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  • Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

    What changes would you make to college hockey to improve the product?

    Here are 10 ideas that I would implement if I had the power:

    1. Make major junior players who have played less than 20 MJ games eligible for college hockey. 95% percent of MJ players play for stipends far below the value of the financial aid college players get. Opening up the game would give more players and coaches more player development options, and I think it would improve access to talent.

    2. Move the start of the college season back to Nov. 1. The season is too long right now. Get rid of the bye weeks and keep the same number of games.

    3. Allow players to choose visors instead of full face masks. This would reduce stickwork and “cage courage” and allow a greater emphasis on skills.

    4. Reduce the number of conference games by four, thus opening up more inter-league play, which will help create less insualr schedules and a more representative NCAA tourney selection.

    5. While we’re on the subject of the NCAA tourney, I’d get rid of PWR and adopt KRACH as the team selection numerical reference. It’s just a better mousetrap.

    6. I would like to see one of the national college hockey web sites become an aggregator of internet video feeds of games around the country into a single “dashboard” – allowing fans to pay a season, monthly or daily fee to watch many college games in one place. The schools would get a cut of the money for providing the feed, and the national site could keep the rest of the money to support their operations.

    7. Cooperative scheduling would be cool to support those programs that have a hard time getting home non-league dates. In this scenario, ‘well off’ schools would offer one non-league road series to the co-op every few years to be played at schools that struggle to get home dates. The details of this would need to be worked out, but this would be a nice way helping those programs that can’t get visiting teams to travel to play them.

    8. Harmonize instant replay and clock standards (e.g. displaying tenths of seconds) at all D-I schools. This might be a little expensive, but it’s not good to have differing standards.

    9. Speaking of harmonizing, I would push for a deal where the NHL would contribute up-and-coming young officials to college hockey as part of their officiating development programs, as I believe they already do with Major Junior Hockey.

    10. Increase roster size to 30 players, and push the NCAA to get back to 20 scholarships per team as it was prior to the cut to 18. Teams need more depth due to the nature of the game and the length of the season.

    What changes would you like to see? (serious ideas preferred...)

  • #2
    Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

    I'd institute a ref system like the USHL where your goal has to be to move on to a "better" league.
    I believe that if you haven't moved on after 3 years in the USHL, they fire you anyway.
    I think way too many officials are too cushy in their jobs and don't see a reason or need to improve.
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    • #3
      Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

      Work out a deal with ESPN to make it mandatory that in order to get the hockey tourney they must pick up a certain number of regular season games.

      Get the 2 other BCS confs to field at least one hockey team. OK, CSU,WASHINGTON, or Wyoming would all be able to support good programs.

      Invite the schools in BC into the NCAA and allow them to form a new conf with the two Alaska schools. This opens up spots in the WCHA, CCHA, and enables growth out west.

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      • #4
        Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

        Love the ideas fellas.....keep em coming.

        I agree with moving the schedule back. The CHL would eat this up though. The CHL already bashes college hockey for starting later than they do. I think the December break is wayyyyyy to long too.

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        • #5
          Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

          I would like to see:

          Canadian Universities opened up to NCAA eligibility and the formation of new leagues that would allow them to compete with our colleges.

          An agreement with the NHL that they would allow a student to complete their academics regardless of how "wonderful" they play at the college level. There is no better backup for the talent of a student athlete than an education. Even if they become a pro, the roots of a good education will serve them well.

          Better coverage of college hockey games on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPNU is good, but there is a big ol' world out there that would enjoy what our sport has to offer.

          Better local coverage of college hockey games. Less nicknames, less "I am an announcer so I have a cute little name I call the player" and more professional radiocasts and televised coverage. I see this all over. Allow someone tuning in for the first time the ability to know who you are talking about and what is happening.

          Forget all of the ranking systems KRACH etc. Go back to an NFL style playoff system. You win you get in, you lose you go home. There is way too much talk about rankings and nobody should be able to carry over a ranking from last year. Day 1 puck drops, all teams are equal.

          More Sunday afternoon games. In the east I have been able to catch some of their games on TV because they are not competing with the Friday night, Saturday night games of the pros.

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          • #6
            Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

            Originally posted by true2BSU View Post
            Forget all of the ranking systems KRACH etc. Go back to an NFL style playoff system. You win you get in, you lose you go home. There is way too much talk about rankings and nobody should be able to carry over a ranking from last year. Day 1 puck drops, all teams are equal.

            More Sunday afternoon games. In the east I have been able to catch some of their games on TV because they are not competing with the Friday night, Saturday night games of the pros.
            NFL or any professional sport-style playoff systems simply do not work in college sports and there's a reason they don't exist in the majority of them. College and professional sports are totally different - you can't have a professional style playoff system with 58 teams, imbalanced conferences, schedules being determined by individual teams rather than the league, and the presence of conference tournaments and auto-bids. making wins and losses the only requirement for entry to the ncaa tournament would be a catastrophe.

            sunday afternoon games by and large don't work. except for february and march they'd be directly competing with nfl games - a competition hockey would lose every time. i've heard some wonder about the possibility of thursday night games that are televised, perhaps a feature game or something like that. for some reason i thought i remember hearing this has been done before and didn't work out well?
            time to write new history

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            • #7
              Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

              Originally posted by slurpees View Post
              NFL or any professional sport-style playoff systems simply do not work in college sports and there's a reason they don't exist in the majority of them. College and professional sports are totally different - you can't have a professional style playoff system with 58 teams, imbalanced conferences, schedules being determined by individual teams rather than the league, and the presence of conference tournaments and auto-bids. making wins and losses the only requirement for entry to the ncaa tournament would be a catastrophe.

              sunday afternoon games by and large don't work. except for february and march they'd be directly competing with nfl games - a competition hockey would lose every time. i've heard some wonder about the possibility of thursday night games that are televised, perhaps a feature game or something like that. for some reason i thought i remember hearing this has been done before and didn't work out well?
              Thursday night games won't work well because that is a huge NCAA bouncy ball night in most of the big conferences. What network is going to show those games when they can show bouncy ball?
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              • #8
                Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                Not allowing an alumni of a school to referee his own school's game. Seriously, it shouldn't be that hard to prevent.

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                • #9
                  Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                  Originally posted by CHFAN222 View Post
                  Work out a deal with ESPN to make it mandatory that in order to get the hockey tourney they must pick up a certain number of regular season games.
                  The problem with this is that ESPN doesn't care about the hockey tourney. They only broadcast it because they are required to in order to get sports they care about like Football and Basketball.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                    Already posted ideas that I like:
                    Originally posted by Puck Swami View Post
                    3. Allow players to choose visors instead of full face masks. This would reduce stickwork and “cage courage” and allow a greater emphasis on skills.

                    4. Reduce the number of conference games by four, thus opening up more inter-league play, which will help create less insualr schedules and a more representative NCAA tourney selection.

                    6. I would like to see one of the national college hockey web sites become an aggregator of internet video feeds of games around the country into a single “dashboard” – allowing fans to pay a season, monthly or daily fee to watch many college games in one place. The schools would get a cut of the money for providing the feed, and the national site could keep the rest of the money to support their operations.

                    7. Cooperative scheduling would be cool to support those programs that have a hard time getting home non-league dates. In this scenario, ‘well off’ schools would offer one non-league road series to the co-op every few years to be played at schools that struggle to get home dates. The details of this would need to be worked out, but this would be a nice way helping those programs that can’t get visiting teams to travel to play them.

                    8. Harmonize instant replay and clock standards (e.g. displaying tenths of seconds) at all D-I schools. This might be a little expensive, but it’s not good to have differing standards.

                    9. Speaking of harmonizing, I would push for a deal where the NHL would contribute up-and-coming young officials to college hockey as part of their officiating development programs, as I believe they already do with Major Junior Hockey.
                    Originally posted by CHFAN222 View Post
                    Work out a deal with ESPN to make it mandatory that in order to get the hockey tourney they must pick up a certain number of regular season games.
                    A comment on this idea:
                    Originally posted by true2BSU View Post
                    Forget all of the ranking systems KRACH etc. Go back to an NFL style playoff system. You win you get in, you lose you go home. There is way too much talk about rankings and nobody should be able to carry over a ranking from last year. Day 1 puck drops, all teams are equal.
                    The ranking systems used in college hockey are driven purely by wins and losses. KRACH and RPI, unlike BCS rankings, utilize absolutely ZERO subjective input. So what you're asking for (wins and losses to dictate who gets to the NCAAs) already exists. The debate of RPI vs KRACH can be made, but they are both impartial systems with no room for tinkering through any sort of biased committee. The selection committee is technically free to select anyone they choose, but from what I can tell, they have yet to deviate from whatever RPI tells them.

                    Also: I have no idea where you get the notion that there is any carry over from season to season. That's just simply not true.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                      *Adopt the USHL's hybrid touchup icing rule

                      In this system, When Team A is clearing its defensive zone, as soon as a player from Team B reaches the far faceoff dots (not the red line), the whistle is blown. If a player from Team A gets there first, they can race for the puck and Team A can still negate icing.

                      Why?
                      - By blowing the whistle at the faceoff dots, it gives the players time to slow down before boards, unlike at the goal line in the NHL. It avoids collisions.

                      - Unlike the current college rule, it still gives a hustling team a chance to negate icing

                      But isn't it one more thing for the linesmen to screw up?
                      - I was worred about that at first, but after a few years of this, it really does work quite well. It's a pretty easy thing to decide 99% of the time.

                      And when doesn't it work?
                      - The only time I see an issue is when the players are opposite sides of the ice racing to the puck. A player from Team A might be closer to the puck and, under NHL rules, would be able to negate icing. But, because the player from Team B reaches the imaginary line across the faceoff dots first, the whistle is blown. But it really doesn't happen often; I've seen that just a couple times in the few years the USHL has had it.

                      ====
                      As for the other suggestions, I like full face masks; don't think there's much we can about lack of TV coverage; want UAH to find a home - preferably the CCHA for now; think we should be happy we still have 16 teams in the tournament and believe the current selection process generally does it job quite well...
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                      • #12
                        Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                        Give some type of benefit to teams that contribute players to World Juniors, or other United States National Teams. Right now, these schools are punished.

                        oh, and if you know me, screw the schools with the Canadians.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                          Originally posted by scsutommyboy View Post
                          Thursday night games won't work well because that is a huge NCAA bouncy ball night in most of the big conferences. What network is going to show those games when they can show bouncy ball?
                          thursday doesn't have the high profile cbb games that big monday, super tuesday, "acc wednesday", and the cbs/espn saturday lineups do. sure there are some games, but the big-time college ball slots are espn monday and tuesday 7/9, and cbs 330 or 4. thursday nights on espnu,cbs college,nesn, or fsn are what i was thinking.
                          time to write new history

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                          • #14
                            Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                            Originally posted by scsutommyboy View Post
                            Thursday night games won't work well because that is a huge NCAA bouncy ball night in most of the big conferences. What network is going to show those games when they can show bouncy ball?
                            The main basketball days are Wed. and Saturday across the majority of the country.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Serious Ideas to Improve College Hockey

                              Adopt the current NHL rules for clutching/grabbing. After watching the last season's Stanley Cup playoffs it's very apparent NCAA hockey is lagging behind in terms of opening up the game.

                              I don't think the season is too long. But I DO like the idea of a few more out-of-conference games. So...


                              how about mandating 4-6 games vs. non-conference opponents (6 if you're including tournaments, 4 if not).

                              also - for Big Ten schools, why not just have a tournament like GLI? Team with the best record gets an opening bye? or just push Penn State to start up a D-1 program already to bring us to 6.

                              I may be nuts, but I don't understand the MJ rules. Eff it, if a kid plays there a year I wouldn't care. Let a player test out the waters, if he doesn't like MJ after a season, or 1/2 season, why not allow for playing in the NCAA afterward?

                              now a few more...

                              Adopt the name the "Bob Johnson Trophy" for the NCAA championship trophy

                              dock teams who don't have Canadiens on the roster .5 rpi/krach whatever points for being too dumb to recruit from the pool of the best playas
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