Time to catch up on the most recent news. Yesterday former UMass defenseman Joel Hanley became the 13th Minuteman to play in the NHL as he made his debut for the Montreal Canadiens. Hanley was on the ice for 14:25 and finished a –1 in the 4-1 loss. Hanley has been playing this season for the St John’s IceCaps of the AHL where he has 5 goals and 8 assists in 61 games.
Here he is warming up before the big night:
It’s great to see Hanley make it to the NHL. He was an incredibly talented two-way defenseman at UMass and did everything the right way. He could’ve easily jumped for the pros after John Micheletto was hired and the program fell off but he stayed all four years and played his heart out for the Minutemen. Congrats Joel!
There isn’t much coaching search news to share today. College Hockey News’ Mike McMahon did have a few tweets on the subject:
There are a lot of rumors and names flying around right now but it’s a little tough to separate fact from fiction. With Rick Bennett apparently out of the running it’s unknown if AD Ryan Bamford has a clear second option that he’s pursuing. McMahon had previously said that UMass was looking to talk to two Hockey East head coaches with the most logical choices being UConn’s Mike Cavanaugh and Merrimack’s Mark Dennehy. It’s unknown if they interviewed on Friday or it was a head coach or coaches from elsewhere.
There really isn’t a huge rush to all this. The conference championships are just wrapping up and the NCAA tournament will start this weekend. There may be coaches, head or assistants, from those teams that Bamford would want to speak to. The day to day chatter on the search is interesting, but it could still be a number of weeks until a hire is made. Just as long as the right hire is made I’m sure UMass fans don’t mind waiting.
Congrats to the Northeastern Huskies, 2016 Hockey East Champions!