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News From Other Rinks

I’m taking a break from my weekly View From Section U to, frankly, think of my next topic.  As we turn the corner to August and the end of Summer I want to start to focus on next season.  However, I’m really hoping the online roster gets updated soon so I know exactly what we’re looking at come October and so I can properly preview the team to be.  I fully expect some players will not be returning from next year and I’ve already heard rumors of freshmen not making it to campus this fall due to unforeseen circumstances.  However, we’ll know all that eventually.

There’s really no UMass hockey news to pass along that I know of.  Toot has his slightly reformulated staff in place and is likely on the road recruiting.  Those that follow the current and incoming players on Twitter know that they’re hard at work training.  It’s always nice to see hashtags like #legsfeedthewolf coming from some of the soon to be freshmen.

But while things are quiet, for now, surrounding the UMass hockey program, there are some tidbits to pass along from the world of college hockey.

In alumni news, Jon Quick was highlighted as one of the top shootout goaltenders in the NHL.  It’s fitting that the only game I’ve seen of Quick in the pros was a shootout win against the Bruins in the season before last.

After lounging all summer and losing some prize players and recruits Northeastern has finally realized that they just may need to hire a new coach for the coming season.  The Husky program turns to Jim Madigan to continue to success they saw under Greg Cronin, but without the potential NCAA violations.  If I were a Northeastern fan this hire would scare the hell out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, I always love to see alums take over at their alma mater and Madigan’s history of scout shows he can judge talent.  But the guy has never been a head coach at any level and was last an assistant coach almost 20 years ago.  The Northeastern program scratched their way into the realm of relevance for Boston area hockey.  It’ll be interesting to see where they find themselves in a few years with this hire.  College Hockey News’ Joe Meloni has an interesting read on the hire.

Niagara, Canisius, Robert Morris, and Mercyhurst have had discussions with the CCHA about leaving Atlantic Hockey for the Midwest based conference.  I think this is a great idea.  These schools, especially Niagara, have shown sustained interest in putting more resources into their program but because of the rules of Atlantic Hockey are unable to offer the full allotment of scholarship allowed the NCAA.  The AHA just recently voted down the prospect of raising the scholarship limit this past spring.  I think some or all of this group jumping to the CCHA will do a good job of aligning like minded schools in regards to the goals for their hockey programs.

Former UMass grad assistant Darren Yopyk has taken a job as a scout for the Minnesota Wild.  Yopyk, who was also an assistant for Merrimack, has been coaching the Westside Warriors of the BCHL.  He coach incoming goaltenders Kevin Boyle there last season.

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