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Matheson Signs; Lucia Talking About UMass; Parker In Hospital

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.

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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.

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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.

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5 Comments

  1. jjmc85

     /  August 3, 2010

    I hope Coach Parker gets well soon. Beating BU would be no wear near as sweet if he wasn’t behind the bench.

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  2. jall

     /  August 3, 2010

    Read below (quote from your post)

    “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.”

    Great concept…out of the box thinking and it makes sense. The problem is, you would really struggle against teams not following the same model. You would have to guess right on those young kids almost all of the time. Don’t forget, there are currently 14 and 15 year olds who have committed already…they think they will be playing right out of HS/Prep…There is also a 14 yo playing in the USHL this year.

    To sign young kids out of high school they would need development time. Look at Doug Kublin…he is 2 years younger than any other senior on this team…he is younger than 2 incoming Freshman!! He has developed for sure, but needs this to be a huge impact year for Umass’ investment in his development to have been worth getting him here so young.

    Again…i like your thinking…right on target…but I bet a rule would have to be implemented before teams started taking HS kids on the roster.

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    • I don’t think a rule would be necessary since the norm in every other college sport is to take kids immediately after finishing high school.

      But I agree, it would be a risk to have a group of players going against more experienced players at the same school. That’s why I’m hoping if the talent level is more equal it would help create more parity between the teams. Something has to be done to unlock the upper echelon recruits to the other schools and I think offering them a chance to play college hockey earlier than age 20 is the way to do it.

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  3. Ryan

     /  August 5, 2010

    its a matter of when coaches feels that guys are mature enough to play at a college level. in most cases its better to wait until you are fast/strong enough to handle it all. danis-pepin played his entire first season for maine at 17 yrs old. even during his junior year he was still the youngest member on the team. jonathan toews was 17 when he started school at UND and that certainly worked out alright. it depends on the specific player and program.

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    • That’s all well and good but I think guys are getting sick of coming into college so late. Matt Irwin and Casey Wellman were both 22 when they left as sophomores. Marcou was 22 as well. You can’t tell me that’s not a huge factor in losing these guys early. They don’t want to start their pro career at 24.

      Bring these guys in early and maybe they’re less likely to leave. Offer kids a chance to get to college earlier and maybe they’ll choose UMass rather than wait to play at BC.

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