They could have canceled that trip to Alaska, or the one to Denver. No offense to either place, but Florida is much nicer.
So they cancel the Florida trip, replacing it with a trip to Chicago. In January.
The University of Notre Dame will play host to the first ever Shillelagh Tournament at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill. on Jan. 2 and 3, 2009. The tournament, originally scheduled as the Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla., will feature the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, the Union College Dutchmen and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks.You're not the only one disappointed, Coach Jackson.
The tournament that was hosted by the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning the past two years moves from the Florida city due to the change in ownership of the Lightning who decided not to sponsor the tournament. Notre Dame will now serve as the hosts for the new tournament at the Sears Centre.
"We had commitments from three teams that expected to play in this tournament and it was important for us to fulfill that obligation," said Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson.
"We were very fortunate that the people from the Sears Centre opened their doors for us to maintain this tournament. The Chicago area is a second home to Notre Dame and hopefully this can help develop into a relationship that will allow us to play games in Chicago on an annual basis."
Jackson added, "I am extremely disappointed in the Tampa Bay Lighting's decision to not continue the tournament. We had a verbal agreement to continue this for two more years and as hosts of the Frozen Four in 2012, I'm not sure it's the best message to send to the college hockey community by cancelling the tournament at such a late date."
Then again, "disappointed" doesn't really describe how I feel. On the bright side, I'll have some extra room in my bag, because I don't think I'll need my swim trunks or sandles to go to Chicago. The shores of Lake Michigan aren't quite as nice as the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.