Monday 31 July 2023

OUA Signings In The ECHL

It's been pretty awesome to see a number of former U SPORTS players getting a shot to show their stuff in the ECHL in this upcoming season with all the signings that have happened over the summer. No one is saying that all of these players will have team-changing seasons, but the fact that all of them come out of U SPORTS programs and are older and more physically mature than your normal undrafted signings makes them, in my view, more valuable. There are still roster spots that need to be filled so the chances of seeing more players signed is still good, but today we have four updates that all involve former OUA players scribbling their names on ECHL contracts!

We'll start with the Atlanta Gladiators who brought in some leadership and solid scoring by signing Ryan Cranford out of Queen's University! The former alternate captain and team captain of the Golden Gaels finished his third year with Queen's with seven goals and four assists, but posted 22 goals and 15 assists in 72 OUA games. Cranford also played four seasons in the OHL, including an overage season where was captain, with the Kingston Frontenacs where his best season came in his final season in 2018-19 where he scored 19 goals and 21 assists in 65 games. We hope to see Ryan suit up for his first professional hockey game in the ECHL on Saturday, October 21 when the Gladiators host the Savannah Ghost Pirates!

A Kelly Cup champion is on the move as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits announced on Thursday that they had signed Jake Smith to a deal. Smith played with the Iowa Heartlanders, Norfolk Admirals, and the Florida Everblades last season, capturing a Kelly Cup with the Everblades after being traded for future considerations twice. The former Carleton Ravens forward played one season in the OUA in 2018-19, notching 17 goals and 18 assists in 27 games before making the jump to the SPHL in 2019-20 with the Evansville Thunderbolts. After playing the following season with the Birmingham Bulls, Smith landed in the ECHL in 2021-22 with the Kansas City Mavericks before getting dealt to the Heartlanders. In 116 ECHL games, Smith has scored 47 goals and 44 assists, and is looking to help Greenville to a Kelly Cup championship!

The next player was re-signed by the team he finished last season with, but he has a unique OUA career. That's former Ottawa Gee Gees defender Connor Russell to the right who was re-signed by the Jacksonville Icemen on Thursday after a 2022-23 season that saw him registed one assist in 16 games after being loaned to the Icemen from the SPHL's Huntsville Havoc following a short stint with the South Carolina Stingrays who called him up from the Havoc earlier in the season. If that's not confusing enough, Russell played 37 games with the Ottawa Gee Gees before transferring to Brock University where he played in just seven games for the Badgers, registering a total of 11 assists in 44 OUA games. He's played in seven places over the last seven years, so let's hope that Jacksonville becomes a little more permanent for Russell this season after a solid showing last year!

The Fort Wayne Komets went back to the U SPORTS pool of players to sign another rookie today as they inked former Nipissing Lakers defenceman Jordan Spadafore to a deal! Spadafore spent 38 games in North Bay with the Lakers where he scored one goal and seven assists over two OUA seasons from 2021-23, but Spadafore's strengths show up in the defensive zone where he plays a tough style of defence while blocking shots and finishing checks. The 22 year-old will make his professional debut this season with the Komets, and we'll hopefully see him in uniform in the season opener when Fort Wayne visits the Indy Fire on Friday, October 20!

Those are the four players signed from U SPORTS in the last week who will presumably play in the ECHL this season. Knowing how the ECHL works, they may not finish their seasons where they signed, but that's the nature of the beast in minor professional hockey. My hope is that they all have incredible seasons that end well!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday 30 July 2023

HBIC Summer Project: Gordie Howe, Newsy Lalonde, And Baseball

When I started writing these biographies on people associated with the AAGPBL that had a significant hockey story to tell as well, I always knew that I'd find someone whose information was just bits and pieces rather than being a full story. The person being biographied today falls into that "bits and pieces" category, but some deep dives into who he was led me to discover the image to the left! Yes, we're not talking about a female baseball player today, but the man to the left has a hockey trophy named for his service in Regina, Saskatchewan as a long-time scout in the area. That trophy is the Hub Bishop Most Sportsmanlike Award that's given to a Regina Pats player annually for showing good sportsmanship, and the man it was named for is Hubert "Hub" Bishop who worked in the Regina area scouting hockey, but spent his time on the planet working in a number of capacities including finding players for the AAGPBL!

Hubert Bishop wasn't always a hockey scout nor was he a baseball scout to begin his career in sports. Bishop actually was involved with the Western Canadian union senior rugby scene at the time when he was promoting hockey in Saskatoon. It should be noted that the Western Canadian union senior rugby circuit was the precursor to the founding of the Canadian Football League, and Bishop was the secretary of the league back in 1923! Say what you want about executives like Gary Bettman moving from the NBA to the NHL in today's game, but it seems that Bishop was one of the first executives to switch jobs and switch sports as his career moved forward. Without knowing Bishop's birthday, it's hard to determine how old he was in 1923, but he certainly was old enough to hold a prominent position in western Canada's premier rugby league! That's pretty cool considering what became of that league!

It should be noted that Bishop was also working with the Saskatoon Shieks who played in the Western Canada Hockey League and Prairie Hockey League from 1922 to 1928. He makes reference of being the secretary for that team in a 1964 Letter to the Editor he sent to The Glengarry News in Alexandria, Ontario where he saw the likes of Newsy Lalonde, George Hainsworth, and the Cook brothers play.
As long-winded as that Letter to the Editor is, Bishop references a couple of other hockey teams in the letter which we'll get to in a second. It seems, however, that he wasn't a fan of hockey's "razzle-dazzle brand" seen in the 1960s, and he officially chose football as the sport he most closely followed. To each their own, I suppose.

The irony of him referencing those players is that Hub Bishop sold all of them in 1926 to various NHL teams. As per the article to the left from the Manitoba Free Press, he sold Newsy Lalonde to the New York Americans, the Cook brothers to the Ottawa Senators, and four players - including George Hainsworth - to the Toronto St. Patricks. Imagine being the guy who sold five future Hall of Fame players to NHL teams. There aren't many people in hockey who can claim that distinction!

One of the other teams he referenced in his lengthy Letter to the Editor were the Saskatoon Quakers, and he indicated he was the President of the amateur league in which the 1934 Sasaktoon Quakers played. That's notable because they won the 1934 World Hockey Championship in Milan, Italy.

He also mentioned that he promoted his brother's team, the Battleford Millers, when they became the first Canadian team to visit Japan to play hockey. As per the article on the right, the team spent 24 days in Japan playing hockey, leaving Vancouver by boat on March 2, 1935 and arriving in Yokohama on March 15. The trip back would see them leave from Hiye Maru on April 9 and arrive in Vancouver by April 20. Four games would be played in Tokyo (spelled Tokio) and two more would be played in Kwansai with the Battleford squad meeting Japanese university students, a Manchurian team, the Nikko team made up of employees at the Ashio Copper Mine, an all-Japan team, and possibly the Oji Paper Mills team. The tour saw the Canadians win all seven games they played, and the smallest goal differential was 13. The reason for the invitation was that that Japanese teams wanted to prepare for the 1936 Olympic Games by playing high-level competition, and they certainly found it in the Millers. For the record, Canada finished as the silver medalist at the 1936 Olympics while Japan placed ninth.

By 1940, it seemed that higher levels of hockey had taken notice of Bishop's skills as a hockey administrator. In February of that year, the Cleveland Barons of the International-American Hockey League began setting up a "'farm' affiliation" across North America. Tha meant setting up a number of franchises with new opportunities, but it also meant they needed more scouts to sign players to fill rosters for player development. Cleveland, coached by Bill Cook, named Hub Bishop as the scout in Regina who would find players from in and around the southern Saskatchewan city who could be signed. This will be important in a few years for another team that employed Bishop's scouting services when it came to a player who could have changed the fortunes of one team before landing with another team!

In 1943 while working as the western scout for the New York Rangers, Bishop discovered a lanky 15 year-old kid from Floral, Saskatchewan who he hurriedly sent to Winnipeg that fall for training camp under the watch of Lester Patrick. The kid played well despite taking some ribbing from the veterans about his build, but Lester Patrick was unhappy about a hip check he had thrown against one of the Rangers' veterans. Add in that the young man was homesick, and it seemed that the Rangers weren't going to have him as part of their team just yet. Instead, they offered him a C-form which would have made him New York Rangers property and wanted to send him to a Catholic school in Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. Being that this young man wasn't Catholic, he balked at the suggestion and refused to sign the C-form, returning home to Saskatchewan where things were far more familiar.

The young man that Bishop had discovered? He was none other than Gordie Howe!

Bishop was responsible for a number of western Canadian players heading to the NHL thanks to his scouting, and it's pretty clear that his influence on both the hockey and football world can't be overlooked. If this was just a hockey article, you might be satisfied in knowing a little more about Hubert D. Bishop, but we have another sport to discuss because Bishop may have found the player around whom Penny Marshall centered her movie.

What About Baseball?

I had mentioned former NHL player Johnny Gottselig in Olive Bend's biography, and he plays another role here. Gottselig grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan where he played for the Regina Pats, so he knew of Hub Bishop's work in and around Regina as a scout and administrator for teams.

Gottselig played 16 seasons for the Black Hawks between 1928 and 1945, and Philip Wrigley's familiarity with some of the Black Hawks players gave him the opportunity to hire Gottselig as a scout for his new girls' baseball league starting in the spring of 1943. Obviously, one man wouldn't be enough manpower to find talent in all corners of the map, so he sought out help. Thanks to his upbringing in Regina along with managing the Blackhawks' Kansas City farm team, Gottselig reached out to a number of hockey scouts for help in recruiting baseball talent. Hub Bishop was one of the men he contacted to find players in Saskatchewan!

As we know, a number of women came to the AAGPBL from Saskatchewan, but one of the first players that was recruited by Bishop was Mary "Bonnie" Baker (née George) from Regina. Baker was a Saskatchewan softball champion in 1940, and was playing with the Army and Navy Bombers in Regina when Bishop came to find her. Working as a clerk at the Army and Navy store during the day, Bishop offered her the chance to follow her dreams to play professional baseball in the new league being created by Wrigley after her husband was sent overseas by the Canadian military. She attended training camp in that inaugural season, played well, and the South Bend Blue Sox selected Baker for their team.

Baker was described as a five-tool player in her time as she hit for average, flashed some power, ran like the wind, was defensively sound, and had a great arm. Being a former model, she often appeared in photographs promoting the league which helped to spur her popularity as "the face of the league". She holds the record for playing the most games in the AAGPBL, she was named as an all-star twice in the league, and she never hit lower that .208 in her nine seasons in the league, finishing with a .235 career average. He 94 stolen bases in 1946 led the league in that season, and she had 80-or-more hits in seven of her nine seasons in the AAGPBL!

Because she was in a lot of the publicity for the league, it's rumoured that Penny Marshall based the character of Dottie Hinson on Mary Baker in her film A League of Their Own. While not all of Hinson's depictions in the movie are based on Baker's real-life stats and activities, Baker was considered one of the top players in the circuit and one of the best catchers in the league's history. And while I'm not suggesting in any way that Jon Lovitz's portrayal of scout Ernie Capadino was close to the real-life persona of Hub Bishop, we can't discount the fact that Bishop was the person who put Mary Baker into the AAGPBL!

Bishop was also responsible for finding a number of other top players such as Arleene "Johnnie" Johnson, but it's pretty incredible to think that a man who started in rugby and hockey may have been responsible for getting one of the AAGPBL's best players into the league! It seems Bishop had an eye for talent in a number of sports!

The Accolades

As a guy who worked behind the scenes, there aren't a lot of accolades for Hubert Bishop. For the guys on the ground and in the trenches, they never are singled out for distinction, but it should be noted that the WHL's Regina Pats honour Hubert Bishop's memory with an annual award they give out to a team member. The Hub Bishop Most Sportsmanlike Award is that annual trophy, and Tye Spencer was the winner of that award this season. Past winners included Zack Smith, Zach Wytinck, Sam Steel, Adam Brooks, and Morgan Klimchuk to name a few players who earned the honour.

To his credit, Hub Bishop also was the man who sold Newsy Lalonde, the Cook brothers, and George Hainsworth to the NHL while discovering one of the greatest players of all-time to lace up a pair of skates in Gordie Howe. He also brought one of the best baseball players to the AAGPBL in Mary Baker while also finding several AAGPBL all-stars in Saskatchewan, and I have to mention that he managed the league that a World Championship hockey team played in as well. He likely was one of the best scouts of talent during his era, and it's somewhat shocking he hasn't been recognized for all he did in finding and promoting the amazing athletes he discovered!

Hubert D. Bishop wasn't inducted to any Halls of Fame nor was he honured for his work in digging up some of the best talent seen in hockey and baseball. He is being mentioned here, though, because of that work, and it should be noted that, while all that was going on, he was also a bootlegger for Seagram during the prohibition era to the Chicago Outfit - the same group that Al Capone was once running! While his sports work definitely should be recognized, how crazy is it that we nearly had Al Capone in this story?

It appears that Hubert Bishop passed away on or near April 6, 1970. As mentioned in the article, Bishop also served as a "special prairie representative" for the Los Angeles Kings and he was one of the directors of the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders. I would have love to have expanded on his work with the Los Angeles Kings, but the entire archive for all Saskatchewan newspapers are locked down. There appears to be multiple stories in the newspapers from that province about Bishop, but the subscription costs to access them are a little rich for my blood. It's interesting to know, however, that he may have helped find players for the Kings when they joined the NHL back in 1967!

For what it's worth, though, Hub Bishop played an integral role in getting talent to the AAGPBL as much as he did the NHL. For that, he's being recognized here on HBIC. Rest in peace, Hubert. Your incredible legacy in sports makes you a legend, even if those honours came long after you had retired.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday 29 July 2023

What If...

I'm not sure if there's a sports game for one of the old consoles that's loved and celebrated more than EA Sports' NHL '94. I own a copy of the game for the Sega Genesis, and I admit that I still play it on occasion. While it has its shortcomings in some areas, it's still a blast to play as the likes of Mario Lemieux, Pavel Bure, and Teemu Selanne on their original teams. There have been some folks on the internet who have updated the ROM portion annually to have updated rosters and teams in the game, but it dawned on me that there might be an update that no one else would do that I could possibly tackle assuming I had enough time and effort.

It's a lofty project as I'm learning how the ROM is set, but what if there was a U SPORTS women's hockey game that had a pile of teams in the mix? What if I told you that part of the project was already done? Check it out below including two "all-star" teams!
Before anyone gets angry about their team not being there, I had to make some decisions that were based on history of winning, appearances at Nationals, and university recognition. I will also admit to there being some bias towards the nine Canada West teams that appear, so that's on me. You can be unhappy about that, but the vast majority of the teams in the list above have played often at Nationals, won Nationals, or medalled at Nationals.

The next steps are to fill out the rosters with players, and I'm making a decision based on what I know about names in NHL '94: all fifth-year players and all red-shirted players will be excluded. You can complain all you like about this, but rosters of thirty players simply won't work in NHL' 94, and I already know there are some hyphenated names that are going to monopolize the byte count on the hexadecimal names. I completely understand if some people don't like this, but I only have a limited number of spaces for players on this game.

If I can master this re-design, there will also be updates to things like the center ice logos for arenas, some stuff on the setup screens, and every team will wear their proper colours in the game as the Alberta Pandas are below, and not all teams have to wear white at home.
Again, because there are byte limits on the colours and design, every team automatically has the same design (that happened in the original game too) and I'll try to match colours as best as I can by using the Pantone hexadecimal along with the RGB colours that the game allows me to change. The RGB colours eat up less memory in the ROM, so that's the limitation that I'll need to work with to make this game look as good as the teams do on the ice. In short, the design worn on the ice might not match exactly, but the colours will be as close as humanly possible to what is worn on the ice.

Do I have a deadline for this project? The answer is no, but I hope to have all the U SPORTS rosters updated by the season's end with everyone who played in 2023-24. As I work towards getting uniforms correct and rosters set, the remaining stuff I want to update will follow. I suspect I'll have some more time to make progress on this after August when my life becomes considerably less busy, but the initial start has me excited to see if I can make this project a reality. If it becomes reality, I may publish the ROM here for people to download and play on their own!

I have no doubt that a number of you who are reading this might be thinking I'm crazy, and that's ok. I have been committed to making people more aware of U SPORTS women's hockey since I started promoting the local team on the radio, and it will continue as more and more teams have reached out for player chats and interviews. It's ambitious, but I'm committed to making this a reality for all those players who have been at the top of their sport for long.

I'll post updates when I can, but who's in for some U SPORTS '24 action starring the women? I got next!

Until next time, keep your digital sticks on the ice!

Friday 28 July 2023

Macon News In Georgia

If there's one thing I know about professional minor-league hockey, it's that ownership has to be involved in keeping things moving forward. Usually, that means deep pockets are needed for those who want to tackle that responsibility alone, and one can't be afraid of taking a loss or two when it comes to that ownership. The SPHL saw one franchise fold in recent years as the Vermilion County Bobcats simply appeared to run out of money, so ownership is vitally important to SPHL franchises. In knowing that, we'll see what the future holds for the Macon Mayhem after the man pictured above became the new majority owner of the franchise back on July 13 as the SPHL looks to remain as a viable entertainment option in the Georgia city.

The man above is Scott Gooch, and he will be the guy who is paying the majority of the bills moving forward. There were no financials given on the transaction that allowed Gooch to become the majority owner, but it appears he is primarily in the film location business in and around Georgia with his company, Film Locations LLC. The linked press release from the Mayhem above states that Gooch also has a background in international banking with his LinkedIn page showing a career at Wells Fargo, so it would seem that he has some experience in business. I'd consider that an asset for an owner.

His business seems sound as well. The Georgia film industry isn't getting smaller despite some concerns with the current SAG-AFTRA strike and the recent pandemic woes, but the company's Instagram page shows that it may be or was involved in a number of film and television projects currently filming. With some series on hold thanks to the strikes in Hollywood, production will have slowed, but there are still a large number of projects being filmed in Georgia at this time. And all of those films need locations for staff and crew to live and operate as well as places for filming scenes.

The other thing that needs to be considered is that "majority owner" title means he could own as little as 50.1% of the business. I doubt that's the case here, but it would seem that there are still other minority owners involved so Gooch isn't taking all the risk in owning the SPHL franchise. He'll be on the hook for funding most of the franchises decisions, but he'll also have a say on a lot of those decisions as well. There was no indication how hands-on Gooch will be when it comes to the day-to-day operations of the franchise, but he will need to be involved in setting a direction for the franchise. We'll have to wait to find out what Gooch's vision for the Mayhem is.

Here's what we do know: the Mayhem finished tenth out of eleven teams in the SPHL last season with only the abandoned Bobcats finishing lower. They had a 13-39-5 record, finishing 17 points back of ninth-place Quad City, and allowed a league-worst 257 goals - 58 more than the Knoxville Ice Bears who were second-worst. The Mayhem averaged 1607 fans per game - worst in the league - and often played at less than 20% capacity of their arena. In short, the Mayhem were a mess both on and off the ice in 2022-23, and they haven't seen the playoffs in a full season since the 2019-20 season.

It's very apparent that the Mayhem need new direction, and the hope is that Scott Gooch will provide as the new majority owner of the franchise. Statistically, finding good players to play in Macon will help, so Gooch will need to invest in his front office staff to find good players who want to come to Macon, and we'll see if Gooch has the financial depth to push the marketing department and ticketing department to new heights when it comes to selling tickets at the 7182-seat Macon Coliseum. With just 1600 people showing up last season, there's a lot of work to do.

New ownership doesn't mean immediate success, but there's room for hope in Macon as local ownership often knows the market. There will likely be a lot of long nights and countless meetings needed in order to turn this franchise around, but it will happen if Gooch is willing to invest the time, money, and resources needed to remove the mayhem in Macon to make the Macon Mayhem successful once again.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday 27 July 2023

The Hockey Show - Episode 566

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back on the air tonight as we deal with this heat and humidity that has embraced the city! Our hosts had some chatter earlier in the week about the Twitter rebrand, and that will lead into one of the topics tonight as they navigate the mess that Elon Musk made with his impulse purchase. Has there ever been anyone not named Enron or Worldcom that has so spectacularly destroyed their own wealth via bad decisions and complete stupidity like Musk? There can't be many. Especially those who turned $44 billion into dust in approximately two years.

Speaking about burning money, Teebz and Jason will kick off the show by chatting about a few failed rebrands by NHL teams over the years as they look back as some bad decisions. They follow that up with a discussion about Patrice Bergeron and just how good he was when it came to hockey, a discussion about the seating arrangement at the Matthew Tkachuk wedding, a story on six Ukrainian kids getting a chance to live, more signings in the ECHL from U SPORTS, an AHL goalie is on the move, an NHL goalie's career might be over, and anything else we can cram into the hour of show we occupy! It's another busy night on The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

If you live outside Winnipeg and want to listen, we have options! The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. We also recommend Radio Garden if you need an easy-to-use online stream. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Jason talk bad designs, an amazing player, fun tables, kids being kids, U SPORTS faces in places, goalie options, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: July 27, 2023: Episode 566

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Tweak Those Resumés!

There are a lot of armchair general managers out there who think they can wheel and deal with NHL GMs. I'm not saying that some of their suggestions for improving a team are bad or wrong, but there are certain things that usually aren't factored into some of these suggestions. Whether it be trades, drafts, or free agent signings, everyone has an opinion for what a team should or shouldn't do. In saying that, if one still has dreams of being a player in the building of a team en route to a potential championship, it seems there may be a few job openings for someone who polishes up their resumé over the next week.

Thanks to a Bloom Sports post on LinkedIn, there are six general manager positions that need to be filled for the new professional women's hockey league! Strangely, not one of the former PHF GMs was contacted about these positions, so it seems that the New League will continue to try to walk its own path. Nevertheless, here's the Bloom Sports post for the general manager positions.

Before we get any deeper into the requirements for these positions, does anyone else feel that this is being rushed with the deadline being Friday, August 4, 2023? Usually, the search for a general manager for a team takes weeks or months, not one week of resumé collection. Why is this new league hiring general managers like they're seeking a general manager for a fast-food restaurant?

Based on what is being asked for in a candidate, it would seem like those with law backgrounds would be ideal in leading teams. There's a requirement to read, know, and understand the CBA that was negotiated between the players and league, and that's something that must be respected in any and all negotiations with players.

Beyond that, there are still so many holes in knowing how, where, and when this league will operate that managing a team might be the least of a general manager's worries in the early days of being hired. How does one work with stakeholders when the placement of teams has yet to be decided? How does one plan long-term growth and strategies if one has no home where those can be implemented? How can goals and benchmarks be set with no schedule of games or events for teams or the league? These seem important for success, no?

The desired characteristics make these positions even harder to attain for those not already in the sports administration business as the candidates being sought are wanted to have "7+ years of working within elite sports" which, as you may guess, leaves a lot of questions. What qualifies as "elite sports"? Does five years of experience make one less attractive for the position than someone with seven, ten, or fifteen years of experience? How do women's hockey players - who have worked within elite sports - gain the necessary experience to be a GM if they've never negotiated a contract to play nor have the depth of experience in understanding all the legalese in a CBA? This "desired characteristic" seems to be very exclusionary in its approach despite the importance of experience.

Most of the other qualifications are pretty standard for a management job, but I'm wondering if someone such as Sami Jo Small or Melody Davidson would be considered based on experience and knowledge. They meet most of, if not all of, the desired characteristics, but one has to wonder if they'll be considered based on their past histories with the PHF. In Small's case, she built a championship roster with the Toronto Six in the PHF's last season of play, yet she wasn't even extended the courtesy of being named as one of the new GMs. Does she meet the criteria being sought by the New League's overlords?

Everything about how this league is coming together seems like the same mistakes that have been made before. Little foresight, poor communication, worse marketing, and a lack of overall enthusiasm for whatever the league appears to be doing may end up being the hallmark of this New League. For everything we were told the PHF was doing wrong, it seems the former CWHL/PWHPA people are still under their own guise of their way being right despite their league being forced to close the doors.

That's not to say that this New League won't work, but there feels like a sense of déjà vu is setting in on how this league is being run. Just because the New League has more money to spend doesn't mean the results will be any different before if people don't start learning from previous mistakes. Right now, I'm not sure people who were previously associated with the management of the CWHL even learned from the mistakes that led to the demise of the league.

Honestly, one week for the best candidates to manage team to step forward is a bad look for this New League. Let's hope they find six passionate individuals who will find the voices they need to question bad decisions and poor foresight because everything this New League has done since acquiring the PHF's assets has been questionable at best.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday 25 July 2023

Bergeron's Other Jerseys

Patrice Bergeron announced his retirement today, and it goes without saying that we're seeing one of the best players of any era hang up his skates after 19 seasons of touring NHL cities. While people will point to how the likes of Gretzky, Orr, Howe, and Lemieux changed how the game was played in some regards, I don't know if we'll ever see another forward who is so good at both ends of the ice like Bergeron was. He won every tournament in which he played internationally, he is a Stanley Cup champion, and he's been recognized for his commitment to defensive play with six Selke trophies on his mantle. He'll be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player when he becomes eligible for inclusion into the Hall, but it got me thinking about all the different jerseys Bergeron has worn over the years. For a player who played for one team over two decades, the number of jerseys he wore is quite impressive.

I'm less concerned with his junior career, but it should be noted that he skated for the QMJHL's Acadia-Bathurst Titan before hitting the professional ranks. He played just 74 games in the QMJHL, but he was impressive in his short stint there as he scored 23 goals and 51 assists in those games before the Boston Bruins drafted him 45th-overall in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. The only players who played more games than him in the 44 picks before him were Dustin Brown, Ryan Suter, and Eric Staal, and only Staal has more points. Needless to say, Boston got themselves a gem with their second pick in the 2003 draft after they chose Mark Stuart.

Bergeron didn't start in the AHL, but he did play there during the 2004-05 season while the NHL lockout was on. Bergeron had himself a solid season with the Providence Bruins as he scored 21 goals and 40 assists in the 68 AHL games he played in his career. He was named to the AHL All-Star Game, and helped the Bruins reach the AHL Eastern Conference Final before falling to the Philadelphia Phantoms. In 16 AHL playoff games, he scored five goals and 12 points.

Bergeron was also around for the 2012-13 lockout, but he took his skills to the Swiss Alps where he suited up with Lugano for 21 games! I'm not saying that Bergeron was too good for the Swiss League, but his 11 goals and 18 assists were proof that he was one of the better players in the league for his short time in Switzerland. Despite playing in less than half the games, Bergeron still finished fifth in scoring for Lugano, eight points back of second-place and former NHLer Brett McLean who played 50 games!

I don't think anyone ever questioned the leadership that Bergeron showed over his career in Bruins' colours, but he did wear both letters in his time with the black-and-gold. With Zdeno Chara in the lineup, Bergeron was awarded the alternate captaincy in 2006-07 for the first time, and he sported the "A" until 2020-21 when he was awarded the captaincy. For those who may be wondering, Joe Thornton was the captain of the Bruins when Bergeron broke into the league in 2003-04, so Bergeron has only played alongside two captains in his career before assuming the role! The various players with whom he shared the alternate captaincy role included Glen Murray, Aaron Ward, Mark Recchi, Andrew Ference, Chris Kelly, David Krejci, David Backes, and Brad Marchand. That's a solid list of co-captains!

Of course, he was a regular representative in Canada's colours as well, and he still holds the distinction of being the only player to have won an IIHF World Championship gold medal, won in 2004, before winning a IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal which he won in 2005! The only colour of medal he knows from international play is gold - he has never brought home a silver or a bronze medal in any international event. That includes a 2010 Olympic gold medal, a 2012 Spengler Cup, a 2014 Olympic gold medal, and a 2016 World Cup of Hockey gold medal.

He's a member of the Triple Gold club with the Stanley Cup championship that the Bruins won in 2011, but he's also so much more. How many other players can claim a Stanley Cup, a Spengler Cup, an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and a World Junior Championship gold medal on their resumés? That answer is none as the opportunity to play for a Spengler Cup and Olympic medals hasn't been an option for NHL players of today's era.

When I say that there won't be another player like Bergeron possibly ever, it would seem that seeing another playr do what he's done would require elite skill and a touch of poor management. The elite skill is easy to define: six Selke Trophy wins, a record 12-straight finalist nominations, an armful of international medals and championships, and a Stanley Cup championship. Great players get the opportunity to do those things, but there have only been a select few to win a Spengler Cup in the modern era which makes any player's chances of equalling Bergeron's success much harder to do. Let's not forget that it took a lockout for Bergeron to accomplish that feat, and the hope is that the NHL won't need to shut down in the future if there are labour negotiations to be had.

Based on how Bergeron redefined the defensive forward aspect of the game, I'd be willing to table a discussion on him getting the three-year period before induction waived, but I don't sit on the Hall of Fame committee. His body of work is literally unlike any other player's, though, and that's why he'll be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player when he is inducted.

The Bruins lost a player today that they may never find again, but hockey lost the same thing. While it was truly an honour to witness Patrice Bergeron's exceptional career, he will be missed on the ice. His retirement is well-earned after two decades of wowing us with his skills and abilities, though, so enjoy retirement, Patrice, and we'll see you at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony when, not if, they call your name as that honour has been earned!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday 24 July 2023

A TV Murder On The Ice

I was doing some work this morning and I needed some "white noise" in the background to keep my mind from drifting. Normally, I throw some sort of streaming television on to keep my mind in the game, and I happened to land on Pluto TV's CSI channel as my chosen stream. I've seen a lot of the CSI episodes as I was a devout viewer during the heady days of Grissom, Willows, Stokes, Brown, and Sidle, but there was an episode that came on today that I had forgotten about that dealt directly with hockey. With hockey being as big as it is in Vegas at this point, I figured that I could combine the passion that Vegas had for the game and my devotion to old CSI episodes by doing something unique for this particular episode of one of TV's most popular crime shows!

As you likely know if you've seen CSI, there are usually two cases solved per episode as the teams splits into smaller teams to tackle all the crimes being committed. In Episode 16 of Season 2, entitled "Primum Non Nocere", the hockey case is the main case in the episode and is investigated by Grissom, Sidle, and Willows. The second case is one of about a musician dying of an overdose that is investigated by Stokes and Brown. In other words, it's a standard CSI episode that follows the normal show construction.

The musician's case isn't our focus when it comes to hockey, though. The episode, which aired on February 28, 2002, features all of William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Jorja Fox, Paul Guilfoyle, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Jeremy Ratchford, Abby Brammell, Peter Mackenzie, and David Andriole in the hockey story, and the crime scene investigators need to figure out who killed Terry Rivers, played by Andriole, following a pile-up in front of the net.

Grissom and Willows are first on the scene, and they speak with Brass who fills them in on Rivers being moved to the bench where he died. They examine the body and note the injuries suffered by Rivers before the episode goes to introduction. You know this one, I'm sure.
The classic song of "Who Are You" by The Who was sold by Pete Townsend likely made the band popular with a younger audience with its weekly airings, and the other CSI franchises followed suit in keeping with The Who's library of songs as their introduction themes.

After the introduction, Grissom is reading hockey stats before he and Sidle begin their initial examination of the ice surface where the game was played. After coming up with little evidence, Sidle notes that they should look off the ice as the ice resurfacer rolls onto the ice. The scene shifts to Willows interviewing Dr. Ron Stockwell who said that he moved River's body to the bench in order to perform CPR. Tommy Sconzo, played by Ratchford, chats with Willows next, and he makes a comment of "a real McCracken" in reference to the player who knocked out his tooth that which resulted in the pile-up where Rivers ended up dead.

As an aside, that reference, to me, is a fantastic Slap Shot note with respect to Tim "Dr. Hook" McCracken, but I digress. I'm not here to break down the entire episode - you can find that here - but I am here to breakdown the hockey aspects of the episode which were just necessary to setup the eventual cause of murder. What should be noted is that the hockey part of the story was an entry into another solid investigation that had some good science in it. Full marks to Grissom for scooping up the vomit regurgitated by Jane Gallagher, played by Abby Brammell, and noting the food poisoning fact.

The episode was written Danny Cannon, an Emmy-nominated film and television producer, director and writer, who has directed feature films such as Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone while executive producing and directing episodes of CSI, CSI: Miami, and CSI: New York. Andrew Lipsitz directed the episode, and he was also an executive producer on both CSI and CSI: New York as well as Castle. That's not to say that these men had the accomplishments they do now when they were involved in this episode's creation, but it's a well-told weaving of two stories that has a murder in the hockey rink that I don't think anyone may have suspected had it not been for the sleuths at the CSI laboratory in Las Vegas.

It won't be an episode that stands out for the hockey portion, but CSI was talking about hockey in Vegas in 2002 - long before the Golden Knights got there and one year before the WCHL's Las Vegas Wranglers landed in town. Yes, th IHL's Las Vegas Thunder had been there prior to the CSI episode, but no one was really talking about Las Vegas as a hockey town when the episode aired in 2002. It's funny how quickly things can change, though, as the NHL's Stanley Cup champions now call the city home.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday 23 July 2023

The Ball Players Who Skated

I'm always interested in feedback when it comes to writing this blog, and I do read comments and emails when I'm not frantically writing or searching for something in my email. That leads me to wonder if anyone is actually enjoying these long-form pieces on the Canadian women of the AAGPBL who played hockey as well. For me, I know I enjoy discovering this small piece of sports history about which a vast chunk of the population likely has no clue (that includes me), but I never can tell if people are reading those articles and enjoying them. Or maybe hating them because they're too long or something. Personally, I've learned a lot about the women who played key roles on the AAGPBL diamonds as well as sheets of ice in Canada, and I'm hoping you have as well. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

For those who have missed them, they include:
I plan on doing more through to the end of August, but there's a lot of research that goes into these pieces that occasionally see them get pushed to the side. I do go back and finish the articles, but it can be time-consuming at the very least when trying to track down all the historical information that goes into each article.

I'll also admit that the research is getting better with each article as well. Comparatively, the Evelyn Wawryshyn article is good while the Ruth Middleton article is much better. Scanning the old public libraries archives takes an immense amount of time, but I'm finding ways to generate better results on the people I'm researching, so don't hold those first ones against me if they seem more brief than the latter articles are. That's what happens when one practices using a tool - they become more efficient and better when it comes to using it effectively.

In any case, drop me a comment below if you're liking, disliking, hating, or ignoring the articles about the women who had hockey careers while being famous for their work in the AAGPBL. Feedback is good, and I'll consider it constructive criticism if you're not a fan of those articles. With life interfering with HBIC work occasionally, the feedback will tell me how much time I should be devoting to these research projects.

Fire away with the comments!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday 22 July 2023

The Signings Continue

You were warned that the signings would continue, and it seems they have. And while I certainly don't want anyone to think that's a threat, it's a great sign that U SPORTS is doing its job in producing quality hockey players as the ECHL was busy once again this week in finding players to fill rosters. A few of those teams set their sights on university programs north of the border, and there was even an AHL team who jumped into the mix to sign a player. If you are a fan of U SPORTS men's hockey, there will be a number of teams to keep an eye on this season as players who suited up in the last few years will be skating in the ECHL. Who is going where? Let's find out as we look at the third week of signings by ECHL teams in July!

The first player in our look at this week's signings is a re-signing by the Norfolk Admirals. Danny Katic played 17 games for the University of Toronto in 2021-22 where he scored four goals and added 12 helpers in thos games. He was signed by the Norfolk Admirals in 2022-23, so his time at the university was very short when compared to others we've seen on these lists. However, the signing by the Admirals was very beneficial for them as Katic played in 67 games where he led the team in goals with 18 and was second in points with 40 while finishing second in PIMs with 123. The 22 year-old doesn't look like a power forward, but he plays the game like every shift is his last. And the good news is that Katic will be back in Admirals' colours this season after Norfolk re-signed him for the 2023-24 campaign!

We saw an impressive campaign last season from the Calgary Dinos, and one of the players who had an impact was Bradley Schoonbaert. Schoonbaert's best season with the University of Calgary came in his senior year where he scored ten goals and added 15 assists, and his 2018-23 career at the Calgary institution saw him total 23 goals and 30 assists in those four seasons over 83 games. The Kansas City Mavericks liked what they saw in watching tape of Schoonbaert's game with the Dinos, and they signed him to a contract on July 13. The Canada West All-Rookie Team member in 2018-19 will suit up for his rookie season in the ECHL when the Mavericks open their season on October 20 in Wichita against the Thunder!

It's been a few years since the man to the right was on campus, but that's former Manitoba Bisons forward Kamerin Nault. Nault played three seasons in Manitoba colours as he racked up 16 goals and ten assists in 46 Canada West games from 2016-19, and since that time he's appeared in four different ECHL teams' colours, two AHL teams' colours, and one EIHL team's colours. From 2018-21, Nault skated with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits before being dealt to the Kansas City Mavericks. In 2021-22, he signed with the Atlanta Gladiators, and he jumped to the Reading Royals in 2022-23 before finishing last season in the EIHL with the Fife Flyers. Over that same time, he played in four games with the Manitoba Moose and one with the Charlotte Checkers. Nault's best season is when he was playing regularly with Greenville as he scored 16 goals and added 16 assists in 40 games in 2019-20, and he'll look to replicate that kind of success this season in Indiana as Nault has signed a contract to skate for the Fort Wayne Komets this season!

The player to the left saw his sister win a U SPORTS National Championship with the Manitoba Bisons in 2018, and he looked to replicate that success when he joined the Mount Royal Cougars. Andrew Fyten spent three seasons with the Cougars where he scored 12 goals and 21 assists in 50 Canada West games from 2019-23 before taking his talents to Estero, Florida! While it wasn't quite South Beach, the Florida Everblades signed Fyten after the season ended last year, and he put up five goals and five assists in 21 regualr season games before helping the Florida Everblades capture their second-consecutive Kelly Cup! While he didn't get a U SPORTS championship ring, he does now have an ECHL ring and he'll look to add a second one after the Everblades announced that they had re-signed Fyten for the upcoming season!

Another Canada West player is on the move, and it would appear that one ECHL team is loading up on U SPORTS talent for the upcoming season. Nolan Volcan was a solid player for the Alberta Golden Bears over his three seasons in the green-and-gold, and he was alternate captain this past season when he posted ten goals and 15 assists in 28 games for Alberta. Over those seasons from 2019-23, Volcan chipped in 25 goals and 33 assists in 76 Canada West contests. He won't be back with the Golden Bears this season, though, as the Fort Wayne Komets came calling and signed Volcan to a deal for the 2023-24 season! The former Seattle Thunderbirds forward earned a WHL championship in his time in that league, and he'll attempt to help Fort Wayne win a Kelly Cup when they hit the ice against the Indy Fire on October 20!

This former UPEI Panthers defender will have his third set of uniforms in as many years. Owen Headrick, the ECHL's reigning Defenseman of the Year, will not be back in Idado Steelheads' colours to defend his trophy as he's on the move up the hockey ladder once again. Headrick will play in the AHL this season after the Chicago Wolves signed the rearguard to a deal on July 18 after earning the ECHL's top honour for defencemen on the strength of a 54-point season that saw him become just the fourth rookie in ECHL history to earn those honours. While the Wolves are unaffiliated for this season after opting to play as an independent AHL team, there will likely be a number of NHL teams who keep their eyes on Headrick if he plays as well for them as he did in Idaho.

A couple of U SPORTS programs celebrated these signings, but it's hard to understand why the conferences and U SPORTS itself isn't doing updates like you find here. As an example, Canada West's website has been down since the end of the university year, and it's still showing "We're Moving" on its landing page which hasn't changed in months. It's hard to be excited for any sports when all you have on your website is an image of cardboard boxes, so Canada West is, at the very least, continuing its long tradition of being rather useless when it comes to promoting its sports and athletes.

In any case, HBIC will remain on the case when U SPORTS players get signed. If there's one website out there ensuring you know who is playing where next season when it comes to U SPORTS teams, HBIC has you covered with all the signings!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday 21 July 2023

A New Boss In Ottawa

There was some shock that was sent through the major university in the nation's capital in the spring when Ottawa Gee Gees head coach Chelsea Grills announced that she was leaving the program. It was strange because the Gee Gees had been on the rise for some time in the RSEQ, and they'd be moving back to the OUA in one season's time which could have put Ottawa in a good spot as one of the stronger teams in the OUA. Through solid recruiting and inspired play, Ottawa just missed out on a trip to Nationals this season, but they appear to be poised to make a run next season. The only difference is that Stefanie McKeough will be guiding the team as the University of Ottawa announced they had hired McKeough today.

McKeough's hockey experiences are vast. She was a standout defender with the Ottawa Lady Senators before helping Team Canada's U18 team win a silver medal in 2008-09. She would attract the attention of a number of big schools who wanted her to play on their roster, but she ultimately landed at the University of Wisconsin where she helped the Badgers win an NCAA National Championship in 2010-11 while being named the NCAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12.

The 32 year-old McKeough spent some time developing her coaching skills before accepting an assistant coach's position with the SDHL's Gothenburg Panthers in 2018-19 before assuming the head coaching role in 2020-21. However, that head coaching responsibility was short-lived as McKeough resigned from the club on October 13, 2020 after just nine games. She'd land at the University of Ottawa as an assistant coach in 2020-21 after returning from Sweden, and she worked as an assistant coach with the U18 World World Championship Canadian team in 2022-23.

You may be wondering why she left Gothenburg after just nine games after being named the head coach, and there were a few reasons for the departure that was entirely her decision. She missed family as she had been working away from Ottawa from some time at that point, and there was an air of uncertainty surrounding her visa process which added to the stress of the job. In short, she opted to leave on her own terms.

Her efforts with Gotherburg were seen positively, though, as chairman Jan Mellgren told Göteborgs-Posten that McKeough's work was of "an exemplary manner".

"This has taken place with the greatest consensus," he told the newspaper of her decision. "She is welcome back any day if she wants to continue her job of developing players. We really need her. Our confidence in Stefanie is unwavering. It has nothing to do with a conflict or mistrust in any way, but it is her decision."

Anytime one can get praise like that, you know one was doing a good job. In any case, McKeough came back and joined Grills' staff in Ottawa alongside the talents of Greg Bowles, and those three led the Gee Gees on their annual improvement before finishing the 2022-23 season at 16-7-2 - its best record in 16 years - while finishing in third-place in the RSEQ, just four points back of second-place Montreal. In the playoffs, they fell one goal short of knocking the Carabins out of the playoffs as they lost 3-2 in overtime in Game Three of their best-of-three series, and it looked like Ottawa was going to be a force in 2023-24. They may still be that, but McKeough will be calling the shots now.

"This is a role that I will work my absolute hardest at to create an environment where players and staff can have a safe environment to develop and succeed," said McKeough. "I am humbled to take on this role and build upon the legacy of those who have worn the Garnet and Grey. I am thankful for the support of my family, the University, the program alumni, and the entire Gee-Gees community as we head into this next chapter."

This is an exciting time for the Ottawa Gee Gees women's hockey program. They're moving back to the OUA next season, they're an exceptional team with great recruits coming in, and they have a young, experienced, intelligent coach who will guide them on their path to a National Championship berth. McKeough's commitment to developing players will keep Ottawa in the hunt for the foreseeable future, and her experiences as a player and coach in the hockey world will be invaluable in teaching her players to be better players and exceptional people.

The fact that McKeough was named as head coach as a woman only makes the pool of female coaches deeper at the U SPORTS level with the likes of Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu guiding Concordia, Carla MacLeod in charge of Calgary, and Sara Hilworth guiding the UNB Reds. We're seeing great female coaches make serious strides in the U SPORTS world, and I haven't even mentioned the likes of Sarah Hodges, Rachel Flanagan, or Vicky Sunohara. Seeing these women leading their programs should inspire the next generation of players to follow in their footsteps, and Stefanie McKeough appears to be the first wave of that next generation who will carry the torch high.

I'm excited to see what Stefabie McKeough can do in this opportunity. The Ottawa Gee Gees will certainly benefit from her guidance, and the hope is that she'll lead the team to a National Championship. While the last part is never guaranteed, McKeough will certainly give them a fighting chance, and that's something Ottawa hasn't had in a long, long time.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday 20 July 2023

The Hockey Show - Episode 565

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, returns to the airwaves tonight with some news, some discussion, and some insights into all sorts of hockey-related stories. Of course, there's a major soccer tournament happening on the other side of the planet as the Women's World Cup got underway last night, but there's a tie-in there. We'll start the show talking about that crossover as we break down all the news from this past week as we always do at 5:30pm CT!

Tonight, we'll kick the show off with a discussion about Adriana Leon as she had an opportunity to be a two-sport star had she not dedicated herself to the pitch. Teebz and Jason will follow that up with a chat about Nike walking away from Hockey Canada and the fallout from that decision, more U SPORTS players signing professional deals, Todd Woodcroft being fired at the University of Vermont, Alex Galchenyuk's 24 hours of insanity, another new NCAA women's program getting started, another possible location for an Arizona arena, and anything that can be squeezed into the hour. Phone lines are open tonight if you want to add some chatter on these matters on The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

If you live outside Winnipeg and want to listen, we have options! The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. We also recommend Radio Garden if you need an easy-to-use online stream. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Jason chat about amazing athletes, sponsors ditching a program, players finding new homes, coaches being bad, a player going off the rails, a new opportunity, a potential new location, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: July 20, 2023: Episode 565

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Text Messages Killed The Cat

You've likely heard the news, but former Winnipeg Jets assistant coach and University of Vermont Catamounts men's hockey head coach Todd Woodcroft, pictured left, was fired by the school yesterday after an investigation with regards to his conduct that was executed by the school's Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO). As per the complaint filed with the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, the investigation revealed that Woodcroft had allegedly exchanged "inappropriate text messages with a UVM student" while working as the coach of the hockey team. Woodcroft and his attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, are denying the findings of the investigation and are examining their options.

"The complaint was only about inappropriate text messages," University of Vermont athletic director Jeff Schulman said. "And I guess I do want to just be really clear that there was no allegations or indication of anything beyond inappropriate text messages."

Schulman did make a point that the text messages being investigated concerned only one student, but multiple students were involved in the complaint process. Schulman also cited privacy concerns over revealing anything about those students to the media, but he did state that the investigation started on March 16, 2023 when a UVM Athletic Department staff member received the complaint, and Woodcroft was instructed to work from home until the matter was resolved along with having no contact with any students involved in the complaint. He was not suspended nor put on leave during his time working from home.

In response to the dismissal, Miltenberg released a statement to the Burlington Free Press that reads, "We vehemently disagree with the process and the findings of a proceeding that lacked fundamental fairness and due process. We strongly believe the University's decision was contrary to the facts and the law. We intend to pursue justice for Mr. Woodcroft, who has been an outstanding coach and community advocate for over two decades."

However, it seems that Schulman is confident that the right decision was made in light of what the investigation found.

"I read his attorney's comments," Schulman said during the press conference announcing the change. "Again, I feel very confident in the university's process - that it was thorough, that it was fair, that Todd was afforded due process throughout - and when the final report came to me I was comfortable that the findings were substantiated. And I was able to act on that information with a high level of confidence."

I'm not here to speculate on what Woodcroft wrote in those text messages, but we'll see if they appeal the dismissal. What should be noted in this decision by the University of Vermont is that "[t]he University of Vermont Athletic Department has high expectations for the conduct of our coaches" and "Coach Woodcroft failed to meet those expectations" as per their statement on Tuesday. Being that this case involved a UVM student, the University of Vermont had no options other than investigating the complaint.

Whatever was written in those text messages clearly violated Vermont's AAEO Offices' policies on misconduct, harassment, and discrimination including, but not limited to, affirmative action and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and I don't know how Woodcroft and his lawyer believe there was a lack of "fundamental fairness and due process". Again, it was a four-month investigation, not some overnight decision, and the evidence that the AAEO Office would need to have Woodcroft terminated would have to be fairly conclusive.

We all may be curious about what was written in those texts that forced Vermont to terminate Todd Woodcroft's employment, but I'm not sure we need to know. All that matters is Todd Woodcroft acted in an unprofessional manner that went contrary to the policies of Vermont's AAEO Office, and that's more than enough reason to end Woodcroft's run as the head coach.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!