Today’s random updates from the college hockey world…
The annual college hockey meetings will be held this week in Florida. The WCHA will get together on Wednesday. Then, the national meetings will be held from Thursday through Saturday. After that, the WCHA will get together on Sunday and Monday again.
This year, rules changes are allowed, so it might be extra interesting to follow.
One thing the NCAA rules committee said it would examine this year is hybrid icing. That would take away automatic icing and players would have to race for the puck. Instead of having to touch it, the ref would determine who would reach the puck first using the dot as a reference point. My guess: The NCAA keeps automatic icing.
The two-and-two reffing system also will likely be discussed. Did the extra cost of the second referee help the game? My guess: The NCAA stays with two-and-two.
We’re probably more likely to see rule clarifications than wholesale changes. But who knows for sure.
In the WCHA meetings, you can bet that suspensions will be a hot topic. They were a hot topic all year. I believe commish Bruce McLeod said this was the first time in 16 years that he imposed a suspension that was longer than a game. He also handed out several of them: Mario Lamoureux, Matt Frattin, Aaron Marvin (twice), Chris Hepp, Cody Goloubef and Craig Smith come to mind off hand.
UND coach Dave Hakstol is of the belief that there are 1-3 incidents each year that warrant extra review. Other than that, he believes in-game penalties are sufficient. I know Anchorage coach Dave Shyiak also is concerned about hitting being taken out of the game. At the same time, the league is trying to crack down on dangerous hits. I’m sure they will chat about how to balance the two.
The process of suspensions also will be talked about. USCHO’s Todd Milewski wrote a good column on how the process is a mystery and how possible suspensions are the subject of rumors and speculation for as many as five to 10 days after an incident. Perhaps that will change.
Offseason workouts have been going on for a couple of weeks now. Hakstol says they’ve been pretty intense so far and he would call them "good to excellent." A couple of players are still limited by injuries.
Defenseman Joe Gleason is still recovering from his foot injury, but the Sioux are hopeful that it won’t have much of an effect on his offseason training.
Recruit Dillon Simpson’s season came to an end tonight when the Spruce Grove Saints lost in Game 7 to the Vernon Vipers in the battle for the Doyle Cup. Simpson will likely be a member of the Sioux in the fall.
Still no update on Chay Genoway. After the season, UND said it would give him the time he needed in order to make a decision. Nothing has changed since then. He’s also still waiting to be medically cleared.
In terms of early departures, it has been quiet for the last few weeks. You still have to believe that Wisconsin defenseman Brendan Smith will sign with the Detroit Red Wings. The Wisconsin State Journal also reported that Cody Goloubef is another likely candidate to leave.
Ryan McDonagh may be another case, though. McDonagh seemed like a strong candidate to turn pro, but Wisconsin has named him captain for next season, which means the Badgers think there’s at least a good chance he’ll be back.
Wisconsin also has been in the news because the Badgers are searching for two assistant coaches. Kevin Patrick left earlier for a USHL job. This weekend, Mark Osiecki was named head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Osiecki, an assistant for the Sioux during the 1997 national title run, is recognized as a top-notch coach who had a lot to do with developing Wisconsin’s defensemen.
Another interesting development is that Denver coach George Gwozdecky flirted with the Ohio State coaching job. He met at least twice with Ohio State officials. He told the Post that the meeting at the Frozen Four was just to give them advice on who to hire, but Gwozdecky met again after that with the Buckeyes, clearly showing interest.
Gwozdecky is under contract with DU for the next four years, but the Post reported that he was looking to extend or renegotiate his contract earlier this year.