Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Potpourri: John Hill and Other Stuff

Yay it's July.  But somewhat of a shame that the summer hasn't been a bit nicer weatherwise.  It hasn't been the worst ever though.  I took the pic above (and the new banner background) at 11:42 PM on June 21st from the roof of a 5 story building in west Anchorage.

I feel somehow obligated to say something about John Hill's severance from the University of Minnesota hockey team.  If you didn't know, Hill was the  UAA Seawolves HEAD Coach (his words here -- "my dream job") and voluntarily left the program to return to UofM and once again shine his friend Don Lucia's shoes as an ASSISTANT Coach.  And on the way out the door, he threw the program under the bus.

Apparently, Hillers was responsible for the Gopher's defensive game.  With long time fans failing to renew season tickets and the once long wait list to get season tickets gone; the administration figured they needed to change something.

John Hill now knows exactly what it's like to be thrown under the bus.  That reality does not pain me.  In the least.  I take no pleasure in the man's professional demise but it's somehow a fitting end.  I also find it a bit ironic to think that they dumped the Alaskan from their staff after UAA swept them in the playoffs to end their season.  If only they were that spiteful.  That'd be sweet.

Best of luck John.  I hear there are assistant coaching opportunities available right now in Europe.


I've become aware that two players from last season's squad will not be returning to UAA this fall.  Drew Darwitz and Justin Kirchhevel will not be back  Word is that Justin will transfer to Penn State.  I don't know what if anything Drew might be doing related to his hockey.

Kirchhevel had some ankle issues that hindered his fitness throughout last season and Darwitz was just unable to crack the lineup consistently.  Best of luck to both of them.

Speaking of Penn State,  I'd put money on either UAA or UAF being their first Division 1 opponent.  Their AD mentioned a while back that they'd like to take a trip up here.  And since former UAF coach Gadowsky is running the PSU ship, it sorta follows.  And with both UAA and UAF's tournaments being season openers for most opponents ... well.  Who knows?


I'm once again hoping to take a road trip with the team this season.  Looks more plausible to me this year versus past seasons.  I think I've decided to go to St. Cloud on the weekend of February 17th and 18th.  My only other real option is Madison on Jan 20th and 21st.  Now I know that Madison is alleged to be THE great party road trip with all the State Street hoohaw and I know my fine friend Richard goes to Madison every year but I just can't feature me in that rink.

For the St. Cloud trip I'll need to borrow someone's Polaris satin jacket.


See Limitless.  Best movie so far in the 21st century.  No doubt about it.


This probably won't be my only post in July but don't expect more than a couple more.  Sometime nearer the end of the month I'll do my yearly "Letter" to the incoming class.  I also plan to stop in on the folks at the UAA Athletic Department and check on a couple of things.  So I'll have whatever information that comes from that in the next couple of weeks or so.

Now I'm just going to toss an idea out there.  Mario Lucia has got to be the most coveted prospect for college hockey.  tDon's kid doesn't appear to be desirous of the coach/son concept and is reportedly all about CC or Notre Dame.

Um ... Uncle Brush?  You wouldn't mind watching out for Donnie's boy would ya?  Most likely it would be a 2 year at most kind of situation.  I'm just throwing it out there ya know?  Hey Mario, do you like fishing?  Ever been kayaking?  Want to shoot some wild animals?

Hey ... the kid was born in Alaska.  Spending some important developmental years up here from 18-whatever could be a great thing for the young man.  Alaska puts hair on your chest.

I'm enjoying my off-season.  I hope you all are too.


Anonymous said...

Go to Duluth, Amsoil Arena is awesome and Duluth is a great small town.

Anonymous said...

John Hill just experienced some Kharma. Couldn't have happened to a finer Chump than him

Alaskana said...

I agree about Duluth. I've been there several times and (don't laugh) it reminds me of Alaska what with being on the shore of vast Lake Superior, having some of the most elevated terrain in Minnesota and all the evergreen & pine trees. Because of that reminder of Alaska it is my favorite place in Minnesota. Oh and Duluth has a cool downtown bar & restaurant scene to boot.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear Justin won't be back. He was very talented but it just didn't work out for whatever reason.

Hill made his own bed, and I for one don't feel sorry for him. You know what they say about pay back.

Donald Dunlop said...

The Duluth trip is just too early in the season, so I had to cross it off the list.

444 said...

My brother re-located back from Alaska and he decided Duluth was the closest area to Alaska and it still isn't even close.

Anonymous said...

Planning to post an article soon about conference realignment? Things seem to be moving quickly and, as usual, the Alaska schools seem to be on the outside looking in.

Alaskana said...

Donald: To bad about not being able to go to Duluth, but I understand 'scheduling hell', esp. when it comes to trips down south (read Minnesota).
Enjoy your trip 'outside'. I know that most places (including Minnesota) pale in comparison to Alaska, but the game experience outside can definitely lend a different experience to the norm and thus lead to a renewed appreciation of the Seawolves (not that you need a renewed appreciation, of course).

On a different note, I just heard that the Ralph in Grand Forks just suffered 1 Million in damages from a speaker that caught fire and subsequently fell to the ice. Maybe that's Karma for the state legislature deciding to keep the 'Fighting Sioux' nickname?

Anyways, thanks for keeping this blog alive during the summer months. And yeah, after much 'research', I can indeed confirm that your blog is indeed the finest and most well written of the bunch of WCHA blogs out there. HANDS DOWN.

ALASKANA said...

Oh, and Anonymous at 3:13? Interesting stuff regarding the conference realignment. Care to expand on the topic as I'd love to know more.


Anonymous said...

Apparently North Dakota and Denver are talking with other non-big 10, western schools, who they believe have similar goals and resources for their hockey programs, about forming a new western conference. This would include North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska Omaha,and Minnesota Duluth from the WCHA along with Miami, Notre Dame, and possibly Western Michigan from the CCHA. The remaining five WCHA schools; UAA, Bemidji, St. Cloud, Michigan Tech, and Minnesota State; as well as five CCHA schools Alaska, Lake Superior, Ferris, Northern Michigan, and Bowling Green would be left to fend for themselves. I'm no expert, but considering the fact that the 8 non-Alaska schools remaining are those with the fewest resources, I am concerned that they would not be exited about forming a conference which includes UAF and UAA, they wouldn't want to pay the travel costs especially if they have a viable 8 team conference without us.

Alaskana said...

Anon @ 10:27: Thanks for that explanation, that clears thing up a lot. Yeah, from the sounds of it if this does go through UAA/UAF would be screwed. I really hope that this is more rumor than fact as I have a feeling UAA is just starting to gain momentum in the WCHA and will be playing their greatest games. Interesting times indeed.

Anonymous said...

Amazing about John. I was shocked, thought he and Lucia were like twins hooked at the hip. Oh boy and with the new realignment (knew it was coming but didn't realize this soon) it sure makes me wonder what will happen next. OMG.

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