Thursday, November 11, 2010

"The Best in the Country"

As a general rule, I try not to insult the intelligence of the readership with a single-source post - simply sharing a relevant story is Twitter territory in my opinion - and I try to be more thoughtful than bloggers who go "oooh, an article within my area of interest," then basically do a copy/paste with maybe a couple sentences of their own stuff in between paragraphs.

Yeah, that's right, NCAA hockey establishment blogs. Both barrels, until you stop this useless sniping/taking out your frustrations re: Big Ten hockey on us. We have about as much control over it as you do. We're not all pro-Big Ten. We're sorry that Joe Battista didn't abandon his life's work and tell the guy with $88 million to stick it so you could keep playing Michigan Tech and St. Cloud State. Or not. We love Penn State, we love hockey, and for many of us, September 17th was the culmination of a lot of wishing. We're here, we're not going anywhere, deal with it.

What was this post about? Oh right, this article from the Collegian's Tony Barton, which does a tremendous job somehow covering new ground with respect to the Pegula Center, and is therefore worth breaking the rule. If you wondered why there are two architecture firms (Crawford Architects and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson) on the job, this would be the place for the answer. If you thought that Dan Craig was the only ice guru out there, now you know that Penn State has Tim Moore on the design team. Here's the part where I copy/paste the Collegian to tell you that I like the cut of Moore's jib.
“Large sports facilities are very near and dear to my heart,” Moore said. “I’ve been kind of hoping we could be affiliated with this project since it first became public.”

Moore is no stranger to Penn State, as Battista recruited his son, Brian, to play with the university’s club team, the Icers. While his son ended up playing at Division I Bowling Green, the ties to Penn State were made.

The refrigeration technician said his work began with ice arenas 25 years ago, and he and his partner Joel Anderson have worked on more than 200 ice sheets.

As for the championship ice, Moore said its creation is his passion.

“We’ve learned how to do it properly, and we’ve learned what’s important about it,” Moore said. “We know what effects the conditions of the ice and whether it’s fast or slow.”

Moore said the ice system will consist of more than 100 moving parts. He will work to create the most efficient refrigeration units possible that will also be functional year-round.

“We recognize that Penn State wants the best ice in the country,” Moore said. “We think we can bring that.”
There's been some discussion in the Penn State community about how successful our men's hockey team will ultimately be. Some (myself) feel like we're going to have everything in place to be a top program, while others point to the men's basketball program as evidence of Penn State's ability to run a high-profile program that isn't football.

Here's what I feel like I know: Basketball doesn't have a Joe Battista overseeing it, a guy who's been a winner in everything he's done and who has devoted a pretty big chunk of his life to Penn State hockey. He's not doing this to fail. Basketball doesn't have a Terry Pegula, a similarly-wired winner, to keep everyone accountable. Basketball hasn't made a full-on commitment to being the best in the country in every aspect of the program - even the architects and the ice guy, who are less than a week into this, know where the bar is located.

One other note tucked in at the end of the article:
Once a decision is made, the architects, construction team and members from the university will have a kickoff meeting on Nov. 30. It will be the first time the three components come together and begin working on the design.
Sounds like we have a hard date on the construction team's selection, as opposed to the "soon after the architect" line we've heard a couple times.

UPDATE: Barton tweeted to tell me that the construction interviews are next Wednesday.


  1. Not so fast there, pilgrim.

    My post in the No Alibis blog barely addressed PSU's upcoming program. As far as that post goes, my mention of PSU was just a springboard to discuss the inevitability of the BTHC.

    Frankly, I'm incredibly excited for PSU to join the party. The more the merrier. But consequences are consequences: the BTHC will form, and there are plenty of reasons to be unsure about that.

    If you recall, my final statement on the matter is that the BTHC NEEDS to form once PSU goes varsity. It will suck for the other WCHA and CCHA teams, and I will miss those rivalries dearly when Barry Alvarez never again schedules them for Wisconsin- but it simply has to happen.

    Just chillax and enjoy what will be a solid program in a few years. Don't get defensive and try to declare that Penn State will be a "top" program before you've proven anything. You may end up with a nice rink and play in the best conference in D-I, but that doesn't mean much. Just ask St. Cloud State.

    In fact, I've decided that PSU is officially the St. Cloud State of the BTHC. Enjoy that tag.

  2. First off, thanks for the comment, my first ever not made by myself to show a picture of the paw prints on BU's center line. Seriously.

    You're right, your post wasn't really about PSU per se, and while I've always felt like we get some residuals from the anti-BTHC sentiment (a sentiment I share, as I've said - linked in this post), that probably wasn't the best example of it out there.

    Also, you'll have to forgive me if I'm in the blind faith phase of things right now. A lot of us have persevered through decades of rumors, club hockey snickers and wondering if we'd ever compete at the highest levels, a place we feel like PSU always belongs. Once we're 10 years in, wrestling over 5th place with OSU every year, and on the verge of being passed by Illinois' new program, maybe I'll turn into bitter "we suck, fire everyone" guy. If that happens. I don't think it will, although I understand that's easy for me to say right now.

    Until we know, and especially before the puck drops, it's all about optimism, enjoying the ride, and obsessing over every new detail as the program builds...did Battista just say six words about the rink to a newspaper in Connecticut? Gotta go.