July 12th, 2011
by goon

This is a map of the United States showing whi...Image via WikipediaI like most of you have been reading lots of articles, blogs and message boards and at times it all seems like a blur… While perusing the Lets Go DU Hockey Sports blog I came across a link to an article that I had read earlier in the day written by Matt Wellens of the Daily News. I had totally read over this paragraph and didn’t see it originally.

Notre Dame remains uncommitted to any conference at this time and is pressing for a smaller league that features a larger non-conference slate, according to multiple Mining Journal sources. The Irish are looking for a seven-team league with a 24-game conference schedule in order to fill the rest of their dates with meetings against fellow Bowl Championship Subdivision member Boston College and the Big Ten schools.

So after reading that paragraph again I had to ask myself; is there is another “Super League” out there ready to form or is Notre Dame talking about joining the College Hockey Super League… I was wondering if anyone else gleaned that from the paragraph… We will soon find out where Notre Dame is going.

Also developing today -> NMU wants to come back to the WCHA. Now what does the CCHA do? One does have to ask if the CCHA is falling apart or reforming into something else?

College Hockey News — Not waiting to see how things will play out any further, Northern Michigan is closing in on an agreement with the WCHA to move back to its former home, sources confirm. The move of Alaska to the WCHA may be imminent as well. It was reported earlier today by the Duluth News-Tribune that NMU’s move was a done deal, but CHN has not been able to confirm that yet.

Disregarding cries for patience going forward, in the aftermath of the exodus of 11 major programs leaving the WCHA and CCHA, Northern Michigan and the WCHA are each moving quickly to ensure their survival.

Northern Michigan has a regularly-scheduled board meeting set for Thursday, where this topic expects to be on the agenda.

With all of the pending moves, the WCHA would be left with five teams in 2013-14, not enough for an NCAA Tournament automatic bid. Bringing in two more teams ensures the WCHA will go on, and also renews the intra-conference rivalry between NMU and fellow Upper Peninsula school Michigan Tech.

Mike Chambers from the Denver Post has another interesting article today and I think Chambers is right; the Super League teams are going to need to schedule the WCHA and CCHA teams left out of the mix or some other team from around college hockey to fill out their schedules. I have been told by an unnamed great hockey mind that I don’t have to worry about teams scheduling the Super League teams… Also, does this mean that we could see a lot of cup cakes at the top of the PWR rankings if they don’t make adjustments formula for selecting the NCAA hockey tourney… That probably won’t happen.

Mike Chambers; Denver Post — If the super league does indeed primarily create a nonconference schedule against Big Ten teams, any of those 12 or 13 combined teams will have to be awful good to approach the NCAA Tournament with 20-25 wins in a 36-game regular season. DU has produced a school-record 10 consecutive 20-win seasons, a current streak only matched by Michigan (24 straight). But for the Pios, qualifying for the national tournament after playing four combined regular-season league games against UND, CC, UMD, MU, UNO and hopefully ND (24 total), plus eight to 12 nonconference games against Big Ten foes, would be extraordinarily difficult.

Going 20-10-6 in the regular season would be considered outstanding, but it probably wouldn’t put you in position for a No. 1 or No. 2 NCAA Tournament seed (eight total). Instead, 25-win teams from the ECAC, Hockey East or even the AHA would dominate the first eight seeds. You see, while the Big Ten and super leaguers are beating up on each other, the best in Hockey East, ECAC and AHA are reeling off 15 wins apiece by January.

It worked for Yale last season. The Bulldogs played one regular-season game against proposed Big Ten or super-league teams — beating CC 5-1 in November — and were 26-7-1 entering the NCAA Tournament, as the No. 1 overall seed.

If the formula doesn’t change, many of the super-leaguers and Big Ten boys will go from perennial NCAA Tournament participants to spectators, having exchanged easier schedules and Frozen Four memorabilia for league television revenue and ticket sales in the regular season. To combat that (if the formula doesn’t change), these very teams must schedule six to eight nonconference games against the non-Big Ten teams and those that didn’t make the super-league cut. In the end, DU’s schedule last season might not look that much different beyond 2014.

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