I was looking at Merrimack’s recruits and they all play in different leagues obviously. How would you rank each league? Which is the best, worst, etc.?
It’s really hard to answer this. When it comes to talent evaluation, to me, it doesn’t really matter where the player is playing, it matters more how good the player is. You can judge that no matter where a player is playing. I’ve always believed that if you’re good enough, no matter where you’re playing, college coaches will find you.
That being said, the USHL is the best league out there. The cream of the crop, at least when it comes to Americans, generally play for the US U-18 team. After the USHL, the BCHL produces the most consistent talent, in my opinion. The AJHL, Preps and Ontario leagues after that, then probably the NAHL. Then you have the EJHL locally which is better than the Atlantic league. But that’s just a very rough outline. There are players coming from the EJ, for instance, who are among some of the best players on their teams. Same goes for the NAHL. The player matters much more than the league.
Saw you mention on Twitter your recruit rankings. Will these be made public at all?
It’s a project I’m working on with College Hockey News. At some point, I will publish the list. But for now, I’m still trying to compile it and find a good system.
You noted the change on the kicking penalty in Friday’s game from a misconduct to a disqualification. What’s the difference?
A Game DQ brings with it an automatic one-game suspension.
(In response to a previous mailbag) Get serious. Fighting has NO place — absolutely NO place in college hockey. One of the problems I had with Notre Dame entering Hockey East, is that it was done to cater to television, and it can lead to three things
-HE games being played on weeknights — Hockey East may no longer be a weekend-only league, and that’s not good.
-Fans attending HE games may have to endure more “TV time outs” for commercials. This lengthens the game, spoils the momentum of the game, and is BORING for fans who attend the games.
-Finally – I worry — most of all — that if college hockey has trouble drawing TV audiences, and network suits fume over low sponsorship revenues — they might, just might — have an influence over the CONDUCT of games. “Hey, we need to su-, uh, DRAW the viewers in. How about having a little controlled fighting, like they do in the pros?”
I don’t want to see the NCAA version of hockey become the new AHL. No fighting. NONE.
1) Ask the players. Most would agree with me. I agree, it won’t happen, but leagues that allow it have less problems with stick work and hitting from behind. Players become less courageous if they’re held more accountable. It would also cut down on players “taking runs” or being a little overly aggressive with stars on the other bench.
2) Games aren’t played just on weekends now. There’s weeknight games sprinkled in. I also don’t see why Notre Dame would suddenly change the league to playing on more weeknights.
3) TV timeouts are a fact of life, and if you’re the league or the schools participating, you want to be on TV. Come on.
4) Televised games are a free 2-1/2 hour advertisement for the schools and leagues involved. College hockey is on network television now. Again, I don’t see what any of this has to do with Notre Dame.
I’ve said it all along, if you’re Hockey East, and you have the opportunity to add Notre Dame to your conference, you do it. 100 times out of 100. They’re one of the most recognizable universities in the world, and they were given no special treatment. They paid an entrance fee just like everyone else, in fact, it’s probably more than everyone else.
So you can’t take a bus to all of your league games anymore. So what? You can do that for 10 of your 11 road trips.
Note: This schedule is unofficial and incomplete. Information taken from other schedule releases, independent sources and media reports. Subject to change.
11 - at Denver
12 - at Denver
18 - MERCYHURST
19 - MERCYHURST
26 - ARMY
1 - BENTLEY
8 - at Providence
9 - PROVIDENCE
15 - at Notre Dame
16 - at Notre Dame
22 - NORTHEASTERN
23 - at Northeastern
30 - at Yale
6 - BOSTON UNIVERSITY
7 - at Boston University
4 - Providence (Fenway) (NC)
17 - at Quinnipiac
19 - QUINNIPIAC
21 - BOSTON COLLEGE
24 - at Massachusetts
25 - MASSACHUSETTS
31 - at UMass Lowell
1 - UMASS LOWELL
7 - at Boston College
14 - at Maine
15 - at Maine
21 - VERMONT
22 - VERMONT
28 - NEW HAMPSHIRE
1 - NEW HAMPSHIRE
7 - Hockey East First Round
8 - Hockey East First Round
9 - Hockey East First Round
14 - Hockey East Quarterfinals
15 - Hockey East Quarterfinals
16 - Hockey East Quarterfinals
21 - Hockey East Semifianls
22 - Hockey East Championship