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Wisconsin Hockey 21-22: Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

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  • Originally posted by sunprairie View Post
    Again, you’re letting your anger get the best of you and shaping how you’re perceiving things. I received an email with almost the exact same thank you language as the women’s email (I’m a season ticket holder for both) from the men’s team on Feb. 17 - four days after the last home game. Had a video message thanking fans from Granato and a number of the seniors. Check your in box.


    I missed it and deleted it by accident, or didn’t get it.

    I am angry. It was an awful season and other than last year, this staff has failed miserably (and I could argue that even then, with all that talent, in the end, they underperformed). And since no changes are being made I’m left with giving up my Friday season tickets as the only recourse remaining.

    I gave up Saturday seats during the last few years of Eaves and only have one night anymore. I’m not giving the AD further money until we have a winning team year in and year out.

    I’ve had student or regular season tickets since 1993. 1998 thru about 2013 I had both nights.

    When the die hard fans like myself and several here give up on the program, the death spiral may not be able to be reversed for a long, long time.
    gwhinwi's: Wisconsin Badgers Recruiting Spreadsheet & Individual Face-Off Statistics

    EODS: De-Commit / Non-Pro Early Departure List

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    • And I apologize for the typos....I meant *Chryst

      Comment


      • Originally posted by solovsfett View Post
        a once proud program is a joke now. Getting their doors blown off by teams who’ve navigated the “new landscape” just fine.

        cannot win WITH talent: Turcotte, Caufield, Miller, Holloway in 19-20 season and they certainly can’t win without talent as 4 losing seasons in 6 years proves.
        Let me ask a question: What was the last season that UW's results EXCEEDED the talent level on the team? For me that was back in Eaves 2nd or 3rd season? Where most of those players were recruited by the previous staff.

        To me, that is an indictment of the the culture of UW hockey program over the past 20 years. Sauer was replaced because "the game had past him by" and that was likely true. But instead of building a culture of excellence and sacrifice in the pursue of team goal Eaves developed a with a culture of talent over team claiming that it was the new era. When Eaves failed, it was blamed on him not recruiting enough talent (but UW was consistently losing to less talented teams, at least on paper) and being far to inflexible and conservative. Granato and Co doubled down on the "talent above all else" idea and sold the idea that it would work if you "opened up the system". Clearly this has not worked given the overall lack of success.

        To me, it appears that the current staff is running the program like a professional operations where personnel decisions are short term and players are interchangeable whenever they want. It could be argued that is how things are moving with the transfer portal, but I suspect that teams with a strong culture will continue to lose fewer players than teams with weaker cultures AND thus continue to have more success.

        Given the fact that over the last 20 years, recruiting at UW has focused mostly on how being at UW can help players prepare for the next level and what you have is a collection of players who come in with a mercenary mindset and don't remember their time at UW fondly because it wasn't a formative experience but just a stepping stone to bigger things and the on-ice success was limited. People wonder why the team alumni don't speak up the way that players from the 80s and 90s did? To them UW isn't all that different than any minor league or junior team that they played on. You think any of those players really care about what happens at their USHL or BCHL teams 5-10 years after they leave? Nope.

        What UW has lacked over the past 20 seasons is a coaching staff that can build a team and not just recruit talent. They may all be fine in-game coaches and salesmen when recruiting, but they have struggled to develop players and seem to recruit talent above intangibles and roles. Until those things change, success will always be fleeting and elusive for this staff.



        Comment


        • So, here’s the thing. I think that is actually what the athletic department wants. and if that’s the case, maybe it’s time we just either lean in or leave - either fine choices. I mean, this week that is what was pushed by the football team’s instagram stories - that Wisconsin is “the pro pipeline.” (They even highlighted Hockey’s success in that approach with a card with Cole’s picture and the hundreds of NHL draft picks the program has recruited.)

          And UW isn’t alone in that.

          So, perhaps that is how the teams are being judged and as fans we need to shift our approach. Look, college sports of the 1990s isn’t coming back. So much has changed. I miss the WCHA, too, and we can’t dismiss what that did to all the teams involved culture and legacy wise. Now, NIL means the sport is transactional now and that isn’t going to change. I think it’s time to stop thinking that Badger hockey will ever be what it was then and either be angry and leave (which is a totally fine response) or lean in and appreciate what it can be now. Because simply being angry that the team isn’t the program of the early 1990s is futile and that kind of anger isn’t good for anyone.

          Originally posted by Almington View Post

          Let me ask a question: What was the last season that UW's results EXCEEDED the talent level on the team? For me that was back in Eaves 2nd or 3rd season? Where most of those players were recruited by the previous staff.

          To me, that is an indictment of the the culture of UW hockey program over the past 20 years. Sauer was replaced because "the game had past him by" and that was likely true. But instead of building a culture of excellence and sacrifice in the pursue of team goal Eaves developed a with a culture of talent over team claiming that it was the new era. When Eaves failed, it was blamed on him not recruiting enough talent (but UW was consistently losing to less talented teams, at least on paper) and being far to inflexible and conservative. Granato and Co doubled down on the "talent above all else" idea and sold the idea that it would work if you "opened up the system". Clearly this has not worked given the overall lack of success.

          To me, it appears that the current staff is running the program like a professional operations where personnel decisions are short term and players are interchangeable whenever they want. It could be argued that is how things are moving with the transfer portal, but I suspect that teams with a strong culture will continue to lose fewer players than teams with weaker cultures AND thus continue to have more success.

          Given the fact that over the last 20 years, recruiting at UW has focused mostly on how being at UW can help players prepare for the next level and what you have is a collection of players who come in with a mercenary mindset and don't remember their time at UW fondly because it wasn't a formative experience but just a stepping stone to bigger things and the on-ice success was limited. People wonder why the team alumni don't speak up the way that players from the 80s and 90s did? To them UW isn't all that different than any minor league or junior team that they played on. You think any of those players really care about what happens at their USHL or BCHL teams 5-10 years after they leave? Nope.

          What UW has lacked over the past 20 seasons is a coaching staff that can build a team and not just recruit talent. They may all be fine in-game coaches and salesmen when recruiting, but they have struggled to develop players and seem to recruit talent above intangibles and roles. Until those things change, success will always be fleeting and elusive for this staff.


          Comment


          • NIL isnt the problem. That actually has helped college hockey and got rid of kids committing when they were 14yrs old, I consider that a positive.

            Nothing wrong with promoting CC either. The guy was a legit phenom.

            The difference is the football team can point to their draft picks AND on field success. That is a very important distinction and worth noting. Fans dont care about NHL draft picks, we care about a winning program. And the univ acting like it wants one thru ath dept committment, player development, committment, and great coaching.

            Winning puts fans in the seats, NHL draftees do not. Plain and simple.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by WiscTJK View Post
              I gave up Saturday seats during the last few years of Eaves and only have one night anymore.

              I've had student or regular season tickets since 1993. 1998 thru about 2013 I had both nights.
              I in no way want to rub it in, but I would urge you to hang in there. It may take a while, but things do change. I've been a Gopher women's program season ticket holder (and donor) since 2015, and the men's since 1972 (49 years!), and I have no plans to give either up. This year our women's team came up short of where we expect them to be, but the men's team is still going strong. That order could easily reverse itself next season, but I'll be cheering both teams on to victory no matter what.

              Good luck to both of your hockey programs, except when you'll be playing my Gophers!
              Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Timothy A View Post

                Yes. Do it. Do it now. It sure is heck can't get any worse.
                Yes, you could be Michigan State.
                Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

                Comment


                • Originally posted by D2D View Post
                  Yes, you could be Michigan State.
                  We already are.
                  Wisconsin Hockey: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 WE WANT MORE!
                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Come to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Originally Posted by Wisko McBadgerton:
                  "Baggot says Hughes and Rockwood are centering the top two lines...
                  Timothy A --> Great hockey mind... Or Greatest hockey mind?!?"

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by sunprairie View Post
                    So, here’s the thing. I think that is actually what the athletic department wants. and if that’s the case, maybe it’s time we just either lean in or leave - either fine choices. I mean, this week that is what was pushed by the football team’s instagram stories - that Wisconsin is “the pro pipeline.” (They even highlighted Hockey’s success in that approach with a card with Cole’s picture and the hundreds of NHL draft picks the program has recruited.)

                    And UW isn’t alone in that.

                    So, perhaps that is how the teams are being judged and as fans we need to shift our approach. Look, college sports of the 1990s isn’t coming back. So much has changed. I miss the WCHA, too, and we can’t dismiss what that did to all the teams involved culture and legacy wise. Now, NIL means the sport is transactional now and that isn’t going to change. I think it’s time to stop thinking that Badger hockey will ever be what it was then and either be angry and leave (which is a totally fine response) or lean in and appreciate what it can be now. Because simply being angry that the team isn’t the program of the early 1990s is futile and that kind of anger isn’t good for anyone.
                    The AD is pointing out all the draft picks because they don't have any recent on-ice success to highlight. You think that is this team had won the NC last season they wouldn't have lead with that? When pro teams have terrible seasons, they always start touting the charity work that the players do in the community. The marketing wing of the athletic department is just putting the best spin they can on the program: "we may have sucked on the ice, but look at all out NHL draft picks". They just don't say the part befot the but out loud, but it is implied. Their are two ways, and only two ways to judge a colligate athletic program: Academic Achievement and Competition Achievement. Everything else is secondary, and being a waypoint to the pro ranks isn't even secondary.

                    When I talk about culture, I'm not talking about the FAN culture (which is a whole different novel), but the teams locker room culture. That has nothing to do with what conference the team is in or the overall alignment of college hockey. Successful teams with strong team first cultures survived and even thrived during the upheavals in the college hockey landscape over the past decade plus. Talent can overcome a lack of unity, but never with consistency. While you can see the flashes of greatness that the UW teams have been capable of over the past seasons, the painful inconsistency is the number one reason that success has been so elusive over the Granato era.

                    If double digits wins and NHL draft picks is how you want to measure a successful program, that is your choice. I do not and that is why I'm no longer anywhere near as emotionally (or financially or time) invested in this program as I have been in the past. I would rather step on LEGO bricks than watch this team, so that is what I do.

                    Comment


                    • I’m pretty sure we are actually saying the same thing here. (Although, I will point out that it is the football program that is touting the athletic department as The Pathway to the Pros, featuring that aspect from all sports that have such pathways - and I think we can all agree that football is the program that is closest to the mouthpiece of representing what the whole AD’s perspective is).

                      My response was not disagreeing with you - it was pointing out that the bulk of the comments on this board (and why I don’t come here often anymore) are moaning about how the program is not the program of the “glory years.” That gets tiring.

                      No one is happy with the results of this season - the players, coaches or us. But, when I see the video that UW put out after the season, I see a coach recognizing that and presenting a plan to try to fix it. As a fan, that’s what I want to see. And I am excited for it. That’s my choice.

                      Your choice to not watch is a fine one, too, as I noted.

                      But sitting and complaining that a 2022 college hockey team is not ever going to be the kind of team the Badgers were in the college hockey environment of the 1990s or earlier is doing no good. It’s not going to happen. And it gets old. I guess just like this program has moved to a place where many here don’t see themselves as part of it, I don’t have it in me to always be angry - that’s not what I turn to sports for. So I will just step back from spaces like this and look forward to next season. If you are there, I’ll cheer along with you. If not, we’ll miss you, but we’ll cheer a little louder until we see you again. On Wisconsin.

                      Originally posted by Almington View Post

                      The AD is pointing out all the draft picks because they don't have any recent on-ice success to highlight. You think that is this team had won the NC last season they wouldn't have lead with that? When pro teams have terrible seasons, they always start touting the charity work that the players do in the community. The marketing wing of the athletic department is just putting the best spin they can on the program: "we may have sucked on the ice, but look at all out NHL draft picks". They just don't say the part befot the but out loud, but it is implied. Their are two ways, and only two ways to judge a colligate athletic program: Academic Achievement and Competition Achievement. Everything else is secondary, and being a waypoint to the pro ranks isn't even secondary.

                      When I talk about culture, I'm not talking about the FAN culture (which is a whole different novel), but the teams locker room culture. That has nothing to do with what conference the team is in or the overall alignment of college hockey. Successful teams with strong team first cultures survived and even thrived during the upheavals in the college hockey landscape over the past decade plus. Talent can overcome a lack of unity, but never with consistency. While you can see the flashes of greatness that the UW teams have been capable of over the past seasons, the painful inconsistency is the number one reason that success has been so elusive over the Granato era.

                      If double digits wins and NHL draft picks is how you want to measure a successful program, that is your choice. I do not and that is why I'm no longer anywhere near as emotionally (or financially or time) invested in this program as I have been in the past. I would rather step on LEGO bricks than watch this team, so that is what I do.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by sunprairie View Post
                        So, here’s the thing. I think that is actually what the athletic department wants. and if that’s the case, maybe it’s time we just either lean in or leave - either fine choices. I mean, this week that is what was pushed by the football team’s instagram stories - that Wisconsin is “the pro pipeline.” (They even highlighted Hockey’s success in that approach with a card with Cole’s picture and the hundreds of NHL draft picks the program has recruited.)

                        And UW isn’t alone in that.

                        So, perhaps that is how the teams are being judged and as fans we need to shift our approach. Look, college sports of the 1990s isn’t coming back. So much has changed. I miss the WCHA, too, and we can’t dismiss what that did to all the teams involved culture and legacy wise. Now, NIL means the sport is transactional now and that isn’t going to change. I think it’s time to stop thinking that Badger hockey will ever be what it was then and either be angry and leave (which is a totally fine response) or lean in and appreciate what it can be now. Because simply being angry that the team isn’t the program of the early 1990s is futile and that kind of anger isn’t good for anyone.


                        Shift our approach? To consistent year after year losing seasons? I will just stop caring at that point. Honestly for me, I am already over half there. I am past anger and just feel apathy as they have run the program into the ground.

                        I also don't believe that is what the athletic dept wants. They want and need a winning men's hockey program to boost revenues for the whole dept. It's one of 3 at UW that can produce revenue (over expenses) with BB and Football, admittedly at a much lower rate. But in the past they have made enough to fund a lower cost sport like tennis, golf, etc. So say what you want, but it is more important than all other sports except BB and Football to have a consistent winning program.
                        Last edited by WiscTJK; 03-18-2022, 11:54 AM.
                        gwhinwi's: Wisconsin Badgers Recruiting Spreadsheet & Individual Face-Off Statistics

                        EODS: De-Commit / Non-Pro Early Departure List

                        Comment


                        • Almington is right on it what he is saying. And there are many of us out here that feel the same.

                          Sunprairie, I admire your continued optimism. I wish I could be there with you.
                          gwhinwi's: Wisconsin Badgers Recruiting Spreadsheet & Individual Face-Off Statistics

                          EODS: De-Commit / Non-Pro Early Departure List

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by D2D View Post
                            I in no way want to rub it in, but I would urge you to hang in there. It may take a while, but things do change. I've been a Gopher women's program season ticket holder (and donor) since 2015, and the men's since 1972 (49 years!), and I have no plans to give either up. This year our women's team came up short of where we expect them to be, but the men's team is still going strong. That order could easily reverse itself next season, but I'll be cheering both teams on to victory no matter what.

                            Good luck to both of your hockey programs, except when you'll be playing my Gophers!
                            Hey man, you aren't rubbing anything in. Motzko really was great this year for you guys, considering everything he went thru this off season.

                            I probably will hang on for another couple years, but my care level and has dropped significantly.
                            gwhinwi's: Wisconsin Badgers Recruiting Spreadsheet & Individual Face-Off Statistics

                            EODS: De-Commit / Non-Pro Early Departure List

                            Comment


                            • "If you are there, I’ll cheer along with you. If not, we’ll miss you, but we’ll cheer a little louder until we see you again. On Wisconsin."

                              You and the couple of hundred that are there better cheer louder. You'll need to cover up the sound of pins dropping on all those empty seats. I was ecstatic when the 'dream team' was hired. I thought they would really be competitive. However, that experiment has played out and this team is a mess. I lived just down the hall from Tony in the dorms his freshman year; he's truly a great guy, but this team is lost and it's time for a change.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by WiscTJK View Post

                                Shift our approach? To consistent year after year losing seasons? I will just stop caring at that point. Honestly for me, I am already over half there. I am past anger and just feel apathy as they have run the program into the ground.

                                I also don't believe that is what the athletic dept wants. They want and need a winning men's hockey program to boost revenues for the whole dept. It's one of 3 at UW that can produce revenue (over expenses) with BB and Football, admittedly at a much lower rate. But in the past they have made enough to fund a lower cost sport like tennis, golf, etc. So say what you want, but it is more important than all other sports except BB and Football to have a consistent winning program.
                                When people talk about returning to the 80s and 90s for Badger Hockey it is all about being a relevant program on the national stage on a yearly basis. While each fan has different ideas on how to achieve that, the end goal is the same: for the program to win more than lose, be competitive in every game, and compete for conference titles and playoff championships. In other words be a perennial top 20 team, some years will be better, some will be worse. The fact that this program is so far away from that level at this point, has been for years now, AND (worst of all) it appears that the AD isn't willing/able to make the hard decisions to try and change that is what have pushed so many fans over the edge towards apathy.

                                Fandom loss is generally a slow slide towards apathy because apathy is what's left when the emotion is gone. When people are frustrated or angry, it is because they care, they have feelings about wanting to make things better. Frustration is just short term disappointment with hope for the future, anger is medium term disappointment that things are not improving fast enough, depression is long term disappointment absent of belief that things will change/improve. The number of long term fans who are at the depressed stage about the state of Badger Hockey should concern the athletic department, because those are the fans who don't just say they are going to dump their tickets (Angry fans say they will, but typically keep them because of the emotional connection they have) but actually do and they are one step away from casual fandom and/or apathy (the difference is how much effort goes into be a fan: local fans can become casual fans, long distant fans are generally lost for good)

                                What the athletic department wants is a men's program that can cover the costs of both the men's and woman's hockey programs with the least drama created and effort expended by the department admin. If the men's program can funnel a little extra money into the Badger Fund or other department operating expenses that's just a bonus. The massive increase in media rights revenue has completely changed the importance of the hockey program in the grand scheme of the UW athletic department budget.
                                Last edited by Almington; 03-18-2022, 02:29 PM.

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