Thursday, February 07, 2013

Jim Scherr Talks NCHC, Target Center, College Hockey

On Tuesday, I had a chance to interview National Collegiate Hockey Conference Commissioner Jim Scherr. While the majority of that interview will run during Saturday's UMD-Minnesota State game, there was some that had to be gently placed on the proverbial cutting room floor.

I figured I'd post the portion of the interview I had to cut from what will make air.

On Director of Officiating Don Adam and Director of Hockey Operations Joe Novak:

"Well, it'll be fantastic. He's (Adam) been a quality official in the collegiate scene and in the WCHA for a very long time. I think he'll make a better director of officiating than he was an on-ice official, and that's saying a lot. I think he's got the right skill sets and connections and qualities as an individual to really lead that effort.

"Joe is a long-time hockey official and thinks of himself as a hockey official. He's keenly interested in and working on the quality of our overall officiating program as well."

On Target Center and the planning for next year's inaugural NCHC Tournament:

"The arena and their leadership has been fantastic in working with us. As everyone knows, they haven't traditionally hosted a lot of hockey events. We're working very close with them and their operations staff on making sure that all the equipment is upgraded, and the quality of ice, and the quality of the venue, and everything that goes into it to making sure it's an incredible experience for our teams and is on par with the very best in the country.

"So we're working very diligently with Target Center on that, and they've been great to work with. That's number one, making sure for the teams that the locker rooms and the ice and the ice access and conditions for play are great.

"Second, is we want to fill the house. We want to make sure that our teams are playing in front of a strong crowd. The XCel Center and the WCHA and the Final Five have done great, and we'll have some strong competition every other year from the Big Ten. Filling the house is a big priority, so we're working with them on the right promotions for the tournament."

On whether Target Center will try to get a hockey event in advance of the first tournament, as sort of a dry run:

"We're talking to them about getting a game in earlier in the year, whether it's late fall or in the second semester, to be able to test out the facility as well as promote the conference championship.

"Obviously, one of the teams we've looked at is Minnesota Duluth, and/or St. Cloud State, because of the proximity as well as the draw they would have in the venue. So we're looking at a lot of options to get a game in there on an ongoing basis before the conference championship."

There's a lot more from Scherr that is in the final cut of the interview, which can be heard Saturday night. He talks about his transition to running a hockey conference, the upcoming launch of the NCHC logo, and the future of college hockey now that everyone in Division I has a league to play in beyond this season.

1 comment:

Brendan Kenny said...

Colleges in pa sure love there hockey. I haven't followed the standings for quite sometime, but when I attended Alvernia it seemed to be what everyone was talking about.