Tag: Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly

Back to Class: Paul Kelly’s exit from College Hockey, Inc. still stinging

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN this Friday night as No. 9 Denver takes on Nebraska-Omaha. 

When College Hockey, Inc. leader Paul Kelly resigned/was asked to leave last week, it sent a shockwave through the college hockey community. After all, Kelly went from being the leader of the NHLPA to being the figurehead of college hockey’s campaign to start marketing the game better and turn it into something bigger and attempt to get it on the same level of awareness as other major college sports.

In the wake of that we’ve seen College Hockey News’ Adam Wodon get the disappointed and even angry thoughts from some college coaches about Kelly’s sudden removal only to see Kelly sound off in return via Chris Peters’ United States of Hockey blog. People are confused, the situation sounds uncomfortable, and there’s seeming disarray across the college hockey landscape.

If this were an episode of Jeopardy! the question to this would be: What are three things college hockey didn’t need right now? Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on in this, it’s up to college hockey’s leaders from the athletic directors, conference leaders, coaches and CHI’s interim leader Nate Ewell to get it all figured out and let the mission of what they’re looking to get done be what guides them or else disarray and mistrust will never go away.

Elsewhere in college hockey:

Union College wrapped up a regular season ECAC title and head into the ECAC tournament as the top seed. The playoffs kick off this weekend with the top four teams with byes. (Parting Schotts, USCHO)

Air Force took home the Atlantic Hockey regular season title and top seed in their tournament. (USCHO, CHN)

Ferris State, Michigan, and Western Michigan will be the top three seeds in the oddly set up CCHA tournament. (CHN)

Boston College throttling Providence helped move them closer to the top seed in the Hockey East tournament. (BC Interruption)

Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth are in for a Gopher-Bulldog fight down to the wire for the lead in the WCHA thanks to the Gophers sweeping Nebraska-Omaha. (USCHO)

PHT Morning Skate: Where Dean Lombardi’s job could be on the line

Dean Lombardi

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times thinks that Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s job might be on the line with how he handles things at the deadline. Perhaps providing shock collars to help the team score goals might help. (Los Angeles Times)

Meanwhile, fans in Philly wonder if Lombardi’s answers to the team’s offensive woes will come by reuniting Jeff Carter with Mike Richards in L.A. (CSNPhilly.com)

One more Kings note, they’re trying to avoid history in their next game. The Kings have never been shutout in regulation in three straight games before. It could happen tonight against Phoenix though. (L.A. Kings Insider)

Alex Ovechkin said he wasn’t hurt in last night’s 5-0 loss to Carolina, yet he was spotted limping. Hmm… (Capitals Insider)

Speaking of players with inconsistent performances of late, how about that Toronto goaltending? (TSN)

Ever wonder what it takes to be a hockey insider on the Internet and come up with a million phony trade rumors? Now you can find out. (On The Forecheck)

Speaking of trade rumors, Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner isn’t a big fan of them. (Toronto Sun)

Marc Staal is really starting to round into form nicely of late. (Ranger Rants)

Vincent Lecavalier is definitely out of tonight’s game against Anaheim. (Lightning Strikes)

We might have to start calling Jets coach Claude Noel “Debbie Downer” for how he accentuates the negatives with his team. (Winnipeg Sun)

College Hockey note: Paul Kelly stepped down as head of College Hockey, Inc. after he was told to either resign or be fired. Yikes. (USCHO)

Must-click link: Explaining the NCAA-CHL battle for players

Paul Kelly
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If you’re unaware of the ongoing feud between the NCAA, specifically College Hockey Inc., and the Canadian Hockey League, The Sporting News’ Craig Custance breaks everything down for you easily in his piece discussing the ugly battle between the organizations to bring in the best young hockey talent in North America.

While both sides of the battle dig in and engage in their own sort of turf war and mudslinging campaign to prove that their group is the best one for a young, hopeful NHL talent, the NHL stands on the sidelines watching it all unfold carefully while their own Collective Bargaining Agreement may be the thing helping make this feud all the more difficult.

With the salary cap being what it is and teams needing to continue developing their own talent, more and more young players are getting the call to fill out the organizational ranks. That means more kids sign on and turn pro which means college hockey takes a hit with each kid that jumps to the pros early as the NCAA is a strictly amateur organization. Once you start getting paid to play, you’re done in college. Such is not the case in the CHL and a big reason why more kids are winding up there rather than sticking to NCAA commitments among other reasons.

Just how ugly and awkward is it though? Custance details things from both sides hearing from College Hockey Inc.’s Paul Kelly and CHL commissioner David Branch among others. If you want to know more of what the deal in the amateur ranks, consider this your Cliffs Notes.

Hockey Day Preview: College hockey getting noticed in the NHL, building roots for fans

Stanley Cup Blackhawks

Hockey Day In America is turning the focus on the roots of the game in America as well as the fans and support that Americans give to the game. We’ve seen pond hockey show the game at it’s most basic roots, we’ve seen community leaders bring the game to the people as a means to help the kids out, and there’s another area of the game that flies under the radar to a degree in America. College hockey in the United States has played a huge role in helping build the talent pool in the NHL as well as making the game more popular across the country.

Take a look around at the rosters of the teams playing in each of the games during Hockey Day In America and you’ll find a team that’s well represented by guys who spent some or all their time in the NCAA honing their skills before reaching the NHL.

Washington: David Steckel (Ohio St.), Mike Knuble (Michigan), Matt Hendricks (St. Cloud State), Tom Poti (Boston U.)

Buffalo: Mike Grier (Boston U.), Nathan Gerbe (Boston College), Jordan Leopold (Minnesota), Drew Stafford (North Dakota), Thomas Vanek (Minnesota), Chris Butler (U of Denver)

Philadelphia: James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire), Andreas Nodl (St. Cloud State), Darroll Powe (Princeton), Matt Carle (U of Denver)

New York Rangers: Brian Boyle (Boston College), Derek Stepan (Wisconsin), Matt Gilroy (Boston U.), Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin)

Detroit: Justin Abdelkader (Michigan St.) Drew Miller (Michigan St.), Patrick Eaves (Boston College), Brian Rafalski (Wisconsin), Jimmy Howard (Maine)

Minnesota: Matt Cullen (St. Cloud State), Chuck Kobasew (Boston College), John Madden (Michigan), Eric Nystrom (Michigan), Greg Zanon (Nebraska-Omaha)

Chicago: Jonathan Toews (North Dakota), John Scott (Michigan Tech), Fernando Pisani (Providence College), Duncan Keith (Michigan St.), Marty Turco (Michigan), Nick Leddy (Minnesota), Jordan Hendry (U of Alaska), Patrick Sharp (Vermont), Viktor Stalberg (Vermont), Ryan Johnson (North Dakota), Jake Dowell (Wisconsin)

Pittsburgh: Craig Adams (Harvard), Chris Conner (Michigan Tech), Nick Johnson (Dartmouth), Chris Kunitz (Ferris State),  Brett Sterling (Colorado College), Joe Vitale (Northeastern), Alex Goligoski (Minnesota), Brooks Orpik (Boston College), Ben Lovejoy (Dartmouth), Paul Martin (Minnesota)

Mind you, this list is just of the guys you’re likely to see play during Hockey Day In America. You won’t get to see Boston University’s Chris Drury, University of Michigan’s Mike Comrie, or Western Michigan’s Mark Letestu thanks to injuries. Just looking at the array of guys that played college hockey on Chicago and Pittsburgh’s roster is stunning on its own.

While the NCAA and the CHL are going through their own brand of cold war regarding recruitment of players, one thing both leagues can boast is the uncanny ability to produce the next set of great players to come along in the NHL.

The work the coaches and institutions across college hockey have done in building themselves up into an even more viable entity for kids with an eye on the pros to go to has been a long time in development. With former head of the NHLPA Paul Kelly now in charge of College Hockey, Inc. the amount of attention that will be brought to the college game will only grow. The annual Frozen Four is generally when fans will hear most about the college game, but Kelly’s duties will be to help make it more of a season-round thing as well as doing their part to throw their weight around when dealing with the CHL.

While Canadian junior hockey is still the main go-to spot for teams to find NHL talent coming up through the ranks, the NCAA with the likes of Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith helping draw more attention to where their roots in the game came from is getting noticed a lot more. For a lot of fans it’s just hockey all the same to them, but for Americans a lot of their roots in the game came from rooting on the local college team, something yours truly can vouch for personally.