Thread: Prospect Info: Round II, Pick #59: Boo Nieves
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06-26-2012, 04:45 PM
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Just to clear up some of the college hockey realignment confusion from earlier in this thread...

With Penn State going to Division I status in hockey, at long last the Big Ten Hockey Conference was born. The NCAA requires a minimum six teams in a league to garner an auto-bid to the NCAA tourney. PSU became the sixth team needed. So Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, PSU, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will start that league in 2013.

After that announcement, to the shock of the college hockey community, five WCHA teams as well as Miami from the CCHA announced plans to leave their conferences to form the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (aka dumbest conference name EVER). Western Michigan and St. Cloud State later joined. If you look at the names involved with this conference they all have one thing in common: powerhouses. The reason the initial five teams from the WCHA left was financial. The teams that left wanted to basically invest more money, whereas the teams left behind did not want to make the same financial commitment. It was a riff that developed over time, so they finally decided to abandon ship and start their own league with programs/universities who are committed to making their teams best of the best.

With both the CCHA and WCHA left with predominately second rate teams, Notre Dame decided to jump to Hockey East. Why? Because while Notre Dame football is independent, all other ND sports are a part of the Big East conference. They opted to join Hockey East over the NCHC.

The remaining CCHA schools will merge with the WCHA to form the new WCHA. The CCHA will be no more after next season. And going back to the point about the WCHA teams who didn't want to spend money, the "new" WCHA members met a few weeks ago to discuss a wide range of topics, one of which apparently involved a playoff format in which Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage will always meet in the first round of the playoffs every year regardless of seeding unless one of them wins the regular season title and gets a bye. In other words, in the WCHA playoffs, Alaska could be the #2 seed and AA the #3 seed and instead of facing the #9 and #8 seeds in the opening round, they would face each other. This is so teams could avoid the cost of having to fly to Alaska, should they get home ice, or the Alaska teams fly elsewhere. This basically renders the regular season and tourney seeding process pointless. I'm not saying it's cheap to fly to and from Alaska, but the impression this decision received is the new league is second-rate, and it validates why the powerhouse teams abandoned them. Sounds like they might reconsider it, and I hope they do.

As for Boo Nieves, I can't wait to see him at Michigan. If Boo is more of a play maker than scorer, I have no problem with that. You need both types of players and if he can create for others with his size, speed, and skill, Michigan has players who can finish the job. Just play to his strengths. U-M has lacked an elite play making center for a few years, and traditionally they were the 5'9 super skilled midgets like T.J. Hensick. If we can get someone 6'3 to do that job, sounds good to me! I'd love to see Nieves lined up between Alex Guptill and Phil Di Giuseppe and see what they can create.

One other note, Nieves's coach at Kent... Matt Herr... captained Michigan's 1998 NCAA National Championship team.

Last edited by MHNet: 06-26-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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