Thursday, January 15, 2009

WCHA lifts moratorium on expansion

The Western Collegiate Hockey Associate has lifted its 10 year ban on expansion. Although it needed 6 votes to pass, it was unanimous to lift the moratorium.

It's fully expected that Bemidji State, who is currently a member of the fledgling College Hockey America conference, is expected to apply for admission in April, when the league meets. It would take 8 votes for a team to be admitted to the WCHA.

In my opinion, if the leagues teams voted unanimously to allow teams to apply to the WCHA, I don't see any way they don't let in Bemidji State. As long as they get the rink built, it should be a no brainer.

I would personally like to see another team join the league to make it a 12 team league, and many ideas have been thrown out there. The first and most likely name is Nebraska Omaha. With it's proximity to Colorado College and Denver, it probably makes more sense for them to be in the WCHA than in the CCHA.

Overall this is a great thing if the WCHA lets in Bemidji State. Bemidji is probably going to have to fold their program if they don't get into the WCHA. I'm in favor of expanding college hockey, not losing programs.

EDIT: Here are a couple links from the papers, a couple are from yesterday before the WCHA voted, and one is from today talking about the vote.

Bemidji Pioneer: Bemidji has the credentials to join the WCHA
Grand Forks Herald: It's time for the WCHA to help out Bemidji State
Bemidji Pioneer: WCHA votes unanimously to lift moratorium on expansion, Bemidji State immediately announces plans to pursue membership