Thursday, February 12, 2009
NCAA/CHL Border War
Good news for Canadians who would like the chance to watch more NCAA hockey on TV. Starting on February 20th, Rogers Sportsnet is going to be showing games out of the Hockey East Conference with the first match being Boston University against New Hampshire.
The press release was posted at the BCHL's official website and has some really inflammatory comments attached to it coming from BU head coach Jack Parker. Here is the release.
This will be interesting on a few different fronts. We've seen a growing number of players leave the NCAA in favor of the CHL including Adam Pineault and Jim O'Brien. The OHL has definitely plundered the pre-NCAA drowd with guys like John Carlson and Trevor Lewis in recent years. Earlier this year it happended to Cornell when a committed recruit, Jordan Escott, jumped ship to the QMJHL's PEI Rocket.
Coach Parker might have good reason to complain about the competition for players that NCAA schools are getting but as Dean and I have argued in the past, perhaps the NCAA should think about changing the way it restricts players so that 18-year-old and younger kids from Jr. A and Major Junior could still have their NCAA eligibility.
The other aspect of this which will get interesting is broken down well by Greg Drinnan HERE.
Millard pointed out to me that some NCAA hockey can be found via the Big Ten (channel 57 on Shaw Digital) but someone smarter than me can figure out which schools in the Big Ten Conference also have hockey programs and what conference they play in (I'm guessing mostly CCHA?).
Of course the NHL Network also has provided a little NCAA hockey coverage this year, mostly CCHA but mostly matches of the ho-hum variety as Bowling Green seems to be a favorite team (Although Yale vs Union is on this Friday if that catches your fancy).