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2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

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  • #31
    Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

    Originally posted by Rms123 View Post
    Forrest said a lot ton today, but basically said nothing. He is staring to sound like a politician.
    “The process is very fluid, and these dynamics of conference realignment continue to influence our decisions,” UAF athletic director Forrest Karr, during a telephone interview Thursday night, said after hearing about Northern Michigan’s plans.
    What the hell does that mean?!?!?!?!? A bunch of words without substance! Forrest has been slow concerning some other issues over the last few years (admitted by him), so as much as I like the guy (he is a darn nice guy), I'm not feeling all that comfortable with him leading our way right now. All I got to say is that Forrest better not be the last man standing when everything shakes out. I hope he proves me wrong. I also don't get all of the secrecy with what UAF is looking at doing. It’s actually a little annoying. They can say who you are talking to, and give a good idea of what they are trying to do with the program without starting rumors, or making commitments. It’s a public university, and we have the right to know. It’s like Forrest is guarding a national secrete or something. We have a sound and well supported club. We locked down Fergie until 2016, and are pumping 3.5 mil in the CC. Good stuff happening for a good program. I have a preference where we end up, but at the end of the day, I just want my college hockey. Things will start to shake out in the next couple weeks from what I hear!
    If our AD was a man i would tell you not to worry about Forrest being the last man standing. Good luck to your program.
    BLEED BLUE

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

      Understandably, Forrest is cautious about what he says and to whom. And as you say, Forrest is a decent guy, but clear and open communication is neither the U's nor his strong point. They are much more guarded than they need to be or should be in my opinion.

      We won't get and shouldn't expect the details of any individual conversations, sticking points, or roadblocks, but it would be nice to know what the U's "official position" or strategy is, besides "looking at options", blah, blah, blah. It would surprise no one, and in fact shock almost everyone, if our official strategy wasn't to gain membership in the WCHA. That's not an insult to the beleaguered CCHA, it just is what it is.

      NMU is/was in a different position and their acceptance into the WCHA as the sixth team was almost a foregone conclusion. But they did it right. They acted professionally and their University administration and governing body made their desire publicly known (again, no surprises there). I might have missed it, but I have not heard a similar message from anyone associated with UAF.

      It was good to hear Forrest say that he has talked to Commissioners McLeod and Pletsch, all but one CCHA AD, and a number of WCHA ADs. I just hope our priority is not to try and hold the CCHA together in some fashion, at the detriment of getting into the WCHA. That bridge will have to be crossed (or not) if it comes to that.

      Forrest also mentioned the pros of the program, which should be welcomed news to the team, potential recruits, and visiting teams.

      1. Solid coaching, solid team.
      2. Good community support, great hockey town.
      3. Investment in the program, including :
      -----Coach contract extended through 2016
      -----New boards and glass on Olympic size ice
      -----Relatively new center ice video display
      -----Warm storage facility for media trucks etc.
      -----And a recent $3.5m appropriation for renovations, including home and visitor
      locker-rooms, training room, media room, etc.
      4. Alaska exemption
      5. Emphasizes a strong regional rivalry with UAA

      And he didn't side step the issue of travel as being about the only con. Actually, the issue is more time away from classrooms then travel costs. We pay most travel costs and the flight to Alaska is the easy part. It's the bus rides on the lower 48 end that are a killer. I think fans make more of a deal about it then the players. Hopefully, it's the type of experience they will put to good use in their hockey careers. Not sure what UAA's financial commitment for travel is now, but a creative travel schedule that shares costs between the two of us on back-to-back weekends in Alaska (if possible), could benefit all teams.

      Time away from the classroom should be a consideration (and it must adhere to NCAA regs or waivers), but now days, most students carry their "classroom" with them anyway. Online access, lesson submittals, chat rooms, and support is common place. There will always be issues, and some majors are next to impossible, more because of the attitude of the instructors, and not so much the degree. But I would think that happens even if you are strictly a bus league. If you're not self motivated, you're probably not going to make it in D1 hockey anyway.

      I think I just burnt up my "post allotment" for another three months.
      But anyway, now we wait. And remember, it’s dry cold.


      PS – If offered membership into the WCHA, I think Forrest should ditch the "Alaska" brand and return to UAF.
      "Who got the Cup?"
      UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

        Originally posted by mmf View Post
        Understandably, Forrest is cautious about what he says and to whom. And as you say, Forrest is a decent guy, but clear and open communication is neither the U's nor his strong point. They are much more guarded than they need to be or should be in my opinion.

        We won't get and shouldn't expect the details of any individual conversations, sticking points, or roadblocks, but it would be nice to know what the U's "official position" or strategy is, besides "looking at options", blah, blah, blah. It would surprise no one, and in fact shock almost everyone, if our official strategy wasn't to gain membership in the WCHA. That's not an insult to the beleaguered CCHA, it just is what it is.

        NMU is/was in a different position and their acceptance into the WCHA as the sixth team was almost a foregone conclusion. But they did it right. They acted professionally and their University administration and governing body made their desire publicly known (again, no surprises there). I might have missed it, but I have not heard a similar message from anyone associated with UAF.

        It was good to hear Forrest say that he has talked to Commissioners McLeod and Pletsch, all but one CCHA AD, and a number of WCHA ADs. I just hope our priority is not to try and hold the CCHA together in some fashion, at the detriment of getting into the WCHA. That bridge will have to be crossed (or not) if it comes to that.

        Forrest also mentioned the pros of the program, which should be welcomed news to the team, potential recruits, and visiting teams.

        1. Solid coaching, solid team.
        2. Good community support, great hockey town.
        3. Investment in the program, including :
        -----Coach contract extended through 2016
        -----New boards and glass on Olympic size ice
        -----Relatively new center ice video display
        -----Warm storage facility for media trucks etc.
        -----And a recent $3.5m appropriation for renovations, including home and visitor
        locker-rooms, training room, media room, etc.
        4. Alaska exemption
        5. Emphasizes a strong regional rivalry with UAA

        And he didn't side step the issue of travel as being about the only con. Actually, the issue is more time away from classrooms then travel costs. We pay most travel costs and the flight to Alaska is the easy part. It's the bus rides on the lower 48 end that are a killer. I think fans make more of a deal about it then the players. Hopefully, it's the type of experience they will put to good use in their hockey careers. Not sure what UAA's financial commitment for travel is now, but a creative travel schedule that shares costs between the two of us on back-to-back weekends in Alaska (if possible), could benefit all teams.

        Time away from the classroom should be a consideration (and it must adhere to NCAA regs or waivers), but now days, most students carry their "classroom" with them anyway. Online access, lesson submittals, chat rooms, and support is common place. There will always be issues, and some majors are next to impossible, more because of the attitude of the instructors, and not so much the degree. But I would think that happens even if you are strictly a bus league. If you're not self motivated, you're probably not going to make it in D1 hockey anyway.

        I think I just burnt up my "post allotment" for another three months.
        But anyway, now we wait. And remember, it’s dry cold.


        PS – If offered membership into the WCHA, I think Forrest should ditch the "Alaska" brand and return to UAF.
        Nice post! Just because we pay for most of the travel costs before, doesn't mean we should still. We should get rid of that mindset as much as possible. I'm sure we are going to have to give something, but I hope we don't give everything and the kitchen sink like we did when we became a member of the CCHA. If the CCHA wants us to stay, then we should tell them fine, but we're not paying everyone's way any longer. If we do jump to the WCHA, I hope the Alaska schools can step up, and get some of these financial strangle holds lessened. We'll see how things go I guess.
        All that was left, then, was for the Nanooks to celebrate with their fans. And for the Seawolves to get one last earful of the rowdies from Fairbanks.

        "I've got a lot of expletives I'd like to use,'' Fournier said, slumped in his locker room stall. "It's very embarrassing when you're playing on your home ice and they have more fans and they're louder.

        "We might as well have played the games in Fairbanks.''

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

          We are in a worse spot then before. We do not have any bargaining power. The WCHA does not "need" us. This realignment is probably going to increase our operating costs, or take them all the way down to zero. Conferences are wary of travel costs and will act accordingly unless mitigated. The Alaska exemption and having a large part of travel costs paid for are mitigating factors. With those factors we should be a logical piece of the puzzle. At best we are in a pay-to-play situation with the WCHA. Creative scheduling and a cost sharing arrangement with UAA could lessen the cost impact.

          I do not think there is a viable CCHA for us. The WCHA will probably end up with at least eight teams. I think we could and should be one of them. But if not, we are doomed. NMU is gone. ND is certainly gone, along with one or two more CCHA teams.

          If we are left on the outside looking in, I can not see us subsidizing travel for a newly formed CCHA. Based on the teams that could possibly become part of the CCHA, I'm not sure they could afford the travel or even want us in the conference if we do not continue to subsidize travel.

          I just hope the decision is made this August, I need to decide if I can settle for becoming a Fairbanks Ice Dog fan and season ticket holder.
          "Who got the Cup?"
          UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

            Of course, maybe the NCHC is trying to decide if they truly want to stay at seven teams when/if ND joins. Rumor has it that ND wants a seven team conference so they can schedule more non-conference games with the Big Boys. But if that eighth team had an Alaskan exemption, and paid for travel, that might be more than palatable.

            Every conference needs a whipping boy or two. Pairwise demands it.
            They could leave their top two lines at home to rest, and give their role players a little ice time.
            "Who got the Cup?"
            UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

              IF WMU fails to get into the NCHC, I'm sure WMU will apply for the WCHA. If WMU got the 7th spot, would the WCHA save the 8th spot for MSU-Moorhead if everything goes according to plan for them or UAF?
              LSSU hockey-3 time NCAA champs 1988, 1992, 1994

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                I have no idea. The MSU-Moorehead plan seems to be ways off, if at all. I don't think the WCHA can wait a year or two before they even decide whose applications to accept (god I hope I'm not wrong). Moorehead would seem to be part of a 9 or 10 team decision when it comes.
                "Who got the Cup?"
                UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                  Originally posted by mmf View Post
                  We are in a worse spot then before. We do not have any bargaining power. The WCHA does not "need" us. This realignment is probably going to increase our operating costs, or take them all the way down to zero. Conferences are wary of travel costs and will act accordingly unless mitigated. The Alaska exemption and having a large part of travel costs paid for are mitigating factors. With those factors we should be a logical piece of the puzzle. At best we are in a pay-to-play situation with the WCHA. Creative scheduling and a cost sharing arrangement with UAA could lessen the cost impact.

                  I do not think there is a viable CCHA for us. The WCHA will probably end up with at least eight teams. I think we could and should be one of them. But if not, we are doomed. NMU is gone. ND is certainly gone, along with one or two more CCHA teams.

                  If we are left on the outside looking in, I can not see us subsidizing travel for a newly formed CCHA. Based on the teams that could possibly become part of the CCHA, I'm not sure they could afford the travel or even want us in the conference if we do not continue to subsidize travel.

                  I just hope the decision is made this August, I need to decide if I can settle for becoming a Fairbanks Ice Dog fan and season ticket holder.
                  Played with some numbers. The exemption works if it can be turned into home receipts.

                  Last year, “tDeparted” (including ND and Northern, but not Western) averaged (using a plug of 6,000 for Michigan because of the outdoor game) ~4,000/game attendance. Currently remaining CCHA members drew ~2,000. Prospectives (Morris, Huntsville, Niagara) averaged ~1,250.

                  There are lots of other factors, but that’s the skeleton for any fleshy fantasies, I’d think.
                  Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain. - Lily Tomlin

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                    Originally posted by mmf View Post
                    We are in a worse spot then before. We do not have any bargaining power. The WCHA does not "need" us. This realignment is probably going to increase our operating costs, or take them all the way down to zero. Conferences are wary of travel costs and will act accordingly unless mitigated. The Alaska exemption and having a large part of travel costs paid for are mitigating factors. With those factors we should be a logical piece of the puzzle. At best we are in a pay-to-play situation with the WCHA. Creative scheduling and a cost sharing arrangement with UAA could lessen the cost impact.

                    I do not think there is a viable CCHA for us. The WCHA will probably end up with at least eight teams. I think we could and should be one of them. But if not, we are doomed. NMU is gone. ND is certainly gone, along with one or two more CCHA teams.

                    If we are left on the outside looking in, I can not see us subsidizing travel for a newly formed CCHA. Based on the teams that could possibly become part of the CCHA, I'm not sure they could afford the travel or even want us in the conference if we do not continue to subsidize travel.

                    I just hope the decision is made this August, I need to decide if I can settle for becoming a Fairbanks Ice Dog fan and season ticket holder.
                    Well...now I'm depressed.
                    “We offer no apology for our location at 64 51’21’’ north latitude. We are building for the future and we are confident that well directed effort and education are the forces which make progress possible”

                    —UA President Charles E. Bunnell, 1925

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                      Originally posted by Squarebanks View Post
                      Well...now I'm depressed.
                      It's only depressing if the worst case scenario happens. I was just trying make the point that we shouldn't expect to pay less in travel subsidizes in this re-alignment process. Those subsidies and the Alaskan exemption are our bargaining chips.

                      I really believe we are a good fit for the WCHA and it makes sense for the conference to include us. But I can understand them getting to the mandatory six teams and holding off until ND makes their decision and most of the remaining dominos fall.

                      Another thought is NCHC membership. It sounds idiotic on the surface, but might make a lot of sense to that conference.

                      It seems likely that ND will go to the NCHC.

                      If the NCHC stays at 7 teams, ND gets their 24 game conference schedule and 10 non-conference games, as they wish. But that’s a lot of non-conf games to schedule for everyone, and some may find it easier than others. The fans of the cellar dwellers in that conference, no matter who they are, won't be happy.

                      The NCHC could also pick up WMU as the eighth team, and that gives ND (and everybody else) 28 conference games, but only 6 non-conf games, and just compounds their travel cost concerns. And ND doesn't want just 6 non-conf games. Although WMU is a rejuvenated program, it does give the NCHC a likely whipping boy most years.

                      Or the NCHC could take Alaska along with ND. Everyone would get 28 conference games, and ND and everyone but us would get 8 non-conf games, and mostly likely a large part of the travel costs to Alaska paid for. So everybody gets 4 more conf games, and only lose two of their non-conf games. Although a solid program, we too would be a whipping boy most years.

                      Although small by many NCHC standards, we would be close to selling out (~4,300) most games. Our facilities and community support aren't lacking. We would probably have to put more resources into recruiting. If we qualify for a share of any tournament revenues (remember – we are from the CCHA so that is almost as mythical as a Seawolf), additional travel incentives and recruiting costs could be less painful for us.

                      Talent wise and otherwise we are a better fit with the WCHA. But in the final analysis, we probably fill a niche that benefits the NCHC to some degree, even more than some perceived stronger programs. Not sure if the good outweighs the bad in this arrangement. For them or us...

                      But we are just Alaska, and there are some big egos in the NCHC. I'm not sure they could bring themselves to let us mingle with them. But the possibility is intriguing.
                      Last edited by mmf; 07-19-2011, 10:11 PM.
                      "Who got the Cup?"
                      UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                        Originally posted by mmf View Post
                        ... The MSU-Moorehead plan seems to be ways off, if at all. I don't think the WCHA can wait a year or two before they even decide whose applications to accept (god I hope I'm not wrong). Moorehead would seem to be part of a 9 or 10 team decision when it comes.
                        I’d be inclined to think that the Nooks are probably 2nd or 3rd on the list for almost all of the WCHA members left on the branch after the tree split. Isn’t the Alaska exemption good for only 2 annual bites of the apple?

                        The road distance between Moorhead and Mankato is 271 mi; Saint Cloud, 174 mi; Bemidji, 135 mi. Moorhead to Marquette is 489 mi; Houghton, 452 mi.

                        Rather impressed by Moorhead’s presser, as they seem to have a lot of the pieces in place. Shields Arena is ~5,000 seats (all with backs I’m guessing), and the USHL’s Force (~3,500 avg attendance) as tenants. Fargo/Morehead’s population is ~2X metro _airbanks. I quite like their endowment idea. They’ve been seriously after both a men’s and women’s (at Bemidji, Kato, St. Cloud) program for years. The ~3 month’s window for things to shake-out for them seems logical.

                        I’d think the left behinds would stay in the bunker until well after the rubble stops bouncing and 7 is about the ideal number of conference members, if these teams want to keep their “traditional” rivalries.

                        Not to make rain, but thars all them clouds.
                        Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain. - Lily Tomlin

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                          No doubt an ill wind still blows. Almost nothing would surprise me now. I’m just tired of the unknown.

                          Maybe a 7 team conference and non-conf games are where it is at. So teams like Mankato, MTU, NMU, and BSU would have 24 conference games, and possibly 12 non-conf games to schedule. UAA would have 10 non-conf games.

                          I have no idea how the financial dealings work with non-conf games. If the aforementioned teams could even get non-conf games with a NCHC or B1G team, who typically covers the cost? Is it the price you pay for agreeing to go to someone’s barn? Is there typically any sharing of the gate? Is there any incentive or need for these power conferences to reciprocate with a return trip to a WCHA barn?

                          The only bigger scheduling headache is probably arranging the back-rooms and side-bar discussions that are still going on.
                          "Who got the Cup?"
                          UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAA UAA UAA UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF UAF

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                            Originally posted by WetSubArticCanine View Post
                            I’d be inclined to think that the Nooks are probably 2nd or 3rd on the list for almost all of the WCHA members left on the branch after the tree split. Isn’t the Alaska exemption good for only 2 annual bites of the apple?
                            Nope. The rule says for "any" contest held in Alaska or Hawaii in which you play and alaskan or hawaiian team.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                              Originally posted by WetSubArticCanine View Post
                              I’d be inclined to think that the Nooks are probably 2nd or 3rd on the list for almost all of the WCHA members left on the branch after the tree split. Isn’t the Alaska exemption good for only 2 annual bites of the apple?

                              The road distance between Moorhead and Mankato is 271 mi; Saint Cloud, 174 mi; Bemidji, 135 mi. Moorhead to Marquette is 489 mi; Houghton, 452 mi.

                              Rather impressed by Moorhead’s presser, as they seem to have a lot of the pieces in place. Shields Arena is ~5,000 seats (all with backs I’m guessing), and the USHL’s Force (~3,500 avg attendance) as tenants. Fargo/Morehead’s population is ~2X metro _airbanks. I quite like their endowment idea. They’ve been seriously after both a men’s and women’s (at Bemidji, Kato, St. Cloud) program for years. The ~3 month’s window for things to shake-out for them seems logical.

                              I’d think the left behinds would stay in the bunker until well after the rubble stops bouncing and 7 is about the ideal number of conference members, if these teams want to keep their “traditional” rivalries.

                              Not to make rain, but thars all them clouds.
                              Quite frankly, we would bring more to the table in the re-constituted WCHA than MSU-Moorhead would. For a conference that is attempting to stay viable on the national scene and avoid becoming what the CCHA is about to, I would think that conference would want to have a well-established program capable of being a strong team year in and year out as opposed to a start-up. And if it comes down to TV eyeballs, I would imagine most folks in the Fargo area are already hooked on the UND wagon. Just my completely biased thoughts, and that's not even getting in to the dollars behind the AK exemption.
                              “We offer no apology for our location at 64 51’21’’ north latitude. We are building for the future and we are confident that well directed effort and education are the forces which make progress possible”

                              —UA President Charles E. Bunnell, 1925

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: 2011 Alaska Nanook Offseason: Wake Me Up When September Ends

                                I would be pleased if UAF joined the WCHA. The best attendance at UAA is when UAF is in town - plus it is a great rival.
                                Upper Deck Fan

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