New College Hockey Conference Discussions Progressing
The rumors have been out there for months now, but the new proposed college hockey conference is starting to take form. In the most recent turn of events, Minnesota-Duluth has been invited into the discussions.
The current status seems to be that (5) WCHA members would join with Notre Dame and Miami (OH) to form a 7 team conference. Western Michigan is also in the mix as the likely 8th school to be included.
Possibly from CCHA:
The rationale of forming the new conference would be to compete at a higher level, to match the newly formed Big Ten conferences sponsorship of the spot. Competing at the level of Hockey East is also a goal.
Things get interesting though when you look at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is in an interesting spot. They would benefit from being in this new conference, opposed to remaining in the current CCHA.
But the school will still lobby to join Hockey East. Granted, it’s not like it’s Big East hockey, but Notre Dame would likely get many similar benefits in Hockey East: large catholic fan base of the current Hockey East schools, even better recruiting access to the northeast for hockey.
If Notre Dame were out of the new conference mix, then Western michigan fills the #7 spot and perhaps they look elsewhere for a #8.
“There’s talk that a resolution on a new Super League could come in July or by Labor Day. The current 12-team WCHA already has schedules for the next two seasons.”
There had been rumors that a current Hockey East school was in the mix as well. However, that seems more unlikely given the geographic footprint of this new conference which would range from Colorado, to Nebraska, north to North Dakota, east to Minnesota, into Michigan and south into Indiana and Ohio. It would make less sense for any Hockey East school to leave their current conference as all members are in the New England region.