Sunday, June 14, 2009

UAF? Money Maker. UNO? Not So Much.

I have a belief/assumption that there are three teams in the WCHA who put extra butts in home team arenas. Minnesota, Wisconsin and UND have active followers living in every other WCHA city. So ... when those three show up, you'll see a fair number more folks in your barn than you did when Mankato visited last weekend. Let's test that belief by comparing the average attendance for non-premier opponents to the average attendance for premier opponents:
UAA
Big Three Average: 3613
Everyone Else Average: 3240

Colorado College
Big Three Average: 7284
Everyone Else Average: 6563

University of Denver
Big Three Average: 6019
Everyone Else Average: 5450

Michigan Tech University
Big Three Average: 2890
Everyone Else Average: 2499

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Big Three Average: 4989
Everyone Else Average: 4512

University of Minnesota Duluth
Big Three Average: 4955
Everyone Else Average: 4652

Saint Cloud State University
Big Three Average: 6097
Everyone Else Average: 6006
I used the last three home series where Minnesota, North Dakota or Wisconsin was the opponent to calculate the "Big Three Average". The "Everybody Else Average" was calculated using the remaining home conference games only. It's not scientific in the least. If someone else wants to use figures for the last "x" number of years versus to make it statistically valid then feel free. I have doubts it would make a big difference ... nevertheless the disclaimer stands.

St. Cloud looks to be an exception to the rule. They pretty much pack em in for anyone that comes to town. Good on them! But for the rest there is from a low of about 300 to a high of over 700 per game less. Note that CC and DU show the biggest variance. At CC this means additional revenue of $21,500 during a weekend when either Wisconsin, Minnesota or North Dakato play. Under the unbalanced schedule, CC gets 2 of those 3 opponents in their rink every year. This is all together less significant that I originally thought. I'd estimate that any likely configuration of 12 teams would not create much more than about $10,000 less per year on average for CC or DU since essentially those losses are spread out during the time it takes to "balance" the schedule. Such a loss wouldn't be a vote maker. I was wrong about that.

I still believe the bottom line is the primary vote maker in this situation. So let's look at the split from the Final Five pie first. Those revenues are spread between 10 teams today. In the future they'll be spread between 12 teams. I don't have the figures unfortunately. so I'll just plug in an arbitrary number that is easy to divide in my head. So for example; if we assume that it's a million dollars. A ten team split obviously equals $100K each; a 12 team split equals $8333.33.

So based on the example of a million dollars ... a twelve team league (regardless of the choice between UAF and UNO) means a semi-significant loss of around $20,000 dollars a year on average for each program. Obviously, that number is different depending on the exact amount of the Final Five revenue share. Again, that loss is there regardless of which 12th team is included.

The next thing to consider is any potential revenue increases that would offset those losses. Playing a hockey game against the host team in Alaska provides an exemption for the visiting team against their maximum limit of 34 regular season games. This means that such visiting teams can host an additional home game. As it stands, 7 WCHA teams each season receive 2 exemptions each year. With UAF in the league all the other WCHA teams would be able to receive the 2 exemptions each year. Let's see what an exemption is worth at each school based using $15 dollars per ticket. Note here; the Alaska schools are locked into the 34 game limit.
Colorado College ----- 7343 seats times 15 dollars = $110,145
Denver University ----- 6026 seats times 15 dollars = $90,390
Michigan Tech ----- 4200 seats times 15 dollars = $63,000
Minnesota ----- 9700 seats times 15 dollars = $145,500
Minnesota St. ----- 4832 seats times 15 dollars = $72,480
Minnesota-Duluth ----- 5233 seats times 15 dollars = $78,495
North Dakota ----- 11500 seats times 15 dollars = $172,500
St. Cloud ----- 5763 seats times 15 dollars = $86,445
Wisconsin ----- 15237 seats times 15 dollars = $228,555
Those numbers represent the potential revenue from one additional home game. I have to apologize for not being 100 percent sure here but in my reading of the NCAA bylaws pertaining to exempted contests, I did not find any mention of any limits on Alaska exemptions per year. That helps explain why WCHA schools were regular attendees at UAA's tournament in years when they weren't otherwise scheduled to come up here. In any case, those are significant revenue additions to most of the WCHA schools. With UAA and UAF in the league the other member schools would maximize the number of additional home games they could schedule. I'm thinking 2 extra home games every year is something that both fans and administrations at every school would get behind. A minimum of 2 exemptions EVERY year.

Now the travel costs. UAF is definitely more expensive for 9 out of 10 WCHA teams than UNO. No point in calculating miles and all that eh? Fairbanks is way farther than Omaha ... I'll stipulate that. But there is an existing offset that could easily be adapted as necessary. Currently, UAF subsidizes the travel for it's CCHA opponents with 25 airline tickets. UAA apparently still provides 12 tickets for it's WCHA opponents. I have no reason to believe that UAF wouldn't happily provide the same 25 tickets to WCHA opponents. In fact, UAF's inclusion in the WCHA is actually so beneficial to the UAA program that I'd imagine UAA would happily buy everyone that comes to Anchorage 25 tickets as well. Ok so ... in that scenario travel to Alaska probably costs about the same as travel to Omaha.

Time to travel? DU and CC would face an 8+ hour bus ride to Omaha. Flying time from Denver to Fairbanks? Less than 7 hours. If DU and CC wanted to fly to Omaha; will UNO pay for 25 of their tickets? Similar story for the Gophers and Bucky. 380/370 miles to Omaha. 6 hours on a bus? Or 7 hours in an airplane? Duluth? 529 miles. 8+ hours on a bus for them. It seems to be almost a push. Though it is easier to get on and off a bus with your gear than it is with all the airport rig-a-ma-roll that you have to go through. Travel to either place certainly has it's downside. But no doubt, for a majority of WCHA schools UNO is objectively a more convenient destination. I could argue otherwise subjectively ... but I won't.

So if it's a choice between adding a school that will increase your bottom line significantly or adding a school that is a little easier to get to ... UAF is clearly the better choice. The relative inconvenience is not significant compared to the potential revenue. $200,000+ (or so) year to offset the $25,000 (or so) loss of going to 12 teams? I think the expansion decision at each WCHA institution would take that number into account. One choice is expand and lose 25K a year or expand and make 180K+ a year ... come on. It's got to be a "slam dunk" eh, Ciskie? That pays for 2 assistant coaches. Or a skating treadmill. Or an upgraded weight room. Or on and on and on ...

Someone please speak up if I'm missing some revenue that Bemidji or UNO brings with them as members.

The question in my mind today is whether UAF is desirous of and/or receiving real consideration from the WCHA. Bruce McLeod certainly seems to want UAF to wait in the wings pending UNO's decision. If UAF is interested then they should certainly not stand by while UNO decides whether or not it will apply.

98 comments:

dggoddard said...

UNO is joining the WCHA, there's no point fighting it now.

That being said, you've done a great job showing how important the "Big 3" are to revenue in the WCHA.

Lets not forget that TV ratings, nearby business revenue, parking revenue & merchadise sales increase as well.

Personally, I'd rather have UAF than Bemidji, but that ship has sailed. The best hope for UAA & UAF to link up is with the Canadian universities.

I believe the "Big 3" will quickly tire of a 12 team WCHA and will plan an exit in due time. Maybe, North Dakota, DU & Notre Dame will be invited to join them?

kort said...

Only thing I disagree with is that UAF would still be happy to pay for 25 tickets for the WCHA teams. Part of the reason they're looking into it is to see whether it will save them money, and going down to 12 tickets certainly would.

I'm on the fence about whether I think UAF should stay in the CCHA or go to the WCHA. I'm leaning towards the WCHA since they ruined the Gov. Cup series with the two-game home-and-home crap. What kind of college student (or many regular non-student fans) can afford to drive down to Anchorage, or up to Fairbanks, just for one day, to turn around and go back immediately the next morning?

Either way, I'll probably/hopefully be out of Fairbanks by the time this happens so it wouldn't make much of a difference to me, unless I end up in Anchorage, and would then get to watch more UAF games.

Chris said...

There's a couple issues here...

1. The pie for the WCHA Championships would be split an additional two ways, but you also have to keep in mind that the pie is also much bigger.

With 12 teams, there would be six home first round series as opposed to five, meaning an extra two games of revenue for the league. Plus, you'd add an additional game to the Finals in St. Paul--I'd imagine the two Thursday games would be on the same ticket, but you'd draw better.

Or, if tournament finances are a big deal, they could hold their tournament like the CCHA does, meaning they'd be getting the revenue from 8 home playoff series, while keeping their biggest revenue games in St. Paul.

2. It doesn't seem particularly clear that UA would be willing pay to for 25 tickets. Their impression seems to be that they'd be paying the same 12 as UAA does.

3. Who is paying for these week-long stays in Alaska?

4. Alaska had a very good year this year and UNO still outdrew them for home games 2:1.

5. I'm not sure what is in this for UA. UAA has been abysmal in the WCHA the past few years, and their home crowds are pathetic. It's hard to imagine things would go much better for Alaska. They'd get their four games with Anchorage every year, but they'd probably be more competitive in the CCHA, and keep their fanbase more interested.

The bottom line is that over the past couple of years, there's been a groundswell of feeling that UAA doesn't even belong in the WCHA. I don't see there being much support for adding a second Alaska team into the fold, unless things fall through with UNO like they did with NMU.

Runninwiththedogs said...

D,

You know I love math. One flaw in your calculations is that DU and CC draw extremely well for each other, which would probably account for the variance. The "big three" are not as important as their intra-state rivalry. You could prb throw out Wisconsin and replace them with CC/DU for DU/CC. I know it influences the numbers a bit, but DU and CC are a special case as they have a big draw outside of the norm.

-D

Bruce Ciskie said...

Another point that I didn't think of when I wrote my rambling rebuttal...

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota really don't care who shows up at their rink. It's going to draw a big crowd.

For being more remote, Denver and CC draw pretty consistently for everyone.

UAA and Tech don't draw well for virtually anyone but their main rivals, both of whom are non-conference (UAF and NMU).

Not only that, but there's little practical reason (yes, there's a CHANCE they could make more money, but there's also a chance they might not) for schools like CC, UND, MTU, St. Cloud, UMD, and Minnesota State to support UAF. It's enough of a pain in the ass for these teams to make three trips to Alaska every four years, because they can't get direct flights out of their home cities.

Anonymous said...

I think the point being is this is basically a done deal with UNO and BSU joining the WCHA. This UAF to the WCHA is being done expost facto, meaning the only way UAF gets into the WCHA is if UNO back out at the last minute.

Anonymous said...

Let's not worry what teams are in the wcha, uaa has to build a good team, good recruiting, strong marketing program. Promote uaa players to go on to succeed at the pro level. Next year is a big year for our team. Clark, lunden and grant are ready to tear up the league. Let's focus on winning in the first half. Good luck and all the best.

Fan

Donald Dunlop said...

Donna,
If I hadn't have included CC in DU numbers and DU in the CC numbers then someone would come here and accuse me of cherry picking.

Chris,
I could give a shit if Joe Blow in Bumfucked, North Dakota thinks that UAA doesn't "belong". The fact though that YOU mention such a ridiculous idea proves the depth of your thinking is akin to Joe Blow in Bumfucked, North Dakota. Congrats on that.

Bruce,
"very little practical reason"???? Are you kidding me? I just spelled out HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of practical reasons. What? Suddenly these schools don't know how to take the extra exemptions and schedule home games, then sell tickets, play the games and collect the gates.

Lastly to all...

It ain't over til it's over. The fat lady hasn't sung. There is this whole thing called voting to take place.

I love reading comments by various rubes who think that Bruce McLeod is "directing" this whole process. As if he has any real authority.

If UAF truly wants in, then it's in their hands. They clearly have a convincing case. If they sit back and do nothing then they're fools because it ain't a done deal.

It certainly may turn out to be UNO and Bemidji. But UAF makes money for existing WCHA schools. UNO doesn't. End of story.

akhockeyfanatic said...

Fan,
I love your posts. You are always so positive! :) I'm with ya buddie and can't wait for the season to start. I don't want to wish this wonderful summer away, but damn I can't wait for October!!

Runninwiththedogs said...

D,

I understand you wanted consistency, just acknowledging the uniqueness of DU and CC.
Couldn't we have UAF and UNO INSTEAD of Buttmidji?

D

Anonymous said...

I really hope that UAF gets accepted into the WCHA, where they belong. If UNO gets accepted, that will make two Mavericks in the league. How weak is that? Don't be gettin' mavericky, as Palin might say..

Anonymous said...

Two Mavericks? Who cares, We already have two Huskies int the league.

Donald Dunlop said...

Donna,
It's funny that you say that. My last edit on this post was a small paragraph that pointed that out exactly.

I figured it would complicate the whole post by discussing it. I'm already verbose, so these days I try to re-read and edit before hitting the "publish" button.

I see a tremendous amount of provincialism and closed-mindedness displayed with regard to this issue. Look at DG's post for example...

I almost spewed milk through my nose on that one. Here's a guy that sees himself as fighting the good fight against his institution to get his cartoon mascot back. He understands clearly the processes that institutions go though to change something about themselves. Yet he apparently thinks that the WCHA uses no such processes?

Does nobody understand that UNO has not yet come to the table with a "Yes, We'd like to move to the WCHA"?

I'm all good with WCHA schools voting for UNO over UAF. I'm ok with them letting Bemidji in despite of how I feel about Quistgaard's histrionics. But I'm damn not all right about people saying it's a "done deal".

It isn't ... and efforts to keep UAF on the sidelines or in the wings could easy be defined as ethically suspect in the minimum and collusion at the maximum. Is Bruce McLeod sure that is water he wants to tread?

It is categorically NOT a "done deal".

Suze said...

Didn't UNO want into the WCHA years ago and were turned down?

Chris said...

It's quite the opposite of McLeod directing this search. After the spring meetings, the rest of the conference told McLeod to be more aggressive in going out and finding a 12th team to join the conference. That's a pretty clear indication that they'd vote for somebody who was the right fit, and also why Fairbanks is even being considered as a back-up plan.

I still don't see what is in this for Fairbanks. Anchorage has been a member of the WCHA for 15 years and has never finished a season with a winning record. It's hard to believe Alaska would be any better in the conference. They're better off in the CCHA where they at least have some occasional, moderate success.

Donald Dunlop said...

Chris,
What's in it for Fairbanks is the same thing that is "in it" for BU and BC; DU and CC; Harvard and Yale; Florida State and Florida; Michigan and Michigan State; UCLA and USC etc etc etc ... a 4 game rivalry with something other than a Governor's Cup at stake is something desirable.

Beyond that they'd save a couple of bucks and eventually get their share of the big Final Five pie. Why wouldn't they want that? Bemidji wants it ... UNO wants it. The same things that benefit them by coming into the WCHA would benefit UAF. The difference is how much more UAF would return to the bottom line of every WCHA member.

The "upper echelon" of the WCHA doesn't concern itself in the least with the relative success levels of the "lower echelon". Fans and posers like you are where such things ferment and both are irrelevant. They're a product of narrow minded provincialism.

UAA is in the league. They aren't going anywhere. I wonder why everytime you address this issue you ignore the $$$ made by every school in this league because of UAA's inclusion.

The plain fact of the matter is that you are completely and unabashedly against anything that will benefit UAA and most of that stems from the fact that you're returning my oft stated disrespect toward you. Don't act out just because you hate me and pretend there are reasons that UNO is a better option than UAF. Come out and say that you think I'm a fucking asshole and you hope that nothing good ever happens to UAA. Be a man. Don't hide behind a skirt made of "I'm pretending to be smart". Embrace your poser-tude.

Mala In Se said...

Another thought... what if UAA and UAF agree to join forces to cover expenses for teams that play both schools in the same year (assuming teams are scheduled UAA and UAF back to back) . IE UAA pays for plane tickets to Alaska and UAF pays for ANC to FAI Plane/Bus/Train tickets and hotel.

SeawolvesFan said...

Just noticed is Wes McLeod somehow related to Bruce McLeod?

I'm calling this:

The ignorant "Big Three" and the "Premier" teams in our conference will vote for UNO, and not UA, they don't want another MTU/UAA in "there" conference. And that is the downfall of the "Big Three". And maybe the elite status of the WCHA.

Bruce Ciskie said...

Donald,

You should try reading. As I spelled out on my blog, a 12-team WCHA where everyone gets extra exemptions means that at least some of those schools are going to struggle to find non-conference partners.

Michigan, Michigan State, and UNO would be three examples of CCHA teams that play in annual non-conference events (Michigan and Michigan State each play in two -- the Showcase and the GLI) that would lose exempted games if UAF moved out of the league.

If the CCHA stayed with 28 league games, that means scheduling flexibility would take a huge hit. After all, the big boys will be less willing to travel for what few NC games they get to play, and that means you'll get more competition for games against the Mercyhursts and Sacred Hearts of the world (schools that rarely have the ability to gain the exemption).

And I don't see a day where WCHA teams agree to play non-conference series with one another.

Finally, why are UAA and UAF only playing two games against each other? They each get six non-league games per season. I get that each one wants to have a tournament, but it seems really dumb to me that this had to be a higher priority than having the two continue to play four games against each other.

Tells me that the four-game series isn't as big a deal as you make it out to be, which I don't understand, because if I were one of those schools, playing the other one four times would be more important to me than anything else my team does.

Anonymous said...

seawolvefan
im not sure your right. Living in another whca state (part of the big 3) the coach and players always talk about that uaa and tech in the last 2-3years is a team that if you over look them will bite you. also you have to remmer that voting comes to the AD and the AD looks at not only what his coach tells him but he is the equavalint of a ceo of a big company, thouse he also listens to his acountants and what is bes for his bottom line.
I dont think this as cut and dry over but its a hard sell and up hill fight for uaf.

Anonymous said...

Donald this is a done deal you're just in Denial. UAF isn't getting into the WCHA. If you want to continue to call Chris names so be it, all you’re doing is looking like a jerk. The problem is that you're missing the Key Points here, the WCHA decided to pursue a 12 team league McLeod was told by the member schools to pursue a 12th team, that is what they are doing. That is a fact the voting is all over. Maybe the UAA athletic director is on or not on board but it is a done deal.

Anonymous said...

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/122917/group/home/

Donald Dunlop said...

Bruce,
You're pointing out the negatives for the CCHA. I could care less about those and haven't addressed anything along those lines. I'm advocating for UAF to the WCHA here. Not analyzing the college hockey landscape though I acknowledged in a previous post that it would suck for the CCHA.

Your point that SCSU or Duluth or MTU etc ... would find it hard to get an opponent to cash in on their exemptions is overstated. And btw ... two WCHA teams played non-conference against each other this past season. And Hockey East does it every year as well.

UAA has always invited a wide array of teams to it's tournament. Last year Northeastern and UConn. The year before was BU and RMU. Next season it's RPI and Mercyhurst. Mercyhurst and Maine attended last season's UAF tourney. I guess they like getting the exemptions.

You answer your own question when you ask why don't UAA and UAF play each other 4 times with their 6 non-conference games. It's because we only get 6 non-conference games. Playing 2/3 of those against one opponent severely limits comparisons for the NCAA's. UAA and UAF don't get any exemptions to use as their conference opponents do.

Next to last anon:
I am a jerk. No. I'm a fucking asshole of the most spectacular variety you could imagine. And no ... the voting isn't over. You want it to be over. But it isn't. There's this thing called reality ... look into it.

GoNooks314 said...

Donald,

In regards to cost, look at it this way.

UAA and UAF can potentially share the cost of the subsidized plane tickets to Alaska, and split the cost of a bus to drag players from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Make it a contractual obligation for teams visiting Alaska to make that two weekend run. That way, teams get their exemptions and go home, ultimately lowering our cost, and giving the visitors a few extra home games to make more money on.

Still waiting to hear from Forrest for an interview. NCAA officials are in town auditing UAF's facilities to make sure they are up to snuff. I'm sure he's busy... Another post on my blog to come this week.

Donald Dunlop said...

Nooks,
It'll be interesting to see what Forrest has to say. As for making it more palatable in terms of visitors expenses ... sure, do it like you say. I have no doubt UAA would happily partner with UAF to offset those costs for visitors.

Of course, while UAA and UAF make 7 or 8 long trips every year (which oft includes staying over a week) we can expect that every WCHA team will gripe and bitch and moan about it.

Anonymous said...

Holycow Donald's head is going to explode. The voting is over or should we say the ground work is about done, UNO is going to the WCHA. UAF isn't going to be in the WCHA. The next sound you hear...

Anonymous said...

kaboom?

Anonymous said...

EXCEPT any team can already go to UAF every year and get the exemption NOW if they wish, and can then have two more home games for doing so, teams do not need UAF in their own conference to travel to UAF for an Exemption, they can already do that NOW IF THEY WISH...

Anonymous said...

UNO is in...just ask Dean Blais who wouldn't have taken the job had the deal not included the WCHA.
UAF is happy in the CCHA, and why not? They are competitive there.

Anonymous said...

If UAF gets in, great, if not that's cool too. Either way, UAA is going to school the uppity, "Premier"to WCHA teams in 2009-10, with their superior quickness, toughness and overall hockey intelligence. GO SEAWOLVES!!

GoNooks314 said...

Doesn't matter if we come to the WCHA or stay in the CCHA, every damn team complains. The only team that willingly comes up here, and makes good use of the 4 exemptions they got from it last year was Michigan.

I just got an email back from Forrest tonight to have a little talk this week regarding all of this. Look for a new post Thursday or Friday.

Donald Dunlop said...

It isn't the DBHA ... It's the WCHA.

Bruce Ciskie said...

Donald

The only non-conference game involving two WCHA teams I know of from the 2008-09 season was at the GLI.

That's hardly what I'm talking about, and you know it.

Quit debating like your state's governor does. :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like Donalds head hasn't exploded yet.

Donald Dunlop said...

Isn't it funny how people confuse staunch advocacy for something else? But then of course, they possess the ability to divine emotional states across the Internet.

GoNooks314 said...

Donald, the answer to your final question is in my blog. Read the second most recent post.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Donald that Alaska has a right to be considered, just the same as any program in the Mid-west would. Alaska is part of the 'United States'. If you are not sure about that, check a map. UAA Seawolves will be there, come tournament time. This is our time.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the seawolves will be there come tournament time, let's hope we have the scoring to stay in the top five.

Fan

SeawolvesFan said...

So Far 21:

http://www.goseawolves.com/SportSelect.dbml?SPSID=58451&SPID=6373&DB_OEM_ID=13400&KEY=&Q_SEASON=2009

Donald Dunlop said...

Interesting that they put up an incomplete roster ... every other year the roster hasn't been changed until the start of the school year.

No Brian Bales on the list confirms the chatter here. Jeff Carlson also doesn't appear which is something I imagined but didn't mention.

Donald Dunlop said...

New 2010 recruit from Heisenberg -- LW - Scott Allen from Spruce Grove Saints ... 6'3" 190 scored 15 goals and 15 assists in 49 games last season as an 18 year old.

Anonymous said...

Well, they have Derek Donald working with the University now, so things should be changing.

Gorham is the only new comer listed, I wonder when the rest of them will be added?

Donald Dunlop said...

Lee Baldwin is also listed on the latest roster ... I'd assume that we'll see some of the others listed at some point but won't see certain others listed until school starts.

Anonymous said...

It's rumored McCabe may be back.

Donald Dunlop said...

Interesting rumor ...

Anonymous said...

I think it would be a good thing.

Suze said...

An article published in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner said McCabe has already committed to UNO of the CCHA.

http://newsminer.com/news/2009/apr/23/ice-dogs-looking-keep-season-alive-wenatchee/

Chris Heisenber does not have him listed, but he does list Andrew McCabe, who also played for the IceDogs.

Can anyone clear this one up?

Donald Dunlop said...

The News MIner article just says that ANDREW is going to UNO. Brad is only mentioned because the game might have been his last of his Junior A career.

So a rumor that Brad was coming back to UAA wouldn't be affected.

Suze said...

Oops, sorry I misread that Donald. Thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

A couple months back I heard the rumor that Brad was thinking about UAA again, but I am not sure that is still true. He is back in Alaska as far as I know. If I hear anything further, I'll post it.

Anonymous said...

Moose Richards from KBUN radio in Bemidji is reporting on Twitter that the WCHA will take a straw poll on Wednesday night to see whether the athletic directors would accept the terms commish Bruce McLeod has negotiated with Nebraska-Omaha.

If so, this could lead to a formal application from Omaha and a vote on the Mavericks and Bemidji State would come soon thereafter.

From Brad Elliott Schlossman's blog http://www.areavoices.com/undhockey/?blog=54028

SeawolvesFan said...

"Well, they have Derek Donald working with the University now, so things should be changing.

Gorham is the only new comer listed, I wonder when the rest of them will be added?"

When was the last time anon you looked at goseawolves.com?

My guess right after they announced his hirement, he already started working on the website cuz the ads look better, new Blueliner info was posted as well........

Anonymous said...

Not to many changes to the roster, when will the other rookies be added.

Fan

Anonymous said...

Wes Mcleod will not be added. He is playing another year of Junior hockey.

Donald Dunlop said...

I sure had no problem with McLeod coming this season but he'll be better served by waiting a year.

The existing lineup is FULL of good defensemen ... he would have likely played a fair amount but it wouldn't have been every game. Waiting til next year will pretty much guarantee he'll play every game.

He'll develop well with another year of juniors so it doesn't surprise me. Will he play in the B again next year?

Possibly look for a spot on a USHL team?

Anonymous said...

can someone confirm he's not playing?

Anonymous said...

I love the UAA Seawolf fans. They really care about the team. Train hard Seawolves, and know that when you are busting ass, your opponent sleeps, or is drinking beers. If you win, they will come. A winning WCHA record in 2009-10 is the goal.

GO SEAWOLVES!!

Anonymous said...

As of friday morning it looks like a done deal. Poor donald all the work writing to push UAF into the league seems for not. The duluth paper is saying something will be announced UNO and bemidgi are in. Stay tuned

matthew said...

WCHA Media Alert

Dial in if you want to listen. Obviously, the speculation is that UNO and BSU will join the WCHA.

matthew said...

...and from USCHO:

The WCHA is expected to vote in favor of admitting Bemidji State and Nebraska-Omaha when its faculty representatives meet via conference call Friday, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The newspaper reported that the league will expand to 12 teams for the 2010-11 season, one year earlier than expected. That will save Bemidji State from playing that season outside of a conference — the CHA is disbanding after the 2009-10 season.

The WCHA has scheduled a news conference for 5 p.m. CDT Friday.

matthew said...

and to triple post, here's from CHN: Indications Are That Bemidji State, Nebraska-Omaha Will be Admitted

Anonymous said...

Is someone taking UNO's place in the CCHA, or are they now going to be with the odd number of teams, only 11?

Anonymous said...

Bama-Huntsville will take their place.

Anonymous said...

With Bemidji and Nebraska-Omaha coming in to the league for 2010-2011 it will be more difficult for uaa to get players to commit from manitoba and saskatchewan. Bemidji in particular has always pursued top end players from Manitoba. We welcome them to the best league in college hockey. Next year we need a strong season. Clark, grant lunden and the rest of the troops need to put uaa on the Map.
All the best only 3 months till the season starts.
Fan

matthew said...

SPENCER BENNETT drafted as the 20th pick in in Round 5, pick 141 overall, by the Calgary Flames. LINK to NHL.com's Round 5 Draft Tracker.

sitkafan said...

Should be interesting to see how UAA matches up when the league goes to 12. Would of rather seen UAF in the mix and that would of been great for the WCHA to have two teams that would exempt some games every year. But with 12 teams in the mix, I see UAA hosting a home playoff series in the 2010-11 season. Looking at the format that the CCHA uses for their 12 team playoff system, the first round and quarters are three games series, followed up by one game elimination for the semis and the final. If UAA can start to host those playoff games, I think that will do wonders for the program.

Anonymous said...

The WCHA will not use the CCHA playoff format. They will have everyone play in the first round with 6 teams advancing to St. Paul for a "Super Six". You really think UAA will finish in the top six?? have they ever finished higher than 8th when it was ten teams. Who will they finish ahead of??? Get real.

Anonymous said...

anon 6/27/09 12:39 pm
"Who will they finish ahead of???"

Just you wait and see who they finish ahead of. Many of us know that good things are in the Seawolves' future. We've been watching, we've been waiting and we've been patient. It's just around the corner.

GO SEAWOLVES!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No really I'm serious somebody please name three teams that UAA will finish ahead of next year? Better yet name the six teams they will finish ahead of when UNO and BSU come into the league?

Suze said...

Have they ever finished higher than 8th when it was ten teams?

Yes they have, their first year in the WCHA they finished 6th, which was the best finish by any team for their first year in the league.

Anonymous said...

UAA has actually finished 6th twice in a 10 team WCHA (and once in a 9 team WCHA) - the afore mentioned '93-'94, '98-'99 (9 team league) and most recently in '01-'02 (t6 w/MSUM and NoDak)

Anonymous said...

Anon 6/27/09 1:41 pm

There!

Anonymous said...

So what your saying is that UAA has NEVER hosted a WCHA playoff series?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:41:

Boy are you sharp! What University did you graduate from, North Dakota? LOL

Anonymous said...

I guess know one can name the six teams UAA will finish ahead of in 2010-11 to get home ice.

Anonymous said...

Who knows and who cares? It really doesn't matter except that we WILL be there.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised Donald hasn't come out with a rebutal on how UNO is bad for the WCHA and this wasn't a slamb dunk.

Donald Dunlop said...

It wasn't a slam dunk. It wasn't a done deal. I argued for an alternative and brought to some light to an option that the WCHA did seriously consider.

If UAF had made overtures when I first suggested it back on May 4th then they might have gotten more consideration. Especially if they'd been smart enough to go public with it. But they didn't. The WCHA would have made more money with UAF. That fact is clear.

As for what I think. I think I respect whatever school abstained (it wasn't UAA). I never like to hear an organization say they're going to follow a process and then not do so. And whatever school abstained should be commended for doing so.

And what's a "slamb" dunk? Is it like "sheep dip"?

As for UNO? As for UNO? They're just another group of mighty-mites from the CCHA to kick around ... the Seawolves are familiar with pansy teams ... we play UAF every year.

Anonymous said...

So your attempting to take credit for UAF getting a small look from the WCHA? You can't be serious. They weren't in the plans they were a back up plan if UNO fell through.

Donald Dunlop said...

Wow. What an awesomely ridiculous interpretation of what I said. Congrats and all but ...

I made no connection or even inference between what I wrote here (bringing light to the option) and the fact that the WCHA considered it as an option.

Trust me on this ... Your "they weren't in the plans" statement couldn't be farther from the truth.

Anonymous said...

I got your six teams. We were only 5 points out of 6th this year. It's not a huge improvement and we are ahead of:

MTU, MSM, UMD, SCS, and UNO and BSU

greenhornet said...

Minnesota abstained.

Anonymous said...

You think UAA will finish ahead of UMD and SCSU..that's really funny. Both teams will make the NCAA tourney next year and UMD is the defending Final Five champs with a great freshman class coming in and if WCHA fans think UMD is going to struggle because Stalock is gone you are sorely mistaken. Hjelle will be one of the better goalies in the WCHA. I have no problems with UAA, they gave UMD the eye-opening they needed heading into the playoffs. Like some of the comments I disagree I think UAA should be in the WCHA but to say they will finish in the top half of the league is crazy. Maybe the CCHA??

Donald Dunlop said...

That's it. I'm sick and fucking tired of anonymous assholes. Comments from anonymous assholes will be deleted from here on out.

Anonymous said...

UAA certainly did have Duluths number. They took 7 of 8 points from them this past season.

Hjelle does look impressive on paper, but how that will translate in WCHA play nobody knows. Lawson was highly touted for UAA as well, as we got one good year out of his three.

Anonymous said...

Clark, lunden and grant will each score 20 goals each this year.
Plus strong defense and experienced goaltending will lead us to the best finish in uaa history.

Fan

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna say it's possible to probible that Clark, Lunden and Grant each score 20 goals. That, however, is not what is needed to propel UAA into a top-5 spot in the WCHA. The Seawolves need the second, third and fourth-liners (plus defensemen) to step-up. Just looking at the stats, there were 15 guys last year who scored between 1 and 4 goals. Several of those guys next year need to score 5-10 goals each.

As an example of scoreing depth, look at last years #5 team, Minnesota. They only had one twenty goal scorer (and three others from 11-13), but had six guys who scored between 5-10 goals in adition to the seven who scored less than 5 goals.

That improvement in the role players is far more importaint than the stud players. The stars are going to get their points, but what about when they have an off night? Or are shut down by a top defender? Or a hot goaltender? Sometimes the greasy goal wins it...

Anonymous said...

I got your greasy goal right here.. UAA will get the scoring from the role players, as well as from the star players. Just remember this when they're spanking your team in the spring of 2010, on their way to the frozen four.

Anonymous said...

Alright, calm down there Francis. Never said they wouldn't get contributons from role players. Also never said I was a Gopher fan. Also, UAA does't play "my" team (not a WCHA team's fan - just a college hockey fan, and pointing out what is necessary).

And, to that point - you can "like" every guy on your team (i.e., think they are gonna improve by 75% or more in point production), but it doesn't mean it's gonna happen. Listen, I think UAA could be greatly improved next year. But be realistic. Not every role player is gonna score 5-10 goals. Clark, Grant and Lunden may score 20 each, but they may each get 12. One (or two or all three) may get hurt.

All I'm saying is that you have to be realistic, and that you can have quiet confidence. You have no basis for cockyness, and you sound stupid when you spout off about how you are "guaranteed to finish in the top-5 next year." As noted, it's never happened, so why should it now? Just sit back, instead, say, "I have every reason to believe this team has the tallent to finish top-5," and when it happens, you can have the satisfaction of knowing you were right. By acting like a jerk, you can have it shoved back in your face if something goes wrong. Think about it.

Donald Dunlop said...

Dear Sarah,
Na-Na-na-na ...
Na-Na-na-na ...
Hey Hey Hey ...
Goodbye ...

Donald Dunlop said...

Wahhhhhhh .... Wahhhhhh ..

Too many people hate me ...

I'm taking my ball and bat and running home ...

sitkafan said...

yep, Sarah is gone, thank goodness

Anonymous said...

thank god donald I am so happy political sucide she will never get to national areana now woootwooot

Anonymous said...

I''d like to agree with you, Anon 2:48 pm, but there are too many nutcases out there that think Sarah has been victimized by the media and Sarah-haters. That large group of supporters will continue to love her despite her stupidit. I'm afraid this isnt the last of Sarah Palin on the political front. Baahhhhhhhh!

Anonymous said...

"All I'm saying is that you have to be realistic, and that you can have quiet confidence"

I beg to differ with you. This is a UAA Hockey Fan Blog. Fan is short for Fanatic. We do not have to be realistic. That is what the beginning of a new season is about. Hope springs eternal.

We need more fanaticism and less quite confidence.

Anonymous said...

Amen. GO WOLVES!!

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