Oshie, Greene added to Worlds roster

Three former Sioux players will play for Team USA next month in Germany.

T.J. Oshie and Matt Greene will join Taylor Chorney on the American roster, which features almost all recent college players.

Zach Parise is not on the final roster (too old now?), which was posted by USA Today’s Kevin Allen this morning.

Former Grand Forks Red River and Minnesota forward Ryan Potulny also is playing for the Americans.

Canada has not announced its final roster yet, but Travis Zajac would certainly have to be a candidate after his New Jersey Devils were knocked out of the playoffs.

This will be the third World Championship for Greene, second for Oshie and first for Chorney and Potulny. Zajac played for Team Canada last year.

Goloubef signs with Columbus

Wisconsin had the first of two expected early signings today.

Junior defenseman Cody Goloubef signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets, giving up his final year of college eligbility. Goloubef, a solid two-way defenseman, had 14 points in 42 games last season.

Goloubef was a second-round pick.

The Badgers also are expected to lose defenseman Brendan Smith to the Detroit Red Wings. Signs are starting to point to N.Y. Rangers picks Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan returning to the Badgers next season, but things can change.

Early signings in the WCHA (8)

Alaska-Anchorage (2)
Lee Baldwin, Fr, D, New York Rangers
Bryce Christianson, Jr, G, Stockton (ECHL)

Denver (3)
Joe Colborne, So, F, Boston Bruins
Patrick Wiercioch, So, D, Ottawa Senators
Marc Cheverie, Jr, G, Florida Panthers

Minnesota (1)
Jordan Schroeder, So, F, Vancouver Canucks

Minnesota-Duluth (1)
Rob Bordson, Jr, F, Anaheim Ducks

Wisconsin (1)
Cody Goloubef, Jr, D, Columbus Blue Jackets

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Charter to Anchorage

Ralph Engelstad Arena posted on Facebook today that it’s planning a charter to the season-opening weekend against Alaska-Anchorage if it can get at least 75 people.

The charter would leave Wednesday, Oct. 8 and return immediately after Saturday night’s game against the Seawolves. The Sioux play Alaska-Fairbanks on Friday night.

Cost for the charter flight, hotel, ground transportation and game tickets is estimated at $1,700. If you are interested, contact Carmen at 777-6635 or at carmenp@theralph.com by May 15.

From The Ralph’s info on Facebook:

"The estimated cost for the charter flight, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and game tickets is approximately $1,700 per person (based on double occupancy). This is a tentative estimate, a detailed proposal will be provided should there be enough interest to warrant the development of a detailed and specific travel package. At this point, it is believed that we will need a travel party of at least 75 people or more to warrant further discussion due to the variables involved with securing such a large charter aircraft. Guests would travel on the charter with the Fighting Sioux hockey team."

Tippett named Jack Adams finalist

Former UND forward Dave Tippett is one of three finalists for the Jack Adams Award, which goes to the NHL’s coach of the year.

The other finalists are Colorado’s Joe Sacco and Nashville’s Barry Trotz.

Hired to coach a bankrupt team with no owner a week before the start of the season, Tippett led Phoenix to its best season in franchise history and its first playoff berth in nearly a decade.

The Coyotes finished 28 points better than they did the previous season and finished as the Western Conference’s best defensive team.

Phoenix lost in Game 7 last night to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs.

In the last eight years, Tippett trails only Red Wings coach Mike Babcock for wins. Tippett previously coached the Dallas Stars.

Tippett is looking to become UND’s first Jack Adams winner.

Jones’ career up in the air

As a current Sioux player struggles with a concussion, a former player’s career might be over because of one.

Former UND defenseman Matt Jones, who played three seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, sustained a concussion a year and a half ago and is still having problems related to it. Jones has not been medically cleared yet, agent Justin Duberman said today.

"Matt’s still in Phoenix and he does what he can," Duberman said. "He’s not 100 percent back yet or anything near that. Matt’s got some decisions that will have to be made with his family, myself and the doctors that have to keep evaluating him."

Jones sustained his concussion during a game with the San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix’s AHL team) in the 2008-09 season. He didn’t play at all this last season and was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who know they might never see Jones suit up again.

Duberman said Jones’ concussion was "severe."

"He’s not playing at this time and it’s still not clear as to whether or not he’ll continue playing," said Duberman, also a former Sioux player. "Injuries are a tough part of the game. You always hope they don’t shorten someone’s career."

The WCHA’s last decade

It has been 10 years since UND has won a national championship, but one thing is clear: There hasn’t been a lack of success or good Sioux teams during that span.

During the last decade, UND has won more games than anyone in the WCHA and also leads the WCHA in 20-win seasons, top-five finishes, MacNaughton Cups, WCHA Final Fives, NCAA tournament appearances, NCAA tournament wins and NCAA Frozen Fours.

In honor of a decade coming to a close, I tallied up the results in a bunch of categories. They are listed below. Do these results surprise you? Or is this what you would have expected to see?

Wins
1. UND – 256

2. Minnesota — 254
3. Denver — 249
4. Colorado College — 240
5. St. Cloud State — 214
6. Wisconsin — 209
7. Minnesota-Duluth — 166
8. MSU-Mankato — 158
9. Anchorage — 97
10. Michigan Tech — 92

20-win seasons
1t. UND 9

1t. Denver 9
3t. Colorado College 7
3t. Minnesota 7
5. Wisconsin 6
6. St. Cloud State 5
7. Minnesota-Duluth 4
8. MSU-Mankato 1
9t. Anchorage 0
9t. Michigan Tech 0

Top-five finishes
1. UND 9

2t. Colorado College 8
2t. Minnesota 8
2t. Denver 8
5. Wisconsin 7
6. St. Cloud State 5
7. Minnesota-Duluth 3
8. MSU-Mankato 2
9t. Anchorage 0
9t. Michigan Tech 0

MacNaughton Cups
1t. UND 3

1t. Denver 3
1t. Colorado College 3
4. Minnesota 2

WCHA Final Fives
1t. UND 9

1t. Minnesota 9
3. Wisconsin 7
4t. Colorado College 6
4t. St. Cloud State 6
6t. Minnesota-Duluth 5
6t. Denver 5
8t. MSU-Mankato 1
8t. Anchorage 1
8t. Michigan Tech 1

Broadmoor Trophies
1t. Denver 3
1t. Minnesota 3
3. UND 2
4. St. Cloud State 1
5. Minnesota-Duluth 1

NCAA tournament appearances
1. UND 9

2. Minnesota 8
3t. Colorado College 6
3t. Denver 6
3t. Wisconsin 6
3t. St. Cloud State 6
7. Minnesota-Duluth 2
8. MSU-Mankato 1
9t. Anchorage 0
9t. Michigan Tech 0

NCAA tournament wins
1. UND 12

2. Minnesota 11
3. Wisconsin 10
4. Denver 8
5. Colorado College 5
6. Minnesota-Duluth 3
7. St. Cloud State 1
8t. MSU-Mankato 0
8t. Anchorage 0
8t. Michigan Tech 0

NCAA Frozen Fours
1. UND 5

2. Minnesota 3
3t. Wisconsin 2
3t. Denver 2
5t. Colorado College 1
5t. Minnesota-Duluth 1

NCAA titles
1t. Minnesota 2
1t. Denver 2
3. Wisconsin 1

Hobey Baker winners
1. Colorado College 2
2t. UND 1
2t. Minnesota 1
2t. Denver 1
2t. Wisconsin 1
2t. Minnesota-Duluth 1

Random notes

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.

Women add Olympian, look for another

The UND women’s hockey team rolled the dice this season.

Instead of getting commitments from some good players, the Sioux decided to let them go elsewhere, leave some scholarships open and hope to land some great players late in the game.

The gamble looks like a good one right now. UND got a verbal commitment from Michelle Karvinen, who tied for the Finnish team lead in scoring at the Olympic Games. Karvinen should be an instant impact player for the Sioux.

She is perhaps the first player ever who all of the traditional powerhouses wanted, but UND got (out of high school). So, this is a big victory for the Sioux women and they might not be done quite yet.

Recently, they had Canadian superstar Marie-Philip Poulin on campus for an official visit. If you are unfamiliar with her, read this story. She scored both goals in Canada’s 2-0 victory over the U.S. in the Olympic gold medal game.

If the Sioux land Poulin, then UND’s gamble will turn into a jackpot strike. If not, just landing Karvinen is a big victory for a team that has come a long way. (It’s usually a good sign when your recruits have Wikipedia pages and YouTube clips.)

U.S. golden again in U18s

The Americans have won a second straight gold medal at the IIHF World Under-18 tournament.

UND recruit Derek Forbort had an assist as Team USA avenged their only loss of the tournament by beating Sweden 3-1 in the championship game in Belarus.

The Swedes beat the Americans to open the tournament, but Team USA went on a big run to end things. They beat the Czech Republic 6-0 in the quarterfinals, Finland 5-0 in the semifinals and Sweden 3-1 to cap it off.

American goaltender Jack Campbell has led the U.S. to a pair of golds in the Under-18 tournament and one in the World Junior Championship. No other American goaltender has had this much success in international junior hockey. He could be a first-round pick this spring.

An interesting side note is that Campbell was originally the backup goalie in two of those three gold medals. This was the only tournament where he was the No. 1 guy from start to finish. He finished with fantastic stats: three shutouts in five games, a .963 save percent and a 0.80 goals-against average.

Campbell originally committed to Michigan but will instead go to the OHL next year.

Forbort finished the tournament with two assists. He also had a plus-nine rating, which was tied for the best in the tournament.

Chris Dilks from the Western College Hockey blog sums up the tournament and USA Hockey’s recent success.

Did obstruction cause Parise’s fall in draft?

The Edmonton Journal did an interview with longtime assistant general manager Kevin Prendergast soon after he was let go from his job.

Prendergast shed some light on why Zach Parise fell so far in the 2003 NHL Draft. The Oilers caught a lot of grief for not taking him at No. 17. They instead traded that pick to the Devils.

"It was under the old rules and we’d scouted Parise every game from February on," Prendergast said. "All the clutching and grabbing wore him out. He couldn’t play in the (college) playoffs."

The clutching and grabbing Parise faced in the WCHA has long been talked about by Sioux fans, but this is the first time that a top NHL official has commented on it as well (to my knowledge).

Soon after Parise left, the NCAA handed down a mandate to call obstruction much tighter. Last year, the NCAA rules committee restated that mandate and said officials need to do a better job protecting the puck carrier.

Whether or not Parise had an impact on the rule clarification/change, this is certainly evidence that with stricter rules, he may have gone higher in the draft.