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10-29-2012, 05:41 AM
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5.) It's nice to finally be able to put the Nic Kerdiles situation behind us

I'm not here to make excuses for the team in Green Bay, and I'm certainly not going to blame the losses on the Kerdiles situation, but you can't tell me that it didn't affect the preparation of this Badger club.

Wisconsin first learned of Kerdiles' one-year suspension on Friday before the Badgers first exhibition game vs the U.S. NTDP U18 team. Everyone involved expected the appeal to take place the next Thursday, which was one day before the Badgers would open their season officially vs Northern Michigan in Green Bay.

However, the appeal got pushed back one week, and the drama and media hype around the situation grew exponentially the longer this situation went on.

It wasn't Wisconsin's fault, and it certainly wasn't Kerdiles' fault. There were just a lot of interested people (all over North America), and everyone wanted to know what was going on.

The story grew so much that I was even asked to do an interview on an Edmonton radio station on the popular Jason Gregor Show on the Team 1260.

The Wisconsin players aren't stupid, they were all following what was going on. In a day in age where almost every player on the team has a twitter account, how could they miss all the Kerdiles talk?

At times I almost felt bad for them. It certainly affected out coverage here at Bucky's 5th Quarter. Planned articles like previews of the incoming freshman, and positional previews were replaced with non-stop coverage of the Kerdiles saga.

All-in-all, we've written thirteen stories about Kerdiles since news first broke October 6th. That's a lot of publicity for a kid who's never put on a Badger sweater in a game that mattered.

No one associated with the Badger hockey program will admit that it was a distraction, but there's no way it wasn't.

If you missed it late last week, Kerdiles joined the U.S. U18 team (his former club) to play last weekend vs Minnesota and St. Thomas in a pair of exhibition games. Kerdiles' participation was cleared with both the Big Ten and the NCAA.

Unfortunately, it sounds like Kerdiles got a little banged up in Saturday's game vs St. Thomas.

Not many details have emerged, but a few sources weighed in after the game.

"(Kerdiles) took a high stick at the end of the first period and got shaken up. Played a bit in the second, got in a scuffle (took a roughing penalty), and then I can't remember him playing again. Wasn't out at all for the 3rd period," said one source at the game.

Another person at the game noted that he skated off the ice gingerly, and didn't return, however the NTDP was up 5-1 at the time.

A third person mentioned that it didn't sound serious, but that it could keep Kerdiles off the ice for a few weeks.

Kerdiles posted on his facebook account after the game, "Haha all I can do is laugh about it. What else can go wrong in my life right now..."

Overall, it doesn't sound like anyone really knows the details. Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves will meet with the media Monday afternoon, hopefully he'll have an update on the situation.

Hopefully it's nothing too serious, as the Badgers would love to have a happy and healthy Kerdiles back in the lineup when he's eligible to return November 30th when Wisconsin heads to Denver to take on the Pioneers.

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