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Go to the New Centre Ice to find the latest stories on Brianne McLaughlin's invite to team USA and Chris Margott's mention for the Hobey Baker.

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Hell yes.

I couldn't pass up re-posting this article from With all of the hype regarding a possible "Pens vs Wings" Stanley Cup Final, here are a few things felt could help promote the NHL back to the top.

He is "Peter Puck" ------------------------------------------>

"Travel back with us to the year in sports that was 1994, when hockey was at its zenith of popularity.Mark Messier led the New York Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. Wayne Gretzky made pucks fashionable in Hollywood. NHL '94 was one of the coolest sports video games available. Michael Jordan was out of basketball, and Sports Illustrated even hinted that the NHL could be poised to eclipse the NBA.

We all know what happened. The first lockout. The neutral-zone trap. Overexpansion. Some fans started paying less attention. Then the second lockout wiped out an entire season, and more fans tuned out entirely.

But with a potential sexy Stanley Cup finals matchup pitting the Penguins and Red Wings, hockey has a unique opportunity to squeeze its foot back into the sporting forefront … and Page 2 is here with a list of things the NHL should do to reclaim its fair share of the spotlight.

• The "glow puck" returns and is joined with "glow sticks," "glow skates," "glow beards" and "glow blood!"

• Encourage players to start showing more raw emotion.

• Foster the return of real rivalries.

• Have players get into the public eye more often by hanging out with Hollywood types.

• For the same reason, have Elisha Cuthbert date every North American-born player … and have Anna Kournikova date every Russian-born player.

Dudes without helmets.

Goalies without helmets.

• Mandatory dress code, enforced by Don Cherry.

• Relocate the teams with the three lowest attendance figures in 2008-09 -- to Winnipeg, Quebec City and Hartford in 2009-10.

• Bring back colorful nicknames like "Rocket," "Boom Boom," "Grim Reaper" and the "Golden Jet."

• Four words: Bring back Peter Puck.

• Reprise an ultra-successful marketing vehicle in conjunction with the NBA and NFL by having Sidney Crosby star in a cartoon with LeBron James and LaDainian Tomlinson.

• Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya should wear this jersey at all Sunday home games.

• Generate more fan interactivity, like what we saw at Panthers games in 1996.

• More flaming mascots.

• Every cold-weather team should play host to one outdoor game each season.

• Make Rick Tocchet CFO.

• Ask Mr. Hockey to return to play in his seventh decade.

DJ Gallo, Paul Lukas and Thomas Neumann are being held accountable for this article." Page 2: Time for an NHL Renaissance

USA Today: Versus might take shot at puck tracking for NHL telecasts

(I konw I try to stick to college hockey, but this makes me upset, so I had to write about it)

So apparently Versus is taking the attitude "Hey, it isn't broke, so let's go ahead and try to fix it." From that impeding Versus Interview Towel, to the soon to be re-introduction of the "Glow Puck." If you don't recall, the glow puck was introduced to the hockey world in the NHL during the 1996-1998 seasons, only there was on major difference from then and today...YOU COULDN'T SEE THE GAME AS WELL!!!!

With the introduction to High Definition to the NHL, hockey has become much better for new viewers to grasp and begin to learn about. In the 90s and prior, the difficulty of following the puck (not only for the camera operators) was immense, so obviously putting a puck on the ice with a transmitter in it was an ok idea, but as for today, WHY?

"We're looking to track the evolution of a play," says Ehrlich (Versus Executive Producer). While puck tracking is on his "wish list," he admits it's still a "sore subject" with hockey purists. "There's people who looked at it as a great success at Fox. A lot looked at it as a dismal failure."

-EXACTLY, "dismal failure" lets go with that for a minute shall we...Who in their right mind, in the production of a once struggling television corporation, that has somehow pulled the magical rabbit out of their ... would go the route of putting the reputation of the NHL and their new-found representation that goes along with it, back into this once failed idea.

Let me put it to you this way: If you like hockey, and watch the games, go to the games...when you turn the television on, you don't have a problem following the play (you don't, it is not a question, I know you don't). Point being, YES, we do want more people to watch hockey and grow to like the sport, but you cannot put an impedance on your current viewers. For the people who want to become hockey fans and grow to love the game, this will only be achieved in two fashions:
1) Going to a live game - there is nothing like it out there for a live sporting event
2) Being around other people who love hockey so much that they will be willing to sit through endless games until you understand the concept of "Icing."

Here is what I hope they stick to, which is what it sounds like they might, and that would be doing a Instant Replay, where they show the play with glow lines on the ice tracking the passing of the play to go into the shot and goal. ESPN does something like this with the NFL and Monday Night Football. But I still have my fears.

"any update on the schedule? Who are the teams in the Lefty McFadden this year with RMU..."

There has not been an update yet regarding the Lefty McFadden tournament, if I find the information myself, I will make sure I pass it along, but I do not know when it will become available.

Since I've been fortunate enough to have so many comments here on the blog on different posts, we got a little update about Rob Cowan from a fan in the latest post about the Utah Grizzles and Ryan Cruthers:

"I have an update for the IHL, where Rob Cowan is playing for Port Huron, they will play game 7 of the league championship series on Monday @ 7:30. There are a few cool pics of Rob in the photo gallery located under the fanzone tab on the IHL website. Here is the website address: I do believe you can watch it on the B2 network, details are on the IHL website. Good luck Rob!

Also good luck to Ryan out in Utah!!"

IHL Hockey Website

I have been pretty busy with my internship with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so keeping up with everything is a challenge sometimes, so thanks a TON for putting up the info everyone!

You do the work, you get the credit, thanks whomever posted the info! (you published it under anonymous)


Grizzbee Hitchhiking To Vegas May 11, 2008

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies announced that team mascot Grizzbee is going to hitchhike to Las Vegas to watch Games 1 and 2 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs National Conference Finals on Monday and Tuesday at the Orleans Arena.

Carrying a sign that says “Vegas or Bust,” Grizzbee is scheduled to begin his 423-mile journey at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The Grizzlies are the ECHL affiliate of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

The ECHL Playoffs are down to the semi-finals, and guess who's team is still in the hunt, that's right, Ryan Cruthers and the Utah Grizzles. Ryan has appeared in all 11 playoff games, posting 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists).

The Grizzles (32-30-10) will go against the no.1 seeded Las Vegas Wranglers (47-13-12). Game One is this Monday at 7:05pm.

As more and more information comes out regarding the recent NCAA meetings in College Hockey, this by far is the coolest talks I have heard so far: "The WCHA is the latest college conference to explore getting into the television business."

An entire channel, devoted to hockey?!?!?! YES! Granted, this does not include our beloved Colonials, but still, this is the start of an important step in College Hockey. The WCHA is exploring the idea of creating a similar system to what the Big Ten Network developed about a year ago. The article in Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, sites that WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod is not going to be "a Big Ten thing," adding, "we are approaching it very differently."

Well, it will be different, it won't include football or basketball. Honestly, I don't see how they can be different, I do not currently subsribe to the Big Ten Network (thanks Comcast, jerks) but from what I hear, it is a 24 hour sports channel devoted to the Big Ten. If I am wrong, so what.

Whether the channel is different or follows a new trend (that has been created by the Big Ten), this is only besides the point; MORE EXPOSURE. If you are pissed or being selfish because this isn't "your conference," just hold onto your hat before you throw it down in digust, because this IS a great thing, IF it happens. As college hockey continues to grow, there needs to be more exposure for teams, not just an individual team that has the ability to sign a contract with their local FSN affiliate (Minnesota Gophers), but the whole sport.

With the NHL's exsposure growing this season, and attendence going up, college hockey will to begin to see a trick-down affect. A start up hockey network station will only lead to more networks being created around the country.

So, if you have spent time in reading this, start sending mass emails to your CHA reprsentative to get a CHA Network going...I'm serious.

You can read that article here

Here are two articles from the Bemidji Pioneer, that sum up what is/is not happening in the CHA right now, as well as information regarding Bob Peters:

The most promising quote out of both articles: "A straw poll was held during the coaches meetings, according to CHA commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters, asking those in attendance if the CHA AQ should be retained. There was a favorable response nearly across the board to do so, Peters reported."

As you read, we basically find out that we must wait until the meetings in June, a decision is expected to be made on the fate of the CHA's auto-bid for next season. Current expectation (from article number 2) "The hunch here is the committee will approve retaining the CHA AQ for one season only. It will then be up to those in power of the men’s college hockey world to decide the fate of the CHA and its four remaining schools — Bemidji State, Niagara, Robert Morris and Alabama-Huntsville."

Keeping the Auto-bid alive, brings great promise and hope to the CHA community of teams, as well as its fans. Everyone is well aware of the difficulty that would be brought if the Auto-bid is lost, not for good, but for at least the season in which it involves.

I personally believe that the structure that is currently in place, level of coaching and teams, will bring a positive resolution to the four teams of the CHA. The most positive effect currently happening, is that of the four teams still in the conference, none of them are making an attempt to jump out. Four strong teams working together leads to great hope for expansion in the CHA.

"Peters steps down as CHA commissioner
John J. McRae
Bemidji Pioneer - 05/02/2008
DETROIT — R.H. “Bob” Peters, who has served as College Hockey America Commissioner for the past seven years, has announced his retirement effective June 30.

“I’m at that age,” Peters said. “There was 41 years as a coach, then seven as a commissioner. It’s been a delightful experience — the toughest jobs I’ve ever loved. I’m now ready to gracefully hang up my skates for the last time.”

His time as commissioner of the fledgling league was full of activity as some teams terminated their programs (Findlay, Wayne State), others started up (Robert Morris and Syracuse on the women’s side). In addition it was a long process for the CHA to obtain the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament, Peters said. In addition, the league hosted the 2007 Frozen Four with the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Over the years the league has seen several players move on to the professional hockey ranks and the teams as a whole have become very competitive against the best teams in the nation.

“That’s a real tribute the coaches and the players they’ve been able to recruit,” Peters said. “Across the board all the other conferences have respect for the CHA and the quality of the teams. Again that’s a real tribute to the CHA coaches.”

Future of the CHA

Now down to four teams, the CHA has been working on plans for assimilation into one of the established conferences to ensure future stability.

“We’re thinking there may be some movement in that direction by the latter part of June,” Peters reported. “That’s the target date.

“The CHA will operate next year with four teams (Bemidji State, Niagara, Robert Morris and Alabama-Huntsville) on an 18-game schedule. Each of the teams will play each other six times.”

Will the automatic qualifier (AQ) to the NCAA Tournament be retained?

“The AQ will be decided in a June meeting of the NCAA Championships Committee,” Peters reported. “They have the ultimate authority to award the AQ — it’s a process they go through every year.”

A straw poll was held among those attending the annual spring college hockey coaches meetings in Florida, asking if the AQ should be retained by the CHA. Peters said the result of the informal vote among the coaches — representing the other five conferences in college hockey — was “favorable to the CHA retaining the AQ.”

Having a four-team conference receive an automatic qualifier would not be the optimal situation.

However, Peters said such a plan could be acceptable for one year with assimilation or expansion of some sort taking place the following year. “That way six AQ’s could be retained,” he said.

“It’s critical that the CHA stay in existence,” Peters reported. “Any new teams starting programs need a place to go. In the other five conferences there are three with 10 teams and two with 12 teams, with 10 being seen as the best situation with which to work.

“The ECAC, with 12, makes it work because the teams are within relatively close proximity and they use a system with travel partners. The CCHA has made it work with 12, with some challenges, but I don’t believe people want to go beyond that.”

As an “emerging” sport, college hockey can’t put itself into a position to lose any more teams, according to Peters.

“Over the last 20 to 25 years men’s college hockey has lost 11 teams with two others being close to being terminated,” Peters said.

“We don’t want to go in that direction — we need to have a place for everybody.”

Peters pointed to burgeoning numbers of registered youth hockey players across the country as a major factor in having a conference where growth could occur.

“There are players from 29 states on college hockey rosters now,” Peters said. “The challenge in the future will be to provide an opportunity to play for the large number of American-born players coming up through the ranks.”

If no assimilation of the CHA takes place and no new teams are added, having the four remaining CHA teams play as independents would be “a humungous task,” Peters reported. “Teams could do for one, two or even three years if there was a solution in sight. If not, it would be extremely difficult.

‘We have to do everything possible to avoid any further loss of teams.

“I truly believe in my heart there’s so much more growth that can take place. We have to have the foresight to consider what things will look like in 15 or 20 years.”

For the upcoming 2008-09 season, Ed McLaughlin, Niagara University Director of Athletics, will serve as CHA interim commissioner.

“Coach Peters is one of the pillars of college hockey and a hall of fame human being,” said McLaughlin, chair of the CHA Men’s Executive Committee. “I feel blessed to have worked with him over the last two years and we owe him a debt of gratitude, within our conference and across the sport.

“This season will be one of transition for the CHA,” added McLaughlin. “We will continue the hard work we have done throughout the last two years to stabilize ourselves while maintaining our commitment to the student-athlete experience. I am excited about the challenge.”

The CHA Women’s Conference recently completed its sixth year and will have five member schools competing in 2008-09 with the recent addition of Syracuse University. Mercyhurst College Director of Athletics Craig Barnett, chair of the CHA Women’s Executive Committee, will serve as interim commissioner.

Niagara is a charter member of the women’s league along with Mercyhurst and Wayne State. Robert Morris joined the conference for the 2005-06 campaign with Syracuse becoming the fifth member this fall."

Column: Serratore believes answers coming
John J. McRae
Bemidji Pioneer - 05/02/2008
The way things look now, the future of the College Hockey America and its four remaining teams is solid through the 2008-09 season.

As expected there was no earth shattering news coming out of the annual college hockey coaches meetings recently completed in Florida. No news concerning assimilation of the CHA into one of the other five major college hockey conferences or the addition of any new teams was forthcoming.

Not that any major news was expected, it’s just not the way things work. Anytime a major initiative faces any program that has its roots in the world of university academia, wheels turn slowly.

It may not be the optimal situation for people who are used to solving problems quickly — like those involved in the business world. But again, that’s simply the way things are when colleges and universities are involved.

In the meantime, it appears a solid effort is being made for the four-team CHA to retain its automatic qualifier (AQ) into the NCAA Tournament. A straw poll was held during the coaches meetings, according to CHA commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters, asking those in attendance if the CHA AQ should be retained. There was a favorable response nearly across the board to do so, Peters reported.

But it must be stressed the vote was a straw poll only.

The AQ status for the upcoming season is ultimately up to the NCAA Championships Committee – made up of coaches and athletic directors — which will meet in early June.

The hunch here is the committee will approve retaining the CHA AQ for one season only. It will then be up to those in power of the men’s college hockey world to decide the fate of the CHA and its four remaining schools — Bemidji State, Niagara, Robert Morris and Alabama-Huntsville.

No AQ means the four CHA teams would have virtually no chance to advance to the NCAA Tournament, a factor that would make an already difficult situation to attract top players even more difficult. No viable conference would also force the four teams to play an independent schedule, a nearly impossible situation.

BSU head coach Tom Serratore said that two teams — BSU and Niagara — have expressed interest in holding the CHA Tournament next season a decision should come within the next two weeks. With that decision made focus will center on the future of the CHA beyond 2008-09.

“I believe the wheels will really start spinning, now that the situation has reached a crisis mode,” Serratore said. “There will be a lot of action in the next six months, I believe. People realize there’s a dilemma and there’s a lot of concern across the board — not just for Bemidji State, but the other three teams as well.

“I am confident the commissioners (of the six men’s hockey conferences) will come up with a workable solution.”

Serratore said he fielded many questions during the coaches meetings concerning the new Bemidji Regional Events Center. “If we do things right,” he said, “this could end up being one of the top five rinks in the country. The BREC could very well end up being a major asset not just for Bemidji and the region, but the entire state.

“All of college hockey is very excited to see what the final product will be.”

RMU has added another recruit to next year's roster, defensemen James Lyle out of the COJHL. Last year Lyle played for Smith Falls where he finished with 53 points (9 goals - 44 assists) in 60 games.

Robert Morris has brought in two of the top scoring defensemen from the COJHL with Lyle and 1st team all-star Josh Jones who scored 58 points (13 goals - 45 assists) and was brought in back in October of last year.

Tomorrow from 3pm-5pm will be the last broadcast (EVER!, as they are graduating) for my friends Andrew and Dan in their self titled sports show on RMU Radio.

I am scheduled to come on and talk a little college/nhl hockey at 4PM. It should be a great show, I know they will be re-capping the RMU vs Team USA game from tonight, as well as some soccer talk with Gary Smith.

Check it out at

Inside College Hockey has released their top 10 players that are projected to be in the running for next year's Hobey Baker Award: INCH Article.

One player of note that is not listed in their top 10, is RMU's Senior Forward Chris Margott. Not to be a homer or state that just because Ryan Cruthers was nominated last year, that this should automatically give us a look, but Chris Margott has played consistenly strong the last two seasons. Margott was only second to Cruthers in scoring, this past season with 44 points (18 goals - 26 assists). Margott was also ranked as high as 9th in scoring in the national rankings this season as well.

I understand the picks of Boston College's Nathan Gerbe and Colorado College's Richard Bachman (their phenominal freshman goaltender) or even Ryan Lasch of St. Cloud State, who scored 53 points as a sophomore....yea, that's right a sophomore (Don't worry Bobby Mo' fans, you will get to see Mr. Lasch this season, as we take on the Huskies yet again).

So, why no love? Margs is just going to have to show them why you don't leave a Colonial out of the top 10.

This just in:

Bob Peters has retired from his post as CHA Commissioner. Mercyhurst's Craig Barnett and Niagara's Ed McLaughlin will serve as the interim commissioners.

Craig Barnett has been serving as the chairman to the Women's Executive Committee, and Ed McLaughlin has been serving as the chairman to the Men's Executive Committee.

If you are looking to follow some of the Colonial updates (non-hockey related) check out Colonial's Corner. From Football to Basketball to even a little Softball, catch it there.

The most recent update, and most exciting news to come to us from Colonial's Corner came a little earlier today:

"Got an update from Mike Niklos, who now has a workout with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday. With so many defensive backs sliding in the late rounds in the draft, Niklos had to wait a little bit to get a chance. He'll work out for the Steelers - who could use some DB depth - and then we'll see what happens.

If the NFL doesn't work out, there will be several other options - Canada's calling pretty frequently - but it looks like Niklos really would prefer to stay in the States.

We'll see what happens on Friday."

So stay tuned to see where Mike Niklos ends up!

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