

    aha logoThe University of Rhode Island, often rumored to be considering a move into NCAA Division I men’s hockey, and Division III St. Anselm were confirmed by multiple sources as the programs looking to fill the vacancy in the Atlantic Hockey Association following this coming season.

    Air Force plays in the AHA. Connecticut enters its final AHA season this fall before joining Hockey East with the start of the 2014-15 season.

    URI plays home games at the 11-year-old Bradford R. Boss Arena (capacity 2,500) in Kingston, R.I.  Club coach Joe Augustine is 505-231-43, including the 2006 national championship, in 23 seasons coaching the URI program. 

    The Boston Herald is reporting there is a R.I. group trying to raise $5 million to start the varsity program.

    Saint Anselm, a very successful ECAC East program, plays in the 11-year-old  Thomas F. Sullivan Arena (capacity 2,400) in Manchester, N.H.. Coach Ed Seney is 326-301-44 in 25 years.

    There was no confirmation available that either program had officially applied of how Title IX concerns (equitable scholarship offerings) would be addressed.

    Atlantic Hockey will have a 28-game league schedule beginning in 2014-15 with each team facing 10 league opponents twice for a total of 20 games, plus an eight-game rotation. The AHA also will increase scholarships allowed to 13 in 2014-15 and 14 in 2015-2016.  Many western schools have pushed for the full 18 NCAA limit in order to be more competitive.

    The addition of another Division I program would increase the national total to 60.