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"Canisius, Niagara programs need to make a power play"

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07-22-2011, 08:50 AM
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mechaphil
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"Canisius, Niagara programs need to make a power play"

Bucky's column this morning is about NU and Canisius getting a chance to move their hockey programs into the CCHA blah blah nothing wrong with Atlantic Hockey blah blah Dwyer Arena could be expanded with a move to a big-time conference blah bl...what's this?

Quote:
Saint Terry is prepared to answer its prayers. Serious discussions have been ongoing about Pegula backing (see: major donation) a movement toward a new on-campus events center. It would serve as a home for Canisius and the Buffalo Junior Sabres, a practice rink for the Sabres and be available to youth teams. There's talk it could also become a basketball venue and a place for graduation ceremonies that are now held at UB.

How much would it cost? How much would Pegula donate? How much would Canisius contribute? At this point, I have no idea. But if we've learned anything about Pegula, it's that he does nothing half-hearted and everything top-notch. Canisius needs to get on board and help him make it work. It might never get a better opportunity or better timing.
http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/co...icle496933.ece

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07-22-2011, 08:57 AM
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Fire Gleason.

Hire the first commenter who put forth the correct information about the conferences.

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07-22-2011, 10:42 AM
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Holy crap. I want to strangle Bucky. NU grad/alumni here (its what the nu stands for in my username).

First issue is that these are small, private schools. Most schools that appear in the Frozen Four are public. RIT is private, but also has 10k more students that both of these Universities. Cornell is also private, but once again has an enrollment over 20k. You can count on one hand the number of schools that have won a D1 championship that are private, and have an enrollment of under 5k.

Second issue is money. NU would have to grow substantially to have any sort of "money in the coffers" as Bucky put it. It's not just expanding an arena, its expanding the whole student base. Great, expand the arena, then what?

Third issue is location. The OHL is a jump over the gorge. The only plus to NU over the OHL is education, and how many NHL caliber players will choose an education over a better chance to be drafted? Not many, if any at all.

Putting all of these factors together - OHL nearby, small, private, limited cash. Yeah, NU will make a "power play". Keep dreaming bucky.

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07-22-2011, 12:49 PM
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BC & BU are just a couple of private schools that compete at a high level in D1 hockey.

So, that doesn't have to be a barrier.

The issue is all about the money to invest into the programs.

The thing that annoys me is Bucky implying that Terry needs to cut checks for all this other stuff. If Terry does, great. If not, it's no big deal.

At the end of the day, Niagara and Canisius would make a perfect travel pair for the ECAC or the remnants of the CCHA. The question now is can they get the money for it to make sense for the schools or not.

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07-22-2011, 03:15 PM
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Yes, The CCHA is the equivalent of the Big East...if Syracuse, Connecticut, West Virginia, Georgetown, Villanova, and Marquette all jumped ship.

The CCHA without Ohio St, Michigan, Michigan St., and Miami is NOT an elite conference. It is NOT a launching pad to a national championship. The only top team left is Notre Dame--and they even want out (I don't buy the Hockey East rumors since it makes no sense geographically, but it's out there). Bowling Green, Northern Michigan, Lake Superior State...these aren't exactly hockey powers right now.

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07-22-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
The thing that annoys me is Bucky implying that Terry needs to cut checks for all this other stuff. If Terry does, great. If not, it's no big deal.
Bucky is quite talented in trying to spend other people's money.

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07-22-2011, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveDaSwords View Post
Yes, The CCHA is the equivalent of the Big East...if Syracuse, Connecticut, West Virginia, Georgetown, Villanova, and Marquette all jumped ship.

The CCHA without Ohio St, Michigan, Michigan St., and Miami is NOT an elite conference. It is NOT a launching pad to a national championship. The only top team left is Notre Dame--and they even want out (I don't buy the Hockey East rumors since it makes no sense geographically, but it's out there). Bowling Green, Northern Michigan, Lake Superior State...these aren't exactly hockey powers right now.
Yup. People close to the RIT program have told me that RIT would have no interest in jumping to the "new" CCHA from Atlantic Hockey...which is probably why they weren't invited to these exploratory meetings. That IMO speaks worlds about where the competitiveness of the CCHA will be. Now should the ECAC have an opening, that would likely be a different story.

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07-22-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
Yup. People close to the RIT program have told me that RIT would have no interest in jumping to the "new" CCHA from Atlantic Hockey...which is probably why they weren't invited to these exploratory meetings. That IMO speaks worlds about where the competitiveness of the CCHA will be. Now should the ECAC have an opening, that would likely be a different story.
As a Hockey East fan, it's nice to be able to sit back and just watch this play out knowing that your school has nothing to worry about.

Right now if I'd rank the conferences:
WCHA/HE
CCHA
ECAC
Atlantic

After the re-alignment:
HE/Big10/NCHA
ECAC
Atlantic/WCHA/CCHA

Moving from Atlantic is a lateral move in terms of quality--the only advantage is in the scholarship limits. Add in travelling to Alaska as well...

The only potential brightside though would be the possibility of scheduling some of those Big 10 and NCHA schools. I'm not entirely sure what they're gonna do in terms of scheduling, but I'm under the impression there's still gonna be several games against CCHA/WCHA teams (perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong)--those two conferences are still small.

Notre Dame though is the biggest question mark. They have to be trying to get into the NCHA.

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07-23-2011, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
Yup. People close to the RIT program have told me that RIT would have no interest in jumping to the "new" CCHA from Atlantic Hockey...which is probably why they weren't invited to these exploratory meetings. That IMO speaks worlds about where the competitiveness of the CCHA will be. Now should the ECAC have an opening, that would likely be a different story.
Or perhaps RIT likes being a big fish in a small pond.

There are advantages to that right now for RIT.

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07-23-2011, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveDaSwords View Post
Moving from Atlantic is a lateral move in terms of quality--the only advantage is in the scholarship limits. Add in travelling to Alaska as well...
I don't believe that RIT will be able to give out athletic scholarships in hockey since they are not a fully D1 athletic program and they haven't been D1 in hockey long enough to have the waiver like Clarkson, SLU, and RPI (among others) have currently.

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07-23-2011, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
I don't believe that RIT will be able to give out athletic scholarships in hockey since they are not a fully D1 athletic program and they haven't been D1 in hockey long enough to have the waiver like Clarkson, SLU, and RPI (among others) have currently.
True. As a RIT (& BU) grad myself, I'm aware from either telefund calls or mailers that RIT has the Tiger Power Play (http://www.rit.edu/development/giving/powerplay/) in place for funding a new arena, and one of the main reasons for a new arena there is for recruiting support, since "as a mixed D1/D3 university, RIT cannot offer player scholarships, and needs to balance those offers to heavily recruited players to enhance RIT's appeal." JMHO, but couple new facilities with that waiver the ECAC teams got, and RIT will surely continue its rise in D1, as the game crowds were great while I was there and our past teams were generally strong in D2/D3 play.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky Gleason (TBN)
Niagara plays in Dwyer Arena, a charming building that's ready for expansion. The money for years has been sitting in the coffers, but the shovels have remained in the shed. If it makes a commitment to a bigger and better conference, construction could begin tomorrow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob DiCesare (TBN)
"If someone said to me here you can expand the rink by 1,000 seats tomorrow if you can demonstrate an absolute need for it, I think tomorrow would be hard because no one's saying to us you need this many seats to be in a league," [NU director of athletics Ed] McLaughlin said.
Really Bucky, tomorrow? Your peer Bob DiCesare wrote a piece just last week that sung a different tune for Niagara (http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/co...icle491404.ece). Although I do agree that the Canisius program desperately needs an arena of their own, as it must be incredibly frustrating for their current staff to try and sell Canisius to D1 recruits without their own facilities on-campus to tour (and what I'm assuming is a lackluster game atmosphere at Buff State Arena).

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07-23-2011, 05:33 PM
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I've been hoping for something like this ever since I saw Pegula bought the Sabres and read about his work for college hockey down in Pittsburgh. Canisius hockey is often called a sleeping giant just waiting to be woken up. An arena of their own is all that keeping them back. Some program in Buffalo is eventually going to start tapping into all the great high school talent in the Buffalo area, I hope it is Canisius.

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07-23-2011, 08:36 PM
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Do you think Bucky really does have the inside scoop this time? He can't have POed new ownership yet, so might actually be able to do his job.

Sometimes, I think Pegula is just a dream. He's too good to be true. (I feel like I'm going to wake up and find out that Rigis is still the owner.)

Wasn't there plan floated in the News for a four rink venue near downtown a couple of years ago? How about that with a feature rink?

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07-24-2011, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveDaSwords View Post
Yes, The CCHA is the equivalent of the Big East...if Syracuse, Connecticut, West Virginia, Georgetown, Villanova, and Marquette all jumped ship.

The CCHA without Ohio St, Michigan, Michigan St., and Miami is NOT an elite conference. It is NOT a launching pad to a national championship. The only top team left is Notre Dame--and they even want out (I don't buy the Hockey East rumors since it makes no sense geographically, but it's out there). Bowling Green, Northern Michigan, Lake Superior State...these aren't exactly hockey powers right now.
Basically the schools with the bigger arenas left. It isn't economically feasible for them to be in a conference full of teams with small arenas. There's less revenue to go around. The WCHA won't even consider applicants unless they have an arena capacity of at least 4000. Niagara and Canisius are severely limited in their conference choices with capacities of 2100 and 1900 (Buff State) respectively. Instead of dreaming of championships and glory, Bucky should be sounding the alarm. In a few years there won't be any conferences remaining that will have a Niagara or Canisius unless they address the arena situation.

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07-24-2011, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloed View Post
Basically the schools with the bigger arenas left. It isn't economically feasible for them to be in a conference full of teams with small arenas. There's less revenue to go around. The WCHA won't even consider applicants unless they have an arena capacity of at least 4000. Niagara and Canisius are severely limited in their conference choices with capacities of 2100 and 1900 (Buff State) respectively. Instead of dreaming of championships and glory, Bucky should be sounding the alarm. In a few years there won't be any conferences remaining that will have a Niagara or Canisius unless they address the arena situation.
It may not be an ideal conference (particularly for Niagara), but Atlantic Hockey isn't going anywhere. There's a solid 6-8 school base that functions quite happily in that cost-containment structure.

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07-24-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
Or perhaps RIT likes being a big fish in a small pond.

There are advantages to that right now for RIT.
It's not a secret that RIT is unhappy with some elements of Atlantic Hockey. They will jump at the chance to get into the ECAC...they fit in both academically and the ECAC actually has several schools that don't give scholarships either (the Ivy's as well as Union)

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07-25-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
It's not a secret that RIT is unhappy with some elements of Atlantic Hockey. They will jump at the chance to get into the ECAC...they fit in both academically and the ECAC actually has several schools that don't give scholarships either (the Ivy's as well as Union)
It will be interesting to see if they try and pair up with Niagara or Canisius to make this happen......

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07-25-2011, 02:16 PM
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I'm an ECAC man myself (Go Big Red!), haven't really been paying too much attention to the re-alignment goings on...I do think that RIT would be as decent a fit as exists for inclusion in ECAC..

Not really sure why Canisius would be considered a "sleeping giant" of college hockey since Upstate NY is pretty well saturated with hockey programs...

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07-25-2011, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
It will be interesting to see if they try and pair up with Niagara or Canisius to make this happen......
I could see it with Niagara...Canisius fits in more with the cost containment ideal of Atlantic Hockey from what I've seen since RIT joined the conference.

However, while RIT and Niagara would be natural travel partners, this would also require a couple openings in the ECAC simultaniously, which I don't necessarily see happening. It doesn't look like the Ivy's are interested in breaking off and forming their own conference, and even if they did, the remaining schools would be similar to the new CCHA at that point (albiet locationally more of a fit with RIT/Niagara).

Right now, unfortunately, it seems like the Eastern part of college hockey is pretty stable in terms of conferences. I don't see anyone out of Hockey East or the ECAC leaving those conferences due to the happenings in the midwest - BC and BU were both approached by the new super conference and declined, preferring to stay regional. For that reason, I don't see Hockey East as a possible location for ND if they can't/don't want to get into the NCHC - which would be the only circumstance where Hockey East would be forced to look for another team to get back to a balanced schedule (likely a non-Ivy ECAC school, which would create one opening - likely for RIT - in the ECAC)

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07-25-2011, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
I could see it with Niagara...Canisius fits in more with the cost containment ideal of Atlantic Hockey from what I've seen since RIT joined the conference.

However, while RIT and Niagara would be natural travel partners, this would also require a couple openings in the ECAC simultaniously, which I don't necessarily see happening. It doesn't look like the Ivy's are interested in breaking off and forming their own conference, and even if they did, the remaining schools would be similar to the new CCHA at that point (albiet locationally more of a fit with RIT/Niagara).

Right now, unfortunately, it seems like the Eastern part of college hockey is pretty stable in terms of conferences. I don't see anyone out of Hockey East or the ECAC leaving those conferences due to the happenings in the midwest - BC and BU were both approached by the new super conference and declined, preferring to stay regional. For that reason, I don't see Hockey East as a possible location for ND if they can't/don't want to get into the NCHC - which would be the only circumstance where Hockey East would be forced to look for another team to get back to a balanced schedule (likely a non-Ivy ECAC school, which would create one opening - likely for RIT - in the ECAC)
I don't see Canisius and Niagara splitting. If they move, they'll move together. Both schools have spoke of the strength of their rivalry and the impact it has on games.

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07-25-2011, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husko View Post
I don't see Canisius and Niagara splitting. If they move, they'll move together. Both schools have spoke of the strength of their rivalry and the impact it has on games.
I will agree that RIT's path to the ECAC is much more likely to be alone than with another school in tow (whether that other school is Niagara or another Atlantic Hockey school), but if Niagara wants to get back to full scholarships, they may not have a choice but to leave Cansius behind.

They can still easily schedule a home and home with Canisius every year - that's only one less game a year than currently.

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07-25-2011, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
I will agree that RIT's path to the ECAC is much more likely to be alone than with another school in tow (whether that other school is Niagara or another Atlantic Hockey school), but if Niagara wants to get back to full scholarships, they may not have a choice but to leave Cansius behind.

They can still easily schedule a home and home with Canisius every year - that's only one less game a year than currently.
Well, in all honesty, when Canisius gets their arena its going to be them leaving the rest of Buffalo in the dust.

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07-25-2011, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husko View Post
I don't see Canisius and Niagara splitting. If they move, they'll move together. Both schools have spoke of the strength of their rivalry and the impact it has on games.
I'm not so sure about that. They've had very different approachs to building their programs at the D1 level. Canisius fits perfectly with Atlantic's lower scholarship rules. Niagara has been trying to get into a major conference and went with a full amount of scholarships ever since it established a D1 mens hockey team. They're only in Atlantic Hcokey because they had no other choices after CHA folded.

Canisius drives me nuts with the cheap approach they've had with their hockey program.

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07-25-2011, 07:42 PM
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I'm not so sure about that. They've had very different approachs to building their programs at the D1 level. Canisius fits perfectly with Atlantic's lower scholarship rules. Niagara has been trying to get into a major conference and went with a full amount of scholarships ever since it established a D1 mens hockey team. They're only in Atlantic Hcokey because they had no other choices after CHA folded.

Canisius drives me nuts with the cheap approach they've had with their hockey program.
New president, new approach. Hurley has said if he can get some outside donations (Pegula) he's willing to throw down big money on an arena. I've heard Canisius is willing to dole out 15 million.

Under Cooke Canisius tried to operate without borrowing. That's why the science building progress halted as soon as funds dried up. Hurley is willing to borrow a bit, though.

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07-26-2011, 12:28 AM
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Basically the schools with the bigger arenas left. It isn't economically feasible for them to be in a conference full of teams with small arenas. There's less revenue to go around. The WCHA won't even consider applicants unless they have an arena capacity of at least 4000. Niagara and Canisius are severely limited in their conference choices with capacities of 2100 and 1900 (Buff State) respectively. Instead of dreaming of championships and glory, Bucky should be sounding the alarm. In a few years there won't be any conferences remaining that will have a Niagara or Canisius unless they address the arena situation.
Arena size has nothing to do with it. Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan were all going to leave because of B1G Ten rules that mandate conference play to begin with the addition of a 6th team (Pegula's Penn State). Ohio State never sold out its arena, it just happened to be bigger. If you look at the others that are leaving, Miami's arena is 4th smallest, Western's is 3rd, and ND's is 2nd. Now at ND we're opening up a new rink that will be 4000+, but what makes a difference isn't how big the rinks are, its how full they get and how good the teams are in them. Its near impossible to get tickets to Miami, ND sold out every night, and WMU had its best year in a long time, both in attendance and performance. Bowling Green's arena is far larger than any of the three, but I went to one game there this year (ND vs BGSU) and the place was nowhere near sold out

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