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WCHA Expansion?

Bemidji State officials were recently in Florida making their pitch to the WCHA about being let into the conference, and the result was…….a lot of nothing. The WCHA did vote to expand to 12 teams, but without a 12th team in sight, Bemidji’s chances may be slim. Now for the Beavers the job is convincing a 12th team to join the league. The names most tossed about are Nebraska-Omaha and Northern Michigan.

Northern Michigan, in my mind, makes no sense. Yes they were a member of the WCHA, but Anchorage, Denver and CC aren’t voting them in. No chance. Also, if you’re Northern Michigan, why would you leave Michigan and Michigan State, two natural rivals, not to mention Lake Superior State and Ferris State?

Nebraska-Omaha would be a much better fit. They are closer to Colorado College and Denver, but are they better at hockey than Northern? Probably not. Also, Frozen Four run aside, Bemidji isn’t exactly a Division One powerhouse. With the lowering frequency at which we see rivalry series in the WCHA already, a 12 team league will only lower it. For the WCHA’s sake I hope they stay at 10, otherwise the competition pool will be diluted.

Categories: WCHA
  1. April 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    The competition pool will be diluted, but the death of the CHA will essentially close the door on college athletics programs that want to start up a program, which is even worse.

    My solution …

    UNO stays in the CCHA and Air Force jumps from Atlantic Hockey to the WCHA and joins Colorado College and Denver in the state of Colorado. Send UAH to Atlantic Hockey to replace Air Force.

    Rinse, wash, repeat.

  2. Zoomie
    April 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    There’s no way Air Force will go, as they want to stick in the same conference as Army.

  3. May 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Not only that but Air Force would never be competitive in the WCHA. The “caliber” of their athletes leans toward character while talent is what other schools recruit.

    I think if UAF might be a good target. WCHA member schools would be able to maximize the benefit of the NCAA’s “Alaska Exemption”. While it might mean that a couple of teams a year might have to go to Alaska twice or even just do an extended road trip the additional bottom line of hosting home games is a powerful lure.

    UAF would be a good addition. Their town loves em as much as any college hockey town. I could see them getting a new arena at some point since UAA will. They do have a tradition of hockey that goes back to early in the 1900’s.

    It will add another regional rivalry to a league that is made up of regional rivalries. UAF has a long term clearly dependable financials where who the hell knows what’s really going to happen at UNO? Maybe their new AD is a good answer but what happens when he quits that job in the same fit of “I’m important” that caused him to lose his last job? The WCHA is silly if they are actively courting UNO.

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