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UNH Men's Hockey 2022 Off Season Thread- Goodbye Lake Whitt!

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  • Contracts run with UNH fiscal year (6/30). I would expect a name in the late May/early June timeframe. I’m also pretty sure that the admin knows the criticality of the hire here, with only one program currently operating with a speck of relevance. There are some voices in the mix that concern me (I.e., what should be prioritized), but I hope that program success and national relevance remain top of list.
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    • Hypothetical...if Greg Brown brought in a new staff would you want Souza making a play for Ayers? Maybe it could be an Albie/Pandolfo situation *smiley face*

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      • Originally posted by J.D. View Post
        Hypothetical...if Greg Brown brought in a new staff would you want Souza making a play for Ayers? Maybe it could be an Albie/Pandolfo situation *smiley face*
        Souza would be smart (in terms of self-preservation) to look at someone/anyone to mix things up and get someone in who can boost his program's flat-lining recruiting profile. Might buy him an extra year or two if he can show some real progress over the next 12 months.

        Otherwise, with the same staff (and him) doing the same old things, the same results will follow, and he'll be out of a job by this time next year. Souza might also be thinking about what has happened at BU over the last 12 months (as you pointed out), and it's a danger when you are in a susceptible position to bring in someone who is arguably more accomplished than you are.

        PREDICTION: MS7 will remain loyal to Stewart and Guiliano, and will replace them only if they take the step first to leave of their own volition (JG more likely to do so than GS). Nothing will change.

        ----------

        If I were Ayers and I was approached specifically by MS7, though ... I'd say "thanks, but no thanks", especially if Ayers harbors any ambitions to be a HC someday, and even more so to HC at UNH. Ayers' next job IF he stays in D-1 has to be as a HC; staying put as an assistant at BC doesn't hurt his profile, but leaving BC to work elsewhere as a D-1 assistant starts to pigeonhole him as a career assistant. Not that there's anything wrong with that; see Standbrook, Grant.

        But if you're Ayers and you see the current state of your alma mater's program, there is NO way you're sitting there thinking "Yeah, all they need is me to go there as an AC to solve their problems". Ayers would have to be thinking, "There's no way I could do worse than Souza, there's a new AD on the way, I'll keep my powder dry, and I know I'll be on a HC short list when the inevitable happens".

        PREDICTION: MS7 gets the gate next Spring. Ayers will get an interview to be the HC. THEN and only then will we find out what the new AD's philosophy will be for the Hockey program. If the feedback I've gotten on Nigel proves true, then Ayers has a legitimate shot at being the next UNH HC. BUT if the AD is someone who is an outsider, though, Ayers will have to knock it out of the park at the interview stage to get that job. I liked Ayers as a player, a lot in fact. He backstopped the two best teams in UNH postseason history. He gave a crap when things jumped the rails in Buffalo, so there is some real passion under his calm exterior. But he is unproven as a HC, and an outsider new UNH AD will probably feel pressure not to repeat the mistake his predecessor made by hiring an unproven alum as HC to succeed Umile.

        For all of these reasons, I suspect in ten years' time, we UNH fans will look back at the "Ayers to UNH HC" thing as one of those "what if?" propositions, not unlike Brian McCloskey, Scotty Borek, and Jim Tortorella. Ayers will either become a BC lifer or get a shot somewhere else in D-1 hockey as an HC. I wish the guy nothing but the best at whatever he does, he was always a class act.
        Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
        Montreal Expos Forever ...

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        • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

          Souza would be smart (in terms of self-preservation) to look at someone/anyone to mix things up and get someone in who can boost his program's flat-lining recruiting profile. Might buy him an extra year or two if he can show some real progress over the next 12 months.

          Otherwise, with the same staff (and him) doing the same old things, the same results will follow, and he'll be out of a job by this time next year. Souza might also be thinking about what has happened at BU over the last 12 months (as you pointed out), and it's a danger when you are in a susceptible position to bring in someone who is arguably more accomplished than you are.

          PREDICTION: MS7 will remain loyal to Stewart and Guiliano, and will replace them only if they take the step first to leave of their own volition (JG more likely to do so than GS). Nothing will change.

          ----------

          If I were Ayers and I was approached specifically by MS7, though ... I'd say "thanks, but no thanks", especially if Ayers harbors any ambitions to be a HC someday, and even more so to HC at UNH. Ayers' next job IF he stays in D-1 has to be as a HC; staying put as an assistant at BC doesn't hurt his profile, but leaving BC to work elsewhere as a D-1 assistant starts to pigeonhole him as a career assistant. Not that there's anything wrong with that; see Standbrook, Grant.

          But if you're Ayers and you see the current state of your alma mater's program, there is NO way you're sitting there thinking "Yeah, all they need is me to go there as an AC to solve their problems". Ayers would have to be thinking, "There's no way I could do worse than Souza, there's a new AD on the way, I'll keep my powder dry, and I know I'll be on a HC short list when the inevitable happens".

          PREDICTION: MS7 gets the gate next Spring. Ayers will get an interview to be the HC. THEN and only then will we find out what the new AD's philosophy will be for the Hockey program. If the feedback I've gotten on Nigel proves true, then Ayers has a legitimate shot at being the next UNH HC. BUT if the AD is someone who is an outsider, though, Ayers will have to knock it out of the park at the interview stage to get that job. I liked Ayers as a player, a lot in fact. He backstopped the two best teams in UNH postseason history. He gave a crap when things jumped the rails in Buffalo, so there is some real passion under his calm exterior. But he is unproven as a HC, and an outsider new UNH AD will probably feel pressure not to repeat the mistake his predecessor made by hiring an unproven alum as HC to succeed Umile.

          For all of these reasons, I suspect in ten years' time, we UNH fans will look back at the "Ayers to UNH HC" thing as one of those "what if?" propositions, not unlike Brian McCloskey, Scotty Borek, and Jim Tortorella. Ayers will either become a BC lifer or get a shot somewhere else in D-1 hockey as an HC. I wish the guy nothing but the best at whatever he does, he was always a class act.
          So you know for sure that the new AD will be a man? And that men's hockey will be a priority?
          UNH Hockey: From "Why Not Us' to "Woe is Us"

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Felger View Post
            So you know for sure that the new AD will be a man? And that men's hockey will be a priority?
            In times like these, there are no certainties Felgie, so yeah, I get it.

            But my sources still think the job is Nigel's to lose, Nigel identifies as a man, and is married to a "birthing person", who is the current deputy AD at Merrimack.

            Maybe Ms. Nigel is actually the UNH frontrunner? Have I offended anyone yet?? ;-)

            As far as priorities go, all I can go with is that Men's Hockey has historically been the biggest revenue generating sport at UNH, so if I take a "follow the money" approach, it should be a priority? Men's Hoops is undoubtedly the biggest opportunity for growth, and in some distant future universe where success in Hoops stokes some dormant interest in and around the UNH community, with roughly the same number of home dates (combined with a move back across the street to The Whitt), then Hoops might push Hockey for the top revenue producer? Football could sell out the new stadium but not really push Hockey due to the limited number of home dates. If Soccer can continue to build interest, which we saw was very real last Fall, their revenue will outstrip Football shortly (if it hasn't already?), and their expenses should be way less than Football.

            All in all, there are more eyes on Men's Hockey because of the prominence of HEA, so that (combined with past & projected future revenues) should make Hockey THE priority in the real world.

            In the woke bubble that is modern day academia, though, anything is possible I suppose ...
            Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
            Montreal Expos Forever ...

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
              Have I offended anyone yet?? ;-)
              You mean today, right? ;-)

              Originally posted by Felger View Post
              So you know for sure that the new AD will be a man? And that men's hockey will be a priority?
              A non cisgender POC would fit nicely with the U's commitment to "building and nurturing an environment of inclusive excellence where all students, faculty, and staff can thrive".

              Great point. I'm hopeful all teams remain D-I programs.
              I will not be out cheered in my own building.

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              • Originally posted by Darius View Post
                A non cisgender POC would fit nicely with the U's commitment to "building and nurturing an environment of inclusive excellence where all students, faculty, and staff can thrive".
                I'd prefer UNH hires the most qualified candidate, regardless of race or sex/gender. Silly me, right?
                Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                • Seriously, I wasn't really trying to stir the pot. Was just musing that the world has changed alot in many ways since Judy Ray passed the job off to Marty Scarano. Just wondering if (and not necessarily assuming that) the next AD will have similar goals/objectives as those in the past.
                  UNH Hockey: From "Why Not Us' to "Woe is Us"

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                  • Originally posted by defkit View Post
                    Nice job by Jay. I liked the message. I also thought he did a good job balancing the need for change without completely dissing on Albie.
                    compare 2016, and how not to be the "new face of change" even though you were part of the old regime.

                    Look, I understand Souza is in a bad position. First, he has two more years working under a boss he clearly, clearly loves, who got him the job. It's not his job or position to be Walsh -- the new Sherif who can call a spade a spade, set standards and send a "shape up or ship out" message.

                    Yet, that is exactly the message that needs to be sent to recruits. Excellence, not effort. Yet, Souza either can't or won't say it because it would be a criticism of Umile. As a result, the interview focuses on selling a program because "UNH is a neat school that I really love, and Dick is a great guy" -- moments after telling the interviewer nobody remembers or cares about 99 or even the 2000s -- doesn't give an indication of how Souza is aggressively recruiting. And the results suggest not a lot of aggressive recruiting is going on. He can be as loyal and as supportive of the current players --'come on guys, work harder, study harder, I'm in your camp" -- but that is not going to do anything to improve the team next year.

                    They desperately need a kickstart. By dint of his allegiance, Souza either does not feel the need for a new start, or can't say it. Either way, he's hamstrung, so the interview is bland, doesn't really reveal the plan to make america great again. I understand he could not really speak his mind about this year, so his answers are "our team will work really hard, last year's games were close and this year we could [get lucky and] win." I won't hold that against him, given the talent level is locked in. But as we see from Shawn Walsh's quote, the key is recruiting, first, second and third. Until they find a message that resonates with recruits (and the results say no), all of the hard work won't matter. And the longer Souza struggles to find that message -- something that is hard enough without being tied to the anchor of a boss who deprives you of the ability to sell the "new sheriff, new excellence" message -- Souza will have lost credibility. You only have a limited window of the "new sheriff" message, and Scarano destroyed that.
                    The Umile legacy:
                    14-15 8th place,
                    15-16 10th place
                    16-17 10th place
                    17-18 11th place
                    18-19 8th place
                    19-20 9th place
                    20-21 10th place
                    21-22 9th place

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post
                      They desperately need a kickstart. By dint of his allegiance, Souza either does not feel the need for a new start, or can't say it. Either way, he's hamstrung, so the interview is bland,doesn't really reveal the plan to make america great again. I understand he could not really speak his mind about this year, so his answers are "our team will work really hard, last year's games were close and this year we could [get lucky and] win."
                      Are you saying that MS7 is a MAGA man, 'watcher? Gosh, I can get behind the guy if so ... ;-)
                      Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                      Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                      • Watcher that was the greatest take on the MS hire. I so remember the disappointment that I felt in reading it. Not his choice as the coach in waiting but what he said. Nothing of significance or to create a feeling of hope, vision or passion. This from a guy who was as passionate a player as I have seen on the past 25 years. (Ayer’s is second on that list although intense is perhaps a better descriptor for him.)
                        You have matched each of his missteps with the perfect reason he couldn’t say Or do anything different. And I am not so sure will see the change most are hoping for next March. This will be a somewhat better year and hey…….

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                        • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

                          Best feature of Agganis by far is the vertical height of the seating bowl. I thought I remembered reading somewhere when it was under construction that Jack Parker wanted the effect to be that of the original Boston Garden (higher/narrower) than the new building (wider/shallower?). If that's what they were going for, they nailed it. Best "new" building in HEA by a longshot.
                          I do love Agganis. Favorite arena in New England. I seem to recall from years ago, that Jack Parker really liked the Marriucci out in MN and wanted something like it, but smaller. I have been to the Marriucci. it is also pretty sweet.

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                          • I compared Michigan State's hiring of Adam Nightengale to Mike Souza's hire at UNH. Well, here is one stark difference. Mike McMahon reported that MSU had extensive conversations about hiring Albie O'Connell as an assistant coach - a PROVEN elite recruiter with head coaching experience. David Carle, who just won a National Title at Denver has TWO former HC's on his staff...

                            These are young coaches comfortable enough with themselves to bring in more seasoned assistants, delegate authority, and admit to what they don't know or a skillset they don't (or don't yet) possess. For the good of their career and the program. To me, this is a huge clue that Nightengale may in fact be a GUY.

                            When Souza had an open position he hired an assistant who had never coached at the college level or recruited a single athlete...
                            Live Free or Die!!
                            Miami University '03

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                            • Originally posted by Dan View Post
                              I compared Michigan State's hiring of Adam Nightengale to Mike Souza's hire at UNH. Well, here is one stark difference. Mike McMahon reported that MSU had extensive conversations about hiring Albie O'Connell as an assistant coach - a PROVEN elite recruiter with head coaching experience. David Carle, who just won a National Title at Denver has TWO former HC's on his staff...

                              These are young coaches comfortable enough with themselves to bring in more seasoned assistants, delegate authority, and admit to what they don't know or a skillset they don't (or don't yet) possess. For the good of their career and the program. To me, this is a huge clue that Nightengale may in fact be a GUY.

                              When Souza had an open position he hired an assistant who had never coached at the college level or recruited a single athlete...
                              It's just history repeating itself...if I may be that bold....
                              Here we go 'Cats!!

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                              • Originally posted by Dan View Post
                                I compared Michigan State's hiring of Adam Nightengale to Mike Souza's hire at UNH. Well, here is one stark difference. Mike McMahon reported that MSU had extensive conversations about hiring Albie O'Connell as an assistant coach - a PROVEN elite recruiter with head coaching experience. David Carle, who just won a National Title at Denver has TWO former HC's on his staff...

                                These are young coaches comfortable enough with themselves to bring in more seasoned assistants, delegate authority, and admit to what they don't know or a skillset they don't (or don't yet) possess. For the good of their career and the program. To me, this is a huge clue that Nightengale may in fact be a GUY.

                                When Souza had an open position he hired an assistant who had never coached at the college level or recruited a single athlete ...
                                To Dick Umile's credit, even he hired former HC's Scott Borek (LSSU) and Jim Tortorella (Colby), and his assistants earlier in his career were mostly pretty experienced guys, too ...
                                Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                                Montreal Expos Forever ...

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