Notre Dame Moves Again – What does it mean for DU?

Notre Dame is departing Hockey East for the Big 10. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have submitted paperwork to Hockey East advising them of their intention to leave the conference. The only thorny outstanding issue was the Notre Dame TV network but that has likely been resolved. College Hockey News’ article further speculates that this move opens the door for  Arizona State to move to the Big 10 as well. The only issue to be resolved is the split of PAC 12 – Big 10 TV money.

In another article in the same College Hockey News edition, the author stated in Arizona State Close to Final Conference Decision that ASU was going to be attending meetings at the Frozen Four and making a final conference decision shortly thereafter. According to coach Gary Powers, “We’re basing our decision (on what is) best for our program in 10 years,” Powers said. “Not 3 or 4 or 5, but 10. We’re approaching building our program in every way and not short-sighted. Hockey is going to be at ASU long after everyone making this decision here is gone.” Between the lines, that says Big 10 to this writer.

So what does that mean for DU?

Short term, very little. Even with this move, the NCHC remains stable. Long term, there are potential impacts on the DU hockey program:

  • ASU is going to be operating out of a major western media market, an NHL city with big city appeal. Sound familiar? Recruits are likely to look at both ASU and DU when making their playing decisions if they either are from the west or looking to play west.
  • ASU is going to have new, top-notch facilities. DU’s facilities are very nice but some of the current facilities are ‘tired.’ Coach Montgomery wants a new locker room to compete within the NCHC. Now, they will be competing with a shiny new facility to the southwest. While many criticize a recruit for wanting top-notch facilities, it is a reality. As we have said before, friends of the DU Hockey program need to step up and get this project done.
  • With Notre Dame leaving Hockey East, does the college hockey conference arms race begin anew? Could Miami go to Hockey East? – (Probably not – Quinnipiac University is the early favorite bus option for HE). If ASU does not go to the Big 10 (unlikely now), would North Dakota go to the Big 10 to battle Minnesota and Wisconsin – some of their biggest historical rivals? Still, as it stands now, it is still extremely unlikely that the Hockey East shakeup will have any impact at all on the NCHC.
  • The Big 10 is still a college hockey behemoth (in terms of money, not talent). Adding ASU and Notre Dame is going to make a splash and the Big 10 will likely start making a bigger impact at least on recruiting and maybe championships. With coaching changes at Wisconsin and possibly (though extremely unlikely) Minnesota, some of the lagging power programs are likely to become PairWise powers again. While the NCHC is still the premier hockey conference today, it theoretically could be passed in the future by the Big 10 if the NCHC doesn’t keep up. That being said, the NCHC as currently configured will remain a top-tier (#1 or #2) conference and annually in the hunt for national championships.

Over the short term, these changes should have a negligible impact on DU. However, if ASU throws a curve-ball and comes to the NCHC, expect the conference realignment chips to potentially fall in Hockey East and the Big 10 which may further impact DU as well as the NCHC.

14 thoughts on “Notre Dame Moves Again – What does it mean for DU?”

  1. Remember the “G” in BiG 10 stands for greed. Adding North Dakota does not fit the B1G’s TV plan. (they added Rutgers for NY/NJ TV sets, not competitiveness) North Dakota has 784,000 people. Colorado has 5.4 million people.

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  2. If they took North Dakota for ‘hockey only’ membership, that would bring in big money and renew some traditional rivalries. But, frankly, I do not see that happening.

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  3. Follow the money, folks. Anybody that thinks the Big 10 will remain a laggard for long is fooling themselves. ASU will go to the Big 10 and some other Big 10 schools will eventually add hockey within 5-10 years. These guys are playing for keeps and they have much bigger wallets to do it. The NCHC will remain an effective conference, but competing for the very top recruits will be much tougher, given the facilities, exposure, and brand name school nature of the Big 10, unless a prospect prefers a smaller school where hockey is the primary sport, as you find at most NCHC schools.

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    1. Timing is bad right now to bring another weak link into the B1G. It’s doubtful another B1G school will add hockey soon unless a big donor comes along a la Penn State. The B1G formed their own League. It has not been successful. (yet it made everyone else scramble) Now they are trying to rectify their poor choice.

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  4. You will all love my dream scenario: B1G ask us to become their 8th hockey team. DU responds; Sounds great. We would love to be in your hockey league. One caveat, you must take our Lacrosse team also.

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      1. Atl Pio: you guys In Atlanta are real active. If we make it to Tampa, hopefully you bring a huge group down. I’m from NJ and part of the group from around USA that brings Boone to games. We will bring a good group from all over the country. It will be a grand party on the Gulf.

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      2. Would either you or Jason contact me to coordinate plans with Peach Pioneers. We have 1 party planned so far.. I left Jason my phone # in Facebook messenger. I don’t want to leave my email here because North Dakota fans read this site and I don’t want to start getting crap from them. Charles

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  5. The Big 10 has no interest in DU for any sport. They are interested in schools with large enrollments, major band names or major research dollars. DU has none of that.

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  6. If we make it to Tampa, I think there might be a group of Atlanta Pios (the Peach Pios) going to cheer DU on. We had about 80-90 Peach Pios watch us beat Duke in Lacrosse in Kennesaw, my home town.

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    1. Boone loves peach pie. All contributors on this site are Boone supporters Hopefully. You got to meet some lax parents inKennisaw
      Bern’s Steak House is waiting for us

      Read DU have spirit on Facebook? Join if not already a member

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