Three random updates and thoughts on this Thursday evening…
1. ESPN’s John Buccigross reported that former Denver coach George Gwozdecky is in intense discussions to become the next head coach at UConn. The Huskies will join Hockey East next year and be up to 18 scholarships by 2016-17. They also hope to have confirmed plans for an on-campus arena by then. So, Gwoz would have some tools to build a team there, and that might be the most important part for the Huskies if they want to lure Gwoz: being able to sell him on institutional support of the hockey program.
2. Alaska Anchorage announced it is suspending its search for a new coach, yet another folly at the school. The embattled athletic director, Steve Cobb, was not quoted in the release. Although UAA says it has tons of great candidates, two of its original finalists were Division III coaches. I was told that Dave Shyiak was not pleased at the school’s institutional support of the hockey program, and that could certainly be scaring away candidates right now. They might not believe they can win there.
3. Recently, Omaha’s Ryan Walters said he’s returning for his senior year. That’s big for the Mavs, who should be one of the top two teams in the NCHC next year along with Miami. Those two teams should be the top offenses in the NCHC as well.