Monday, May 2, 2011

Three Stars, April 25-May 1

Photo: Jay Horgas

As much as I tried to find stuff not about Guy Gadowsky...well, just not happening, at least not this week. Kind of a big deal.

3. Icers Update: New Coach, New Recruits and Final ACHA Schedule
(Black Shoe Diaries)

IcersGuy has been a long-time friend of TYT (can I have a long-time anything when I've been doing this since last October?) so it was great to see him grind this one out. I'm always impressed by how well he breaks things down - it probably takes me a five-digit word count to write that same post, and it would probably contain less information.

I think this should be required reading for anyone who only makes note of Penn State hockey when we get a huge donation, hire a coach or announce the first-ever NCAA recruits. We have six (announced) recruits, not two - a mistake I see more than one would expect (or maybe not). Marek Polidor's coming back next year. We have a pretty cool schedule lined up - I know that Lebanon Valley is a massive sinking ship, and IcersGuy is rightly critical their program - but playing at Hersheypark Arena is the draw there for me, not the opponent.

2. Bye, Guy
(Princeton TigerBlog)

I've been watching hockey, and sports in general, long enough to know the following two things to be true:
  1. Everyone likes coaches on the day they're hired (well, unless it's Sparty's out-of-left-field Tom Anastos hire).
  2. Coaches who voluntarily leave one job for another on roughly the same level of competition usually aren't too popular at their former place of employment.
As impressed as I am (and hopefully you are) with Gadowsky, it's important to keep No. 1 in mind and remember that we are in a honeymoon period. But it's much more important to note how completely untrue No. 2 is in this case - and that's quite telling. We have a great coach and a great human being in our midst.

1. Letter to Penn State Hockey Alumni from Coach Gadowsky

And just in case you doubted that last sentence...

Best of the Rest

Gadowsky at Penn State: Search for Men's Hockey Coach Took Team Effort

Not unpredictably if you know Joe Battista, his first after hiring Gadowsky was full of thank yous for people that helped during the process.

Men's Ice Hockey Head Coach

IcersGuy unearthed this one - turns out Penn State isn't the last stop on the coaching carousel. Nobody ever is.

MKTG 422 Penn State Icers

I have no idea who's behind this one, but apparently something you have to do in MKTG 422 is make a commercial for something awesome and post it to YouTube.

New coach Gadowsky's path to Hockey Valley
(The Daily Collegian)

Greg Garcia checks in with an excellent feature story.

Johnson stays, gets extension
(Wisconsin State Journal)

Mark Johnson made Penn State's interest pay off by scoring a contract extension through 2015. Oh, and there's this...
University of Wisconsin women’s hockey coach Mark Johnson officially turned down the chance to be the first men’s hockey coach at Penn State, Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez confirmed Friday.

Johnson has not commented since it was announced last Sunday the Nittany Lions hired Guy Gadowsky from Princeton.

“As I understand it, (Johnson) was offered the job,” Alvarez said after the monthly UW Athletic Board meeting.
I have an extremely low opinion of Alvarez, so I'm not even sure I believe him. Take it however you want though.

Coach's fantasy a reality
(Centre Daily Times)

Another quality Gadowsky write-up, made a little more intriguing by this:
Three candidates all visited town last week for interviews, with Gadowsky in State College last Thursday and Friday. While the other two candidates met with the Pegulas, Gadowsky missed them, but ended up joining them and Battista at the Buffalo Sabres- Philadelphia Flyers NHL playoff game Friday night.

The search committee debated for close to 16 hours on Saturday, according to Battista, who said one finalist, Scott Sandelin, took his name out of the running and return to Minnesota-Duluth, where he just won the national championship.

The other candidate, according to the St. Paul, Minn., Pioneer-Press, was Wisconsin women’s head coach and 1980 Olympic team member Mark Johnson.
So...this just got a little interesting. There were three finalists. Johnson was offered the job if you believe Barry Alvarez. Sandelin apparently withdrew. Is it possible that Gadowsky was actually the third choice? If you take everything on its face, he definitely wasn't the first, and it's entirely possible that he wasn't second either (depending on the reasons for and timing of Sandelin's withdrawal).

You can play out the scenarios in your head if you want, but I'm not going to do that here. In my opinion, we got the best guy of the three, however it ultimately went down. Good enough for me.

With that little tidbit, allow me to brag for a second. Thanks to my sources (it certainly wasn't anything I did) I think my track record turned out pretty good leading up to the hire. I had all three finalists correct (including Gadowsky, who nobody was reporting). I had the offer and announcement timing nailed until Battista pulled a Sean Avery with College Hockey News (dirty pool, sir). I may have missed on calling Sandelin the leader, but then again, since he withdrew, we may never know.

Oh crap, I sound like Phil Steele, don't I? Give yourself eight billion different ways to measure things, find two that make you look good, spend 50 percent of your time telling everyone how right you always are, and you too can have starving football junkies lap up everything you write. Is it working?

As long as I don't LOOK like him, I guess.

Also, as long as I'm going ego on you, know what's kind of annoying? Definitively proving that Penn State's first varsity hockey team ran until 1947, not 1946, then reading 17 billion articles that drop "1939-1946." This is from the March 6, 1947 Daily Collegian, about the last game that group played.

Basically, I'm verrrrry influential.

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