The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

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Millsy
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The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by Millsy »

Wow, Huntsville and the Alaskas left out! I know there are a lot of questions surrounding the Alaskas' futures, but Huntsville has plans in process for a new arena, pending funding from the Alabama Board of Trustees.

Not sure how I feel about this....... Any AHA teams looking to bolt, or will Huntsville go to that league?

https://bgsufalcons.com/news/2019/6/28/ ... ation.aspx

"Seven prominent NCAA Division I men's hockey playing institutions have announced the exploration of a new Division I men's hockey conference that would begin play with the 2021-2022 season. The seven institutions include: Bemidji State University; Bowling Green State University; Ferris State University; Lake Superior State University; Michigan Technological University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; and Northern Michigan University.

The group is comprised of institutions rich in history and tradition with a strong commitment to academic and athletic excellence. They are like-minded in their goals and aspirations for the potential new league with a focus on improving regional alignment and the overall student-athlete experience while building natural rivalries within a more compact geographic footprint.

The potential new conference is also committed to providing the best possible collegiate hockey experience for its student-athletes, fans, and all stakeholders. Finally, the group would plan to establish itself as an elite hockey conference that would have the highest standards for overall competitiveness and rigorous non-conference scheduling, along with a level of institutional investment that demonstrates significant commitment to their hockey programs and facilities, while also establishing relationships with corporate partners and others that create a high degree of visibility and positive media exposure for the league.

As current members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) men's league, the schools have independently submitted formal Letters of Notice to the conference office, initiating the withdrawal process in accordance with WCHA Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. The institutions will continue to play in the WCHA during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons.

The seven institutions have engaged Dr. Morris Kurtz, a long-time athletics administrator and noted athletics and hockey consultant, to serve as spokesperson and to assist them as the group sets out to transform the college hockey landscape.

During these initial stages of developing the potential new conference there will be no further comment from these institutions, including Presidents, Athletic Directors, and Coaches. Media inquiries should be directed to Dr. Kurtz."
Millsy
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by Millsy »

As an outsider looking in on the Alaska situation:

When the Seawolves (Anchorage) announced the move back on campus, I felt things didn't look good. The press release said financial challenges made it necessary, but then in the next paragraph they announced that they would work to upgrade the on campus rink from 750 to the WCHA standard of 2500. That to me sounds like some serious cash would be needed and I personally felt they probably were on death's doorstep.....

Fairbanks (Nanooks) also plays in a City Run arena, but their ice plant is crapping out and the City did not know if they will have the funds to replace it. They also announced that they could move back on campus, if needed, to a 1250 seat arena that would have been needed to be upgraded to WCHA standards. This one didn't strike me as a severe situation as did the Seawolves for some reason.

It was mentioned over on USCHO that Alaska's governor announced his budget plans and it included the University of Alaska system to cut $135 million. That is a HUGE cut.

Huntsville is in the process of creating a huge University development area that would house an on-campus arena that hockey would play in (also be used by volleyball and basketball). The only thing standing in the way is the Alabama Board of Trustees approval and funding, but as Huntsville has seen in the past, if it doesn't say Crimson Tide Football on it, it is almost dead on arrival. This is probably the furthest any of their plan has made it.

As someone stated over on USCHO, this could be a shot across the bow of these three schools by the other teams, "Step Up or You Are Out".
le
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by le »

Millsy. Thanks for the update. So, UAA and the Alaska schools have been left out in the cold . Will the remaining schools look to form a league with maybe expansion in mind?
le
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by le »

The AHC should offer an invite to UAA. Yeah it’s one weekend for each school involving flights but what a nice break for the AHC schools going to warmer weather and playing in an arena downtown. Millsy, do I have a link any discussion of the new on campus arena for UAA?
NewEnglander
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by NewEnglander »

le, I think you meant UAH(Huntsville) not UAA(Anchorage). The Proposed arena in Huntsville is a multi purpose one for Basketball and other events as well as Hockey. I believe it would seat around 5000 whereas the VBC was over 6000. It is just a proposal and not yet approved so hopefully this action does not kill that plan.
efkay2u
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by efkay2u »

I think Huntsville would be a welcome addition to the AHC and would reunite former CHA foes RMC, AirForce, and NU.

I have mentioned many many tomes how each year Huntsville would send up to 4 buses full of students for a winter weekend in NIagara Falls. I am sure some hotel in Niagara Falls would welcome 4 busloads of students for a night during the off season.

Also on February 12,2010 while UAH was playing hockey against Niagara at Dwyer at the same time a mass shooting occurred on campus as UAH killing 3 people. Immediately after the game the team and their fans were informed and immediately headed home , postponing the 2nd game schedule for Feb 13th. The game was rescheduled at Dwyer several weeks later with more students making the trip. Both teams wore a special insignia with both schools colors as a show of unification.

Hope the AHC has lost it's myopia and extend an invitation to UAH if needed.
NewEnglander
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by NewEnglander »

The AHC would love to add Navy to round out it's schedule securing a future with the service academies. If Navy decides to jump up in Hockey that would be the ideal 12th team. However that is not happening now and adding UAH as a provisional 12th team would be the next best step. I'm not so sure UAH wants in with a northeast league but would rather be in a Midwest league. They may have no choice. They may be being teased into getting that on campus rink and then joining the WCHA7 anyway. The Alaska schools probably don't have that option though.
le
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by le »

Extending an invite to our old CHA friend (UAH) would be the right thing to do. Don’t count on it though .
MICKEY
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by MICKEY »

If i’m not mistaken the proposed structure of the “new” WHCA is similar to the suggestion the AHA 4 discussed with the CCHA when the Big Ten hockey league and the NCHC were formed.
efkay2u
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Re: The WCHA As We Now Know It Could Be Dead

Post by efkay2u »

Yes, pretty much so. It would have been a Great Lakes Conference . Only disadvantage would have been the travel costs to the Upper Peninsula and Minnesota.
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