View Full Version : Severe Ronaldstorm Warning: the Michigan Tech 2010-11 Season Thread, Part the Second

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Shirtless Guy
01-18-2011, 03:41 PM
I think Russell is reading the press clippings :/


["People are upset that we're not getting results and I understand that," Russell said. "I'm not going to make excuses, but if people want to be upset they can be upset with me.

"I won't throw my players under the bus. I won't throw my assistants under the bus. I won't throw our training staff under the bus, so if they (the fans) want to be upset, they can be upset with me."]


["It's been absurd, the volume and the severity of the injuries," Russell said. "We've looked at everything from how we practice to how we train. I don't think you can plan or prevent broken fingers, broken ankles, fractures.

"If you have issues with pulled hamstrings, groin injuries, abdomens, lower back, then maybe it's something you're doing in your training. Those aren't the injuries we've had. We haven't had minor injuries.

"We had injuries that have cost players seasons. We had injuries that have cost players nine or 10 weeks, and as a young team, that's difficult to recover from."]
I can't argue with that assessment of things. Its been crazy bad the amount of injuries and the wide variety encountered by this team over the last 3 years. I'm certain Russell has looked into it but broken bones aren't something you can really prevent from a conditioning/workout standpoint. He doesn't deserve the fate he's had the last 3 years but at the same time, its never ending.

The guy has won 2 national championships and Im pretty sure MTU fans would take his worst 4 season stretch any day:
13-24-3; 7-30-2; 13-24-3; 19-15-4

01-18-2011, 04:07 PM
I had a thought as soon as I posted, but I had to run and check something in the lab: The injuries sustained may not be training related, but could there possibly be another explanation for a seemingly random set of catostrophic injuries. What initially crossed my mind involved players being hurt because they are out of position or taking wrong angles on plays near the boards (or anywhere on the ice), which would come down to practice and preparation. Or, it could be something else that they are doing wrong (i.e. not protecting themselves while blocking shots) on the ice. I am not one to go back and analyze the injuries that we have had, especially since many occurred on the road at games that I was not in attendance for.

Injuries happen in sports. Some teams get lucky, other teams seem to be snake-bit. But I have to believe that there is a reason, or a combination of reasons, that would result in the seemingly statistical anomoly that is the Michigan Tech Huskies. There is a definite pattern here, and I am having a hard time buying "random" as the reason.

01-18-2011, 04:11 PM
Russell's right about the injuries. and the fact that he doesn't diss on the players or other coaches is classy.

fans will have nothing to do with whether he stays or goes. it will be a university decision - probably with some input from major donors.

01-18-2011, 04:17 PM
Injuries happen in sports. Some teams get lucky, other teams seem to be snake-bit. But I have to believe that there is a reason, or a combination of reasons, that would result in the seemingly statistical anomoly that is the Michigan Tech Huskies. There is a definite pattern here, and I am having a hard time buying "random" as the reason.

I would be interested to see what an independent athletic trainer would think of all the injuries. Is it something that can be prevented or is it bad luck?

01-18-2011, 04:56 PM
I also have been discussing the fate of JR with other Tech fans, much like anyone that watches and/or cares about Tech hockey. I am really on the fence about whether he should stay or go. Common sense tells you that the results speak for themselves regardless of the absurd injury toll this team has had for the past 3 seasons and the missing out on 2 or 3 prize recruits that were all but on campus (3 if you count trent). Sometimes just change is all you need and the shaking up that happens because of it. Then I think about the fact that JR is a great face for Tech. He seems to have all the intangibles you look for in a coach besides the wins,but wins trump everything else usually.
I have thought about this from a recruiting stand point and seems that JR was a very good recruiter at Cornell and Ferris and seems to be doing fairly good here. He has brought in some very talented hockey players that just never seem to reach their potential in college but go on to the AHL and NHL, maybe that is on him or maybe on his assistants, either way it ultimately falls on him. Like I have previously said, I am excited looking forward to next years team and the lines we'll be throwing out at the start of the season. The other part of recruiting is having the right connections and I wonder to myself now that JR has some established connections and shown that Tech is a viable route to reach the NHL under his control. Is that going to be the case with anyone they replace him with?

Then I think about the argument of just getting rid of the assistants, but the only one that has been there long enough to have any major impact is Mikesch (sp?). He also is a great guy that loves the program and hates to see the dredges it is in. Could another assistant be a better recruiter than him or run a better offense?? That is really the only question.

The last thought I have is that alumni and donors for the hockey program and people with an interest that don't live in the area or watch many, if any, of the games but only see the results would justifiably be calling for JR's head. The results are miserable. If these people are the ones that donate huge amounts of money and aren't seeing a return on their investment, then why would they send more if the University seems not to care enough to even try to get a new coach to try and snap the funk.

Ultimately, I personally would like to see JR get another shot at it, but I don't believe their is any way that the University will be able to keep him with the pressure that is mounting on them.

The Troll mtu86
01-18-2011, 05:23 PM
Two excellent sites for college athletic budgets. You can find Tech's info on the second site.



Tech's total AD budget is at the bottom of the WCHA and isn't even in sight of the Big Ten schools total budgets. As far as the hockey budget goes they maybe a lot closer to what the other schools are spending, but they are still at the bottom of the league.

For Tech, there is no breakdown that shows their marketing budget and this is one area where tech is truly at a major disadvantage. Some of the Big 10 schools athletic departments are spending 1.5 to 2 million on marketing. As we know Tech (Athletic Department and/or the school as a whole) does almost no marketing downstate.

When it comes to WCHA "welfare" how is that different from schools that balance their books with the money pooled from other schools in their league appearances in BCS games? Or worse, athletic departments that balance their books by borrowing from their schools general fund. That sounds like the true "welfare" to me!

For a great look at the slimy side of big time college finances go get a copy of Death to the BCS.

Division 1 BCS schools increasingly dependent on subsidies from the schools general funds.


The Troll mtu86
01-18-2011, 05:29 PM
And to make my point on marketing: As I finished typing the last post what should appear on the tv but an ad for Ferris State. In my forty plus years I've never seen one single ad for Michigan Tech on tv.....

01-18-2011, 05:57 PM
For my part, one more time, I support coach Russell. I agree that the results on the ice do not justify keeping him, however I do not think that there is someone out there who will do a better job, and I have seen a lot of coaches who do not run the quality of on ice programs that Russell does. I think the circumstances have resulted in a lot fewer wins than otherwise might be the case. I am not trying to change anyone's mind about the coach, you have your own opinion, but I think the circumstances justify a short extension.
I think Tech's lack of marketing is hurting recruiting. As I said about a week ago, the SID could do a hell of a lot more to get exposure. I have seen a very rare MTU ad, maybe one every 6 or 7 years.
The biggest question in my mind is, "Why do the players play one night, and not the next?"
I am going to continue to donate and I am actually going to up my donation.

The Troll mtu86
01-18-2011, 06:02 PM
An ad that wasn't in relation to the GLI or that football game against NMU that made it on tv a few years ago?

Tech doesn't handle the marketing for the GLI. That is the sole responsiblity of Joe Louis Arena. I was a little shocked to discover that.

01-18-2011, 06:32 PM
Well, manurespreader, if there is one thing that we can all agree with, it is that our SID is horse****. :p
We are probably the only fanbase on this board to ever have a "Fire _______" thread for our SID.

01-18-2011, 06:36 PM
Chris Conner just had a penalty shot goal against the Red Wings, FYI.

01-18-2011, 06:42 PM
Chris Conner just had a penalty shot goal against the Red Wings, FYI.


The Troll mtu86
01-18-2011, 06:46 PM
Chris Connor scoring on a penalty shot is about the only way tech gets mentioned on TV down here anymore

The SID probably considers that as marketing..

01-18-2011, 08:00 PM
It's hard to get a handle on consensus, but I think I would agree that the tide has been turning toward a replacement pretty consistently for the last couple years, with the exception of the start of the season. Is it 5-1, 2-1? Who knows. I will say that the email that Ryan sent in support of Coach was much more professional than most of the comments I've seen for a change. I'm referring to comments at games, etc., not the comments on this board where even those ready for a change are clearly supporters of Russell as a person.

Personally, I could go either way. If Russell is here for one more year on the contract and has that last chance, that's fine with me (whether it's reasonable to expect players to play hard for a coach without long term admin support is a different and valid question), and if he's replaced, then let's see what the next guy can do that the last 6 didn't...

The Commissioner has always asked, "Unless it involves death or taxes, why are we delaying the inevitable?"

Tech's coach, despite all his attributes and likeability, cannot be expected to change the Perpetual Losing Culture because he has become part of that Culture. If there is going to be change, he and his staff have to be part of that change. To delay it any longer than a day after the season ends is a dereliction of duty by the administration.

The Commissioner won't support a coaching change unless the AD and the person she reports to are reassigned also. The Perpetual Losing Culture is just as much a way of life with those who wear the suits as those who wear the skates.

01-18-2011, 08:33 PM
Does Suzanne really have a choice about getting a new coach? She should be taking heat for not pulling the plug after last years 5 win season, how can she not pull the plug after a season that could be worse than that.

Regarding people praising Jamie's recruiting, what am I missing. Yes he gets some grinders and some players that played hard or were leaders on their previous teams. There have been some nice surprises, but we don't have the talent to score goals in the WCHA. We've been missing wide open nets for years. I'm not expecting USNTDP players, but we should be able to beat out some non WCHA schools for some talent so we can have a couple serious scoring lines.

01-18-2011, 09:21 PM
From what I have observed over the last 4.5 years or so, it takes two consistent scoring lines to be competitive in the WCHA. While I think that Russell's recruiting efforts have been reasonably sound, he has, for whatever reason (injuries, lack of player development), never really achieved that.

As much as some of us young folks like to get down on Suzanne and her attempts to sanitize the band, the hockey team's failures are not the AD's fault in this instance.

01-18-2011, 09:55 PM
The Commissioner has always asked...
Max Foul - only the MTU vs tUMD thread may be posted as third person.

But on the sunny side of life, I have found a team that I think can lead the Huskies to the promised land. They are the duo known as "Tech Team". If they can save the world from an evil villian, they should at least be able to save us from a sub-.500 hockey record. (Just some photos of an item I purchased off Ebay. It was too strange to pass up and was created by legendary comic book writer Norm Breyfogle who went on to create Batman for DC Comics.)

http://i.ebayimg.com/12/!B9Or5Dg!mk~$(KGrHqQOKoYEz!t)jnMpBM5KtbgW1!~~_12.J PG
http://i.ebayimg.com/06/!B9OsdNgCWk~$(KGrHqQOKnUEy0HPFSr!BM5Kv0bYf!~~_12.J PG

Ryan J

01-18-2011, 10:18 PM
That is too funny! :D

01-19-2011, 10:15 AM
bump a rumpa

01-19-2011, 12:17 PM
Blake Pietila came through with a public commitment (http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tL8Ah1R7J-0t0I7U1KvPNhw&output=html). Jamie Russell for President!