Earlier this week, the St. Cloud Times published an incredibly interesting article about SCSU’s circuitous journey to become the 7th member of the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Through a significant public records request, the Times pieced together how St. Cloud’s president (Earl Potter III), head hockey coach (former Miami assistant Bob Motzko) and a consultant (former North Dakota head coach Gino Gasparini) worked the back channels, the media and the other NCHC athletic directors and coaches to earn a home in the new conference.
Kudos to St. Cloud State’s leadership in trying to take the high road and being ready to accept the invite that eventually came in September even though the charter members, including Miami, were announced in July.
Though I must be honest and profess that I would have preferred Notre Dame over St. Cloud, in the end, I think the inclusion of the Huskies will benefit the league. And, as Gasparini said in an email, SCSU “allows the fox into the hen house.” By that, Gasparini was referring to the opening of the recruiting flood gates for Miami (and Western Michigan) as they will now have more occasion to be in Minnesota, playing and selling the state’s best junior/high school players on Miami hockey. In short, the league will most certainly make recruiting the “State of Hockey” easier and more effective than ever for the RedHawks. And, the inclusion of St. Cloud State is one reason why it will happen.