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UNH Hockey 2023 Off Season Thread Turn and Face the Strange

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  • Originally posted by norbert View Post

    Noted. I don't know what to really expect but I was shocked to get a response and invite.

    I am curious if he understands the disconnect between those across the street, STH, and reality when it comes to the program.
    That does sound shocking. And awkward for you that he took you up on it. I mean, I doubt he can acknowledge the truth (e.g., lame duck entering last year of contract with mediocre at best results). Does he go with full introspection "I was oblivious to the issues and unprepared, and its taken me 8 years to get my bearings, so I think now I've got it on the right track." I'd love to see that. More likely some variation of external reasons for the failure -- "parity makes recruiting so much harder, money resources not available that my new boss will now give us, she's a great boss. With her in place I can finally succeed."
    That leaves you in the position of either calling b.#s. (you had a good young core, but two of the more promising freshmen part of that core just walked out on you"), or just nodding and allowing him to remain in his echo chamber of self denial.

    More realistically, I would be interested to see what he sees as the goals and trajectory. Presumably he would not set the bar too high to claim 23-24 a "success," (with the silent understanding that this will be his last year unless he has "success"): perhaps a modest bar (8th place??) with the promise of an upward trajectory ("we have a great young core and recruits, and a pipeline that will get us to the top 4 in HE by 202__") That modest bar is both uninspiring, and will also be hard to hit. Can he possibly set the bar lower ("we just want to improve" implicitly "we want to avoid 10th place").

    All of that b#s really ignores what would be a meaningful answer of "I know I've *** up for 8 years, but trust me, I think I got it right now by learning X, Y, Z."
    The Souza record:
    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
    22-23 10th place

    Comment


    • Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post

      That does sound shocking. And awkward for you that he took you up on it. I mean, I doubt he can acknowledge the truth (e.g., lame duck entering last year of contract with mediocre at best results). Does he go with full introspection "I was oblivious to the issues and unprepared, and its taken me 8 years to get my bearings, so I think now I've got it on the right track." I'd love to see that. More likely some variation of external reasons for the failure -- "parity makes recruiting so much harder, money resources not available that my new boss will now give us, she's a great boss. With her in place I can finally succeed."
      That leaves you in the position of either calling b.#s. (you had a good young core, but two of the more promising freshmen part of that core just walked out on you"), or just nodding and allowing him to remain in his echo chamber of self denial.

      More realistically, I would be interested to see what he sees as the goals and trajectory. Presumably he would not set the bar too high to claim 23-24 a "success," (with the silent understanding that this will be his last year unless he has "success"): perhaps a modest bar (8th place??) with the promise of an upward trajectory ("we have a great young core and recruits, and a pipeline that will get us to the top 4 in HE by 202__") That modest bar is both uninspiring, and will also be hard to hit. Can he possibly set the bar lower ("we just want to improve" implicitly "we want to avoid 10th place").

      All of that b#s really ignores what would be a meaningful answer of "I know I've *** up for 8 years, but trust me, I think I got it right now by learning X, Y, Z."
      Unlike trying to upward manage with a boss I can't get fired for calling BS. I want to know as others have suggested what is the plan, but trust is hard when you have not had any success for 8 years. The other part of my conversation will be if he understands the disconnect between across the street and those who continue to shell out money.

      With the Friends being forced out, you don't have any access as in prior with post-game talks upstairs. I know after a game he might not want to talk much, but I think it would go a long way to have a few post-game gatherings with updates.

      I should know Thursday afternoon what the deal is as I am meeting him at 9:30 at the Whit.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by norbert View Post
        In others news, I will most likely be taking the short trip to Durham later this week for a sit-down with MS7 to discuss the program and all things college hockey. If anyone has questions, thoughts, or ideas to bring up I am willing to make them part of the discussion.
        ... and to think, I'm marooned up in Rochester NY later this week, or else I'd have volunteered to join you. :-(

        I vaguely recall having put together a decent package of seat-squirming questions for just such an occasion a few pages ago ... or not? I'm mildly surprised MS7 would be in Durham at this time of the year, and almost wondering if he's there to ink an extension? Now, wouldn't THAT be the way to hand out an exclusive to a breaking-news story, eh?

        NORBERT: MS7 SIGNS FIVE YEAR EXTENSION WITH 'CATS - NEWS AT ELEVEN (ugh)

        Good luck, have fun, and don't let him wriggle out of tight spots with non-answers. We're all depending on you!!
        Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
        Montreal Expos Forever ...

        Comment


        • Loaded question: "So Mike, let's start with your mentor Luce. Between the two of you, you've made a total of one (1) trip to the Hockey East Tourney in almost a combined 20 years in charge of your respective programs. Who do you guys have compromising photos of, that allows you both to continue to wallow in mediocrity in your respective jobs?"

          If you're uncomfortable asking it that way, you can always go the 3rd party way ("Some people say [fill-in-the-blank] ... how would you answer to those assertions, Mikey?" ;-)

          Always trying my best to be of assistance to my fellow UNH posters. :-)
          Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
          Montreal Expos Forever ...

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
            Loaded question: "So Mike, let's start with your mentor Luce. Between the two of you, you've made a total of one (1) trip to the Hockey East Tourney in almost a combined 20 years in charge of your respective programs. Who do you guys have compromising photos of, that allows you both to continue to wallow in mediocrity in your respective jobs?"

            If you're uncomfortable asking it that way, you can always go the 3rd party way ("Some people say [fill-in-the-blank] ... how would you answer to those assertions, Mikey?" ;-)

            Always trying my best to be of assistance to my fellow UNH posters. :-)
            I have a list going of things everyone has mentioned and things I have thought of. You do bring up a good point with "NEWS AT ELEVEN" in that how does the status of your contract impact the year and recruiting. There has to be some pause for recruits being looked at now if the person in their living will be around.

            Comment


            • I'd also be interested. UNH has lost traction with the top level New England/Mass recruits. Why does he feel he lost the market and how does he see recapturing it.
              Last edited by NCAA watcher; 05-09-2023, 03:51 PM.
              The Souza record:
              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
              22-23 10th place

              Comment


              • Pesce! And, thanks for the congrats.

                Norbert, I'm amazed you got this 'meeting' and look forward to what comes out of it...do you plan on reporting back here?
                Here we go 'Cats!!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                  Pesce! And, thanks for the congrats.

                  Norbert, I'm amazed you got this 'meeting' and look forward to what comes out of it...do you plan on reporting back here?
                  And an assist for Pesce. Did he get in a fight for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick?

                  Also, Foegele got only Oilers goal in their loss last night.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                    Pesce! And, thanks for the congrats.

                    Norbert, I'm amazed you got this 'meeting' and look forward to what comes out of it...do you plan on reporting back here?
                    If I am not buried under the bowels of the Whit I will have a full report. My goal is to have a conversation with him and not make this like I am with the Fosters but I want honesty. The pay in full while the regional was happening that we are hosting was the final straw for me.

                    I know that for the most part on ice is his domain, recruiting, coaching, ect but there are external forces also that impact this. I also want to relay to him that as STH and fans there is a disconnect.

                    If I am the only one who feels this please let me know so I can speak for myself but I feel that as a small collective group that since the team started to suck and add in the lack of availability once the Friends were kicked out has put a big divide between what once was a solid fan base.

                    Comment


                    • Hopefully MS7 is not Chuck Murray as a burner account and has all the answers, but here is where I am at:

                      1. 3 years as an assistant and heading into your 6th year as HC, how do you evaluate the program over this time period and is there any reflection from this that can lead to greater success moving forward
                      2. From a college hockey broad aspect, is HE a detriment or benefit to recruiting with realignment and expansion.
                      3. This is your last year, does this impact your recruiting and/or thought process for how to approach the season in terms of winning. And what is the goal? Are you thinking short and long term or all in?
                      4. The portal is something new for hockey and all of NCAA, are the losses a product of the team and its record or is it something that is now the new norm? As part of the portal you loss Fess and have someone who is on paper not an ideal DI goalie. Can Tyler handle the bulk of the load moving forward?
                      5. Recruiting has gone more international, more so Europe, than ever before. Is this the way of college hockey? Has the lack of success at UNH hampered the NE/Mass connection? Examples are the Saviano's and Collins that we used to get but no longer seem to get the blue collar hockey players.


                      STH Engagement. While this is a chicken egg argument there are things outside of on ice that might impact the program and I am not talking the weight room. These are items I would hope he brings across the street.

                      1. Lack of communication. I think the disbandment of the Friends has had a bigger impact than expected. They were kicked out while things were good, now that it has gone south there is no line of communication between fans, the team, and Admin. What can be done?
                      2. At least to me the removal of parking from a STH benefit hours before a game is a big deal. It irritates the **** out of me from a fan experience perspective, how can there be that big of disconnect between UNH and Athletics. this had to have been a long-term discussion, so either we are being lied to that this was last-minute decision or athletics held onto this until the end. Either way, it is a bad look.
                      3. The pay for your tickets now also irritates me to no end. The body is still warm from the end of the season and UNH is hosting a regional tournament which we are not at and the ask for 100% of the money. the "prizes" are a joke. All you have to do is go to the post game where they sign and you can get your picture or jersey done. How is this enticing?


                      One last question for this post to STH. For those who pay and go, what are your thoughts on them giving away tickets to youth hockey organizations for free throughout the season? I am buying my 4 again and will complain about it, but I would be glad if they have 1,000 tickets away per game to put butts in the seats. While no revenue from ticket sales, there will be concession sales that will help. My rationale for this is that when I talked to a handful of guys about the Maine weekend, they said from a player perspective it was amazing. It was a nervous situation at first as they never experience it, but during the game a full house provided a boost.

                      Before I bring this up, wanted to see what the consensus is.

                      And please please please someone take way my access as I think I have exceeded any amount of words Chuck has ever posted.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by norbert View Post
                        Hopefully MS7 is not Chuck Murray as a burner account and has all the answers, but here is where I am at:

                        1. 3 years as an assistant and heading into your 6th year as HC, how do you evaluate the program over this time period and is there any reflection from this that can lead to greater success moving forward
                        2. From a college hockey broad aspect, is HE a detriment or benefit to recruiting with realignment and expansion.
                        3. This is your last year, does this impact your recruiting and/or thought process for how to approach the season in terms of winning. And what is the goal? Are you thinking short and long term or all in?
                        4. The portal is something new for hockey and all of NCAA, are the losses a product of the team and its record or is it something that is now the new norm? As part of the portal you loss Fess and have someone who is on paper not an ideal DI goalie. Can Tyler handle the bulk of the load moving forward?
                        5. Recruiting has gone more international, more so Europe, than ever before. Is this the way of college hockey? Has the lack of success at UNH hampered the NE/Mass connection? Examples are the Saviano's and Collins that we used to get but no longer seem to get the blue collar hockey players.


                        STH Engagement. While this is a chicken egg argument there are things outside of on ice that might impact the program and I am not talking the weight room. These are items I would hope he brings across the street.

                        1. Lack of communication. I think the disbandment of the Friends has had a bigger impact than expected. They were kicked out while things were good, now that it has gone south there is no line of communication between fans, the team, and Admin. What can be done?
                        2. At least to me the removal of parking from a STH benefit hours before a game is a big deal. It irritates the **** out of me from a fan experience perspective, how can there be that big of disconnect between UNH and Athletics. this had to have been a long-term discussion, so either we are being lied to that this was last-minute decision or athletics held onto this until the end. Either way, it is a bad look.
                        3. The pay for your tickets now also irritates me to no end. The body is still warm from the end of the season and UNH is hosting a regional tournament which we are not at and the ask for 100% of the money. the "prizes" are a joke. All you have to do is go to the post game where they sign and you can get your picture or jersey done. How is this enticing?


                        One last question for this post to STH. For those who pay and go, what are your thoughts on them giving away tickets to youth hockey organizations for free throughout the season? I am buying my 4 again and will complain about it, but I would be glad if they have 1,000 tickets away per game to put butts in the seats. While no revenue from ticket sales, there will be concession sales that will help. My rationale for this is that when I talked to a handful of guys about the Maine weekend, they said from a player perspective it was amazing. It was a nervous situation at first as they never experience it, but during the game a full house provided a boost.

                        Before I bring this up, wanted to see what the consensus is.

                        And please please please someone take way my access as I think I have exceeded any amount of words Chuck has ever posted.
                        Very comprehensive outline of questions, Norbert. I suggest that you pretend to be Al Pike at Foster’s, who MS7 should remember from when he was playing for Dick all those years ago. I liked your Jimmy Hoffa burial metaphor. :-)

                        Comment


                        • Looks good Norbert! Can’t believe that he will sit through this. One thought - I fear that you will get a lot of fluff and clich?, coaches are like politicians and you never get substance or a straight answer. Therefore you may want to have some follow ups to insure more substance.
                          Good luck.

                          Comment


                          • One more point under question 1 is more of an open essay. You spoke about what you viewed as the recruiting pitch in 2016, focusing largely on tradition and family. http://unhhockeyblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/ Has that changed, and what do you believe is important to recruits these days.
                            The Souza record:
                            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
                            22-23 10th place

                            Comment


                            • Y'know, if MS7 reads this board (likely he'd deny it), the interview should be a cakewalk. Kinda like an open book test.

                              If he still manages to flunk it, he'll have no one to blame but himself ...
                              Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                              Montreal Expos Forever ...

                              Comment


                              • Been lurking for years. Appreciate the insight all have shared. Can't not comment on this. My three questions would be -
                                1) Has UNH won or lost in the transfer portal in 2023? An email to alumni indicated sharing "truth" behind UNH portal implications. What is meant by that?
                                2) As the Head Coach are you the "closer" for high-end commits? Who owns the "offer amount and close" portion of recruiting?
                                3) There has been commentary about lack of player development at UNH. And that advisors may be steering potential recruits away from UNH b/c of stalled development. How do you reverse this potential headwind?

                                Comment

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