Just a few things to pass along today.
First, Mark Matheson has been signed by the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. This could potentially reunite him with Matt Anderson who has been with the Wolves since his UMass career ended, though I’m not sure of Anderson’s contract status at this time.
Secondly, College Hockey News had a lengthy interview with Minnesota head coach Don Lucia who is decidedly on the hot seat this coming season. Lucia makes two mentions of UMass in the interview, one in pointing to former recruit John Carlson as one of the exceptions of players who have skipped out on the college route and had immediate success. Can’t refute that. The second reference is to Casey Wellman where Lucia is touting the benefits of how extra years of juniors can be helpful to late bloomers. Maybe, maybe not. I personally think players are coming into college at too late of an age and that it may be one of the contributing factors to players leaving early for the pros. I’d like to see players play one year of post-grad only and only on rare occasions. It would also be interesting to see if teams of similar prestige of UMass would have success in getting some of the elite players out from under the likes of BU and BC by allowing them to enter college right out of high school. If given the chance to play right away and start their college careers earlier it would be interesting to see if more and more top level recruits would choose to play at places not known as traditional powers. There has to be some way to crack the recruiting stranglehold the top schools have, especially over the local prospects. I’d love to see if this would be a way to do it.
Speaking of guys who get all of the good local recruits, the Boston Globe reported this afternoon that BU’s Jack Parker recently underwent bypass surgery. He is expected to be good to go for the start of the coming season. Obviously as a fan he’s a guy you love to hate, but that sort of thing ends on the ice. As a coach you can’t help but respect everything he has accomplished and in general is a very upstanding guy if you ever have a chance to meet him. So I know many in the UMass hockey community, including myself, wish Coach Parker a speedy recovery and look forward to his return to the bench in a few months as games against the Terriers wouldn’t be the same without him. I only hope the Hockey East officials don’t feel sorry for him this coming season and give him and his team even more calls than they already get.