Up To The Minute 6/28

Nothing concrete to update regarding the coaching search.  I will tell you this, I’ve been hearing lots of information.  Some of it conflicting, some of it collaborating.  Overall my opinion of the search and its ultimate prospects are becoming more and more pessimistic.  Perhaps that’s due to the qualities in a potential coach that I’ve put above the rest.  I personally would want someone young and dynamic with the potential to stay at UMass for an extended period.  I’d like to see someone who has experience bringing in talented recruits to a second tier program (UMass is first tier in my heart, but let’s be honest about how things work in Hockey East).  Rumored candidates who have those qualities are guys like Mark Dennehy and Darren Yopyk.  However, it sounds like the search may be shifting focus to assistants at the more traditional programs.  That means guys like Mike Cavanaugh, already confirmed to have an interview, and perhaps fellow Boston College assistant Greg Brown or Boston University assistant Mike Bavis.  Those guys are obviously well regarded in the college hockey circle and for good reason given their experience.  But can they recruit to UMass?  Can they bring Minutemen hockey from where it is to a regular contender within Hockey East and nationally?  Right now they work from a position of great strength.  It’s unknown if they can get the same results without the BC or BU pin on the lapel of their suit jacket.

Considering the supposed lack of administrative support for the hockey program being the primary reason why the previous coach and the athletic department chose to part ways, I have to say I’m less than enthused about how this coaching search is playing out.  In the wake of the stories surrounding Toot Cahoon’s departure UMass needs to prove beyond a doubt that they’re committed to having a top notch college hockey program.  Instead it sounds like they’re half-assing it.  As usual.

It was a good night for the Minutemen on the isle as the Orange team at Islanders camp won the Development Camp scrimmage tonight.  Mike Pereira scored a goal and Kevin Boyle shutout Team Blue in the second half (not a typo, half).

Conor Allen is playing in the Canucks’ prospect scrimmage as I type.  The Canucks have a good photo gallery of camp on their site.  I see Allen in at least one picture.

Eddie Olcyzk is down in Carolina at Hurricanes camp this week where he’s playing with his brother Tommy, who will be playing for Penn State.

Meanwhile, UNH’s Trevor VanRiemsdyk is an attendee at Philly’s prospect camp.  That must be a little awkward as the Flyers just shipped his brother off to Toronto.

Overall I’m happy at the level of involvement that UMass players are getting in the NHL camps.  However I’m a little surprised that Joel Hanley hasn’t, as of yet, gotten an invite from an NHL team.  I’m especially surprised he didn’t get a call from the nearby Maple Leafs, though a forty five year Stanley Cup drought is probably evidence that they may not be the best at evaluating talent, even if it’s right under their nose.

Congratulations to Jon Quick who has agreed to a 10 year contract extension with the L.A. Kings.  Obviously well-earned. This is probably a good time to announce that my next Beer The Triangle homebrew, an IPA which fermented during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and will be heading into the bottle this weekend, will be known as BTT Conn Smythe.  Hopefully it’s worthy of the name.