College Hockey has learned that, contrary to published reports,
former Lake Superior State head coach Jeff Jackson is not
a candidate for the vacant coaching position at Union.
in fact, never spoke to anyone from Union or even considered
applying for the position. What's more, Inside College Hockey
has learned that Jackson will be introduced as an assistant
coach with an NHL team shortly.
who won two national championships with Lake State, served
as the first head coach of the USA Hockey National Team
Development Program and later coached the Guelph Storm in
the OHL. He had applied for the Vermont vacancy that was
filled by former Union head coach Kevin Sneddon.
search, instead, will likely focus on several assistant
coaches, including former Skating Dutchmen assistants Kevin
Patrick (currently an assistant at Bowling Green) and John
Micheletto (currently at Notre Dame). Those two and Dartmouth
assistant Dave Peters are confirmed candidates; Massachusetts
assistant Bill Gilligan has pulled himself out of the running.
Union assistants Greg Klym and Andrew Will are candidates
for the position as well. Former Clarkson head coach Mark
Morris has applied. David Quinn, the U.S. Under-17 coach
with the National Team Development Program, was mentioned
as a possible candidate early on, but is not pursuing the
for more college hockey this summer?
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Naturally, in our league, you can only take former
DOS, TRES RETURNING DEFENSEMEN
be surprised if Nebraska-Omaha coach Mike Kemp repeatedly
asks future recruits – especially defensemen –
if they planning on spending a full four years in a Mavericks
to a variety of reasons, namely defections to the professional
ranks and major junior teams, UNO returns just three blueliners
with game experience in 2003-04. Of the three returnees,
only senior-to-be Mike Gabinet boasts more than one year
of experience. Joel Andresen appeared in 37 games as a freshman,
while Chris Claffey, who will be a junior this season, was
limited to nine games in 2002-03.
first to go was freshman Craig Zubursky, who bolted after
two games to join the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay
Ice. He’ll be joined in the WHL next season by former
teammate Cody Blanshan, who last week announced he was leaving
the program for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Smith, who would have been a senior this season, was a forward
who was moved to defense last year. Having finished course
work at UNO, he’s chosen to pursue a professional
career. It’s the same path classmate Jason Jaworski
took after the Mavericks’ 2002-03 campaign ended.
He latched on with the United Hockey League’s Muskegon
Fury for seven games. Throw in the graduation of two-time
All-American Greg Zanon, and the Mavs are wafer-thin on
is bringing in three defensemen in Phil Angell (Topeka,
USHL), Matt Eickman (Lincoln, USHL) and Bobby Henderson
(Chilliwack, BCHL) this fall. Still, don’t expect
senior netminder Dan Ellis – arguably the college
game’s most overworked goaltender – to get a
respite this season.
OF THE CBA
wisdom holds that a major labor impasse looms for the National
Hockey League in the fall of 2004, when the current Collective
Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires.
that could come changes in the salary structure for entry-level
players. The current CBA calls for a base salary cap of
$1.24 million per year for entry-level players drafted in
2003 – a number that could certainly come down for
the future in the next CBA, since NHL owners seem determined
to hold down costs wherever they can.
that, some college hockey fans have speculated, wouldn’t
it make sense for a player like Minnesota’s Thomas
Vanek – taken fifth overall by Buffalo in this year’s
draft – to make the jump now? He’d get his million-plus
per year paycheck, and not risk a collapse of the salary
cap in the new CBA.
that logic doesn’t necessarily hold, according to
sources familiar with the CBA. The entry-level salary cap
is set based upon your draft year, and in the past new CBAs
have not changed rules like that retroactively. (Undrafted
free agents, however, would be subject to the new cap, or
at least an average between the new cap and the last year
they were draft-eligible.)
the cap could conceivably be renegotiated during the next
round of talks. But signing now wouldn’t remove all
risks for someone like Vanek, precisely because those talks
haven’t begun yet. A prolonged lockout in 2004-05
would leave those players without any paycheck – and
the only way they could return to college hockey, if they
signed this summer, would be to join the rest of us in the
of professional hockey players think “giving back
to the community” means leaving a 20 percent tip.
know better, and perhaps it’s not surprising that
ex-college players are leading the way in that regard. Half
of the nominees for the 2003 Professional Hockey Players’
Association Man of the Year Award – including recipient
Syl Apps – played college hockey.
a Princeton alum, plays for the Trenton Titans of the ECHL.
He started The Character Project, a non-profit group that
provides Trenton adolescents with access to quality academic
and athletic programs, and participated in a number of other
professional hockey players, we are very fortunate to be
able to do what we do for a living,” said Apps. “It
gives us a great opportunity to give back to the community
and the fans who support us.”
PHPA – an organization of minor-league hockey players
– established the US Airways Man of the Year award
in 1999. Other nominees with college hockey backgrounds
included Ray Giroux (Yale), Casey Hankinson (Minnesota),
David Hymovitz (Boston College), John Jakopin (Merrimack),
Ben Simon (Notre Dame), Clint Way (Michigan Tech) and Erik
IN THE BIGS – SORT OF
head coach Rick Gotkin and assistant coach Dave Smith will
take part in the second annual Pittsburgh Penguins Summer
Coaching Clinic this Saturday, speaking alongside new Penguins
coach Eddie Olczyk to local amateur and high school coaches.
will address offensive strategies, while Smith focuses on
defense. The clinic will be held at the Island Sports Center,
which is scheduled to become home to Robert Morris’s
new Division I program in 2005.
meant to Olczyk, but he’d do well to take notes while
the Laker staff makes their speeches. His job with the Penguins
is his first behind the bench at any level, and as Reg Dunlop
might say, “we’re not exactly the Boston Bruins.”
hockey is well represented on the 2003 USA Hockey InLine
National Team, which will compete in the World Championship
next week in Germany.
of the 16 players have college hockey ties, including Lee
Sweatt, a defenseman who will play at Colorado College in
graduate Ernie Hartlieb will captain the team, while his
former teammate from Oxford, Jason Deskins, will be an assistant
captain along with former Wisconsin Badger Chris Nelson.
Those three, along with former Western Michigan goaltender
Jeff Reynaert, all played for Team USA in 2002.
named to the team were Justin Morrison (Colorado College),
Doug Nolan (UMass Lowell), Geno Parrish (St. Cloud State),
Jason Sessa (Lake Superior) and Joe Bonvie (Salem State).