TAMPA, FL - APRIL 07: Defenseman Tommy Cross #4 of the Boston College Eagles holds up the championship trophy after defeating the Ferris State Bulldogs during the NCAA Division 1 Men's Hockey Championship Game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on April 7, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Everyone ready for a good laugh? No, seriously you are going to laugh your butt off. Earlier this week Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant wrote a column entitled "Supporting a UConn Upgrade." Basically the premise of this article is that UConn should upgrade their hockey program because they should be "competing at the elite level in that sport." Along the way the author comes up with some, uh, rather interesting reasons why UConn should be joining Hockey East.
Ok Mr. Jacobs take it away!
Make no mistake. Connecticut produces hockey talent. In a study by College Hockey Inc., Connecticut ranked 10th among the states with 37 Division I players. Connecticut is 29th in population at about 3.6 million. Among the states with at least 20 players, Connecticut ranks fourth in players per population behind Minnesota (181, 5.3 million), Massachusetts (107, 6.5 million) and Michigan (131, 9.8 million).
Let's lead off with a statistic that means absolutely nothing. Piece of logic number one: Lots of hockey players are born in Connecticut, so let's funnel tons of money into the program! So following that logic, Georgia State should apply for the SEC because well TONS OF PLAYERS ARE FROM GEORGIA! But he goes on.
More than that, Connecticut has had half a dozen key performers in the past five Frozen Fours. Goalie Jared DeMichiel from Avon led RIT into the 2010 Frozen Four. He would be equivalent to the star of the VCU Final Four basketball team. Ben Smith, Cam Atkinson, Pat Mullane and Cross played pivotal roles as BC won three of the past five national titles. We're talking big plays and big goals here. Nick Bonino, from Farmington and Avon Old Farms, led BU to the 2009 national title. Some of these guys are in the NHL now.
What Mr. Jacobs is missing here is that no matter where the athletes are born, they want to play for winners. Did Nerlens Noel want to play for Boston College? No. He chose Kentucky because he wants to win. If god forbid UConn enters the Hockey East, they are going to be the doormat of the Hockey East for decades. Elite athletes like Tommy Cross and Cam Atkinson are not going to play for a team that will be routinely curb-stomped by Boston College, Boston University and even UMass-Lowell.
They want to win. They want to play for Jerry York.
You know is great at getting local talent? UMass. They gets loads of Massachusetts talent, and they are perennially in the basement of the Hockey East. So UConn fans, you have that to look forward to. You can be the next UMass hockey team.
Location isn't that big of a deal, especially when winning elite programs are only 90 minutes down the Mass Pike.
"I think it is a long overdue thing for UConn to be in the Hockey East," Gardner said. "It would be great for Connecticut hockey. I think UConn could compete easily for all the kids in the prep schools and junior programs. There is a ton of talent playing in Connecticut right now."
Overdue for who? You? No one in the rest of the New England gives a crap if you UConn ever joins Hockey East. The Huskies will bring nothing to the table. And they are going to compete for recruits. Give me a break. I would post a picture of milk shooting through my nose but I am lactose intolerant.
"It will be a process just like it is in other sports at other state universities. There will be a couple of talented kids who'll go, have some success, and the high-end kid will follow suit."
Sounds like Chris Smith with UConn basketball and Dan Orlovsky with football, doesn't it?
So wait, Dan Orlovsky is a source of pride for UConn football? A backup QB that was awful as a starter changed the face of the football program? (more milk shoots out of my nose).
The bad news is the pro forma by Stafford Sports, which shows a current loss of $515,000 and a projected $2.2 million loss with a move to Hockey East. That includes scholarships.
There we go. Perfect solid logic on why UConn shouldn't move to the Hockey East, and of course the most important reason ... $$. Losing millions on an unproven commodity makes little sense. The state should spend that money more appropriately, like on fines and penalties Jim Calhoun accrues for the university.
As a Boston College fan, I do not want UConn joining the Hockey East. They offer nothing to the conference and would seriously hurt BC's SOS each year. There has to be other programs that could would be better fits for Hockey East now that the conference has symbolically shot themselves in the foot by allowing Notre Dame to enter.
A decision hasn't been made yet and let's just hope they keep the Huskies away from our conference. God, I sound like Gene DeFilippo.