For the last time this season, the media gathered at Ralph Engelstad Arena for a press conference with coach Dave Hakstol. He touched on a number of subjects.
1. Chay Genoway will take some time to make his decision. Chay is an extremely smart individual (as evidenced by his GPA). He knows and understands his situation. He knows and understands NHL contracts and the collective bargaining agreement. When he does make a decision, it is going to be a very informed and a well thought-out decision. On a down note, Chay still has not been medically cleared to play hockey.
2. Hakstol said there’s a great chance that UND will have all of its key pieces back for next season, other than the outgoing seniors.
3. Hakstol said it’s time for players to start preparing for next year. He said that one or two players did not have good summers in 2009 and that cannot happen again. He said the Sioux need every player to have a good-to-great summer. The example I used today was Ben Blood. Hakstol said Blood was one of the players who set the bar very high last summer, but was not the only guy who did a great job.
4. Next season could be an exciting one for the Sioux, but Hakstol basically said that if the guys do not have good summers, they will not be very good.
5. Corban Knight will likely play center next season. He could get an opportunity to center one of the top lines (Brad Malone will center the other one). Hakstol said some of UND’s younger players are natural centermen. I specifically asked whether Jason Gregoire could move to center and Hakstol said that he will not. He said Gregoire is too good along the wall and that left wing is his best position. He will remain there.
6. It is too early to know if Brent Davidson will stay at defense or go back to forward. Hakstol said they will have to evaluate what they have. He said that Davidson will do whatever the team needs and he praised Davidson for the work he did to be ready to play defense for the team during the stretch run.
7. UND will be evaluating Joe Gleason in the next week and will get a better idea of where he’s at. Gleason may be a few weeks away from getting going on off-season workouts but Hakstol didn’t anticipate that it would be anything that would keep him out for a chunk of the summer.
8. Blood, Jake Marto and Andrew MacWilliam are on the mend from their upper-body injuries. All three are pretty tough guys. I’m not sure how long it will be until they can start lifting.
9. Chris VandeVelde said on The Pipeline Show last night that he anticipates signing with the Edmonton Oilers this week. He will likely play in Springfield for the rest of the season. I haven’t heard about anything imminent for Darcy Zajac.
10. Hakstol thanked the media for their coverage this season, and in turn, I am thanking everyone for visiting the blog, posting thoughts, sending e-mails, catching any screw-ups, joining live chats, giving me a heads up on stories and reading stuff on the Herald’s Web site. It was another fun season and I’m already looking forward to the next. As always, the blog will be updated often throughout the offseason. In the meantime, if you have any coverage ideas (there were some very good ones this year that I didn’t get around to doing, which I regret) please pass them along to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for reading and helping out on the blog.