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Coaching Search Update; Michigan State To Visit Mullins; Minutemen At NHL Camps

I don’t have too much to update in terms of the ongoing coaching search.  Everything I’ve heard is that the coaches towards the top of this list, are candidates being actively considered.  But at this point I’ve only be able to confirm Mike Cavanaugh as someone who will be interviewed.  It does appear that there could be a small sliver of hope for luring Merrimack Mark Dennehy to UMass, but there are still significant obstacles to such a thing occurring and honestly I haven’t even heard what his interest level is for such a move.

I also haven’t had any luck finding out what, if any, timeline the school has for filling the position.  I’m still hoping sooner rather than later since we’re so deep into the offseason.  One doesn’t need to look much further than Northeastern last year to see that a prolonged search can do damage to the program.

It sounds like College Hockey News’ Joe Meloni may have an update soon, so I’m looking forward to see what he may have to report.

Looking past the immediate future FTT has learned that the Michigan State Spartans will be playing two games in the Mullins Center during the 2013-14 season.  State will be the highest profile western team to visit Amherst since Denver and Colorado College played there in 2005.  UMass of course has had trouble getting high profile teams from the western conferences to return trips, despite recent games played at Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Getting State into the Mullins, likely the first of the new Big Ten conference teams to visit, will be great for the program and hopefully won’t be the last as UMass will look to bolster it’s non-conference schedule with the number of league games likely decreasing due to expansion.  Outgoing coach Toot Cahoon deserves the credit for getting Sparty to the Bill as he worked hard to get the necessary support from the athletic department to make it happen.   Of course 2013-14 will also mark the first time Notre Dame and UMass meet as part of the new look Hockey East.

In addition to Michigan State we also know that UMass will be participating in the UConn Holiday Classic with Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac in 2013-14.  That season will be UConn’s last before joining Hockey East.

I’ve updated the schedule page with the 2013-14 opponents as well as the dates for this coming season’s matches with Vermont, who released their schedule today.

There was still more news today.

There are no less than four Minutemen currently attending New York Islanders Development Camp this week.  Kevin Boyle, Mike Pereira, Oleg Yevenko, and soon to be freshman K.J. Tiefenwerth are all on the island this week.  It’s impressive to have four players out at NHL Development Camps, much less at the same one.

Conor Allen is out at the Vancouver Canucks camp in the meantime (I know, I know…but us Bruins fans will root for him anyway).

I’ll pass along news of any other Minutemen making it onto prospect camp rosters which are just starting up this week.

Some news to pass along for those Minutemen who have already turned pro.  Justin Braun signed a three year extension with the San Jose Sharks today.  Braun worked his way into the everyday lineup for the Sharks last season, playing 66 games and scoring a couple goals while registering 9 assists.  Matt Irwin, who was an AHL All-Star for the Sharks minor league club in Worcester, was extended an qualifying offer to stay in the Sharks organization.  Unfortunately James Marcou, who has battled concussion and other injury issues since turning pro after his junior year, was not offered and is now an unrestricted free agent.

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4 Comments

  1. jjmc85

     /  June 26, 2012

    Sorry to hear about James. Wish he had stayed for his senior year.

    Like

    • Me too. But he took a chance and unfortunately had bad luck. The injuries that have kept him off the ice occurred in practice, not even in a game.

      Maybe the Sharks will end up resigning him anyway, but for less than what they would’ve had to with a qualifying offer.

      Like

  2. Bullmoose

     /  June 27, 2012

    I guess UConn’s dream of having all-CT holiday tourney didn’t quite work out…

    Like

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