2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Weekend reading: Tom Serratore; LaLeggia; coach salaries; AFA, North Dakota schedules

Published: April 17, 2014, 4:36 pm, by Joe Paisley
The first piece of steel for the new Nebraska-Omaha arena for hockey, hoops and volleyball was pout in place Thursday morning.

The first piece of steel for the new Nebraska-Omaha arena for hockey, hoops and volleyball was put in place Thursday morning.

Colorado Springs native Tom Serratore  picked up his first pro goal, fight and penalty in a 5-4 win at Syracuse on Wednesday for the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms.

All but Rocco Grimaldi have announced they will be back for North Dakota next season. Denver defenseman Joey LaLeggia is returning for his senior year.

The final NCHC players of the month of the season were named with North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg and Nebraska-Omaha’s Jake Guentzel honored.

Under the terms of the three-year contract extension reached between Nebraska-Omaha and coach Dean Blais, he will make a total of just less than $1.3 million over the next four seasons, putting him among the five highest-compensated coaches in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

According to the Omaha World Herald, Blais’ base salary for 2014-15 is the same as it was for this past season, $250,000. It climbs to $260,000 the following season, followed by raises to $265,000 in 2016-17 and $270,000 in 2017-18. A $250,000 longevity bonus from his original contract (originally due as a lump sum next summer) will be paid out concurrently, at $62,500 annually — so Blais will be paid $312,500 in 2014-15 and will top out at $332,500 in the final year of the contract.

This should give CC fans a good idea of what the new Tigers coach may be paid if he is a candidate with head coaching experience.

The Air Force Falcons travel to play Western Collegiate Hockey Association members Alaska-Anchorage and host Alaska-Fairbanks in the Brice Gold Rush tournament Oct. 17-18.  North Dakota will host Air Force Nov.  1 in the annual college hockey Hall of Fame Game at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The single contest will serve as a homecoming for Air Force’s Chad Demers, who is from nearby Grafton, N.D.

The complete Air Force schedule will be announced later this summer.  Here is the North Dakota schedule.