Friday, August 28, 2009

Northern Michigan Has the Wrong Idea

If you've ever been to Marquette, Mich., you probably have some respect for what the Northern Michigan University men's hockey program has accomplished over the years.

It can't be the easiest place to recruit to, but the Wildcats have formed a strong tradition, and they back it up with a good, competitive program, a nice rink, and a fun fanbase (led by the Puckheads).

Walt Kyle is the current coach, and he's done a nice job. A huge second-half surge left the Wildcats just short of NCAA consideration last year, but it built a solid foundation and higher expectations for this season.

The story of the summer, though, was the university's decision to stay put in the CCHA, eschewing a potential courtship with the expanding WCHA. The North Wind -- a student newspaper -- talked to Kyle about the decision.

"We think we're in arguably one of the best conferences in the country right now," Kyle said. "When you compare [the two leagues], our league has certainly been more successful at putting teams in the national tournament."

Well, the above statement is absolutely true, if you think that having more CCHA teams in the NCAA Tournament than WCHA teams twice in ten years means the CCHA is more successful.

I understand why Northern Michigan would want to stay put. The high amount of NMU alumni in lower Michigan means that they can stay better-connected to their alumni base by continuing to play in the CCHA.

Please, guys, don't give us false statements as reasons for a completely understandable move. Makes us think you're afraid to have made the wrong decision or something, and that's likely not the case at all.

(Fist bump: Rink and Run)

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