WCHA dissolving?

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Great White Shark
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Talks of WCHA and CCHA merging:
According to a published report in the Sentinel-Tribune, discussions regarding a merger of the CCHA and WCHA were held this past Tuesday in Chicago.

Representatives of the two leagues met for “exploratory talks” about a merged 10-team league, CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch told the publication. Pletsch said the league commissioners will go back to their respective athletic directors to determine if further talks will take place.

The 11-team CCHA has lost five members in the last five months during realignment for 2013, while the 12-team WCHA has lost seven members during the same span.

Most likely, according to the article, a merged league from the CCHA and the WCHA would consist of Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State and Alaska of the CCHA and Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, Northern Michigan and St. Cloud State.

Northern Michigan recently left the CCHA for the WCHA, also effective after the 2012–13 season.

The other remaining CCHA schools are Notre Dame and Western Michigan, but Notre Dame is not expected to remain in the CCHA once all of the realignment is complete. The school is reportedly considering playing as an independent.

Notre Dame will inform the CCHA of its decision at the league’s annual summer meetings Aug. 15–16 in Dearborn, Mich.

“In our conversations with Notre Dame, they have been waiting for some television information,” WMU AD Kathy Beauregard told the Kalamazoo Gazette about ND’s decision.

The NCHC currently has six teams and is expected to expand to eight.

WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod is going to visit Fairbanks later this month to learn more about the school and its hockey program, the (Fairbanks) Daily News-Miner reported.

Read more: http://www.uscho.com/2011/08/04/ccha-wc ... z1UBcxoGeS
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It's official now

Five CCHA schools offered spots in WCHA; Alaska, Lake Superior State quick to accept



Five CCHA schools have been extended invitations to join the WCHA for the 2013–2014 season, and two have jumped at the opportunity.

Alaska, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State and Western Michigan were offered spots Thursday on behalf of the presidents of the six WCHA teams that will comprise the league following the 2012–2013 season.

Also Thursday, Alaska and Lake Superior State announced they were accepting the invitations.

They will join Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and Northern Michigan in the WCHA starting in the 2013–14 season, when the Big Ten and National Collegiate Hockey Conference form.

“This invitation represents a tremendous opportunity for the remaining members of both leagues,” said CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch in a statement. “Their collective commitment to Division I hockey was evident in Chicago and the synergy created by last Tuesday’s meeting will help all involved chart a course that is right for their respective program and provide further stability to college hockey’s evolving landscape.”

“We are committed to creating stability for the conference and believe by inviting these institutions we will create one of the strongest conferences in the nation,” added Minnesota State president Dr. Richard Davenport. “This is one of the main reasons presidents voted today to invite CCHA member institutions to join our conference. Also, as presidents, we are committed to providing the best college hockey opportunities in the country for our student-athletes.”

WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said that he couldn’t be more excited and pleased to extend these invitations to CCHA member schools.

“This is truly a significant and quite remarkable twist in what has been a period of great consternation and transition in the college hockey world,” said McLeod. “During what were very informative and productive meetings in Chicago, and as we worked our way through the agenda, it became clear that all of these great institutions share a commonality in that every one of them is 100 percent committed to the sport of collegiate ice hockey and that they also share a great deal philosophically both athletically and academically. From there, the idea of coming together was a natural progression.”

As a condition of this potential membership process moving forward, the WCHA member presidents set a 30-day response timeline for acceptance. The WCHA and CCHA have also agreed to continue to hold regular talks to address such topics as bylaws, scheduling, tournament scenarios, finances and additional membership.

Alaska’s confirmation means both Division I hockey-playing schools from that state will be in the same conference.

“There is a collective sense of relief,” Alaska athletic director Forrest Karr said in a statement. “We can now turn our attention to making sure all CCHA student-athletes have a quality experience over the next two years and to helping build on the WCHA’s solid foundation.”

Lake Superior State will join fellow Upper Peninsula schools Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan in the WCHA.

“This will be a great step for our program — to find a league with teams that are similar to ours,” athletic director Kris Dunbar said in a statement. “We will be in a conference with similar schools and good hockey traditions. This should be appealing to fans, alumni and recruits. Our fans will continue to see good college hockey played in Taffy Abel Arena for years to come.”

Ferris State and Western Michigan also issued statements Thursday.

Ferris State’s read, in part: “As an institution, Ferris remains firmly committed to academic and athletic success for all of its student-athletes. As a proud and long-time member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, the university looks forward to responding to the WCHA’s invitation in the very near future.”

Western Michigan has been linked with a potential move to the NCHC, and a statement attributed to athletic director Kathy Beauregard was noncommittal.

“The description of the recent Chicago meeting as creating synergy is absolutely true as evidenced by the WCHA’s membership invitation,” Beauregard said. “We at Western Michigan are very appreciative of this invitation and are equally appreciative of the stability this combined league will provide for the changing landscape of college hockey.”


http://www.uscho.com/2011/08/25/five-ccha-schools-offered-spots-in-wcha-for-13-14-season/
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Megalodon
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I think that is the best solution. CCHA and WCHA merge, and the WCHA tradition stays alive.
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Great White Shark
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vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:I think that is the best solution. CCHA and WCHA merge, and the WCHA tradition stays alive.


Agreed. I know some folks are nit-picking about the loss of a conference from the autobid standpoint, but as someone who was about to lose their alma mater hockey program...I'm grateful this is happening.

We get new rivalries with NMU and MTU, and keep our relationship with LSSU. Plus, a new Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs series against UMD.

Western MI probably won't accept. Maybe UAH will finally find a home?
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beerbarian wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:I think that is the best solution. CCHA and WCHA merge, and the WCHA tradition stays alive.


Agreed. I know some folks are nit-picking about the loss of a conference from the autobid standpoint, but as someone who was about to lose their alma mater hockey program...I'm grateful this is happening.

We get new rivalries with NMU and MTU, and keep our relationship with LSSU. Plus, a new Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs series against UMD.

Western MI probably won't accept. Maybe UAH will finally find a home?


UMD is coming with us to the NCHC.

And it's nice that the WCHA is staying together, in name only. It's not really the WCHA, considering that the only remaining founding team is Michigan Tech, and they're Michigan Tech. I will miss the utter dominance of the "old" WCHA, although the NCHC will take over once 2013 rolls around.
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Great White Shark
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Oops. Complete brain fart on UMD.
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Just going to enjoy the last 2 years of the WCHA.

F U Barry Alvarez =D>
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Great White Shark
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Ferris State accepts. :party-smiley-050:

Not a big deal to anyone else, but I was truly afraid that the hockey program would go belly-up.

I'm thinking that Bowling Green will also accept. There is some buzz that if Notre Dame chooses Hockey East, that Bowling Green might get an invite from NCHC. I don't buy it. If fact, I don't even understand the reasoning behind offering Western MI an invite, even though that seems to have been talked about since day 1.

I still worry about Ferris' commitment to play in the long term with the new travel budget. Here is their non-Alaska travel distances (in miles):
LSSU 234
N. MI 348
MI Tech 448
MN State 684
St. Cloud 722
Bemidji 748

That's a big step for a team that used to have 3 conference foes <200 miles away (plus LSSU at 234)!
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Megalodon
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beerbarian wrote:Ferris State accepts. :party-smiley-050:

Not a big deal to anyone else, but I was truly afraid that the hockey program would go belly-up.

I'm thinking that Bowling Green will also accept. There is some buzz that if Notre Dame chooses Hockey East, that Bowling Green might get an invite from NCHC. I don't buy it. If fact, I don't even understand the reasoning behind offering Western MI an invite, even though that seems to have been talked about since day 1.

I still worry about Ferris' commitment to play in the long term with the new travel budget. Here is their non-Alaska travel distances (in miles):
LSSU 234
N. MI 348
MI Tech 448
MN State 684
St. Cloud 722
Bemidji 748

That's a big step for a team that used to have 3 conference foes <200 miles away (plus LSSU at 234)!


Any time a program is saved it is good news =D> =D>
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Minnesota's Pride On Ice: 1974, 1976, 1979, 2002 & 2003 NCAA National Champions


"The name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back"
-Herb Brooks
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Megalodon
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marik7772003 wrote:
beerbarian wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:I think that is the best solution. CCHA and WCHA merge, and the WCHA tradition stays alive.


Agreed. I know some folks are nit-picking about the loss of a conference from the autobid standpoint, but as someone who was about to lose their alma mater hockey program...I'm grateful this is happening.

We get new rivalries with NMU and MTU, and keep our relationship with LSSU. Plus, a new Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs series against UMD.

Western MI probably won't accept. Maybe UAH will finally find a home?


UMD is coming with us to the NCHC.

And it's nice that the WCHA is staying together, in name only. It's not really the WCHA, considering that the only remaining founding team is Michigan Tech, and they're Michigan Tech. I will miss the utter dominance of the "old" WCHA, although the NCHC will take over once 2013 rolls around.


It will be interesting to see where the balance of power in college hockey shifts over the next 10-15 years.
_______________________________________

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota's Pride On Ice: 1974, 1976, 1979, 2002 & 2003 NCAA National Champions


"The name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back"
-Herb Brooks