Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Desperate Plea: Preamble

Chuck already noted Baggot's post about the AHCA meetings starting later today. For kicks, you can check out this quick take from Todd Milewski on USCHO.

These meetings usually come and go with a lot of fanfare, but not a lot of major news. There's usually some slew of discussion about new rule ideas that are crazy, far fetched and have no prayer of being adopted (see also: a lot of the NCAA hockey competition committee meetings). But, since we're living in the post-Big Ten Hockeyocalypse, I think you can expect this year's ACHA meetings to be a lot more interesting.

Ultimately, UW's big concern is going to be settling on the BTHC details. Or, as Baggot said it, "devise strategy and policy" for the 2013-14 debut. It's such a concern that Baggot has mentioned that UW is pretty much sending the entire hockey department down there. Phil Dzick might as well go down there and start leading cheers. The only major figure that Baggot doesn't suggest will be there is Barry Alvarez, but I have a feeling that he'll find a way to be involved.

As you can imagine, there's a lot to settle. Non-conference scheduling (B1G-WCHA-CCHA agreements, perhaps?). Contingency plans in case the cream of the crop of the remaining WCHA and CCHA teams decide to form their own super-conference... or whatever other crazy plans the other four conferences have up their sleeves. Strategies for how to use BTN. Milewski even mentioned the somewhat farfetched possibility that going away from weekend series (for TV reasons) might be on the table.

But, at the end of the day, it's mostly conference rules that need to be settled on. And that's not exactly a short list of issues to deal with. To suggest that the BTHC will be all figured out this week is absurd, but you can bet that they'll get as much preliminary groundwork done as they can.

I expect to hear a lot of interesting news before everything's said and done in Naples.