Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lafranchise To Depart Seawolves

Senior UAA defenseman Kane Lafranchise is leaving school this week and heading home.  My information tells me that Kane was a capable and dedicated student with the necessary abilities to be successful in his studies.  He was not able to regain his eligibility to play this semester so in concert with his family and with consultation of all involved he has chosen to leave school.  It's important to note that details (which I won't provide here) as to his specific challenges maintaining his playing eligibility give me good reason to express his scholarly attributes.

There are obstacles and difficulties we as humans all face and dealing easily with some of those things isn't an automatic for everyone.  By all accounts Kane has always been an excellent and well-liked team player. Please join me in wishing him the best in both his future hockey career and with any other path he chooses.  

My experience over the years tells me that the overwhelming majority of Division 1 hockey players reach this level because they are of sound character, have supportive excellent families and of course talent playing the game.  I can say without reservation those three things are true in Kane's case.

Kane was one of my favorite players in his first three years with the Seawolves.  He chose to come to UAA though some higher profile programs recruited him.  Reportedly he fell in love with Anchorage on his first visit.  His departure is a unfortunate since he's been unable to see any playing time in his senior year.  Before this season began and receiving word on his eligibility, I'd imagined a really successful year for him.  Over his career here Kane has matured greatly on the ice and become one the most solid blueliners in the WCHA.  

He has a quality set of tools in that he skates very well, keeps his head up in all situations and makes good decisions with the puck.  Kane's passing was always sharp and he was responsible in his own end whether playing the body, along the boards or blocking shots in front of the net.  The Seawolves most certainly would have benefited from his return.

He departs after playing 97 games in the Green and Gold with 9 goals and 24 assists.  Kane was a very disciplined player in his three years with only 20 penalties for 68 total minutes.  His first goal as a Seawolf came in his freshman season in a 4-2 win over Minnesota and he finished 7th among WCHA rookie defensemen in points and was named WCHA Rookie of the Week on November 29th.  In his sophomore season he scored a game winning goal versus UAF to clinch the Governor's Cup and was named to the WCHA All-Academic team.  Last season Kane finished 5th amongst all UAA scorers with 15 points and is currently 23rd all-time on the career goals list for UAA defensemen.

In a time when we see hockey players leave school for a variety of (sometimes negative) reasons I'm happy to say that Kane's departure leaves me a bit sad but at least for all the best reasons.  Good luck Kane in your future, we'll miss you.


Suze said...

Thank you, Kane, for your committment to UAA and for your contributions the past three seasons. I think I speak for many fans when I say we will miss you! I wish you the best in all you do. I am sure hockey will remain in your future.

It must be terribly difficult being a student atlhete, and you did a great job with this article, Donald.

Good luck Kane!

Donald Dunlop said...

Thank you Suze ...

Anonymous said...

WCHA all academic one year, than not making it academically a few years later? Kind of strange if you ask me.

Donald Dunlop said...

There are many things that happen with regard to individual players with which we would all be normally unaware. In this case, I am aware and phrased this post in a way that I thought made that clear.

There is nothing in this particular case which is anybody's business ... in particular any fans business. I don't consider what I know about it to be my business even and would not have sought any details actively for that very reason.

I'm grateful to know what I know and because of that I tried to make it clear that the program has lost a talented hockey player of high personal character.

Kane was academically ineligible for the fall semester and for the spring semester. That's all we really need and/or are entitled to know ... isn't it?

BBEF said...

I think Donald is right on here. No need to pry for personal details… Shit happens – it’s that simple. I’m a grown ass man and shit happens in my day to day that might change my whole landscape. Good luck Kane!

akmillers said...

The dude has one of the best hockey names of all time. If you ask me...he should be in the Big Show on name alone. The best of luck and hope to see "The Franchise" return to the ice.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we let a lot of people down. I spell this one L-A-Z-Y, and I don't think Kane would argue. Good luck to him.

Donald Dunlop said...

Sometime we make judgements about others without full knowledge.

What's so hard about trusting my judgement (since I indicated I do possess information) on this and/or just wishing him the best without otherwise inferring negativity?

Frankly, it's insulting to me. I certainly would expect to be insulted by a non-UAA fan but the location from which you made this comment makes me suspect you are a UAA fan.

Anonymous said...

he should be able to make an AHL roster if not he will def make an ECHL one

Anonymous said...

Kane is a very talented hockey player and an even better person. If you had ever met him you would see that he is kind, thoughtful, passionate about his dreams (hockey and school both) and incredibly smart. He works extremely hard without ever complaining.
I happen to also know the reasons for his departure and I assure you it has nothing to do with laziness. He is capable of many great things, and I have no doubt he will achieve them one day.
Best of luck to you Kane!!

Anonymous said...

I happen to know Kane on a personal level as well. For the anonymous comments about him being lazy and uncommitted, rethink your harsh words. His reasons for falling ineligible are due to personal reasons he faced in the spring of last year. He lost some very close people in his life and as a result he took it very hard. You can't judge someone without knowing the real story behind such a big change as this but I know that he loved anchorage and loved the fans even more. He chose to play here because it felt right in his heart and we should just appreciate his efforts and what he did on the ice during his time at UAA. He told me he has no regrets but he'll miss his fellow teammates, coaches, but most importantly the dedicated and supportive fans. Good luck Kane! you'll be missed

On Wolves said...

At least we aren't the only team losing important pieces:

UMD: Dylan Olsen (done, going to the AHL)
SCSU: Tony Mosey & Chris Hepp (done, violation of team rules)
DU: William Wrenn (done, sucks-bolted for the W)
CC: Jaden Schwartz (6 weeks, ankle)

And I for one disagree that we should simply wish Kane the best without inquiry. While I'm sure he has reasons, possibly very legitimate ones, for not making grades, he still put the team in a bad spot. Eating up a scholarship that could have gone to someone who would be on the ice is not washed away by virtue of playing hard for three years prior.

And its not as though the readers here give a pass to others who leave the program early or are unable to make grades. (Walsky and Daychief come to mind, obviously Walsky went to CC so that was different, but he left is the point).

I wish Kane the best, as I do all former Wolves, but failing to make grades is never acceptable, no matter the circumstances. Especially at UAA, my alma mater, it's not exactly Cal Tech...

Anonymous said...

I am wondering why some "fans" think they DESERVE to know a players private business?

I am sure that most of the people that have posted negative comments about Kane have had hard times in their life and would be devastated if people felt it was their RIGHT to know all the details and critize them for how they dealt with it. I would like to know how you would feel if when you were in university you were publicly scrutinized for every exam that went wrong, every bad day you had. Even if the reasons were legitimate.

Perhaps put yourself in other people's shoes before you start judging them and thinking that their business is yours.

Anonymous said...

On Wolves, I disagree with you. Daychief played for ONE season, Walsky for two. If you don't think that didn't mess up things as far as recruiting goes, think again. And Walsky had some very snarky remarks about UAA after he left.

You cannot even begin to compare those two players to Kane, because it was Kanes intent to play his SENIOR season ane he tried very hard to make that happen.

Anonymous said...

These players are PUBLIC figures and their education at a PUBLIC university is funded by PUBLIC tax dollars. Are fans entitled to know everything? No. But I don't blame people for wanting to know what's up.

Personally, I think it's lame to come on a blog and say "I know something you don't know, but I'm not going to tell you." If you know something, that's great. You don't have to tell us you know it, then not tell us what it is. Just say "hey, the kid's leaving. Good luck."

Donald Dunlop said...

Say nothing so that rampant speculation starts immediately or head it off by being honest while still respecting the anonymity and privacy request of the source? Yeah ... real fucking tough choice.

Now allow me to explain how wrong you are point by point. First ... the University of Alaska is indeed funded by public money. None of which comes from public tax dollars. The State of Alaska takes exactly ZERO taxes from the citizens of the state.

Second ... they are NOT public figures. They are students entitled to a whole host of privacy laws and school regulations. In addition to any scholarship monies they receive you can bet that each and every one of these student/athletes pays for some portion of their education. Over and above that ... they each EARN every bit of their scholarship by providing the public with entertainment, representing and acting as ambassadors for the school which risks their potential future sports careers (and in some cases their very health) every time they hit the ice.

Third ... in light of my first two refutations of your short-sighted assertions as to the "public" nature of these things your willingness to accept that people want to know "what's up" is entirely and without question nothing other than ridiculous.

YOU think it's "lame"? I don't get paid to do this. It's a fan blog. Who the fuck are you to even offer your opinion as to how I disseminate information here? What exactly is your standing professional or otherwise to take that stance?

When and if the Anchorage Daily News covers this story (that will only be after the school makes some sort of official announcement btw) will you be on Doyle Woody's phone demanding that he ferret out personal details and publish them? Exactly what fucking public interest would doing so serve? He'd laugh at you because there is NO COMPELLING public interest.

By the way ... the preceding questions to you are rhetorical. Please don't respond. In fact, I invite you to take a flying leap and never visit this blog again. At the very least if you are compelled to read my "lame" posts ... keep your fetid gob shut or I'll stitch it to a shitpipe.

Anonymous said...


A very well written article but maybe its best to just delete this post all together. Out of respect for the private life of the athlete and his family. The things people are saying are false but more importantly hurtful. People should worry about their own lives instead of making outrageous accusations against a kid who chose to come play in Alaska because he loves the city and the game. I respect and appreciate your efforts Donald and always look forward to your posts but this is getting out of hand.
Good luck Kane, in hockey and in life. Wolves FAN!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see Kane go, he was instrumental in some early success stories at uaa.
Kevin Clark returned to the moose lineup last nite after being out with a shoulder injury and quickly scored his 5 th goal of the season.
Kevin was fortunate to finish his four years at uaa, fans should understand how diffucult it is for these young men to be away from family and friends, in canada most hockey players just focus on hockey. In us colleges they focus on hockey and education. All these young men have personal problems to deal with everyday.
Kane will go on to play in the echl or ahl.
All the best to him and his family.

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

In more cheerful news former Seawolf Curtis Glencross had three shots on goal last night, and two went in. He also had an assist, as I have him on both of my fantasy teams, this was a very good reason to keep him.

Good luck Kane, we missed you and keep your chin up eh!

Anonymous said...

Good for Curtis! It is good also to see that Kevin Clark is doing well.

vizoroo said...

Have to agree with akmillers, what a great name for an athlete--LaFranchise.

From a opponents' fan point of view, he was always dangerous and played a good game. (Not like that annoying Clark guy. ;-)) Too bad he couldn't finish his senior year. Hope he does well in whatever is next on his agenda.

Okay, I admit it. When The "Bad Boyz" are arrested, asked to leave the team or school I do have a prurient interest. meh bad

PS. Was sorry to see Wrenn leave DU. Unfortunately injury, rehab, injury, and competition for playing time left him as the 7th man. (And he was really cute!)

On Wolves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
On Wolves said...

Sam Mellor is ranked 147 on the North American Skaters Midterm Rankings from NHL Central Scouting.

I believe this is the first time UAA has had a ranked player commit (other than Spencer Bennett who was ranked 93 in '09) does anyone know if that's right?

Donald Dunlop said...

Erik Felde also. But it's not the first time if you mean all time wouldn't that be Mike Peluso?

On Wolves said...

Peluso was drafted 190 in 1984, but I'm not sure what his midterm ranking from Central Scouting was.

Anonymous said...

During home games of this season, my grandson became friends with Kane. Kane always took the time to chat and visit with him and I tell you it made his day. I want to thank Kane and all the Seawolves who do this. There is no greater pleasure than to watch your grandchild jumping with joy because a Seawolf noticed them. We'll definitely miss you Kane and hope you come and visit from time to time.
We wish you the best in whatever you do, We know you will be sucessful.
Baby Kyle and Gramma Jean

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