One week ago, Denver athletic director Peg Bradley-Doppes fired head men’s hockey coach George Gwozdecky.
We have still not heard a word, an explanation… anything from her yet.
And while she sits in hiding, Denver is losing players, losing recruits and losing the PR battle with its alumni.
Yes, that’s right, the first de-commit is one of its top recruits, East Grand Forks native Gage Ausmus, who plays for the U.S. Under-18 team. Ausmus confirmed Monday that he’s once again uncommitted. He’s leaving for Russia and the IIHF World U-18 tournament today and will likely have a number of suitors when he returns.
Strangely enough, one of Denver’s coaching candidates is Ausmus’ coach at the NTDP, Don Granato. He’s also going to be in Russia for the next three weeks, so that will be interesting to see how that works out with the DU coach search.
Speculation is that the top three candidates, at the moment, are Granato, RPI head coach Seth Appert and Green Bay Gamblers head coach Derek Lalonde. Both Appert and Lalonde were assistants under Gwozdecky.
UND recruit Christian Evers was selected in the fifth round of the OHL Draft by the London Knights on Saturday.
London will definitely try to persuade Evers to bail on UND. After the draft, he tweeted, “I can’t wait to see how things play out the next couple of years.”
He later clarified, “Can’t wait to be a part of UND in a few years,” and said, “You don’t have anything to worry about Sioux fans #siouxnation”
Even so, I don’t blame fans if they are worried about London going for him after what has happened a couple of times in the last couple of years.
Looking at the makeup of UND’s defensive corps for next season, it is not going to be a physical unit.
It will almost entirely be puck-moving guys.
You a fan of the big-hitting defensemen? Well, you have a chance to check out the future on Friday and Saturday in Fargo.
Ryan Mantha is coming to town with Sioux City. Mantha, the nephew of former Winnipeg Jet player Moe Mantha, is large and physical.
Minnesota has lost five guys to NHL signings so far this offseason.
I was asked earlier today when the last time another team lost five guys to the pros in one offseason. The last time I recall that happening in college hockey was to UND after the 2005-06 season. Travis Zajac, Drew Stafford, Matt Smaby, Jordan Parise and Rastislav Spirko all turned pro.
Despite the losses, UND still reached the Frozen Four the next season.
Former UND great Jason Blake did not sign an NHL contract before the trading deadline this year. You have to believe that this is likely the end of the road for Blake.
If so, he had quite a career: 13 years, 871 games, 486 points.
Mike Commodore is pushing to make sure his career isn’t coming to a close.
After signing a deal with the Texas Stars, he scored a goal in his first game with the AHL team.
Popular Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan wrote a column about how much he loves the Frozen Four today.
This reminds me of the 2006 Frozen Four in Milwaukee. Ryan was covering that event for the Globe. His editors gave him the choice: go to the Frozen Four or go cover the Masters. Ryan chose the Frozen Four.