Don Lucia

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mulefarm
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Post by mulefarm » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:04 pm

I really don’t think the problem is lack of talent or the type of player Don recruited. With agents and players wanting to get to the NHL, it seemed to me Don let the players think they were more important than the program. The number one thing I think a new coach has to instill is they are part of the program and must fit in or they don’t play and are welcome to leave!

WestMetro
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Post by WestMetro » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:07 pm

NWOT

A couple of kids names you might have/might be recruiting now to provide a more balanced roster skillset ?

yesiplayedhockey
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Post by yesiplayedhockey » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:14 pm

I agree...But "soft" has been tossed around this program long before Lucia was here. Hockey is all about finding skills kids, mixed in with grinders mixed with two player players, mixed in with ..the list goes on and on.

This year you could say they probably had a few to many grinders and could have used a couple more skill players like Mittestadt. Years past maybe they had to many fast skill kids and no one wanting to go anywhere near the corners.

It's a balancing act that's constantly moving due to kids leaving early. I think the U focuses their early recruiting on finding the "skill kids" then tries to find the grinders later on down the road. How you change that, if you change that and how you balance it all is a great topic.

O-townClown
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Post by O-townClown » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:10 pm

grindiangrad-80 wrote:I would be happy to have a full team of Mittlestatds.
Grad,

That basically led to his demise. The rage against Lucia seemed to start when he brought in Okposo, followed by the NHL team that held his rights telling him to bail. What was alarming is people siding with Garth Snow over Don Lucia. One has a sketchy reputation with all of their hockey decisions and the other won NCAA National Championships and would go on to win six conference titles in a row.

I think Mittelstadts in college hockey are way overrated. He'll sign with a pro team and then what? Replace with the next Jaxson Nelson, Kaden Bohlsen, Cruz Lucius, or whoever. Those guys don't win games consistently. You need them in small doses on an older team.

What in the heck happened to Tyler Sheehy?

I think the recipe for success is getting more Justin Kloos players and just banking on the fact that high NHL picks like Bjugstad, Mittelstadt, and (likely) Brinkman can't be counted on to carry a team in NCAA hockey.

Boston University brought in a Casey Mittelstadt guy when they landed Kieffer Bellows. He put up 14 points in one season and left.

If I recall correctly, Union's only drafted player was Ghost and even he went undrafted in his initial pass. If you want more Mittelstadts, how do the teams that win seem to get by without them?
Be kind. Rewind.

JerseyDave
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Post by JerseyDave » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:28 pm

There was a recent news article about how Kentucky basketball wants to start recruiting four-star athletes instead of five-star. I thought that was funny. Most programs would be thrilled to get five-star recruits but those players leave early, and Kentucky hasn't been able to build a consistent program.

Here's the link:
https://www.aseaofblue.com/2018/3/2/170 ... t-wildcats

I didn't read the article previously, only saw the headline. They actually haven't had much success with four-star recruits and speculate that maybe three-star local recruits would be a good balance to their five-star athletes.
Last edited by JerseyDave on Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

yesiplayedhockey
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Post by yesiplayedhockey » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:39 pm

Grad and O town I think you are both correct...and both not correct

Any team probably wouldn't do to well with 15 Mittelstadt type players but you also can't win with lets say, 15 Tommy Novaks. You have to have skill players who can shoot the puck. So to say the U should turn their backs to kids like Mittelstadt is utterly nonsense.

It's true that your first round draft picks may only stay a year or so but remember these kids are getting offered full rides a year or two before their NHL draft year. So for the gophers to say we are not taking a kid because in 2 years he may be a first rounder and stay only one year is simply silly. Waiting for the kids to turn 18 and see where they get drafted before offering them a full ride would be even sillier

I agree...picking a 14 year old kid is a gamble and you shouldn't have your whole 2022 freshman class picked in 2017. But you simply can't ignore skill, whether that kid is 14 or 24...Had the gophers had 1 or 2 more skill kids this year, goal totals would have gone up, they would have had a little better success on the PP and who knows we'd may be talking about who they are playing this weekend versus talking about Don and the program






[quote="O-townClown"][quote="grindiangrad-80"]I would be happy to have a full team of Mittlestatds.[/quote]

Grad,

That basically led to his demise. The rage against Lucia seemed to start when he brought in Okposo, followed by the NHL team that held his rights telling him to bail. What was alarming is people siding with Garth Snow over Don Lucia. One has a sketchy reputation with all of their hockey decisions and the other won NCAA National Championships and would go on to win six conference titles in a row.

I think Mittelstadts in college hockey are way overrated. He'll sign with a pro team and then what? Replace with the next Jaxson Nelson, Kaden Bohlsen, Cruz Lucius, or whoever. Those guys don't win games consistently. You need them in small doses on an older team.

What in the heck happened to Tyler Sheehy?

I think the recipe for success is getting more Justin Kloos players and just banking on the fact that high NHL picks like Bjugstad, Mittelstadt, and (likely) Brinkman can't be counted on to carry a team in NCAA hockey.

Boston University brought in a Casey Mittelstadt guy when they landed Kieffer Bellows. He put up 14 points in one season and left.

If I recall correctly, Union's only drafted player was Ghost and even he went undrafted in his initial pass. If you want more Mittelstadts, how do the teams that win seem to get by without them?[/quote]

northwoods oldtimer
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Post by northwoods oldtimer » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:31 pm

WestMetro wrote:NWOT

A couple of kids names you might have/might be recruiting now to provide a more balanced roster skillset ?
Westy,
I have a couple west side boys who's game I love! :wink:
Top of my list Hammering Hank Sorenson!! Put him with a skilled D man better keep your head up. He'd surpass Demarchi and McAlpines Penalty minute records lol.
I know he's committed Micah Miller. Nobody works 200 feet of ice any harder. Find the next MM no matter what.
Hunter Johannes - gritty likes dirty areas of the ice, not afraid of corner work. Let him develop his game at junior. Opens ice for skilled guys.
Jack Stets: Johannes with point production.
Landon Langenbrunner: plays all parts of the game well.
Haydon Brickner: "working mans" version of Lucas McGregor and matches him for points. :wink:
Grant Doctor: Develop at Junior and keep him on your radar.
Rickey Lyle: can he play at this level? Yes any Randolph kid is a asset to a college level team. They know how to work.
Jack Peart Rapids bantams. His game is much like Jake Bischoff.
Scour both Grand Forks Central and GF Red River they always have a Grant Poltuny type players to pick.
Alaska Fairbanks kid talk to Stewart who can fill a role. He'd be my NAHL pipeline.
Scout BCHL, AJHL, US Midget for that skill set that can do it all, score a few, mix it up physically, work like Miller 200 feet every shift.


Travis Allen: If his academics are solid. Add that type of kid as third goalie/practice goalie who is great in the room. Throw that type of goalie a game or two.

Each now and then bring in a hard ass working Junior/D3 guy to replace a guy who ain't cutting it. Kids might as well learn nothing is free in life its all earned baby.

Sorry Westy I don't know the young guys coming up so much. But I mostly watch the outlier type of players. Always cheering for that underdog unheralded kid. Will be easy to poke holes in my list but

Oh and whoever gets the job hire Chris Tok as your top assistant. You'll win day 1.

grindiangrad-80
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Post by grindiangrad-80 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:41 pm

O-Town and Yes-

My comment on Mittlestadt was because he is usually the best guy on the ice every night. It would be great to have 20 of the best guys on the ice every night. I realize he has his style of play and you need other styles to mesh together.

There is no question that the 1 or 2 year players create a different dynamic then the 4 year players do. Lucia brought that up at his presser yesterday. Finding the right balance there is the key. Trouble is there isn't a simple formula for that. That is a moving target based on each individual player every year.

I am a Gopher fan and have no problem with them making a change. It becomes necessary eventually. I loved Red Berenson as a coach and a man but sooner or later change is inevitable.

To the people taking shots at Coach Lucia- I understand if you want to go another direction but the guy was one of the class acts in the game and always carried himself that way. It's a high profile job and critics come with the territory. It doesn't mean the critics were always correct.

highgloveside
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Post by highgloveside » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:04 pm

The reason for the early recruiting is the schools out East want our MN kids more than ever before. We have a lot of good hockey players here and they want to nab some of them. It's like anything else, you have to pay what others are willing to pay or you won't get it. The U does have to realize however that they can be a little bit pickier if they wanted to. All the kids they are after have the requisite skills required to be a D1 player. What they need to take their time with is finding a handful of those skilled guys that have some glue attached. Ones that are willing to be glue guys in the locker room and on the ice. The U seems to have been drawn to kids who's parents spend 25k per year from age 6 making them the best hockey player they can be, Guess what? you spend that kind of money and the kids is going to be good at hockey. Here's the kicker, he gets to College and there are quite a few kids on other teams who are also really good at hockey and they bail hay on dads farm in the summer. It's not going to be easy for whomever gets the job but it can be slightly different. The first East side or Range kid I see with with a bottle of Elmers Glue in his bag is the kid I save a spot for after all the big money hockey kids are fully vetted. Bottom line, you need both and the kids will be glad they played on the same team :)

yesiplayedhockey
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Post by yesiplayedhockey » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:27 pm

Very well spoken High Glove.. I said parts of what you are saying in a earlier piece under ROSEAU. But we need to be careful. We can't say just because a kid goes to Edina or Eden Prairie he's soft nor should we care if he's in the weight room or tossing hay on grandpas farm. There's plenty grit in the burbs just like there's a soft player up on the range who's daddy has coached him since he was a mite.

As far as East coast colleges going after our "young". I truly don't see this being a huge issue. Every now and then a top Bantam or 10th grader signs early with a Boston U but it's rare. Most of our young kids getting offers are getting them from the U and this is where the U could be a little more patient. These kids would probably eventually sign with the U next year or the following so the U can't be so paranoid they will lose them at 14. And for argument sake, lets say a 14 year old does sign with a St Cloud or UMD...the word "sign" isn't even enforceable at that age so the U could, if they choose, leak out to the kid at age 16-17 that they are interested in him.. If the U builds this program back to where it was. The U will have kids at all ages standing in line to play there.

If you ask me...It's the 2nd and 3rd tier programs that should be trying to "bet the farm" on the younger kids and hope the can keep them. Not the U.
But don't get me wrong. If I had a 14 year old and the U came a knocking, I'm opening up that door immediately. So do not blame the parents here.

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:43 pm

JerseyDave wrote:The StarTribune lists some potential candidates:
http://www.startribune.com/who-replaces ... 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. women’s 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
LOL to the idea that any of the high-level NCHC coaches would have serious interest in the Minnesota job. Why would Sandelin or Montgomery leave their current jobs, where they have recently competed for and won national titles? Yes, Minnesota has great tradition and resources, but UMD and Denver can easily match any salary offer that the Gophers put out there, and the expectations are more realistic at those places.

For better or worse, coaches with no ties to Minnesota, such as Montgomery or Leaman, are probably not realistic candidates. The Minnesota recruiting scene is so uniquely insular that outsiders would likely feel constrained and struggle to quickly develop the necessary relationships.

As for a few of the other potential candidates, it seems like Potulny is not quite ready to step into the Minnesota spotlight, and Guentzel would be more of a placeholder until a better option comes along (I have also heard that he has not been very engaged with the job recently, FWIW). Anyway, the bottom line is that cast Gopher fans may not be as happy with the new hire as they would expect. The job is no longer at the pinnacle of college hockey, and there isn’t an obvious successor out there.
Last edited by Stang5280 on Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MNHockeyFan
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Post by MNHockeyFan » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:53 pm

Stang5280 wrote:
LOL to the idea that any of the high-level NCHC coaches would have serious interest in the Minnesota job. Why would Sandelin or Montgomery leave their current jobs, where they have recently competed for and won national titles? Yes, Minnesota has great tradition and resources, but UMD and Denver can easily match any salary offer that the Gophers put out there, and the expectations are more realistic at those places.
Not so sure about that. What are Sandelin or Montgomery making now, and how does that compare to the $625,000 they've given Lucia?

WestMetro
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Post by WestMetro » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:07 pm

I like the heavily rumored Richards/Ward /Bell group

NHL 3 period season long work ethic, respect the value of work on the boards and in corners, and promote 2 way 200’ forwards.

Fresh start message with deep Minnesota connections . Instant respect . Bell helps ensure stable transition and good recruiter .

mulefarm
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Post by mulefarm » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:09 pm

NCHC or not . Minnesota is and will always be one of the premier college jobs! This is not to say some of the names out there will want to leave their current jobs for a multiple of reasons. But when it comes to money, ammenties and a great chance to win, not many schools have can offer this! Plus nobody can offer a chance to be a close personal friend of Sid’s.

Jeffy95
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Post by Jeffy95 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:17 pm

MNHockeyFan wrote:
Stang5280 wrote:
LOL to the idea that any of the high-level NCHC coaches would have serious interest in the Minnesota job. Why would Sandelin or Montgomery leave their current jobs, where they have recently competed for and won national titles? Yes, Minnesota has great tradition and resources, but UMD and Denver can easily match any salary offer that the Gophers put out there, and the expectations are more realistic at those places.
Not so sure about that. What are Sandelin or Montgomery making now, and how does that compare to the $625,000 they've given Lucia?
Sandelin made $300,000 this year. Motzko $302,000. Hastings $300,000. Montgomery estimated at $300,000. Denver doesn't have to disclose.

Stang5280
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Re: Don Lucia

Post by Stang5280 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:46 pm

grindiangrad-80 wrote:
kniven wrote:
jdh wrote:Don Lucia stepped down today as Gopher coach.
I never liked the guy. Respected him, but didn’t 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.
Totally agree with you, Indian grad. I don’t understand the visceral personal hatred of Lucia by a few people on this thread. I had the pleasure of meeting the Don and his wife a number of years ago at a non-hockey function my dad was involved with, and he was very personable and relatable. Lucia spent way more time talking with us than he needed to, and even patiently listened to my parents discuss my paltry hockey career. (And I’m not particularly fond of Gophers hockey, so I’m not just being a fanboy.)

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:56 pm

Jeffy95 wrote:
MNHockeyFan wrote:
Stang5280 wrote:
LOL to the idea that any of the high-level NCHC coaches would have serious interest in the Minnesota job. Why would Sandelin or Montgomery leave their current jobs, where they have recently competed for and won national titles? Yes, Minnesota has great tradition and resources, but UMD and Denver can easily match any salary offer that the Gophers put out there, and the expectations are more realistic at those places.
Not so sure about that. What are Sandelin or Montgomery making now, and how does that compare to the $625,000 they've given Lucia?
Sandelin made $300,000 this year. Motzko $302,000. Hastings $300,000. Montgomery estimated at $300,000. Denver doesn't have to disclose.
Just to clarify, I meant that those schools (aside from Mankato?) would step up and offer much larger contracts to keep their coaches if the Gophers come calling, since the coaches would obviously have major leverage at that point. Comparing the current salaries isn’t exactly apples to apples given the length of Lucia’s tenure, and I doubt that the next coach will be immediately offered a salary at that level.

MNpuckBlog
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Post by MNpuckBlog » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:24 pm

Stang5280 wrote:
Jeffy95 wrote:
MNHockeyFan wrote:
Stang5280 wrote:
LOL to the idea that any of the high-level NCHC coaches would have serious interest in the Minnesota job. Why would Sandelin or Montgomery leave their current jobs, where they have recently competed for and won national titles? Yes, Minnesota has great tradition and resources, but UMD and Denver can easily match any salary offer that the Gophers put out there, and the expectations are more realistic at those places.
Not so sure about that. What are Sandelin or Montgomery making now, and how does that compare to the $625,000 they've given Lucia?
Sandelin made $300,000 this year. Motzko $302,000. Hastings $300,000. Montgomery estimated at $300,000. Denver doesn't have to disclose.
Just to clarify, I meant that those schools (aside from Mankato?) would step up and offer much larger contracts to keep their coaches if the Gophers come calling, since the coaches would obviously have major leverage at that point. Comparing the current salaries isn’t exactly apples to apples given the length of Lucia’s tenure, and I doubt that the next coach will be immediately offered a salary at that level.
Mankato already tore up Hastings contract and gave him a new 10 year contract last year when Blais retired from Omaha to prevent him from taking that job. Nowhere near Lucia's full salary, but with bonuses can go up to $350k (I assume Motzko and Sandelin have similar incentives). I would love to see a big profile hire, but I agree that any of the mentioned coaches who are already at a successful program won't leave, for various reasons. Regardless of his lack of head coaching experience, I think this job goes to Potulny. Whether that's the "right" choice or not, he'd be a popular choice and a young guy that the program could sell that he'd be here for the long haul. We'll see, the next few weeks will be interesting to see how it plays out.

O-townClown
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Post by O-townClown » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:54 pm

highgloveside wrote:The reason for the early recruiting is the schools out East want our MN kids more than ever before.
No.

Eastern schools continue to recruit some Minnesotans, but no more than they always have.

The primary reason for early recruiting has been Canadian "major Junior" (OHL, Dub, The Q) pitching American players. College Hockey, Inc. was created in response, and top Division I coaches have rushed hard to recruit players while Bantams.

Look at the 14 2003-born players committed to NCAA schools and you will see only two Minnesotans - Lucius and a kid in goal named Hobie Hedquist playing AAA Midget from a town near Sioux Falls. These players targeted by early recruiting aren't Minnesotans and it has nothing to do with Eastern schools wanting kids from Minnesota.

The secondary reason for early recruiting has been coaches wanting to have some of their pipeline figured out way in advance so they aren't impacted so much by the next year's commitments.
Be kind. Rewind.

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:56 pm

MNHockeyFan wrote:
Stang5280 wrote:
LOL to the idea that any of the high-level NCHC coaches would have serious interest in the Minnesota job. Why would Sandelin or Montgomery leave their current jobs, where they have recently competed for and won national titles? Yes, Minnesota has great tradition and resources, but UMD and Denver can easily match any salary offer that the Gophers put out there, and the expectations are more realistic at those places.
Not so sure about that. What are Sandelin or Montgomery making now, and how does that compare to the $625,000 they've given Lucia?
Technically that is $375k base plus $250k deferred retirement pay. Still all guaranteed money, but it wasn’t immediately payable like a true salary.

O-townClown
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Post by O-townClown » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:03 am

Jeffy95 wrote:Sandelin made $300,000 this year. Motzko $302,000. Hastings $300,000. Montgomery estimated at $300,000. Denver doesn't have to disclose.
Thanks. In other words, the U of MN is a plum job that pays double what these top hockey programs have been paying.

It'll be an interesting search. Penny Hardaway's gone, so maybe they do hit up Motzko.
Be kind. Rewind.

norcon
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Post by norcon » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:16 am

WestMetro wrote:I like the heavily rumored Richards/Ward /Bell group

NHL 3 period season long work ethic, respect the value of work on the boards and in corners, and promote 2 way 200’ forwards.

Fresh start message with deep Minnesota connections . Instant respect . Bell helps ensure stable transition and good recruiter .
I’ve heard that prior to coming back to the U, Bell had been one of Lucia’s biggest critics for years. Pat Micheletti said on KFAN yesterday that he felt one of the primary problems of the program is the negativity generated by local alumni. Hopefully the new coach will have better support from them and the fan base.

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:25 am

O-townClown wrote:
highgloveside wrote:The reason for the early recruiting is the schools out East want our MN kids more than ever before.
No.

Eastern schools continue to recruit some Minnesotans, but no more than they always have.

The primary reason for early recruiting has been Canadian "major Junior" (OHL, Dub, The Q) pitching American players. College Hockey, Inc. was created in response, and top Division I coaches have rushed hard to recruit players while Bantams.

Look at the 14 2003-born players committed to NCAA schools and you will see only two Minnesotans - Lucius and a kid in goal named Hobie Hedquist playing AAA Midget from a town near Sioux Falls. These players targeted by early recruiting aren't Minnesotans and it has nothing to do with Eastern schools wanting kids from Minnesota.

The secondary reason for early recruiting has been coaches wanting to have some of their pipeline figured out way in advance so they aren't impacted so much by the next year's commitments.
Great explanation, O-town. For reference, BU had two Minnesotans this year (Oettinger and a Shattuck kid), BC only one, and Providence had none. (Providence used to hit Minnesota pretty hard, but has not done so under Leaman.) So three of the most notable eastern programs are barely putting a dent in the Minnesota talent pool.

northwoods oldtimer
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Post by northwoods oldtimer » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:48 am

WestMetro wrote:I like the heavily rumored Richards/Ward /Bell group

NHL 3 period season long work ethic, respect the value of work on the boards and in corners, and promote 2 way 200’ forwards.

Fresh start message with deep Minnesota connections . Instant respect . Bell helps ensure stable transition and good recruiter .
Bell is key to get right mix of players Westy!

northwoods oldtimer
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Post by northwoods oldtimer » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:53 am

mulefarm wrote:NCHC or not . Minnesota is and will always be one of the premier college jobs! This is not to say some of the names out there will want to leave their current jobs for a multiple of reasons. But when it comes to money, ammenties and a great chance to win, not many schools have can offer this! Plus nobody can offer a chance to be a close personal friend of Sid’s.
In a sheeoot conference which says a lot. Challenging hurdle for any coach.

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