The agreement that the NCHC signed with the Target Center contains significant guarantees that will ensure the postseason tournament will be very profitable for the league, multiple sources have confirmed.
The guarantees are believed to include the facility usage agreement and other amenities.
The Xcel Energy Center was unable to match the Target Center’s offer, which is one reason why the NCHC chose the downtown Minneapolis building as its postseason home.
League athletic directors also liked the idea of building a tradition at one spot, like the WCHA Final Five did at the X, rather than bouncing to a different building every year.
It is entirely possible that the Target Center could take a loss on the event if a worst-case scenario of teams end up at the postseason tournament. But that’s OK with the owner, which is the City of Minneapolis. The city can take the hit there and make up for it with the business that the event brings to town with restaurants and hotels.
The Target Center’s plans for upgrades and promises for hockey-specific upgrades also were very important to the athletic directors.
There has been some preliminary dialogue between UND and Minot State about playing an exhibition game in Minot this year as a fundraiser for the city, which was badly damaged by a major flood last summer.
The game would be played over Christmas break, if it happens. Dec. 28 or 29 would make the most sense.
As I said, at this point, I haven’t heard anything to indicate that this is a done deal. So, I don’t want to get hopes too high quite yet for fans out in the Western part of the state. But the idea has at least been floated out there.
Minot State plays ACHA Division I (same as Penn State this season).
The UND men’s basketball team played an exhibition at Minot State last year as a fundraiser.
Two people — Chuck Schwartz from Bucky’s Fifth Quarter and Bridget Brooks from Mavpuck.com — are reporting that Troy Jutting will be the new assistant coach for Nebraska-Omaha.
Jutting was fired as head coach of Minnesota State-Mankato earlier this offseason.
Essentially, the two Mavericks would be swapping coaches — Jutting to UNO and Mike Hastings to Mankato. Jutting, however, would be replacing Brian Renfrew, who left to be a scout for the Winnipeg Jets.
The NCAA announced official rules changes for next season. Notably:
+Goals off of skates WILL count unless the referee determines it was intentionally kicked in.
+All hand passes are now illegal, even in the defensive zone.
Three local players will participate in USA Hockey’s Prospect Game. They are UND recruits Keaton Thompson of Devils Lake and Luke Johnson of Grand Forks and Denver recruit Gage Ausmus of East Grand Forks.
That game will be played Sept. 29 in Buffalo.
The U.S. World Junior camp begins Saturday in Lake Placid, N.Y.
UND freshman Jordan Schmaltz will be there for it. UND redshirt freshman Rocco Grimaldi will not. He’s still rehabbing his knee. The last time I checked, Grimaldi’s recovery was still on schedule.