-Arguably the greatest American born defenseman in the history of the game is finally being honored by his Alma mater, the University Of Wisconsin. It was announced over the weekend that former Badger great Chris Chelios has been included in the 2011 class that will head into the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.
Chelios, who was born in Chicago played parts of 26 seasons in the National Hockey League. He was an 11 time NHL All-Star and won the Stanley Cup 3 different times. Chelios won the Norris trophy as the NHL's best defenseman three times in his career. Chelios was also a member of four United States Olympic teams, captaining the team three times.
The future Hall of Famer played two seasons in Madison and was an elite blueliner from day one. Chelios put up back to back 40+ point seasons in for the Badgers registering 49 points as a freshman and 48 as a sophomore before signing a contract with the Montreal Canadiens who drafted him 40th overall in the 1981 draft.
-North Dakota forward Brett Hextal who most had presumed would sign a contract with the Phoenix Coyotes finally made it official on Friday. It looks like UND is only waiting to hear back from senior to be Jason Gregoire at this point. Hextal is the first UND early departure this offseason and the WCHA's 7th. Remarkably, Hextal is only the second forward early departure so far.
-As you're already aware, future Badgers Nic Kerdiles and Jake McCabe won the gold medal Sunday for the USA U18 squad. This is just a reminder to stop by Chris Peters "The United States of Hockey" blog who has been absolutely fantastic in covering the entire tournament.
-Penn State has officially put out a release on their hire of Princeton coach Guy Gadowski for Men's hockey coaching opening. Gadowski is an interesting choice considering many had assumed that Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin and Wisconsin Women's coach Mark Johnson were the front runners for the position.
-Some former Badgers have recently seen their NHL first round series come to an end. Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers saw their season come to a close at the hands of the Washington Capitals. Anaheim's Brad Winchester also was eliminated today by Ryan Suter, Blake Geoffrion and the Nashville Predators.
-USA Today writer Kevin Allen has released his top 15 American NHL draft prospects. Wisconsin forward recruit Joseph LaBate from the Academy of Holy Angels checks in at #15. Allen notes that with LaBate's upside, he could be selected anywhere from late first round to the end of the second.
-The United States Women's World Championship team has absolutely dominated their competition so far in Switzerland. The ladies will take on Canada in the gold medal game Monday at 1:00 PM CST. Badgers continue to impress in the tournament. Wisconsin junior to be Brianna Decker had 4 points in the USA's semi-final win over Russia. Hilary Knight (12 pts) and Decker (11 pts) who both will return to the Badgers next season are the top two leading scorers in the tournament.
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