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UMass and the Carvel/Barr transformation - biggest HEA disruptors since ... ???

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  • UMass and the Carvel/Barr transformation - biggest HEA disruptors since ... ???

    I don't think there's any question that what the Carvel/Barr team has accomplished in Amherst over the last half-decade has made them and their program the biggest disruptors in Hockey East in the last generation. As discussed in the UNH thread, I daresay the Carvel/Barr transformation can only be compared to the Walsh/Standbrook revolution late last century in Orono.

    Walshy stayed around, and might still be there hadn't fate sadly stepped in to rob us of his genius (and his entertainment value as the "human lightning rod"), and Standbrook was a rare cat who was quite satisfied as second in command, staying in that role even after his legendary running mate passed, and in doing so extended his legacy by another decade or so.

    Does Carvel stick around to fully develop what appears to be a dynastic destination program in the making? is he lucky enough to be able to keep a guy like Barr around, and if not, can he find the "next Barr"?

    Not looking to detract from the celebratory mood no doubt circulating in the Western MA/Pioneer Valley areas, but I think it's a worthwhile discussion to ponder if this is going to be a "moment in time" OR if it's going to redefine Hockey East long term? Apologies if this is going on elsewhere. Have at it, folks ...
    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
    Montreal Expos Forever ...

  • #2
    Food for thought. Interesting parallel to Maine in the Walsh days.

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    • #3
      Barr will def be a HC but maybe it's at UMass when Carvel heads to the NHL

      I think a lot of people scratched their heads when he left SLU for UMass. Turns out he knew what he was doing. Just a tremendous coach.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by J.D. View Post
        Barr will def be a HC but maybe it's at UMass when Carvel heads to the NHL

        I think a lot of people scratched their heads when he left SLU for UMass. Turns out he knew what he was doing. Just a tremendous coach.
        A lot more people scratched their heads when SLU hired Mark Morris to succeed him.

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        • #5
          Every team that has had an opening and not hired Barr has been a head scratcher IMO. Selfishly I hope that continues. Regardless, I never thought I'd see this day. I have seen UMass personally get demolished and/or lose in heart breaking fashion in every rink in Hockey East, and many ECAC rinks too. Unbelievable this happened. So very thankful
          #NewMass

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          • #6
            1st of all Congrats on winning the Title, the best team won and from my perspective the Best Coached and organized team/program in the last few years. Total rebuild from the ground up is why this team is where it is. Big time Program saving hire in Carvel...he took this team from a bottom dweller to the top...in just 5 years this was nothing to something to copy on moving forward. As far as Carvel to the NHL, hoping he stays and keeps UMass and Hockey East as a hold a top conference. He is made for the College game...he cares...he wears his emotions on his sleeve and you can tell that he has the upmost pride in the Program. Barr is another story, yes he is a Div.1 Coach in the making...I would think he sticks around for at least one more season and if smart he will pick the right place to go with the blessings of Carvel. Again great job and waiting for October already..!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jjmc85 View Post
              Every team that has had an opening and not hired Barr has been a head scratcher IMO. Selfishly I hope that continues. Regardless, I never thought I'd see this day. I have seen UMass personally get demolished and/or lose in heart breaking fashion in every rink in Hockey East, and many ECAC rinks too. Unbelievable this happened. So very thankful
              He’s still pretty young. He might not have been interested in Merrimack and/or UVM as well. For me him going to Maine is a no brainer but we’ll see if it happens.
              Originally posted by BobbyBrady
              Crosby probably wouldn't even be on BC's top two lines next year

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              • #8
                How about Jerry York? He took a moribund program (no offense intended to BC fans), and had them in the NC game 3 years later, giving off a long stretch of success. Good point about Walsh. Nothing compares to his turnaround at Maine.
                Last edited by buoldtimer; 04-11-2021, 08:59 AM.
                if you walk with Jesus, he's gonna save your soul, you gotta keep the devil way down in the hole

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by J.D. View Post
                  Barr will def be a HC but maybe it's at UMass when Carvel heads to the NHL
                  I think I posted this on another thread ... but with all due respect to Coach Carvel, I think he would be making a huge (HUGE) mistake if he left UMass for the NHL. There have been quite a few D-1 coaches over the years who tried to make that leap, and most (if not all?) of them couldn't pull it off, for whatever reason - thinking of Ned Harkness way back in the day, and of course the legendary Herb Brooks, more recently Jim Montgomery, maybe David Quinn. I wouldn't blame the guy for looking to get paid (and someone definitely would handsomely pay him), but he's worked hard to get to where he is, and has a great chance to establish a legitimate long-term legacy at UMass. Financially he'll be comfortable for the long term, and he'll always have the goodwill of the school and the locals in his corner for if/when the program ever hits some turbulence in the future.

                  In the NHL you're only as good as your organization's ability to identify and secure talent through smart drafting and targeted acquisitions via trades and free agency. In D-1 hockey, you make your bones in recruiting and talent development, and once you have a reputation for the latter, then your ability to do the former only gets easier, since not only are you looking to bring in talent ... but talent is on the lookout to align with you for their development to play at the next level.

                  It would be a brave move for sure, but Carvel has already seen the NHL from an assistant coaching perch under guys like Mike Babcock (Anaheim) and Bryan Murray (Ottawa) and he returned to D-1 coaching after that run to his alma mater (SLU) which for all intents and purposes was his high water mark as a player, too. He will be 51 years old next month. My guess is that if he did go back to the NHL, it could turn out to be another Jeff Blashill situation, where someone who's established a solid rep as a teacher of the game at the developmental levels (D-1 and AHL) takes that one step too far, and as well as you can still coach the X's and O's, you end up shorted with talent, and you spin your wheels going nowhere fast at the NHL level.

                  Ironically, Carvel could be a primary target for Blashill's current job, and I'm sure GM Steve Yzerman would have Carvel on a list of potential replacements if/when he decides to move off Blashill in the current DRW rebuild. That Blashill remains at DRW tells you that Yzerman holds him in high regard as that "instructor" type who may be a better fit for this portion of the rebuild, which is starting to show some signs of modest progress. I honestly don't know what Blashill's contractual situation is at DRW but I can see Yzerman giving him another year to continue working with the young developing talent.

                  There would be other similar opportunities out there, no doubt. For what it's worth, Carvel is a few years older than Blashill so while Blas would likely have a whole raft of NHL assistant and D-1 head coaching jobs to pick from IF Yzerman doesn't stick with him or keep him in the organization (and I do suspect he would do the latter), Carvel will probably only get that one chance to make it as an NHL head coach, so if he goes that way, he'll have to pick wisely, or else in 2-3 years he'll be back on the NHL assistant treadmill OR searching for a place in D-1 to try to recapture the UMass magic. Carvel has that golden bird in his grasp already, and the only question is, will those two unpredictable birds in the bush prove too tempting?
                  Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                  Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                  • #10
                    One perspective. His wife is from Amherst.

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                    • #11
                      I think you can make a case that coaching an NCAA team is a pretty good gig. Carvel could essentially have a lifetime gig, get paid handsomely (sometimes more than NHL) and less travel and pressure than the grind of the NHL.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by buoldtimer View Post
                        How about Jerry York? He took a moribund program (no offense intended to BC fans), and had them in the NC game 3 years later, giving off a long stretch of success. Good point about Walsh. Nothing compares to his turnaround at Maine.
                        I considered York, and not to denigrate the guy who is unquestionably the most successful head coach in the history of Hockey East to date ... but his program (although down) was a traditional Eastern power under Snooks Kelly and Lenny Ceglarski for a lot of seasons prior to his return to The Heights. Agree or disagree, but the center of power in HEA has always been the two leading Boston programs (BU and BC), and if York accomplished anything "disruptive" it was to change the order of those two leading HEA schools. For that reason, I'd probably never consider a BC or BU coach as a "disruptor", whereas Northeastern has always been a few steps behind. If the Madigan/Keefe duo stays together, they could disrupt things more than York did.

                        There are only four (4) programs who exist outside the extended "Hub" of Boston - and I'm not including either Providence or UNH, who are close enough - so when you see programs in Orono ME*, Amherst MA, Burlington VT and Storrs CT (hahahaha) changing the face of Hockey East, you have to give them bonus points in this discussion. That's just my opinion, though, but what Coach Carvel has accomplished in 5 short years in Amherst (and who knows what they might have done last March/April had things been different?) is nothing short of incredible, regardless of geography.
                        Last edited by Chuck Murray; 04-11-2021, 09:40 AM.
                        Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                        Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                        • #13
                          To me if Bazin and Leaman haven't moved to the N, Carvel won't either. That's not to say these coaches won't go but, they haven't despite their success as NCAA coaches. Seems like an ordeal; one or two bad seasons and you're OUT. I don't see him as a jump ship kind of guy because he gets the hardware...or has a 'my work here is done' kind of thing.
                          Let's Go SouzaCats!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kahunak View Post
                            One perspective. His wife is from Amherst.
                            ... and that may be the end of the Carvel-to-the-NHL discussion right there. I'm guessing she was with him during his almost decade as an NHL assistant, and was quite happy when her husband decided to get a D-1 job at his alma mater, then even more so when he had an opportunity to come to Amherst after. Looking into it further, their 3 kids are school aged kids and these are probably the years Coach wants to be around to enjoy family things like watching some of his kids play. So my guess is if the NHL comes sniffing, Carvel may use it to leverage himself a better deal to stay put, right where he is.

                            Folks can sometimes surprise you, but I would now officially be shocked if Coach Carvel left UMass.
                            Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                            Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                            • #15
                              I think Carvel's success puts a lot of pressure on underperforming coaches of established programs to get it together. If UMass can win, why not VT, UNH, BU, etc. PC won recently and has less resources than UMass so no pressure on Leaman obviously. Lowell is a satellite campus of the state system and they punch way above their weight so Bazin is good. Madigan has NU reaching new heights. York has earned a lifetime pass.

                              But, how BU can justify employing Albie O'connell after watching what's going on in Amherst is beyond me.

                              I'm also curious if Lowell takes a hit in terms of recruiting. If you're a good player going to a state school, why not go to Amherst instead even despite Bazin's obviously skill as a coach.
                              ​​​​​
                              Legally drunk???? If its "legal", what's the ------- problem?!? - George Carlin

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