Earlier in the month, we had found out that highly touted incoming Wisconsin Badgers freshman forward Nic Kerdiles, had been suspended for one year by the NCAA for a violation of the NCAA's amateurism rules.
Courtesy of the United States of Hockey --- Apparently, Kerdiles stayed in a hotel room the night of the NHL Entry Draft that was part of a block paid for by a credit card owned by family advisor and certified NHL player agent Ian Pulver. According to the source, though the Kerdiles family eventually repaid Pulver, apparently enough time had lapsed prior to repayment leading the NCAA to view this as a loan from an agent and therefore an improper benefit.
With the reduction of the suspension from the NCAA, Kerdiles will now have a 10 game suspension, with time served. The Badgers have already played in two games so eight games remain on Kerdiles's suspension. Kerdiles will be eligible to return on November 30, 2012 when the Wisconsin Badgers play the Denver Pioneers in Denver, Colorado.
Kerdiles's has a big decision ahead him, one of his option is that he was been drafted by the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey Leagues and he could leave the University of Wisconsin and he would be eligible immediately to play in the WHL.
As a college hockey fan and advocate, I would hope that ends up "not" being the case.
"While we recognize the significant nature of a reduction in penalty from a full season withholding to 30 percent, we are dismayed that any penalty whatsoever was imposed on Nic Kerdiles in this matter. We remain confident that the facts demonstrate Nic had no culpability. The facts serve as evidence that he has the kind of character we believed he had when he was first recruited. Throughout this ordeal, Nic has demonstrated nothing but poise and integrity consistent with the outstanding student-athlete we know he is. "Nic is currently exploring his options which we have encouraged him to do. Our hope is that he remains a Badger."
s/t to First Round Bust... Check out this awesome goal by Red Deer Rebel defenseman and Minnesota Wild first round pick Matt Dumba. I would have to think that this goal will be end up being a top ten highlight goal this season. Incidently, that was the first goal of the year for
ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 25: 33rd overall pick Rocco Grimaldi of the Florida Panthers poses for a portrait during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Today, I attended the UND Hockey media luncheon and press event that
followed. I was able to interview a few of the UND's players today and
get some great quotes.
There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm surrounding this season's UND
hockey team, based on who is returning from last season's squad and
with who is coming in this season.
Head coach Dave Hakstol was asked about his team's goaltending situation.
"I expect it to be highly competitive," Hakstol said.
"Clarke Saunders has the most experience under his belt he has played
a lot of minutes at this level but I expect it to be a very competitive
position for us and we'll let that competition play out in different
levels the first ten days will tell us something - but also, throughout
the season there will be a high level of competition at that position."
Coach Hakstol was asked about what position defenseman/forward Joe Gleason will play this season.
"He's is going to be a defenseman," Hakstol said. "I expect him to be
a defenseman solely a defenseman and I expect him to be a guy that
gives us real quality minutes back there."
Here is what coach Hakstol had to say about second year freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi's health.
"I think he is very close to approaching that level of being 100
percent healthy, Hakstol said. "I don't think he is there yet - I think
it's something he is going to have to play his way into during the early
part of the season to this point everything has been going well."
I was able to get a chance to interview Clarke Saunders individually.
Saunder is a junior goalie; who transferred from University of Alabama
Huntsville to North Dakota during the off-season.
I asked Saunders about his expectations coming into this season.
"My expectations are, obviously if I play; to play well," Saunders
said. "If not to be the best teammate that I can... obviously we have a
pretty good team this year - whatever my role might be - to do the best
as I can."
Clarke Saunders was asked what he thought about Ralph Englestad Arena.
"It is absolutely beautiful," Saunders said. "I almost have to pinch
myself every time I walk in here. All of us are truly grateful to be a
part of this program and the Ralph is a specular piece of a long
historic program that UND has."
I asked Saunders about his style of play - in other words - what kind of a goaltender is he.
"I am a butterfly goalie," Saunders said. "I feel I am decently
strong positionally but also I have a bit of athleticism as well."
Saunders was asked about his fellow goaltenders Zane Gothberg and Tate Maris.
"Zane's a great kid, he works really hard and pushes me every day and
not to forget Tate as well he an awesome guy; an older guy like me, he
[Maris] brings a lot of maturity to the room I really, really get along
well with both of the goalie partners and I think we have a really good
group some of the guys poke fun at how close we are so that complements
how well we work together."
Senior Forward Danny Kristo was asked about his decision to come back for his senior year.
"It was a long process, it was stressful there for a while... it was
kind of a different process than some kids have had to go through,"
"Montreal where I got drafted was going through a different time -
they fired their general manager during the midst of my decision - which
made it a lot harder - with the thoughts of an NHL lockout; obviously I
think I would rather be playing, if I could be playing AHL or playing
college, I would much rather be playing college with my friends, which I
still feel like with our coaching staff and with our team this year I
can still get better in practice and get better in games. I can still do
that stuff ultimately that is what your goal is year-by-year is to get
better and if I can still do that here, I don't see... why not come back
for a great senior year and hopefully go on a run at the end of the
season to put up a banner. "
Here is Danny Kristo's comments on UND's scoring depth this season.
"This year is going to be different that last year," Kristo said.
"Last year we had a lot of scoring on our first line but I think if you
look at how deep we are this year we're going to have three scoring
lines that are going to be able to score night in and night out and a
really solid fourth line that can grind it out down low, so it's going
to be different that last year I think."
I asked Danny Kristo if he had some unfinished business coming into the season.
"Definitely a sour taste in my mouth," Kristo Said. " I definitely
didn't want my last college hockey game... to be a loss against Minnesota,
so I think a little bit sour taste but I think that year is over with
it's a new year were just looking forward to start the season off right,
starting the season off with the excitement a lot energy on the ice, we
got a healthy line up compared to the end of last year, so I think that
everyone is excited to get out there.
Danny Kristo had this to say about the prospects of having a full roster.
"I think we have more competition in the locker room," Kristo said.
"I think that might be a little bit of a challenge for our team - at the
end of last year we didn't have a choice - the guys that were healthy -
were the guys that were playing, there's going to be a good battle for
guys - they're going to be battling for spots. I think that practice is
going to be more competitive, cause if you're not working hard in
practice someone is going to take your spot."
Rocco Grimaldi was asked what he thought about Danny Kristo not
signing with the Montreal Canadians and coming back for his senior
I was excited I wasn't sure if he was going to come back or not. I
was excited obviously he made a good choice ... not sure what's going on
with the lockout and everything. I think he is happy about the decision
and it should be a good year for him.
Rocco Grimaldi on whether he will be playing this weekend.
Yeah I will be playing this weekend, Grimaldi said. I am feeling a lot better and that's a good thing.
Rocco Grimaldi was asked if he is a little rusty after missing most of last season with a knee injury.
"I hope not," Grimaldi said. I got a little bit of the rust out in
preseason here with the practices and everything but I am feeling a lot
better just about my game in general and getting my smarts back so it
will be good to test it [knee] out in a game and get another game under
Rocco Grimaldi was asked, if he is going to play wing or center.
"We will see," Grimaldi said. "I am not sure, I am not sure where I
will be playing this weekend. Will see, I can do either it doesn't
I know it's not a hockey play but Cleveland Browns punt returner Josh Cribbs was absolutely pummeled by the Ravens defender Dannell Ellerbe, some how Cribbs was able to walk off of the field under his own power and was deemed to be okay after this vicious hit.
#Browns WR/KR Joshua Cribbs has suffered a head injury and will not return to tonight's game against the Ravens.
Location of Fairbanks, Alaska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It would appear that the University of North Dakota Hockey
team is experiencing what I would call a rough start to their season. Now the
Athletic Department has suspended eight players to start the season - most of
which seems to be due to a team party that appears to have gotten a bit out of hand.
If Coach Hakstol doesn't have his player's attention now -
he will never get their attention. As a person that follows the UND Hockey
program closely - I am disappointed in the players because there off ice
behavior shows a lack of focus. Obviously, we're talking about young adults and
college students do party from time-to-time, it's a fact of life.
That being said, I don't think that their offseason
activities will have much of an effect on their season if they can get their
act together. I can't imagine what kind of consequences that will levied if
someone gets into more trouble, especially after all that has happened in the
It sounds like some players need to grow up and concentrate on playing hockey and need to spend less time having team parties.
So if anyone is keeping track at home - the roster for the Brice
Alaska Goal Rush tourney in Fairbanks Alaska is going to have a depleted roster
both nights of the tourney.
English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I haven't been following the NHL Lockout news as closely lately
because frankly it's been depressing and there hasn't been much in the
way of news to come out. There also hasn't been any serious meetings
either. I am hoping that NHL Network and NBCSN decided to give us some
AHL hockey this season because I don't think we're going to have an NHL
Season. It could also be a very long NHL season = No Hockey League
Larry Brooks; New York Post ---
It Is time for the moderate and progressive wings of the NHL Board of
Governors to reclaim their league from the extremists who have managed
to set the collective bargaining agenda.
It is time
for the Governors who have been cowed most notably by owners'
commissioner Gary Bettman and Boston's Jeremy Jacobs to gain control
before this runaway train of an insane lockout goes over the cliff,
taking the 2012-13 season and the NHL's credibility with it.
of a sudden, it is getting late early. All of a sudden, what seemed
unthinkable over the summer and even up to a week ago, appears not only
possible, but probable: The season -- another season -- is going to be
What kind of league operates this way? What
kind of industry routinely shuts its doors upon expiration of each labor
agreement? What manner of leader rules by gag orders, veto power and
There is a deal to be had here. Everyone in
the industry recognizes it, and essentially everyone in the industry,
including those on both sides of the aisle, recognizes the deal starts
with the league guaranteeing all existing contracts with a capped rate
of escrow of approximately 5 percent.
Toronto Star reported on Friday that, according to a source,
commissioner Gary Bettman plans to pull the plug on this season's Winter
Classic as early as November.
"Gary told (the owners)
he was going to cancel the Winter Classic in November because he didn't
want the players to use the game as leverage," the Star's source said.
one should be confused now - the NHL owners aren't going to give an
inch in this labor disagreement and the NHL owners are bound and
determined to weaken the NHLPA and will kill the season to make their
Kind of makes a guy wonder why the Owners and
Players don't just send this labor disagreement to arbitration hearing
now to save our season. It doesn't take a great hockey mind to figure
out that the owners don't plan on moving and they have sent their lap
dog Gary Bettman out to relay that message.
the fact that Gary Bettman is out there already threatening to cancel
the Winter Classic should send the players a message that the owners
plan on doubling down and agree with Bettman's tactics. There is going
to be no give and take here and this is beginning to look a lot like
2004-05 all over again.
The people that are going to
suffer the most in this labor disagreement is the fans -it appears at
least right now that the neither side care too much about the fans.
being said I do blame the owners for most of this mess - if you were so
broke why the owners signing these ridiculous contracts during the
offseason. I am pointing my finger at the Owner of the Wild and the
Nashville Predators specifically right now. Seriously, that is like
someone that is grossly overweight complaining about their weight
problems after eating a huge helping of chocolate cake. The owners can't
have it both ways.
One of my facebook friends pinged me today and asked me if I had the link to the Sacramento State blog post that Bill Bradley of the Sac State Sports wrote that said that the Big Sky Conference should kick UND out of the Big Sky Conference because of the school's Fighting Sioux Nickname.
was before UND has finished their transition period where they became
an official member of the BSC. Apparently, the said author didn't think
UND was worthy of being in the Big Sky Conference based our nickname.
getting kicked out of the Big Sky Conference was a concern around the
UND athletic department this past spring before the June 12th vote on
the measure 4 nickname referendum was voted down.
That being said, it was interesting to re-read what this beat writer from had said.
problem is UND's entry to the Big Sky hasn't gone as planned - at all.
From its botched entry in the league to its continued controversy over
the Fighting Sioux nickname, UND has transitioned into the Big Sky like a
child going kicking and screaming.
Which is why the
Big Sky Conference needs to say, "No thanks. We made a mistake. Thanks
for playing. Go find another conference." The premier league in the Football Championship Subdivision
and a competitive mid-major group in basketball doesn't need the long
road trips and headaches UND will bring.North Dakota was supposed to
join with South Dakota
as a package deal. It was all set to make the Big Sky a 14-team league,
Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton said this fall. However, at the
last minute South Dakota got a better offer from a more
geographic-friendly league, the Missouri Valley Conference.
re-reading that article, I guess I am going to enjoy UND's first
official Big Sky Conference win in football against Sac State, even a
little more. I wonder if the writer of said article would still write
his blog post, more specifically I wonder if he still wants to see UND
get booted from the Big Sky Conference.
Seal of the University of North Dakota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One could say that the shoe is now on the other foot - recently there
has been a lot of press about our friends to the south at NDSU as their
football players had gotten into trouble with the law, when as many as
10 players have been involved as what has been described as a voter
petition fraud. Also, one of NDSU's star linebackers also managed to get
two minor in consumptions violations in the last year.
wasn't immune to it either - as we now find out in recent weeks that
two of UND Hockey players have gotten cited for minor in consumption
charges - one player received his minor in consumption about one week
before his 21st birthday - checking the North East court records -
it appears that one of the players in question - actually has received
two citations for MIP's in the last four months (4/27/2012 and
Some are going to say that, it is what it
is... History tells us that college kids; more specifically, college
athletes are going to get into trouble with alcohol from time-to-time.
What's more important is said schools response to incident(s). I would
think that coach Hakstol probably has everyone attention now. While
other fans in the WCHA are yucking it up and having a good time with
UND's expense this too will pass.
So going forward -
UND hockey and NDSU football has had a few off the ice/field incidents
the past few weeks as well - one school gets out in front of the
incidents and responds to them in appropriate manner while the other
school makes excuses and provides cover for their athletes.
morning we find out this that there must have been one hell of a team
party - the end result is UND suspending all four captains of the UND
Hockey team for the first game against the UAA Seawolves during the
Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks - sounds like the head coach is
holding the captains responsible and this "should" serve as a wake up
call for the rest of the team.
As an alumni of the
University of North Dakota, I applaud the UND Athletic Director Brian
Faison and the head hockey coach Dave Hakstol for getting out in front
of this incident instead of letting it fester and give the appearance
that UND condones this type of behavior. It should be noted that all
four captains are of legal drinking age as far as I know - and at this
time there are no charges that have been filed. Details of this incident
are sketchy at this time.
Here are a couple of links to the story.
UND's hockey captains suspended for weekend party - Star Tribune
off, I really don't have a problem per se with the new rules or the new
points of emphasis. That being said, the new point of emphasis is the
direct contact with the head or neck - that is what the NCAA officials
are going to be concerned with the most.
While I agree
that there needs to be better on ice officiating when it comes to
contact with the head "in all" levels of hockey - having the right
officials in the game of hockey is going to be paramount. I believe that
you will see legal hard shoulder to shoulder checks that will be called
a major penalty - resulting in the offending player being thrown out of
the game. I also don't have confidence in the current WCHA's on ice
officials to make the right calls. Here is a perfect example of this happening.
I applaud the fact that the NCAA wants to pay closer attention to hits
to the head - you can also color me as cynical as well. Like I briefly
mentioned earlier - if the NCAA used refs that were of the same level
and quality as the NHL officials I wouldn't be as worried, however,
hockey is a fast game and mistakes are made by the on ice officials -
some of these mistakes are more serious and will have a dramatic impact
on the game as well. In the end, you will end up seeing players pull up
on checks that they would have made a hit on in the past.
Bargaining Agreement on September 15th, 2012 hockey fans are going to be looking for options when it comes to watching hockey.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post - NHL fans have options. One option that you will have - NBC Sports Network
is going to show 24 college hockey games during the 2012-13 season, if
the NHL owners and the players don't solve their labor dispute - this
will be one of the few options hockey fans are going to be looking for
to file the NHL hockey void.
Not all is lost NHL Hockey fans.
Friday nights - if there is a lockout - NBC Sports Network will college
hockey on the television dial - you can check you local listing to see
what channel it's on. For DirecTV subscribers NBSN is on channel 603.
are a few dates on the schedule where there are going to be double
headers, for instance on November 30th, 2012 you will be able to watch
Boston College play Boston University at 7:30 PM Easter followed by Wisconsin at Denver University at 10 PM Eastern.