Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

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Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby mbenecke » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:13 am

Well, the magical run has finally come to an end.

What a season it has been! The highlight for mes would have to include...
-An 8-2 opening night victory over Mercyhurst
-A 6-2, 4-1 sweep of Western Michigan on Tuesday nights in October
-The 8-2 Friday night creaming in Columbus, followed by seeing a sold-out Slater Family Ice Arena the next night (we need more of this next year, for EVERY home game)
-The 4-1, 4-1 sweep on Minnesota State in December
-The 7-1 win on Senior Night
-The dramatic comeback in Game 1 against Tech in the playoffs, followed by a 6-2 win the following night
-The 6-1 win in Marquette, followed by the 2-1 game winner by Sam Craggs in 2OT to send us to the championship
-Seeing all the BG fans that made the trip to Mankato for the WCHA Championship Game
-Making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990 and coming within a goal of advancing to a regional final

The senior class of Adam Smith, Stephen Baylis, John Schilling, Connor McDonald, Chris Pohlkamp, Matt Meier, and Shane Bednard was certainly a successful one. They won 91 games over their 4 years here, and they reached 2 WCHA Championship Games in 3 years, while also helping to break the NCAA Tournament drought. I'm extremely thankful to have had the pleasure to watch each of them contribute the last few years, and I certainly wish them the best in whatever is next for them.

Now... we're in the off-season. It's expected to be an eventful one, with lots of rumors swirling about personnel/staff and scheduling for next year, so I figured I would start this thread so we would have a spot to keep it all. So any BG hockey news, or related/interesting WCHA or NCAA hockey news this off-season can go below.

Thanks for a great season, everyone! Go Falcons!
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby Falconwriter » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:47 pm

Just went over and lurked on the Miami athletics site...there's a fairly long discussion thread about who will be their new hockey coach.

Bergeron is a name mentioned quite prominently...but the fans have others they'd probably prefer. Bergeron's style is seen as too plodding for the NCHC, and the big question is whether he can adapt it for success in that league. There's also the issue of recruiting; can he recruit the type of player (more up tempo) that would be needed for success, given his coaching style and history.

If money is an issue for Bergeron, then Miami would be a much better job. They paid their just-fired coach around $360,000 this past season, which is twice what Bergeron made at BG in the fourth year of an 8-year deal (he was at $185,000 this season). His buyout at BG is $150,000, and Miami fans are speculating that they could pay that and a salary of $250,000 to start, and be about where they have been. Miami has put a ton of money into hockey via alums through endowments...and they still see hockey as the most likely sport to get them a national title.

Those kinds of endowed scholarships are, I'm sure, what BG is striving to do. I have to believe that Moose and staff are working at trying to get all of the very successful former BG guys to be those types of donors (if they aren't already). I'd hope that, someday, they might be able to put together a group of them to get a huge endowment for the program. It could be done via estate gifts, if not outright donations. Scott Slater has shown the way through his generosity...we just have to hope others are following (or will follow) his lead.

As for the coaching situation...I am hoping Bergeron stays to try and reap the benefits of the program he rebuilt, but I'd understand someone wanting to return to their alma mater, all things considered.

The next question for BG is: if Bergeron is hired by MU, who would be a realistic candidate to replace him, given BG's more limited resources? Is there anyone on the current staff that might be a good choice to take that next step? Even if there's a decent candidate or two on staff, I'd want them to open the search up and examine all possibilities.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby pdt1081 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:08 pm

Falconwriter wrote:Just went over and lurked on the Miami athletics site...there's a fairly long discussion thread about who will be their new hockey coach.

Bergeron is a name mentioned quite prominently...but the fans have others they'd probably prefer. Bergeron's style is seen as too plodding for the NCHC, and the big question is whether he can adapt it for success in that league. There's also the issue of recruiting; can he recruit the type of player (more up tempo) that would be needed for success, given his coaching style and history.

BG was 2-1 against the NCHC this season, with the loss being against the conference tournament champion in overtime. A bad bounce for BG sent that game to OT.
If money is an issue for Bergeron, then Miami would be a much better job. They paid their just-fired coach around $360,000 this past season, which is twice what Bergeron made at BG in the fourth year of an 8-year deal (he was at $185,000 this season). His buyout at BG is $150,000, and Miami fans are speculating that they could pay that and a salary of $250,000 to start, and be about where they have been. Miami has put a ton of money into hockey via alums through endowments...and they still see hockey as the most likely sport to get them a national title.
I don't think that small of a raise will get him there. He's literally built this program back to a tournament contender. His kids are still in high school and he has a decent team returning for next season (so far). Miami needs a complete rebuild and overhaul.
Those kinds of endowed scholarships are, I'm sure, what BG is striving to do. I have to believe that Moose and staff are working at trying to get all of the very successful former BG guys to be those types of donors (if they aren't already). I'd hope that, someday, they might be able to put together a group of them to get a huge endowment for the program. It could be done via estate gifts, if not outright donations. Scott Slater has shown the way through his generosity...we just have to hope others are following (or will follow) his lead.

Wasn't part of the Bring Back the Glory campaign to endow the scholarships? I don't remember all the details. I do remember thinking the goal was set way too low.
As for the coaching situation...I am hoping Bergeron stays to try and reap the benefits of the program he rebuilt, but I'd understand someone wanting to return to their alma mater, all things considered.

The next question for BG is: if Bergeron is hired by MU, who would be a realistic candidate to replace him, given BG's more limited resources? Is there anyone on the current staff that might be a good choice to take that next step? Even if there's a decent candidate or two on staff, I'd want them to open the search up and examine all possibilities.

As I said in the other thread, with 3 current NHL GMs and 2 current NHL coaches, I would hope Moose has already reached out to them. Asking for help and advice in renegotiating with Bergeron if necessary. As well as for a list of candidates in case that battle is lost.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby TalonsUpPuckDown » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:56 pm

Other speculation: early departures.
o Bednard
o Rauhauser
o Craggs

Anybody else?
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby AZIce » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:11 pm

Bednard's a 3 year draft pick now so he has to sign with Florida this off season or he becomes a free agent. I would imagine he will sign if they offer and I doubt they want to waste the draft pick. So that means Zach Rose comes in this Fall. He was injured for most of this season in juniors.

Kruse can and should come back. He still needs a lot of work in his own end and I'm sure George and Vegas want him to stay here another year and continue to work on his game.

Rauhauser is a free agent, again. If he comes back I would think he is the Captain. So I guess the pull of whatever contract offers he gets will be up against staying for a Senior year as the Falcon captain.

I don't see any of the other Sophomores leaving. They all need work on their games, however sometimes guys just leave or sign for unkown reasons so we'll see.

If Bednard signs that means 8 guys are leaving and 9 are slated to come in this Fall, so someone else on the current roster will either not be back or not receiving aid, one or the other........or they already know Alec is gone.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby TommyG » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:14 pm

Stylistically wouldn’t be an issue for Bergeron in the NCHC. Recruiting and quality of competition would be the question. Regardless BG shouldn’t bend over backward to keep him. If he wants a raise give him championship incentives. More money for reaching NCAA or winning a WCHA title. Making the NCAA tournament is a nice accomplishment but it isn’t like we really had a great season. Bergeron says that himself in his postgame quotes.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby Falconwriter » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:43 pm

TommyG wrote:Stylistically wouldn’t be an issue for Bergeron in the NCHC. Recruiting and quality of competition would be the question. Regardless BG shouldn’t bend over backward to keep him. If he wants a raise give him championship incentives. More money for reaching NCAA or winning a WCHA title. Making the NCAA tournament is a nice accomplishment but it isn’t like we really had a great season. Bergeron says that himself in his postgame quotes.


I haven't watched his postgame presser yet, but I give him high marks for being honest. BG had a good season, not a great one. Yes, they broke the drought, and that is important, but in the two most important games of the season, they failed to maintain leads very late in the games, and then lost in overtime. I am NOT being critical (trust me, I appreciate everything this team did) just acknowledging the warts of the season, as Bergeron did.

Like it or not, without championship incentives, Bergeron can basically double his salary and return to his alma mater (not a small thing). Probably the biggest thing in BG's favor right now is the home life stability of not uprooting your kids from school and making that big of a move.

If BG did do endowments during that campaign, I do not recall reading that is what was done. I also felt like the goal was a bit low, at the time, but the program WAS saved, so no complaints. I know Moose's mindset on this issue very well (and that of his assistants) and endowing sports is at the top of their to-do list...always.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby TommyG » Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:34 pm

They tried to endow scholarships during the BBTG campaign but weren’t very successful. Almost all the money came from the University and making budget and scholarship cuts to other sports. Understandably no one was really excited to donate money with GregChristopher in charge. It was well known he’d take money from sports to cover expenses that FB couldn’t cover.

If Bergeron can get a big raise at Miami, more power to him. I’d wish him the best and happily move on.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby mbenecke » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:33 pm

TalonsUpPuckDown wrote:Other speculation: early departures.
o Bednard
o Rauhauser
o Craggs

Anybody else?


In talking with others, I would add Johnson and Kruse to this list, though they both seemed pretty intent on being back next year during the post-game presser yesterday. I think Kruse is the more pro-ready of the two, but I think he could use another year of bulking up to prepare for the next level. His skating is fantastic and he's typically pretty great handling the puck and running the point on the PP, but I think he'll be back for at least one more year.

Bednard, I could go either way on him. I would love for him to stay and be the most dominant netminder in college hockey next year, but I don't know what his plans are - he's tough to read. It's certainly been a pleasure to watch him the last 2 years. If he goes, I think we're in good hands with Dop as our 1 and Rose as the backup.

Rauhauser, I think he stays. If he wanted to leave early, he should have gone after last season, as his production this year didn't quite stand out in the same way - I think he had like 13ish less points. He's obviously a fantastic hockey player, and the fact that he's on the "older" end of college hockey could be a wildcard, but I think he's back next year.

Craggs is super hard to judge. When he's on his game, he's a fantastic hockey player. When he's being physical and aggressive, it's hard to stop him. That said, he can get a little too much blood on his hands at times, and it sometimes can take away from what the team is trying to do. I could see him going pro (I've heard the Oilers are interested), but I think he'll be back next year to wear a "C" or an "A" alongside Rauhauser.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby mbenecke » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:39 pm

What are you guys thinking for non-conference scheduling next season?

We'll have RIT and then either WMU or OSU in the Ice Breaker in mid-October, but I'm not sure about anything else. I have heard rumblings about a home and home with a different B1G opponent, but I don't know who it would be yet. My guess would be Michigan or Notre Dame.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby pdt1081 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:00 pm

TalonsUpPuckDown wrote:Other speculation: early departures.
o Bednard
o Rauhauser
o Craggs

Anybody else?

I'm sure there are some that are contingent on the coaching situation. After a season like this, it would be difficult to stick around for someone new not knowing if you'll fit that coach's style.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby mbenecke » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:18 pm

Bednard signed a contract with the Panthers this afternoon, so he's giving up his senior season. he has certainly earned this opportunity, and I couldn't be happier for him.

Dop and Rose it is.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby TalonsUpPuckDown » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:49 pm

mbenecke wrote:Bednard signed a contract with the Panthers this afternoon, so he's giving up his senior season. he has certainly earned this opportunity, and I couldn't be happier for him.

Dop and Rose it is.


Good to see we're continuing the BG tradition of one-syllable goaltender names.
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby TalonsDownForWhat » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:21 pm

Heard from a donor close to the program that Berg has a 400k a year contract from Miami in front of him. Senior Administration is working on a short list of coaches to bring in
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Re: Off-Season 2019 (Speculation/News)

Postby TalonsUpPuckDown » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:24 pm

Miami State is shelling out $550 in year one with a potential for another $400k if Rico can’t land a gig? Wow. Those are OSU dollars.
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