Monday, May 04, 2009

UAF Nanooks to the WCHA

The University of Alaska Nanook hockey team should immediately begin considering moving to the WCHA. An opening for a 12th team in the WCHA is available because the CHA has folded and existing college hockey conferences are making attempts to save faltering programs. Two schools remain without a conference; Alabama-Huntsville and Bemidji St. Bemidji State is the only school to have applied during the WCHA's filing period. They presented their case at the recent NCAA meetings in Florida.

WCHA commish Bruce McLeod made it clear that the WCHA considers a 12 team league the goal of expansion. Much talk had been focused on Northern Michigan or University of Nebraska Omaha as the 12th team. Northern has officially (for the 2nd time) said they are not interested. UNO just hired a new Athletic Director within the past few days.

I believe the WCHA could find a UAF bid very acceptable. But first, would it be a good move for UAF? There are a few things to look at but overall I can't see much if/any negative. The WCHA has plenty of elite opponents to help fill the Carlson. Over the past decade the WCHA has proven to be slightly superior in non-conference action versus the CCHA. Most observers give the nod to the WCHA as "the premier" conference in college hockey.

By joining the WCHA UAF would instantly gain a 4 game per year series with UAA and the rivalry could fully blossom again. UAF's tournament would continue to be a going enterprise along with it's participation in UAA's tourny. Trips to WCHA cities would cost about the same per season as trips UAF takes to CCHA cities; perhaps a little less but not significantly so.

Why would the WCHA like it? Three words "The Alaska Exemption". Currently, everyone in the WCHA (except Mankato) comes to UAA only every other year. Mankato is the one WCHA team that gets the financial benefit of having the extra home games every year. Everyone else only gets it once every two years.

In some cases, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in the coffers of WCHA teams. UND, Minnesota and Wisconsin in particular would see the biggest $$$. But having those exempted games gives St. Cloud, Duluth, CC, DU and MTU the ability to host their own tournament every year or perhaps do something else creative with their schedule.

With UAF in the WCHA along with UAA, every team in the league would be able to travel to Alaska every year. Putting money into someone's pocket is the quickest way to get their vote. UAF to the WCHA puts money into everyone's pocket. Why wouldn't the WCHA like it? UAF has the sort of stability that the WCHA purports to be necessary for inclusion. They have a long tradition and excellent community support.

Why would the CCHA like it? They wouldn't. Quite frankly, it would be a bit of a blow. But it would be a bit of a blow no matter who they lose. If UNO goes, it's not best for the CCHA. If UAF goes, it's not a good thing either. But it really looks like if Huntsville is to find a home, the only place that makes sense for them is the CCHA. It's not a bad regional fit.

UAF should jump into the pond before the new AD at UNO figures out exactly how warm the water is. They currently play to 6,000 folks in a mostly empty 18,000 seat arena. Do you think that place would be mostly empty when Minnesota, UND or Wisconsin show up? Nope. Again, UAF should immediately make an overture to the WCHA. They have more to offer than either Bemidji or UNO. But I think Bemidji's membership in a 12 team scenario is all but given. If UAF doesn't move then they risk the future growth of their hockey program. If UNO jumps in before UAF, they could likely grow into a premier program. The fact that UNO folks don't know that today is to UAF's benefit. Get on it Forrest.

116 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fairbanks comes here that's 8 points for everybody in the league (including tech)

Donald Dunlop said...

Oh I suspect a few WCHA teams will learn a lesson or two from UAF along the way as UAA has done. If nothing else, UAF is always a tenacious underdog ... even when they have less talented groups. Being in the WCHA will gain them some access to certain types of players that they wouldn't have had before.

seawolvesfan said...

Intresting theory, also teams could play us or baby bears, then play the other AK team they havent faced to cut down on travel fees and fatigue.

Anonymous said...

seawolvesfan - that's a good point. there will be two "pod" teams that would have to go to alaska twice (figure uaa, uaf, cc and du in a pod the first year), and you could schedule those games over thanksgiving, christmas or spring breaks, so they only made one actual "trip" for cost savings.

this also helps with the question of "who's uaa's 'rival'" in a 12-team scheduling model? you can come up with natural rivvals with just about everyone else, but uaa seems to get shoved in with whome ever (mankato (?) at the moment) for no apparent reason.

now you could go with:

uaa - uaf
cc - du
um - uw
mtu - umd
und - bsu
scsu - msu,m

then use the ccha rotaiting pods system where each "rival" stays together, and you pair up a rival with another rival to create the three pods every year...

Chris said...

I doubt something like that ever gets through. With the 12 team cluster scheduling that the WCHA wants, either UAA and UA wouldn't be paired together, or two teams would have to make two trips to Alaska in a year, which isn't desirable.

Donald Dunlop said...

Ah ... WCHA teams make two trips a year to Alaska? OMG ... the world will fall apart!

I'd think that maximizing the number of exempted games would be desirable. There are scheduling manipulations that could help. Schedule UAA and UAF back to back. In this age of electronic learning and the internet, using arguments about studies is BS. UAA and UAF students travel and maintain their grades.

From the perspective of someone whose team travels a minimum of 8 times a year I've got no truck for their whining.

And that is an argument that is nothing but whining. Not that you're wrong. They'd all whine about about it.

Anonymous said...

uAA travels more than any team in the league, it is the best team to prepare men to play for the pros.
Beagle, lawason, crowder and next year clark and lunden.
Let's filly the sully get a home game series and show those pansies how to play hockey.

Fan

akhockeyfanatic said...

Fan,
Right on!
I'm ready for Seawolves hockey NOW!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd love to follow my team to Fairbanks just once. I've been to Anchorage, so I think it would be a neat experience.

Anonymous said...

Someone might actually want to call UAF and see how they feel on this subject. Little Blue Birds are talking. Why not UAF, I am sure that UNO will get more support because they are driving distance from the Colorado schools.

seawolvesfan said...

Ready for Seawolves hockey right now???????

www.mtv.com/videos/van-halen/47618/right-now.jhtml

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDAGa3JLwIQ

HUNGRY?

seawolvesfan said...

NO GO for UNO joining the WCHA?

http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/2009/5/5/865937/nmu-speaks-on-wcha#comments

Anonymous said...

seawolvesfan - re-read your link. It says NMU, not UNO...

Anonymous said...

UNO will be joining the league as they prepare for the future. If you remember the reason UAF is in the CCHA is because the league did not want two Alaska schools in the same conferance. That will not change. UNO is a tremendous fit for the WCHA with geographics and being in the middle of the Tier One league for junior hockey. tremendous building and the population of Omaha Nebraska. A side note that Colorado College is recruiting William Rapuzzi.

Donald Dunlop said...

I think there are big questions about Omaha as a hockey town in general. They've supported "winners" but not turned out for struggling teams. Their Athletic Department is suspect. It's a DII football school in a football state.

I say UAF > UNO even though I recognize that whiners in the WCHA wouldn't want to suffer a mind blowing 2 road trips to Alaska in a single season. Or god forbid they stay on the road for two weeks. No No ... that's too much! Even though there is already a school in the league that flies to Alaska a minimum of 8 times a season.

I want UAF to apply just to force the WCHA to consider it. McLeod says they want 12 teams. Well, if UAF steps forward the league would have to give it consideration. In fact, turning UAF down would show that the WCHA really doesn't want to save Bemidji. Let's not forget there are 4 votes solid against Bemidji without a twelfth team.

I know the UAA vote would go from no to yes if it were Bemidji and UAF. At that point it's up to MTU, DU and CC. What makes DU or CC change their vote? Money baby. Maximizing the "Alaska Exemption" extra home games.

Alabama-Huntsville would be a better choice than UNO in my opinion.

akhockeyfanatic said...

Seawolvesfan -

I'm starvin' for Motley Crue and Van Halen and to SEAWOLVES HOCKEY!!!

Will Derek have a say in music selection next year?

My, my we have a long to-do list for him....

seawolvesfan said...

UAF will not join the WCHA there are too scared, they aren't good enough to join the WCHA, man that's I all got for UAF bashing-that's sad on my part

Suze said...

Rapuzzi already gave his verbal committment to CC. *Sigh*

Donald Dunlop said...

Here's what Rapuzzi said;

"Since I've been little, I've always wanted to play in the WCHA for a good team that's also a good school, with a full scholarship."

I consider that a shitty little slight to the UAA program and to the school. He could be a victim of Doyle Woody quote picking but I'm going to assume the former. So fuck him.

I be watching for what he'll say if/when UAA finishes above CC the next four years.

seawolvesfan said...

"So fuck him."

I'm suffering senioritis, so f-who? If it's DW then you've finally seen the light

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Jay Beagle, he got recalled up to washington and will be in the lineup according to ahl.com & nhl.com

Donald Dunlop said...

Go Beags!

Anonymous said...

As more and more ex uaa players go on to the ahl and nhl maybe home grown players will want to play at home, next year grant, clark and lunden. Let's support the team we have 1 recruit from alaksa is not going to make a big difference. The team will be one of the best we have ever had in anchorage.

Fan

Anonymous said...

rupuzzi is a victom of the thought uaa is a school for non traditional students and alaskans who dont want to or cant get into schools in the lower 48 its not true but when i was a kid that was what was always said uaa needs an image change in a lot of departments.

Anonymous said...

Well,how many Alaskans are on full scholarship?? Is UAA doing the right things on the ice and in the community. why is Rapuzzi thrown to the wolves for being honest or at least stating his mind. Right or wrong Derek Donald has alot of work ahead of him to fix the image problem with the local hockey community. I dont like the slight to the program but doesnt he feel like alot of hockey people who are not coming to the games. im sorry right or wrong blame some one or not like you have stated in your blog we have a huge fucking image problem in the local community and you cant blame that on Rapuzzi. Thats a fact. Nobody is that thrilled about Doyle but truth be told he is one of many areas that need to seriously upgraded with every facet of the hockey program for the crouds to return to the Sully.

Donald Dunlop said...

When Brush was coaching and we went into the WCHA and UAA was still the premier team in town; the "local hockey community" forced him out because they said he couldn't take it to the next level.

Then those same people were behind the hiring of Dean Talafous who did everything he could to get the best D3 players in Minnesota to come to UAA. Apparently, that was what the "local hockey community" wanted to happen?

Then the "local hockey community" gets exactly what they want again ... John Hill. He gets his "dream job" and 2.5 years later bolts.

So I'm not so sure anymore how much I trust the judgement of the "local hockey community".

Any and every Anchorage player that wants to go to UAA will choose it. Any and every Anchorage player that want to go somewhere else will go somewhere else.

The player chooses. The program doesn't choose. He knew UAA wanted him for a LONG time, he waited for an offer he liked better and HE chose it. UAA's 09/10 class was filled already.

If anything, I'd say that local players might want to give more consideration when UAA talks to them before anyone else. Instead it seems to encourage them to wait for a better offer.

Like I said, players are going to go where they go. When it comes down to it; you can't do more than float your best offer and see what happens. I like the talent that Shyiak is bringing to the team and I see brighter future. So one kid from Alaska picking the exclusive dope-smoker academy isn't a primary concern.

Win. And they will come.

Anonymous said...

LOL. "Exclusive Dope smoker Academy" thats some funny shit.You cant blame john Hill on the local hockey community. He had some support locally but Cobb hired him. They had a dispute. Thats nobody elses fault. No bodys defending Hill. But UAA has had an longstanding attitude that they are doing local players a favor if they decide to take them and if they do take them then they should do cartwheels for less than players from outside. This started with Brush and is another well known fact to the community and it sounds like what Rapuzzi was refering to was he wasnt offered a full Scholarship to go to UAA . Because of ?? The bottom line is 9th or 10th isnt going to work this year. Hopefully this is a breakout season with a veteran laden team that is now on the upswing. The fans hopefully are coming back because of a different Approach to Marketing and yes Donald they have to win no matter what. Go wolves.

Anonymous said...

uaa doesn't offer local kids full scholarships. other schools do. it's a no brainer for the kids. when uaa starts ponying up the money to local kids that they give to the canadians, maybe the local kid will stay. this has been an issue for a long time. jordan pierce, joey crabb and others looked at uaa, but they were only offered partial scholarships.

Donald Dunlop said...

We all agree I think that we'd like to see more local kids on the team. I want to see it because I'd like to see a local kid be a hero for the local team.

But I'm more than happy to see a kid from Winnipeg or Calgary or Edmonton or Okotoks or any one of the gazillion little towns in any province be the hero too. I'm happy that Derek Donald and Paul Williams and David Vallieres and Matt Shasby etc ... had real nice careers at UAA.

But I'm equally happy that Dean Larson, Mike Peluso, Jeff Batters, Martin Bakula, Keith Morris, Curtis Glencross, Jay Beagle, Kevin Clark, Josh Lunden, Mat Robinson, Luke Beaversonk, Charlie Kronschnabel etc.. all came from somewhere else and had nice careers here.

Do I care that Matt Carle won the Hobey? Nope. Not any more than Ryan Duncan winning it. Good on 'em for it. More than a few kids turn out to not be happy with their choice of schools other than UAA. For every Matt Carle there are five guys like Chris Fournier and Brian Bales or poor O'Connell who got fucked over regularly by Scott Owens.

Here's the thing ... sometimes bad things happen between a player and a coach. For example, John Hopson started his junior year here believing he was guaranteed a spot on the 2nd line, when Curtis Glencross outplayed him and took his spot on the line Hopson left the team. Did that have anything to do with where Hopson or Glencross was from? No.

But when Eric Walsky believes he is #1 line material (even though he never scored more than 7 goals at UAA) and bolts to CC then it's because the program is fucking over the local kids. Truth is Walsky was one of Hiller's pets and Shyiak didn't pet Walsky. And Walsky didn't like it. ForCRisssakes Hill tried to poach Walsky to UofM. That sleaziness is "the program's" fault? How?

These things are never as clear cut as they sound when someone sitting next to you at a high school game tells the story. People in general though can tell if someone's carping has any sour grapes in it. I'd hope that anyone making a decision for their kid to come to UAA or not takes that into account.

Anonymous said...

Shasby was on a full ride at UAA, so don't say they never offer the local kids full rides.

With the limited amount of scholarships available, very few players are on full scholarships. And that happnes at EVERY Division I school.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if your talking purely D-1hockey scholarships or not. But as far as other sports go, even the big rich schools in the Big East Conference do not have full rides for every player.

Anonymous said...

Listen, you've got 18 scholarships to spread out to 25 guys. You've (basically) got 3 choices - 18 full rides, and 7 pay-their-own-way's; a combination of full's and partials; or everyone gets a partial, and no-one gets a full-ride. No team out there can give out a full roster's worth of "full-rides," at least athletically. The advantage larger schools have, is the ability to give "other" aid (need, academic) to athletes.

Anonymous said...

Great comments and yes Derek D has a TON of work in front of him to get the hockey program to the forefront, 1 thing people forget and need to remember about local talented kids...they for the most part are born and raised here. When they go outside to play juniors or what ever they do they realize that life in the L48 is different than what they were accustomed to in AK and frankly they like it and don't want to come back. Anyones fault? No, just the way it is. I have 2 kids that are living proof of that. They are not coming back because they don't like it here, they've elected to move and have 9 months of summer not 3 (in a good AK year). Donald has the right attitude, does it matter where the UAA hockey hero is from, no. Local vs. Candian vs. European who cares. Improve year after year and maybe a top AK kid or 2 will stick around. Governor Bimbo ponies up some money for a new arena and BAM! things get a lot better a lot quicker.

Anonymous said...

Like the last comment, bring in top canadians, build a new arena, and then some day all alaska hockey players will want to play at uaa.

Next year clarkie will punch up 40 pts, lunden and grant will score 20 or more goals each, bryce will be a top end goalie. This team will bring the first ever playoffs to anchorage. Then on to the finals in the wcha.

All the best to the fans and team.

No 1 Fan

Anonymous said...

With the exception of University of Minnesota, when you look at other top state hockey universities...University of NH, university of Vermont, University of Maine....all they have are a couple of home boys on their rosters. Doesn't make a lick of difference where the players are from. The answer for success is continuing to get talented kids as Shyiak has been recruiting whether they are from Alaska, Canada or any other place.

Go Seawolves

Anonymous said...

I agree, get the players from whereever you can. The fact that Alaska is becoming a hot bed for recruiting is nice, and some day it might be a benefit to us.

How many talented hockey players do you see coming out of Colorado? That's why they have to recruit from Alaska. They don't have any home grown talent.

seawolvesfan said...

Green & Golders in the Pro Scene:

http://everything-ak-hockey.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Just a note, I do have it from a reliable source that UAA did offer Rapuzzi a full-ride scholarship for 0910 last fall, so the issue is not that UAA was trying to go cheap, it is that he did not want to come here. Who can blame a kid for wanting to get away from his parents etc.

seawolvesfan said...

http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/2009/5/11/872035/fisher-leaves-minnesota

Another miss, did we contact him?

seawolvesfan said...

All for DD

http://www.adfreeblog.org/

Donald Dunlop said...

Miss Fisher? No we didn't "miss" him at all. He's a Minnesota boy. We likely wouldn't have ever contacted him to play for UAA whether before he was a Gopher or since he decided to transfer. Look where he is transferring to? That kid probably bleeds 10,000 lakes.

As for your adfree link; I'm already adfree, that's plainly obvious to anyone who visits. Putting some tag on my blog to testify to that is redundant. However that said, if a sponsor stepped forward and wanted to contribute to my bank account I'd find a spot for them to put their ad on my site.

Anonymous said...

I heard Fisher is heading to Bemidji State as they have a better chance of getting to the NCAA finals than the Goophs.

Anonymous said...

Huge day for Alaskans at the Tier 1 USHL Futures Draft. 4 players taken off that Allstar 16AAA Team including Brian Cooper taken in the first Round 5th overall...This Team has at least 6 possibly up to 10 D 1 players on it so it was great to See Shiak and crew scrimage them and evaluate. sometimes in life the best deals are right in front of you. Guess what this is a great example of that.

Anonymous said...

when is the schedule coming out??

seawolvesfan said...

http://www.collegehockeynews.com/news/2009/05/13_alook.php

We'll be in the top 25 fo sho

Sick pic here, love his old helmet design

seawolvesfan said...

Also DD, your links to "Some Blogs", is that all the College Hockey blogs? Or just your favs?

SeawolvesFan said...

Worth a look:

http://collegehockeyrecruitexchange.blogspot.com/2009/03/bchl-prospect-rankings.html

SeawolvesFan said...

Talked recently to Hayden Trupp, and Trace Strahle, and well if they go to UAA I'll be suprised. Trupp want's to play Major Junior on the same team (hopefully) that one of his older brother's played for, and of course once you play Major Junior up in Canada, the NCAA won't let you play College Hockey cuz the players get a small cut from the profits from their team. Strahle want's to play on a storied program, so we could somehow convince him to stay in the 49th state for College, but I doubt it. Both agree that UAA is getting better and think the program is getting better and more appealing but there is a lotta work to be done, and I don't blame for going to Juniors next season-there leaving Service-at least planning on it. One reason they pointed out to me why they don't want to play at the Sully is the lack of real Fanatics. Who in the right mind would wanna play in front of a half-empty spiritless crowd as opposed to the always rocking, nearly always full, rowdy, spirited Marucci, Kohl, RE? Derek you gotta log a lot of OT for us man.

SeawolvesFan said...

Also, where the hell is the schedule for 09-10? Last year I'm pretty sure it came out mid-late April if I'm mistaken. Well, I guess with the WCHA busy trying to secure a 12th team there busy. Why the hell can't we secure a 12th team?

Donald Dunlop said...

Mariucci does not belong on a list of "racous" venues. St. Cloud has an acknowledged more engaged crowd than Mariucci. For that matter, most everyone in the league does.

My links list is to exactly what it says "Some" blogs. I probably read a grand total of three of them on a regular basis.

akhockeyfanatic said...

The Sully will rock this season. We've got the team and the people will follow.

puckdangler said...

I know that UAA will make a great impression this upcoming season. I just feel it. There will be many upsets and they will be one of the great teams, just like the early 90's Seawolves. I will be there cheering on the team when they bring home a playoff series, and when they are in the frozen four. This will happen in 2009-10. Go Seawolves Go!!!

Anonymous said...

The last comments ring true.
Support this young group of players and we will have a season to remember.

Fan

SeawolvesFan said...

Intresting

http://insidecollegehockey.com/inch/category/wcha/

SeawolvesFan said...

*sigh*

http://community.adn.com/adn/node/141089

SeawolvesFan said...

Does anybody know for sure if Brian Bales is leaving us?

Anonymous said...

When are we going to hear about our season tickets? It's getting really late! Hopefully fans haven't forgotten to budget for them this season! (Or lost their enthusiasm for the team).

Come on UAA, let's hear something soon!

Anonymous said...

anon @ May 17,

what do you mean getting really late? season doesn't start til october.

SeawolvesFan said...

"When are we going to hear about our season tickets? It's getting really late! Hopefully fans haven't forgotten to budget for them this season! (Or lost their enthusiasm for the team).

Come on UAA, let's hear something soon!"

Probably waiting for the WCHA schedule to finally come out

Anonymous said...

The schedule doesn't have to be out in order to BUY the tickets.

SeawolvesFan said...

True, my bad

Anonymous said...

u all can quit complaining the schedule is out

Anonymous said...

Bales will not be back.
He will play overseas with 2 former Seawolves.

akhockeyfanatic said...

Haha talk about complaining...

Those of you who complained about lack of local talent playing for UAA,check out the ADN this morning.

WTF?????

Anonymous said...

ok i read the adn akhockeyfanatic, wtf are you talking about?

SeawolvesFan said...

Thanks for doing this:

http://www.goseawolves.com/downloads1/121333.pdf?ATCLID=3740249&SPSID=58450&SPID=6373&DB_OEM_ID=13400

Schedule's not as bad as last two seasons, we actually get an astounding 2 weeks off during the last half of the season.

SeawolvesFan said...

Got a tough start in league play: ND, Minnesoda, DUh, wisconSIN, we find ourselves early, play hard we got a good start point wise so we can sail through the rest of our schedule

Anonymous said...

The team is off from December 5 to January 8. Another long break that I don't care to see!

Bales is no big loss. He didn't live up to the hype, probably why he didn't get the scholly he wanted.

Anonymous said...

You add Bales with Crowders production and that is alot of playmaking lost. The hockey community will find out where this program is at under Shyiak because this is a bitch of a schedule.

Anonymous said...

They only have to play Wisconsin and North Dakota one series, so that is a good thing. I don't think this is a "bitch" of a schedule at all. Explain why you think it is.

Donald Dunlop said...

It's a normal rotation in the WCHA unbalanced scheduling. Some years are only slightly better than other years.

Someone is apparently funding a study to see whether or not the long holiday break is a good or bad thing. I see good reasons for either viewpoint but lets remember that last year there was no break and they did better in the 2nd half than the two years previously which each had long breaks.

I believe most of what Bales would have brought to the rink will be replaced by someone else. He was foremost valuable in the neutral zone, his playmaking skills were a strong second though. Take a look at the incoming class. Chris Crowell had a real nice year right through the entire RBC. He'll hit the ice as a 21 year old and I'd expect to see a Regg Simon type career out of him. He'll be strong in all three zones. Bailey is highly regarded and had a decent year on a near nightmarish team. Spencer is a goal scorer. August Aiken should supply a fair bit of the lost playmaking. But all that said, Crowder and Bales would have been seniors and you can't replace experience.

Strategically, the Seawolves staff has to find a way to make the blueliners more productive. UAA should be able to get up and down the ice with pretty much anyone. There is just a TON of skill back there that NEEDS to get on track in terms of scoring. Forget the power play "quarterbacking" and go with power play "bangithoming". Look at how much scoring bucky gets from it's blueliners. Let the horses loose.

akhockeyfanatic said...

oops, my bad!! Check out the Frontiersman, not ADN. "UAA Grabs Local Standout - Avalanche forward, former WHS standout to play D1 hockey in Alaska"

The only good thing about it is that he has a little time to improve since they are looking at him for 2010-2011. We'll see what he can do. I probably shouldn't be so negative.

akhockeyfanatic said...

Oh yeah, his name is Matthew Friese

Anonymous said...

Bales and Crowder were almost 40 assists....Their Seniors and are big losses..College hockey is alot different than Juniors in the BCHL. Crowel is going to struggle on the fourth line. He wont be close to Bales..Next year has to be the year to make some serious strides as everyone is planning on it. Bottom line 6th or above. I think thats fair.

Suze said...

The article in the Frontiersman says "Friese’s older brother Adam, who played a season with the Avalanche, will also be a freshman at UAA next fall."

Any news on that?

Anonymous said...

Saw Friese play a number of times this past season...only played 4th line and penalty kill. Some decent wheels, but usually got physically beaten up each night. He's young, but has a looooong way to go.
UAA is taking a gamble here. Seems odd though, since there have been so many other much more talented local kids that UAA has overlooked or passed over the past couple years. We'll see I guess.

Anonymous said...

Adam is done with hockey. He has an academic scholarship.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's true. Friese's older brother Adam will not be playing juniors in the fall. Wants to go to school instead.

Anonymous said...

Friese is listed as 5' 9" and 160# on the Avs website. That's a stretch if you ask me. So no wonder he got beat up last season. But he's only 17 and has a year to grow and mature. Guess we have to trust Shyiaks thinking on this one.

Anonymous said...

Friese's coach said he was one of Alaskas cream of the crop. And to the other poster, UAA has NOT passed up local talent, they have just chosen to get the heck out of dodge for a few years.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't referring to the obvious others who have already signed with other schools...I'm talking about the kids who can skate circles around Matt Freise who are overlooked or ignored.

Anonymous said...

Or Gustav Bengtson for that matter.

Donald Dunlop said...

Friese rates fairly high as a prospect when you dig around a little bit. There's some development yet to take place but that's the same with every recruit.

What we as fans should do is accept that the hockey folks in charge of UAA know the difference between a kid that can play and one that cant.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...four straight years of ninth and tenth place...stupid us...yeah, they know the difference all right.

Anonymous said...

Anon May 20 7:59:

I can't wait until next March when you will be eating those words. You can't turn a program around overnight. And this is the Seawolves' year! Just wait and see.

And DD is right. The coaching staff has a little more insight on recruiting than most of us who contribute to this blog. We need to be more respectful of the coaches and support their decisions instead of bashing them. No, we don't always have to agree, but SUPPORT is the key word here.

Donald Dunlop said...

Anon@759:
You liked John Hill didn't you?

Anonymous said...

Anon @759- Wait, is this Mr. Positive? I thought so.
The 09' - 10' class looks pretty nice to me. The '10 - '11 class that's coming in looks just as good! Lets just sit back, relax and enjoy. Go Wolves!

sitkafan said...

I am just excited to see that the UAA coaching staff is not only recruiting for next season, but seriously looking down the road. That's making a big difference.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in knowing who these local kids are that we have passed on? Seems to me that those who are playing well, spurned us not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Well said Anon @3:36.

Anonymous said...

Finally got my season ticket info in the mail today. Some changes, the lowest blueliner membership level is now $50 instead of $25.

sitkafan said...

The Seawolf Athletic Association (SAA)is new...

http://www.goseawolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=13400&ATCLID=3740718&SPID=6377&SPSID=62942&KEY=&DB_OEM_ID=13400&DB_LANG=&IN_SUBSCRIBER_CONTENT=

If the link doesn't work, just got ot the goseawolves homepage, its a link on there below the main articles but above the "more headlines" and right of the advertisement.

I think Cobb finally realized that athletics needs more money, and now having Derek Donald to advertise the team will probably increase the SAA sales. Granted I rather be a blueliner than have a SAA membership.

Anonymous said...

Went to print out the online form for membership to the Blueliners Booster Club. They had better update the form cuz it still has the old form with the base membership listed at $25.

Anonymous said...

The membership levels are $50, $110, $250, $500, $1000, $1500, $2500, and $5000.

Anonymous said...

Beagle off to calder cup final with hersehy bears, will play the manitoba moose in winnipeg.
All the best from your fans.

Fan

Anonymous said...

clarkie your buddy in crime, will come out to watch you.

Canadian fan club
Clarkie is from winnipeg, manitoba.

Fan

puckdangler said...

I love the Seawolves. I just can't stand those other WCHA teams. Their arrogance is unreal. Our team will be one of the most talented WCHA teams ever, but why do I keep thinking that unless we have a young Bobby Orr in the lineup, we won't win? Enough. It's our time now. Clark and teammates will win the big games in 2009-10, and bring home much needed Seawolf pride.

Anonymous said...

Seawolve pride is important not only for the city but the university. The more players do well and go on to promote our city, we will attract top end talent.

Look for a great year and the first seawolve home playoffs.

Fan

hockeybear said...

Anonymous (May 11, 2009 @ 2:41 pm) writes the following CRAP:

"When they go outside to play juniors or whatever they do, they realize that life in the L48 is different than what they were accostomed to in AK and frankly, they don't like it and don't want to come back. Anyone's fault? No, just the way it is. I have 2 kids that are living proof of that. They are not coming back because they don't like it here"Oh GMAFB.

So your two offspring represent the entire hockey community in this state?!?

They sound like the exception; NOT the rule.

Why the hell do you think it is that so many former UAA and Aces players wind up back here in different careers living in this beautiful state, raising their families?

Definitely a sizeable portion of teens entering college want a taste of something different and head to the lower-48 for school. But look at the friggin rate of return!

I think you'd struggle to find another state that has more former players returning to work and raise their families.

Maybe your kids are so giddy about the lower-48 because they're no longer with you?

Sounds like you need to retire to some congested little neighborhood in Sun City, AZ.

Once you do - I'll bet it won't be long before your kids return.

Then again - maybe they're just like you?

What a dip.

matthew said...

hockeybear-

I graduated from Dimond in 2003 and came down to the lower 48 for school. Of my closer group of friends, about 20 people, only 2 or 3 returned to Alaska after leaving the state for college. In fact, it seems like most of the people around my age (plus or minus a few grad years) that left AK for college stayed around where they went to college.

I can't find the source, but I recall hearing that over 2/3 of people that "leave home" to go to college end up staying at/near their college. Just like I'm sure a lot of former UAA and Aces players that stay in Alaska and raise families, etc, came to AK from somewhere else and decided to stay.

Where I disagree with anon is I do not think it's purely because they don't like it and don't want to come back. You do a lot of growing up at college, get comfortable there, make friends there, meet gfs/bfs there... there are plenty of other reasons.

But, go ahead and keep taking personal shots at anonymous people on the internet!

Anonymous said...

Hockey bear you are a fucking idiot end of your story. You represent what is wrong with AK, pack your shit and leave. Insult me and my family because I write something that you are the expert on? Class act.

Polar Bear said...

Anon @ May 28, 2009 8:10 AM

Dare I say, toolie box? You are the reason I read this blog (aside from the great insight on the team during the season). I'm sure that "pack your shit and leave" threat was taken to heart by hockey bear, brown bear and black bear.

Donald Dunlop said...

Ahhhh ... The faithful are restless. A good sign.

Anonymous said...

Dare we say numb nut? Or just "bear shit?"

puckdangler said...

Will UAA win in 2009-10? Does a bear shit in the woods, or on the head of a gopher?

Anonymous said...

The UAA fans are eating their own already. Stay tuned folks this is going to get good.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit. UAA fans are some of the greatest fans in college hockey. Definitely some of the most long suffering. Let's face it, the main reason for poor attendance are the Alaska Aces. Yeah, the lack of a WCHA winning season record might be a factor.

A lot of Aces may have great pedigrees, but I will choose to watch a raw, talented college skater any day. I just hope Anchorage will support the UAA Seawolves when they go deep into the playoffs, and pack the Sully just the same.

Anonymous said...

to: the Fans

The seawolves will have a winning team this year, we will just have to wait and see if the fans come out. Any updates on what the players are doing over the summer.

Fan

Who's attending camps.

Anonymous said...

UAA fans are just as legit and dedicated as the Aces fans. We are just smaller in numbers. With Derek on board and the winning season we're going to have, the numbers are going to change. The fans will start coming and the Sully will be full of excitement and noise just as it is for the Aces. (Can we get a new announcer though? My gosh....that is a huge problem. How can the crowd get rowdy with him????)

I would take the Seawolves over the Aces any day of the year, winning season or not. I will be a Seawolves fan until the day I die!! GO SEAWOLVES!!!

SeawolvesFan said...

"I would take the Seawolves over the Aces any day of the year, winning season or not. I will be a Seawolves fan until the day I die!! GO SEAWOLVES!!!"

Though I wholeheartly agree with that, I don't agree with:

"UAA fans are just as legit and dedicated as the Aces fans. We are just smaller in numbers. With Derek on board and the winning season we're going to have, the numbers are going to change. The fans will start coming and the Sully will be full of excitement and noise just as it is for the Aces. (Can we get a new announcer though? My gosh....that is a huge problem. How can the crowd get rowdy with him????)"

Do you think if the Aces haven't been in the playoffs(Con. Finals 4 years straight) that there would be more than 3,000 every night for the boys? I bet there are just the same number, if not more legit Seawolf fans, then there are Aces fans. The Aces get huge numbers of bandwagoners, and more people go to there games cuz they know the Aces will most likely win in the Sully.

And yeah the new P.A.A. guy is not a riot starter, also did anyone else catch a possible Seawolf fan who called in during the Dan Fagan radio show? The fella talked about what needs to be done so the Sully gets packed for us. Unfortunatley I was just spinning the dials before the Aces game 7, and didn't hear anymore UAA exposure.

SeawolvesFan said...

Love the new spirit:

http://www.goseawolves.com/

P.S. word verification

HEART

I got spirit, and heart

Anonymous said...

Seawolves Fan, Ok you win.

SeawolvesFan said...

"Seawolves Fan, Ok you win."

Win what exactly?

Suze said...

Interesting question and answer on the UA_ website about _airbanks joining the WCHA.

https://www.uaf.edu/grapevine/archives/2009/may/

QUESTION:

Rumors have circulated around the Internet, as well as the UAF community, that the Alaska Nanooks hockey team may be moving from the CCHA to the WCHA. Is this true?

RESPONSE:

From Forrest Karr, UAF Athletics and Recreation director.

We are working with both conferences to explore affiliation with the WCHA for a number of reasons including the potential to increase revenue, reduce team travel costs, reduce team travel subsidies and the opportunity to play four league games each year against our natural in-state rival.

Chancellor Rogers will be briefed on May 27. If he decides to move forward, students, faculty, staff and the greater Fairbanks community will all be invited to open forums for discussion and input.


I hope everyone is enoying our amazing weather! :)

Donald Dunlop said...

LOL Suze ...

I was working on a post when you were typing that!

I hope they can make it happen. It would be WAAAYYYY better than UNO.

Suze said...

Great minds ... :)

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