Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The End is Near

For those who consider Big Ten hockey to be something of an apocalypse, at least in the world of college hockey.

USCHO's Todd Milewski has reported that the conference could officially announce plans to sponsor men's ice hockey as soon as Monday. Here's the money part of the article:
An announcement of the conference’s intention to go down that path could come as early as Monday, sources said.

“It’s never done until it’s done, but every indication from all of those sources is that this is what their intent is,” [WCHA commissioner Bruce] McLeod said. “So I take them at their word. I guess who knows what could derail it, but that’s the premise that we’ve been working on, that they’re going to start in ’13–14 and have a standalone conference and a standalone tournament.”

Jennifer Heppel, the Big Ten’s associate commissioner for governance who has been tabbed as the conference’s point person for hockey, declined to comment when approached recently.
So McLeod, who's sort of been the guy with the sandwich board for quite a while (just to ride out that metaphor), is sticking to his story. McLeod never had an exact date on the end of days, but "sources" say it could be Monday. And as an added bonus, we get a possible name of the Big Ten shill who will inundate us with selectively-framed pro-Big Ten stats on Twitter for hockey (the Big Ten had four of the top 13 in the poll this week - more than any other conference!).

By the way, make sure you take a second to laugh about the fact that the Big Ten felt the need to name a "point person" for hockey rather than just pump out a memo telling everyone to say "no comment" if asked or something like that - I've witnessed some horribly-kept secrets in my day, but this one's at or near the top.

Milewski finishes out by talking about how the WCHA and CCHA are proceeding and as usual, the W seems to be much more on top of things.

The likely genesis of this story was the meeting of the Big Ten athletic directors last week in Indianapolis during the conference basketball tournament. Hockey was reportedly to be a major topic of discussion and, apparently, it was.

Good idea? Bad idea? Does it really matter what any of us think at this point? Whether we want it or not, we'll have an answer in the next decade or so.

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