Genoway re-signs with Wild

Former UND All-American defenseman Chay Genoway has re-signed with the Minnesota Wild, inking a two-year deal. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately available.

Genoway was set to become a restricted free agent on Sunday.

Genoway played one game with the Wild last year, registering an assist. He was named one of the three stars of the game.

The Morden, Man., product was the leading defenseman scorer for the Houston Aeros, tallying 36 points.

It will be interesting to see if the Wild give Genoway more of a shot next season. A year ago, the Wild were terrible offensively and didn’t have much production from the blue line, but left Genoway in Houston until the very end.

Lee re-signs with Tampa Bay

Former UND defenseman Brian Lee has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lee’s new deal is worth $2.3 million over two years. It’s a one-way contract, which means he would get paid the same in the AHL as the NHL. Translation: The Lightning fully expect he will be an every day NHL guy.

Lee was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Lightning before the deadline last season. He played 20 games with Tampa, registering eight assists. Lee has played five seasons in the NHL.

The Moorhead High grad was going to be a restricted free agent.

Random updates

The final game between North Dakota and Minnesota as WCHA league rivals will highlight FSN North’s Hockey Day in Minnesota coverage on Jan. 19.

The game will be played at Mariucci Arena and will likely start at about 5 p.m.

FSN North will broadcast high school games prior to the UND-Minnesota game. A Minnesota Wild vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game will follow at 8 p.m.

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UND signed a TV contract with Midcontinent to produce its games for the future (except for CBS Sports games).

Details of the Midco deal are here.

What does it mean for hockey?

1. A penalty clock is probably on the way…. finally.
2. Midco will broadcast NCHC games that are NOT only CBS Sports, however they won’t be allowed to be picked up by Fox College Sports. Viewers out of town will probably have to turn to the webcast.
3. On-air talent is up in the air. Pat Sweeney as called games forever, but it is unclear whether he will be able to do so with the new deal.

Also of note, The Ralph has replaced all of its TVs in the concourse with new flatscreens.

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I got in touch with Matt Greene’s parents yesterday. He has not yet been told what day he will have the Cup. He’s definitely bringing it to his hometown of Grand Ledge, Mich. His dad said Matt previously told him he also wants to bring it to Grand Forks, but he doesn’t know if he will have time to do it.

In chatting with Mr. Greene, he had several interesting stories. First, he was unable to watch the Stanley Cup Finals because he was in a small town in West Africa at the time. Even getting scores of games was difficult for he and his wife.

He also said he’s excited about the formation of the NCHC, because he will be able to go up the road an hour to Kalamazoo to watch UND play against Western Michigan.

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Lastly, on a sad note, longtime area hockey coach Bruce Olson has passed away after a battle with cancer.

Olson coached boys hockey at both Roseau and Warroad, leading Roseau to the state championship in 1999. He also was the head coach of the Bemidji State women’s team.

UND’s draft notes

UND had two players selected in this year’s NHL Entry Draft — Jordan Schmaltz went in the first round to the St. Louis Blues and Paul LaDue went in the sixth round to the Los Angeles Kings. Some notes:

  • Schmaltz is the 10th first-round pick for UND in the last 10 years.
  • Some Blues fans have called the Schmaltz pick a reach and they aren’t real happy about it. It’s ironic, because they also called the T.J. Oshie pick a reach, upset that they didn’t take the higher-ranked Ryan Stoa or Dan Bertram. Oshie led the Blues in scoring last year, while Stoa didn’t play in the NHL and Bertram didn’t play pro hockey.
  • The Blues have a rather distinct college hockey/WCHA flavor with Oshie, Brian Elliott (Wisconsin), David Backes (Minnesota State) and Jaden Schwartz (Colorado College).
  • LaDue was in his third year of draft eligibility.
  • UND currently has a Kings draft pick in the lineup in defenseman Derek Forbort.
  • UND incoming freshman Drake Caggiula did not get picked.
  • Of the UND de-commits, Stefan Matteau went in the first round to New Jersey and Miles Koules did not get drafted.

If I’m missing any Grand Forks high school players in the list below, let me know. But this is what I was able to come up with today with the help of Virg Foss:

Grand Forks NHL Entry Draft picks

2012 – Paul LaDue, GFC, Los Angeles Kings, sixth round
2003 – Ryan Potulny, RR, Philadelphia Flyers, third round
2003 – Danny Irmen, RR, Minnesota Wild, third round
2001 – Andy Schneider, RR, Pittsburgh Penguins, fifth round
2000 – Grant Potulny, RR, Ottawa Senators, fifth round
1988 – Chad Johnson, GFC, New Jersey, sixth round
1984 – Dave Hanson, GFC, Philadelphia, fourth round
1983 – Craig Mack, EGF, Quebec, seventh round
1982 – Tim Mishler, EGF, Winnipeg, fifth round
1982 – Tim Loven, RR, Toronto, eleventh round
1978 – Mark Berge, RR, Philadelphia, eleventh round

*Steve Johnson was taken by Vancouver in the supplemental draft in 1987.

Kings pick LaDue in the sixth

Grand Forks native and UND-bound defenseman Paul LaDue was selected in the sixth round of the NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

LaDue, who will come to UND in 2013, becomes the first Grand Forks product to be picked in the NHL Draft since Ryan Potulny in 2003.

LaDue was not ranked in Central Scouting Bureau’s ratings, but obviously caught the eye of scouts with his big season in Lincoln.

UND recruit Drake Caggiula went undrafted.

More to come.

Blues pick Schmaltz in first round

UND incoming freshman defenseman Jordan Schmaltz was selected in the first round, No. 25 overall, by the St. Louis Blues on Friday night in the NHL Draft.

Schmaltz is the 10th first-rounder for UND in the last 10 years.

UND coaches Dane Jackson and Brad Berry were there to shake hands with Schmaltz.

UND’s recent first-rounders

2012 — Jordan Schmaltz, No. 25, St. Louis Blues
2010 — Brock Nelson, No. 30, New York Islanders
2010 — Derek Forbort, No. 15, Los Angeles Kings
2006 — Jonathan Toews, No. 3, Chicago Blackhawks
2005 — Joe Finley, No. 27, Washington Capitals
2005 — T.J. Oshie, No. 24, St. Louis Blues
2005 — Brian Lee, No. 9, Ottawa Senators
2004 — Travis Zajac, No. 20, New Jersey Devils
2004 — Drew Stafford, No. 13, Buffalo Sabres
2003 — Zach Parise, No. 17, New Jersey Devils

Random updates

It’s been a busy week in the college hockey world … not even counting the NHL Draft.

UConn has accepted a bid to join Hockey East as the 12th member. The Huskies will join in 2014-15.

It will be interesting to see if this move can spark a program that should have more of a national profile considering the attention and money that the basketball program brings to the school. But UConn has had one of the worst attendances in all of college hockey and has struggled on the ice.

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The Green Bay newspaper wrote a feature on UND recruit Brendan Lemieux, who is in town for the Gamblers’ tryout camp. Lemieux will play for Green Bay this season. He told the paper that he planned on going to the OHL until a College Hockey Inc., showcase opened his eyes.

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Jocelyne Lamoureux won the N.D. sportswriters and sports broadcasters award as the female college athlete of the year. The women’s hockey team also was named the team of the year.

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UMass coach Don Cahoon is out after 12 years at the helm. UMass says the split was mutual.

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The NHL released its 2012-13 schedule. Looks like former UND player visits to the MTS Centre to take on the Winnipeg Jets fit fairly nicely with UND’s schedule.

Jonathan Toews makes his return to Winnipeg on Oct. 16. Toews did not play there last year during the regular season.

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Evan Trupp’s brother, Hayden, has committed to Alaska Anchorage. He will play there beginning in the fall.

Hayden’s presence will be needed as the Seawolves continue to lose players.

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The Denver Post has a nice feature on WCHA ref Don Adam. Read that here.

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Toews and Zach Parise both received votes for the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward. Neither finished in the top 3, though.

WCHA’s decision may shed light on NCHC’s formation

This afternoon, the future of the WCHA playoffs came to light thanks to reporting by Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press and Jack Hittinger of the Bemidji Pioneer. In it, we also may have gotten our first public glimpse into one of the reasons why the NCHC happened.

In two years, after the monumental shift in conferences in Western college hockey, the WCHA will have a nine-team tournament. The top seed will receive a bye to the WCHA Final Five.

The big news, though, is that Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks will play in the first round every year unless one is a top seed.

The league obviously is worried about paying for two Alaska flights (either a team traveling up to Alaska or sending an Alaskan team to the lower 48) on a week’s notice.  The postseason tournament is supposed to be the big money-maker for the league and it could end up losing money.

However, the league is throwing the integrity of the tournament out the window in order to save money.

When the NCHC split happened, I wrote this in a Herald piece:

A source told the Herald that when business was conducted in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, there were often times two blocks of voting.

The schools with larger budgets typically wanted to spend money, invest and try new things. Schools with smaller budgets often resisted.

With Minnesota and Wisconsin departing for the Big Ten Hockey Conference, the smaller-budget schools take over control of the voting block. This caused athletic directors with larger budgets to worry about the future of the conference.

-July 10, 2011

The decision to save money with the Alaska schools while potentially creating strange matchups in the first round (UAA or UAF could be on the road as a three seed and if they are both in the bottom half, the five seed will have to travel instead of host) may be the first public look at this scenario. There’s no way athletic directors at UND, Omaha, Denver, etc., would have gone for this.

Was it this specific scenario that the NCHC schools were worried about? No. They didn’t even know Fairbanks would be in the league at the time the left. But it’s scenarios like this that they were worried about.

Brad Berry officially hired

As expected, Brad Berry has been officially named the new assistant coach for the Sioux men.

Berry coached UND’s defensemen from 2000-06 before leaving to take a job as the assistant coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. Berry coached recent Stanley Cup champion Matt Greene in college.

Most recently, Berry coached defensemen for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

There will be a media session later today, so hopefully I will have more info at that time.