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Don Lucia
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jdh



Joined: 03 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:19 pm    Post subject: Don Lucia Reply with quote

Don Lucia stepped down today as Gopher coach.
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zamboniexhaustinhaler



Joined: 19 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: Don Lucia Reply with quote

jdh wrote:
Don Lucia stepped down today as Gopher coach.


'bout time.
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kniven



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:47 am    Post subject: Re: Don Lucia Reply with quote

jdh wrote:
Don Lucia stepped down today as Gopher coach.


I never liked the guy. Respected him, but didnít care for him. Just always seemed like he always thought everybody was beneath him as a human being. Like he thought his PLEASE BAN ME smelt like theater popcorn or something.
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O-townClown



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will be very interesting to see the recruiting approach employed by his successor. I have no idea what I would do in the same situation. College hockey is incredibly difficult now.
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zooomx



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a SCSU fan, I respect what he has done at the U. Crushed it early in his tenure, and always respectable thereafter. Don't like his take on early recruiting. The past 12 years, the talent coming to college hockey has deepened quite a bit. It's a lot harder to win for the U now, versus 12-20 years ago. If Gopher fans think that someone else is just going to waltz in and do much better, they may be in for a disappointment.

I don't think he is to blame for the Big 10 fiasco, and he was forced to say the PC things on the subject. He gave the U almost 20 years of great hockey. When he announced today, he was choking up and I think he said all the right things including going out the right way and setting up the next guy by continuing with fundraising efforts. Yes, it was probably time for him to step aside for the next guy, but I respect what he did for that program and wish him the best of luck.

Big question is: who gets the job now? Potulny?
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O-townClown



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
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Location: Typical homeboy from the O-Town

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zooomx wrote:
If Gopher fans think that someone else is just going to waltz in and do much better, they may be in for a disappointment.


Amen.
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MNHockeyFan



Joined: 08 Nov 2006
Posts: 6474

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zooomx wrote:
As a SCSU fan, I respect what he has done at the U. Crushed it early in his tenure, and always respectable thereafter. Don't like his take on early recruiting. The past 12 years, the talent coming to college hockey has deepened quite a bit. It's a lot harder to win for the U now, versus 12-20 years ago. If Gopher fans think that someone else is just going to waltz in and do much better, they may be in for a disappointment.

I don't think he is to blame for the Big 10 fiasco, and he was forced to say the PC things on the subject. He gave the U almost 20 years of great hockey. When he announced today, he was choking up and I think he said all the right things including going out the right way and setting up the next guy by continuing with fundraising efforts. Yes, it was probably time for him to step aside for the next guy, but I respect what he did for that program and wish him the best of luck.

Big question is: who gets the job now? Potulny?

I've been a season ticket holder since Herb Brooks was coach, and I agree with your comments 100%. He was very genuine during his press conference today, even started to well up at one point, and a tear came to my eye was well. But as much as I admire the man and all he did for the U's hockey program, I had come to the conclusion, albeit gradually, that it was time for a change.

I hope they find the right guy to lead the program going forward. I do think Potulny deserves some consideration, but the fact that he's only been a head coach for one year might work against him. We'll see.
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grindiangrad-80



Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 2254

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:59 am    Post subject: Re: Don Lucia Reply with quote

kniven wrote:
jdh wrote:
Don Lucia stepped down today as Gopher coach.


I never liked the guy. Respected him, but didnít care for him. Just always seemed like he always thought everybody was beneath him as a human being. Like he thought his PLEASE BAN ME smelt like theater popcorn or something.


If you knew him and his family you wouldn't think that at all.
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goldy313



Joined: 05 Mar 2002
Posts: 2923

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O-townClown wrote:
zooomx wrote:
If Gopher fans think that someone else is just going to waltz in and do much better, they may be in for a disappointment.


Amen.


He has done nothing the past few years, Minnesota should be akin to Alabama in football......yet tDon turned the U into the weakest of 5 D-1 programs in Minnesota. Making the Gophers #4 woukd be an improvement. My God, the money the U spends on hockey dwarfs the other 4 (and the Big10) but is the worst program?

Honestly, the new coach can't go down.

He is not a bad coach but things went South for him and he didn't recover even with every advantage.
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green4



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
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Location: Edina

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

goldy313 wrote:
O-townClown wrote:
zooomx wrote:
If Gopher fans think that someone else is just going to waltz in and do much better, they may be in for a disappointment.


Amen.


He has done nothing the past few years, Minnesota should be akin to Alabama in football......yet tDon turned the U into the weakest of 5 D-1 programs in Minnesota. Making the Gophers #4 woukd be an improvement. My God, the money the U spends on hockey dwarfs the other 4 (and the Big10) but is the worst program?

Honestly, the new coach can't go down.

He is not a bad coach but things went South for him and he didn't recover even with every advantage.


I would say this is a bit over the top. Im not a Lucia guy, I think it is about time they mixed it up, but you think they are the worst D-1 hockey program in the state? They are clearly better than Bemidiji, not ever really a discussion. The gophers are probably 4th, but though Mankato has had some nice seasons of late, they haven't done much in the playoffs to my recollection

You think the hockey program is the worst of the four big sports at Minnesota? Football at the U is an absolute joke, they haven't beaten their biggest rival in over a decade.
The basketball team had one nice year last year, but besides that they have been pretty bad in the conference and the only constant is that the teams have been full of scandals.
Maybe the hockey program does worse than baseball, but pretty hard to tell since its never in the news or discussed. I looked it up and the gophers baseball team seems to do pretty decent, usually in the top 5 in the conference of late.
At the lowest the hockey team would be 2nd of the big 4 men's sports
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O-townClown



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
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Location: Typical homeboy from the O-Town

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

goldy313 wrote:

1 - He has done nothing the past few years,
2 - Minnesota should be akin to Alabama in football......yet t
3 - Don turned the U into the weakest of 5 D-1 programs in Minnesota.


1. The Gophers played in the final against Union in 2014. They were also in the Frozen Four in 2012.

2. How? College hockey has nothing in common with college football and no program can sustain top-level success. Minnesota should be akin to Boston College, Michigan, and North Dakota in hockey.

3. I would think Bemidji State holds that distinction.

I'm a Gopher hockey fan, but I'm definitely afraid the expectations are distorted. Interested to see what his replacement can do. Mainly interested in seeing how they recruit. Some fans seem to want all the best players to be Gophers, yet can't explain how anyone would go about getting them.

Do the Gophers need more Casey Mittelstadts, or more Chaz Luciuses? Was The Don right to get a commitment from Jaxson Nelson so young? How many Edina guys is the right number to have in the program? I don't think anyone really knows.
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northwoods oldtimer



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:47 am    Post subject: Re: Don Lucia Reply with quote

kniven wrote:
jdh wrote:
Don Lucia stepped down today as Gopher coach.


I never liked the guy. Respected him, but didnít care for him. Just always seemed like he always thought everybody was beneath him as a human being. Like he thought his PLEASE BAN ME smelt like theater popcorn or something.


Agree with you Knivsy!! He's a dink plain and simple.
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bardown27



Joined: 24 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do the Gophers need more Casey Mittelstadts, or more Chaz Luciuses? Was The Don right to get a commitment from Jaxson Nelson so young? How many Edina guys is the right number to have in the program? I don't think anyone really knows.


They don't need more of either of those kinds of players. Look at their last stretch of good success. the 2011-2014 stretch. You have guys on that team that were considered studs like Bjugstad, Haula, Condon, Kloos, Skjei and Reilly on the back end. But then you also had those blue collar guys like Parenteau, Serratore, Ambroz, Holl to some extent (some could say he could be mentioned with the first group), Travis Boyd, Isackson. The next coach needs to recruit more guys like the latter group. The guys who have no problem filling a role, egos aren't bigger than the team to do so. Guys willing to go kill penalties late in games knowing they need to sell out and block every shot they can, and have no problem doing it. THOSE are the guys the next coach needs to recruit more of, not more Mittelstadt's and Luciuses.
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grindiangrad-80



Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 2254

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be happy to have a full team of Mittlestatds.
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yesiplayedhockey



Joined: 04 Mar 2014
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucia was great for college hockey. Can we all just agree to that and not punch the man on his way out. He did more good than harm for the U.

I think what partly drove him to "check out" was dealing with all the recruiting and parent issues faced today. Do you really think he wants to go watch 14 year olds play summer hockey unless its to watch a relative play? 10 years ago he'd go to a few HS games mid week around the metro area and occasionally up North...Now it's non stop trips all over the place watching everything to Bantam games to 22 year olds' up in Canada.

The coach is not solely to blame for the gophers demise. This new coach will have similar struggles of trying to project what kids will peak and at what age. Will he bring some energy back to the U??? Short term you bet. Long term it's a coin toss.

College hockey has changed. Like it or not...The days of watching the gophers play on Friday and Saturday against UND, CC and UMD are gone....And it 's not coming back

Thank you coach Don for your contribution to this great sport. Enjoy the family time you no doubt deserve. To the next coach they hire. I welcome your enthusiasm and I hope you can get the Alumni all on the same page. This group of former players all have strong opinions /personalities and it's sometimes a full time job just trying to keep them all happy

To the Alumni - Embrace this coach whether he was your first pick or not. Help build the program back up to where it was when you tossed on the sweater. Get involved. Help get this arena rocking again. Don't focus on "how it was" focus on how it can be.

Here's what I don't want (and I'm guessing many will agree)

1. A team of a bunch of 22-25 year olds
2. A team of more out of state kids than in state
3. An arena that supports a 60-75% season ticket base (I'd like to see at least 1,000 free tickets for students...and at least 200 free tickets set aside each game for youth teams to apply for.)

There is no one answer that will turn this ship around. It's a process... And I'm pretty sure by this time next week the new coach will be announced and the process will have begun.
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JerseyDave



Joined: 27 Feb 2018
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The StarTribune lists some potential candidates:
http://www.startribune.com/who-replaces-don-lucia-here-are-some-head-coach-possibilities-for-gophers-search/477422793/

THREE FROM THE STATE

Scott Sandelin, Minnesota Duluth head coach
Bob Motzko, St. Cloud State head coach
Mike Hastings, Minnesota State Mankato head coach

TWO FROM THE CURRENT STAFF

Mike Guentzel, Gophers associate head coach
Scott Bell, Gophers assistant coach

MINNESOTA TIES

Grant Potulny, Northern Michigan head coach
Tom Ward, Buffalo Sabres assistant coach
Todd Richards, Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach
Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach
Robb Stauber, U.S. womenís Olympic coach
Ben Barr, associate head coach, UMass-Amherst

FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY

Jim Montgomery, Denver head coach
Norm Bazin, UMass-Lowell head coach
Nate Leaman, Providence head coach
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JerseyDave



Joined: 27 Feb 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would Dave Snuggerud be an option? Gopher alum, former Olympian and NHL player. Currently he is part-owner of Breakaway Academy and he's head coach at Chaska High School. Good teacher and educator. Tapped into the west metro pipeline of talent. Name recognition. Solid person.
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gopherpuck516



Joined: 02 Aug 2011
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL to anybody taking pot shots at Don Lucia from behind a keyboard. He represented the U of M with class for 19 years, has the most career victories at the U, and won 2 titles. Just as important, his players graduated (or turned pro early) and stayed out of serious trouble. As a Gophers fan itís been tough watching the last couple years with talented players who havenít lived up to expectations. That does rest on Lucia, and itíll be interesting to see how quickly the new coach can get things turned around. I think itíll be at least a few weeks before a new coach is named, because thereís a few top candidates whoís teams are playing in the NCAAís with a chance to go far. Iím hoping theyíll interview Motzko, Rohlik, and Leaman, among others including Guentzel and Potulny. Itís an amazing thing that MN has several strong D1 hockey programs today, so I donít harp on the Gophers being the 4th best in state team the last few years. That says so much for the strength of hockey in this state! The Gophers will be back at the top in the state at some point, but they wonít stay there - UMD, SCSU, and MSU are legit contenders now and all 4 will duke it out for the top spot. Hopefully Bemidji will continue growing to get into that conversation as well.

Thanks Coach Lucia for 19 great years behind the bench and enjoy the next phase, youíve earned it!
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SCBlueLiner



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yesiplayedhockey wrote:


Here's what I don't want (and I'm guessing many will agree)

1. A team of a bunch of 22-25 year olds
2. A team of more out of state kids than in state
3. An arena that supports a 60-75% season ticket base (I'd like to see at least 1,000 free tickets for students...and at least 200 free tickets set aside each game for youth teams to apply for.)



1. Like it or not the college hockey world has changed. Your opponents are bringing in seasoned, older players who have honed their games for several years in Junior hockey. The U is going to have to have some of these players on their roster. These are the role player/grinder guys you need to win championships.

You know what's weird though, is that we can have a debate about having 14 year olds verbally commit and having to scout Bantam games and summer tournaments in the same thread where we debate overage freshman. That means something is definitely messed up with the college game.

2. You want to ice the best team you can? I don't know why you would restrict a coach in this way. The team should naturally be MN kids because most of the college caliber players are produced here and this is the recruiting base. But the team composition should happen naturally and not have artificial constraints placed on it.

3. Agree. Something needs to be done to change the arena environment. It's just too...stale...I guess would be the word I'm looking for. Too many empty seats, even if they have been paid for by a corporation or donor.
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yesiplayedhockey



Joined: 04 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blueliner

and I mean to say in my original post..more in state kids than out of state. Sorry about that.

I would like a balance. I don't think any of us would really pay attention to gopher hockey if it was 10-12 23 year old kids from Canada wearing the gopher jersey. If you think we have an attendance problem now...Try that and see how it works... A majority of us enjoy seeing these fresh young kids like Mittelstadt go right from HS into College. I get it...tough to win that way so a combination of 18 years olds mixed in with a couple older kids is okay by me

I'm not against "signing" the best young kids early either. By 10th grade you know what kids have it so grab them before someone else does

Anyone who has the "win at all cost" mentality is looking for trouble. The U program by many of standards is far above those other U sports and other college hockey programs. Does the wins total need to improve, obviously yes. But we need to be very careful "at what cost" do we want to win

Lou Nanne said last night he has no problem hiring a coach that isn't "one of us" and I agree. But I'm very certain Lou would never recommend hiring a coach who could tarnish the program just for the sake of a couple more wins

Personally I think the U could win a national championship with all Minnesota kids. Now it can't be all 18-19 year old kids I get that. And I also get that an all Minnesota team will probably never happen again. But that doesn't change the fact that what draws so many of us to watch the gophers is the fact that so many of these kids we've watched since they've been skating on their ankles. We enjoy cheering for the kids down the street or up the highway from us.

I am very certain our new coach will share similar values. He will make tweaks just like Lucia did from how Woog was recruiting. But parity in college hockey is here to stay...That top kid from say Moorhead who was destined to be a 3rd -4th liner for the U is now going to Mankato, or St Cloud or Bemidj to play on the top 2 lines there. It's great for college hockey yet makes the Gophers job that much challenging

It's going to be a fun year to sit back and watch it all unfold.


Last edited by yesiplayedhockey on Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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northwoods oldtimer



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bardown27 wrote:
Quote:
Do the Gophers need more Casey Mittelstadts, or more Chaz Luciuses? Was The Don right to get a commitment from Jaxson Nelson so young? How many Edina guys is the right number to have in the program? I don't think anyone really knows.


They don't need more of either of those kinds of players. Look at their last stretch of good success. the 2011-2014 stretch. You have guys on that team that were considered studs like Bjugstad, Haula, Condon, Kloos, Skjei and Reilly on the back end. But then you also had those blue collar guys like Parenteau, Serratore, Ambroz, Holl to some extent (some could say he could be mentioned with the first group), Travis Boyd, Isackson. The next coach needs to recruit more guys like the latter group. The guys who have no problem filling a role, egos aren't bigger than the team to do so. Guys willing to go kill penalties late in games knowing they need to sell out and block every shot they can, and have no problem doing it. THOSE are the guys the next coach needs to recruit more of, not more Mittelstadt's and Luciuses.


Correct bardown27 team needs grit in a big way. Hard in today's "white collar game" to find the Matt Demarchi, Travis Richards, Chris McAlpine type of players with all the prima donna players getting churned out. They still exist just need to get a coach who knows how to do the leg work and recruit and build a team not an annual list of who's who of the west metro suburban all stars. Need a coach who can look past the entitlement culture who is abrasive enough to build a team. The game is still played with one puck. Wink
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WestMetro



Joined: 04 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time for a change, plain and simple .

Nobodyís fault , just a fact of life

No sense throwing potshots now

Hearing the Richards/Ward/Bell combination is a contender

Yes, hire a couple good marketers to handle the arena and social media aspects. Desperately needed
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northwoods oldtimer



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yesiplayedhockey wrote:
Blueliner

I would like a balance. I don't think any of us would really pay attention to gopher hockey if it was 10-12 23 year old kids from Canada wearing the gopher jersey. If you think we have an attendance problem now...Try that and see how it works... A majority of us enjoy seeing these fresh young kids like Mittelstadt go right from HS into College. I get it...tough to win that way so a combination of 18 years olds mixed in with a couple older kids is okay by me

I'm not against "signing" the best young kids early either. By 10th grade you know what kids have it so grab them before someone else does

Anyone who has the "win at all cost" mentality is looking for trouble. The U program by many of standards is far above those other U sports and other college hockey programs. Does the wins total need to improve, obviously yes. But we need to be very careful "at what cost" do we want to win

Lou Nanne said last night he has no problem hiring a coach that isn't "one of us" and I agree. But I'm very certain Lou would never recommend hiring a coach who could tarnish the program just for the sake of a couple more wins

Personally I think the U could win a national championship with all Minnesota kids. Now it can't be all 18-19 year old kids I get that. And I also get that an all Minnesota team will probably never happen again. But that doesn't change the fact that what draws so many of us to watch the gophers is the fact that so many of these kids we've watched since they've been skating on their ankles. We enjoy cheering for the kids down the street or up the highway from us.

I am very certain our new coach will share similar values. He will make tweaks just like Lucia did from how Woog was recruiting. But parity in college hockey is here to stay...That top kid from say Moorhead who was destined to be a 3rd -4th liner for the U is now going to Mankato, or St Cloud or Bemidj to play on the top 2 lines there. It's great for college hockey yet makes the Gophers job that much challenging

It's going to be a fun year to sit back and watch it all unfold.


I might tune in as they might actually be able to finally have a pulse and compete. Your Minnesota HS players are SOFT. Just go ask some scouts.
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northwoods oldtimer



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.citypages.com/news/what-happened-to-minnesotas-hockey-program-7960026

"Potshot" commentary by more than a few alumni.

Gopher alum Kevin Hartzell. "They don't do the little things that are the most important. Getting traffic inside the dots. Winning puck battles along the boards. Never getting beat up the ice so you don't give up odd-man rushes. What we've seen this program become is a glorified high school team."


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SCBlueLiner



Joined: 16 Aug 2012
Posts: 602

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yesiplayedhockey wrote:
Blueliner

and I mean to say in my original post..more in state kids than out of state. Sorry about that.

I would like a balance. I don't think any of us would really pay attention to gopher hockey if it was 10-12 23 year old kids from Canada wearing the gopher jersey. If you think we have an attendance problem now...Try that and see how it works... A majority of us enjoy seeing these fresh young kids like Mittelstadt go right from HS into College. I get it...tough to win that way so a combination of 18 years olds mixed in with a couple older kids is okay by me

I'm not against "signing" the best young kids early either. By 10th grade you know what kids have it so grab them before someone else does

Anyone who has the "win at all cost" mentality is looking for trouble. The U program by many of standards is far above those other U sports and other college hockey programs. Does the wins total need to improve, obviously yes. But we need to be very careful "at what cost" do we want to win

Lou Nanne said last night he has no problem hiring a coach that isn't "one of us" and I agree. But I'm very certain Lou would never recommend hiring a coach who could tarnish the program just for the sake of a couple more wins

Personally I think the U could win a national championship with all Minnesota kids. Now it can't be all 18-19 year old kids I get that. And I also get that an all Minnesota team will probably never happen again. But that doesn't change the fact that what draws so many of us to watch the gophers is the fact that so many of these kids we've watched since they've been skating on their ankles. We enjoy cheering for the kids down the street or up the highway from us.

I am very certain our new coach will share similar values. He will make tweaks just like Lucia did from how Woog was recruiting. But parity in college hockey is here to stay...That top kid from say Moorhead who was destined to be a 3rd -4th liner for the U is now going to Mankato, or St Cloud or Bemidj to play on the top 2 lines there. It's great for college hockey yet makes the Gophers job that much challenging

It's going to be a fun year to sit back and watch it all unfold.


I can agree with all this. I think we're all on close to the same page and we all want the same thing.

I do have to admit, there is a grain of truth to the "soft" comment from the other poster. There are some tough players out there who had to fight and claw for every position they ever earned. Wouldn't hurt to have some of those "grit" players wearing the M.
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