You should plan early then. Losing both Parise and Bochenski is large. They were the two best players on that team, without question.
A top level program like North Dakota won't even miss a beat. Of course they will hurt losing those two, but they will have no problem filling in the open holes. Just the freshmen coming in can come awful close to filling the holes. With Zajac, Kaip and Spirko all being very good offensive players, and then stepping in with guys like Murray, Genoway, Stafford and Lundbohm. North Dakota will again be a powerhouse.
I never thought they wouldn't be at the top of the heap. Throwing freshmen in place of these guys will be tough. That goes for the Gophers too. Every fan has hopes that the new faces come in and do some damage. More times then not, they tend to be average first year players, with a few exceptions.
The Gophers will be hurt more by the departure of Weibel, Riddle, and Koalska. They represent pretty much the only group of forwards that would play D for the Gophers outside of Irmen. Ballard will most definitely hurt, but Taylor made a mistake (not the money, just that he was not ready to turn pro yet). Like UND, the Gophers will bring in highly regarded players but that doesn't mean they'll dominate a tough league.
...the Gophers will bring in highly regarded players but that doesn't mean they'll dominate a tough league.
Very true. Most of the top d-men the Gophers are bringing in seem more offensively talented than defensively. Guys like Goligoski, Peltier, and Hagemo led their leagues in d-man scoring, but Goliogoski and Peltier are both around 6'0/190lbs and Hagemo is 5'11/180. I don't doubt their offensive skills, but I wonder what they'll contribute on the defensive end and with their phyiscal play. It'll be interesting how well they do infront of their net and scrapping for pucks in the corners.
Plus, I heard Lucia name mention as a canidate for a coaching job with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Last edited by Just Joshin': 08-08-2004 at 08:33 PM.