Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Offseason Notes

The Bulldogs are national champs. Has it sunk in yet? Well their chances at a repeat took a beating in the last week. Let's break it down:
  • The biggest loss of the offseason was Mike Connolly signing with San Jose. He was UMD's best player last season, and due to his size he wasn't a lock to go pro like Justin Faulk was. But his cocky, feisty on-ice demeanor combined with the NHL's efforts to crack down on clutching and grabbing bode well for his professional success. It would be awesome to see him on the ice with Stalock in the Shark Tank in the near future.
    • NHL $600K/AHL $67.5K/Bonus $180K
  • As expected, Justin Faulk signed with the Hurricanes and is skating with their AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers in the playoffs this week. I can't imagine that booming slapper and remarkable poise (especially for a 19 year-old) keeping him in the AHL for long.
    • NHL $750K/AHL $67.5K/Bonus $270K
  • Justin Fontaine signed with the Minnesota Wild. This was somewhat expected, as he skated at the Wild's Development Camp last offseason and played well. This signing comes on the heels of the Wild locking up Chay Genoway to a max deal. As a college hockey and Wild fan I'm pleased to see the Wild brass go after top college talent.
    • NHL $550K/AHL $60K/Bonus $90K
    • Genoway $1.2 million NHL
  • Head Coach Scott Sandelin confirmed today that he will interview for the Penn St. head coaching vacancy. The Penn St. job is the premier opening in college hockey, with billionaire Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pagula bankrolling the program. Penn State is expected to spend between $200K-350K on their first head coach. Sandelin made $169,552 in 2009, and has one year left on his deal. I expect him to stay at UMD and leverage the Penn St. interview into a hefty raise, but it is worth noting his wife graduated from Penn St.
  • No one else from the reigning national champs is expected to leave early. Brady Lamb, JT Brown, and Travis Oleksuk are possible candidates, however. 
  • Mike Montgomery is expected to sign a professional contract sometime this offseason and Kyle Schmitt has stated that he would love to continue his career professionally in the US or Europe next year. Best of luck to both of them.

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