The Mack Report

Mack’s Mailbag: Offseason Episode 2

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I read a report last night that Jacob Trouba [a Michigan recruit] was offered $200,000 per season to sign with the Kitchner Rangers [OHL]. Is that true? Do players really make that much in juniors?
I read the same report, but also read a statement today from the Trouba family that said he was not offered a monetary offer to play for the Rangers, and re-affirming his commitment to Michigan.
There have long been rumors that CHL teams are shelling out gigantic sums of cash to attract top talent. On more than one occasion, I’ve heard of players signing NHL two-way deals (entry level) and actually taking a pay cut to play in the AHL, where they’ve likely earning in the $70,000-$85,000 range as a top pick. But, all it’s been are rumors and hearsay. Never has a team official, player, or player rep (or family member) gone on record with how the process has played out.

Is Wade Murphy still a 2013 recruit? Which is great play in the BCHL, I thought maybe they’d move him up.
As of last week, he was still projected as a 2013 recruit, but I’ve also heard the possibility that he might move up a year and arrive this fall. There are a lot of factors, including whether or not the player believes he is ready. Karl Stollery was offered a spot a year before he arrived as a freshman, but wanted another year in Camrose to mature, get stronger, and play in front of his hometown.

With UMass head coaching position open, and Mark Dennehy a former assistant, is he a candidate there? Should Merrimack fans be worried?
When we first learned of the opening, I expected to hear his name brought into the discussion. It just makes too much sense, especially given his connection to the UMass program. But, from everyone I’ve talked to, he is not a candidate for the job, and never was.

What’s the story on construction of that new rink out front? Is it happening or not?
Obviously there have been some delays, but as far as I know, it’s still on the schedule and will likely kick off construction towards the end of this year.

Should the NCAA expand to 32 teams into the tournament? Seems like it would make it much more exciting for other schools
No. With the amount of Division 1 teams, 16 teams in the tournament is more than enough. No need to expand it.

What will Hockey East do when Notre Dame, and then UConn join in terms of the tournament structure and how many league games?
I’ve heard that they will likely go to 20 league games with Notre Dame comes in as No. 11 (2 games vs. each opponent) and then when UConn joins, it would move to 22 league games (again, 2 vs. each opponent). Teams would play one home and one away vs. each opposing school, with exceptions being Maine, Vermont and Notre Dame, where it would be 2-and-2 on alternating years. That’s the early speculation, anyway.
As for the tournament, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them keep it at eight teams. Most coaches I’ve spoken to like the idea that the regular season means something outside of just seeding. There are formats they could mimic to allow 10 and 12 teams into the postseason if they wish, but keeping it at eight teams is not out of the question.