All posts by Puck Swami

Longtime University of Denver fan and alumnus.

Tanner Jaillet gets pro opportunity with Wolfsburg Grizzlies of top German League (DEL)

University of Denver Hockey

Denver Post Photo

Recently-graduated DU senior hockey goalie Tanner Jaillet is finally going to get his shot at professional hockey in Europe, as he has reportedly signed a tryout deal with German Elite League (DEL)’s Wolfsburg Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, who lost in last year’s German quarterfinals, recently lost their top netminder, Felix Bruckmann, to season-ending pelvic surgery. Jailett, an undrafted free agent, had hoped for NHL contract interest following his senior season, but the 5-10 goalie remained unsigned.

Jaillet, 24, had a long list of awards over his final two seasons as an NCAA goaltender, including all-NCHC, NCAA all-American and the 2017 Mike Richter Award winner as the top collegiate goaltender in America, when he led DU to the NCAA title. He finished his four-year DU career with an 82-27-16 record with a 2.04 GAA and a .925 career saves percentage. He leaves DU among the top DU goalies of all-time, sharing the all-time wins record with Ron Grahame (82) and remains in the career top five in a number of other statistical categories.

Jaillet will join former Pioneer defenseman William Wrenn on the Grizzlies, and will arrive in Germany on Monday, Aug. 13.

Confirmations:

http://www.grizzlys.de/news_897.html

http://www.hockeyweb.de/del/grizzlys-wolfsburg-holen-torhueter-tanner-jaillet-93956

 

PUCK SWAMI’S RAPID REACTION:  LOGAN O’CONNOR SIGNS WITH AVALANCHE

No. 1 Denver Pioneers hockey hosts No. 2 Minnesota Duluth at Magness Arena

Logan O’Connor has signed with the Colorado Avalanche/Denver Post Photo

National Hockey League teams have feasted on the excellence of the Denver Pioneers hockey program this off-season, taking three of DU’s top forwards (Henrik Borgstrom, Dylan Gambrell and Troy Terry) before graduation, a top defenseman (Blake Hillman) early, its head coach (Jim Montgomery), and now, DU’s captain-to-be.

Logan O’Connor, an undrafted forward from Calgary, Alberta who was slated to become DU’s captain as a senior this season, signed a two-year NHL entry-level contract as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche on July 23, thus ending his college career a year early.  Continue reading PUCK SWAMI’S RAPID REACTION:  LOGAN O’CONNOR SIGNS WITH AVALANCHE

Puck Swami: DU and the Elusive Art of Sports Scheduling in Denver

desk calendar with days and dates in July 2016, flip the calendar page

Sports scheduling for the Denver Pioneers, in all sports, is often an elusive and frustrating exercise.

Being located in Denver is the largest problem, as playing here requires plane rides and hotel stays for all but a handful of DU’s D-I opponents, which is tough for non-revenue sports. We don’t have the exact figures, but it’s probably a safe bet that about 85% of DU’s opponents must fly here to play us, and likewise, DU needs to fly its own mostly non-revenue sports teams to 85% of its opponents — a dynamic that puts a lot of pressure on athletic budgets and eliminates many opponents for cost reasons.

Then there is the mile-high altitude here, a factor that still scares a number of opposing coaches from flatter places. For example, in 2004, the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team, ranked #1 nationally at the time, came out here to play both DU and Air Force, and lost both games. The Cavaliers’ coach publicly blamed the altitude for their stumbles, and the Cavaliers have not appeared on the DU home schedule since then. Who knows how many other opposing coaches privately loathe our altitude? Continue reading Puck Swami: DU and the Elusive Art of Sports Scheduling in Denver

Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU Balances Continuity with Risk in David Carle’s Hire as Head Hockey Coach

david-carle1

DU’s New Head Hockey Coach David Carle – Photo Credit: CBS

The University of Denver’s hiring of David Carle as its ninth hockey coach in nearly 70 years of program history is a hire that has elements of excitement, safety and risk baked -in, and the fact that it took three weeks for DU to announce it means that the hire was no slam dunk.

Carle does have a lot going for him. He has 10 years of seasoning as assistant coach with DU and Green Bay (USHL) under his belt, and can be seen as representing logical continuity of the great program-building that’s happened under former head coaches George Gwozdecky and Jim Montgomery, with the Pios making the NCAA tournament every year that Carle has been behind the bench.  As one DU hockey alumnus texted me after the news, “I love this hire. [Carle’s] got the goods.”  Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU Balances Continuity with Risk in David Carle’s Hire as Head Hockey Coach

Terry, Borgström, Gambrell and Hillman All Leave Denver Early for NHL Contracts

 

Left: Troy Terry, Upper Right: Dylan Gambrell and Lower Right: Henrik Borgström

As expected, the talented Denver forward trio of Troy Terry,  Henrik Borgström and Dylan Gambrell have all elected to forego their remaining NCAA hockey eligibility and have all signed three-year NHL Entry Level Contracts (ELCs) with the respective teams that held their draft rights. These ELCs have a maximum base salary of $925,000 per season, and the players may also earn signing and performance bonuses that may cap out at up to $3.75 million. All ELCs are two-way contracts, meaning that if the player is sent to play the AHL, they will be paid a minor league salary of about $70,000. Continue reading Terry, Borgström, Gambrell and Hillman All Leave Denver Early for NHL Contracts

Pioneers’ Second-Half Rally Destroys the Ohio State Buckeyes, 12-7

29339694_1982705981744043_4148824702971805696_nIn what may a be a turning point of the season, the #5-6 University of Denver lacrosse team shook off a very sluggish start and scored nine unanswered goals to blast the #18-19 Ohio State Buckeyes, 12-7, before a sellout crowd of 2,607 at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on a sunny St. Patrick’s Day afternoon. The win was a measure of revenge for the Pios, who lost to OSU last year, 16-7 in Columbus, Ohio. Continue reading Pioneers’ Second-Half Rally Destroys the Ohio State Buckeyes, 12-7

Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU’s Choice of Maine AD Karlton Creech is a “Safe Hire”

The hiring of University of Maine Athletic Director Karlton Creech as DU’s new Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation looks to be a ‘safe’ hire for the University of Denver, likely to build incrementally on the legacy of the retiring Peg Bradley-Doppes, who spent the last 13 years in the position. Creech begins at DU on May 1, 2018.

DU wanted to hire a “sitting” AD and did just that. Creech will inherit a DU athletic program that is flying high as the best non-football athletic department in the country, but still faces many challenges going forward. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU’s Choice of Maine AD Karlton Creech is a “Safe Hire”

DU vs. CC: Puck Swami’s Updated Rivalry Primer

bob-rf
In 2016, DU beat CC 4-1. before 35,000 fans at Coors Field in Denver. Photo: LetsGoDU

Puck Swami, the Internet moniker of a longtime DU fan and alumnus, has previously offered this basic compendium of DU/CC rivalry thoughts back in 2016 and 2017.  He has updated the story here to reflect the current season, as a prelude to this weekend’s Gold Pan series.

The DU vs. CC rivalry is one of the very best athletic rivalries in the state, and one of the top five in the sport of college hockey. This year, the final two games of the series take on increased meaning, as the Pioneers can retain the Gold Pan trophy for the fifth year in a row with a win in either game or two ties this weekend against an improved CC team, which tied the Pios twice back in December of 2017.   Continue reading DU vs. CC: Puck Swami’s Updated Rivalry Primer

Five Denver Pioneers to compete in 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea

terry Goal
Troy Terry (DU’19) is one of  only four NCAA players to make the US Olympic Ice Hockey Team (Photo: University of Denver)

Your University of Denver Pioneers will be very well-represented when the Olympic Winter Games begin in Pyongchang, South Korea later this February 9th-25th, with five Crimson and Gold athletes set to compete, representing four different countries and two different sports. Continue reading Five Denver Pioneers to compete in 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea

Puck Swami: A Great Victory for Pioneer Fans, but Big Challenges Still Remain

1282-G19-BAR-White

We at LetsGoDU were delighted with yesterday’s news that the DU Chairman of the Board of Trustees had sent an email to at least one alumnus announcing that the Pioneer nickname was staying, and inviting the alumnus to share the news. DU also came out with a new internet home page, which reads “We are University of Denver. We are Denver Pioneers”. While these are certainly significant, it is notable that home pages are (obviously) easily changed, and an email to one alumnus is not the same as a public statement. We continue to encourage the Chancellor and Board of Trustees to make a more declarative public statement that can be pointed to in the future. Indeed, with all the communications tools and administrative staff in DU’s arsenal, it is clear they should not have to rely on an alumnus to share their statement.

Still, we are delighted with DU’s preliminary steps.

Our sources tell us that the threat to the Pioneer name was not only quite real, but very imminent. LetsGoDU had to move very quickly to find its voice and to tell this story, be dogged and determined throughout, and had to work very hard to help our readership to respond in an effective way. Thank you to the team of experienced communicators who got this story out, and to all of you readers for responding and letting the administration become aware of the power of Pioneer alumni and fans.

We don’t know how long the name will stay Pioneers, but this will serve as a powerful reminder that any future change to our nickname will be met with overwhelming opposition.

It also will serve as a different kind of reminder to DU – that in the age of social media and nearly instant two-way communications, it is unwise for DU administrators to attempt these kinds of major identity changes without alumni involvement. It’s no secret that many of the DU senior leadership team avoided interacting with us. Either they underestimated the level of passion that we alumni and DU sports fan have about our school identity, or they didn’t want to hear it. Hopefully, this episode has helped them learn that they need to reach out to us the right way, instead of excluding us.

And LetsGoDU and its readers have reminded them that we’re all watching what they do and how they do it, and when they mess up this badly, they will get called out.

But frankly, this is no time to gloat. We still have many issues with the DU administration that need to be addressed going forward. To know that members of the Chancellor’s senior leadership team were actively undermining our Pioneer identity is still deeply concerning to us. We don’t think that should be in anyone’s DU job description.

We hope that there will now be some accountability for the arrogant overreach we have all witnessed. Inclusive Excellence has merit, but it needs to be practiced in an inclusive way that includes all of the DU community, not just for those who claim oppression. We hope DU will redirect those IE people who reductively sought to damage our traditions toward more productive concerns, such as outreach, scholarships, mentorships and opportunities. Senior administrators should never have a carte blanche to simply attack everything they don’t like, or to enlist students to work against the interests of the DU larger community. They should practice unity and not division.

Secondly, the additional allegations of DU senior leadership team malfeasance regarding the anti-Boone “mask” policy has left that policy exposed and without any moral credibility. Accordingly, we hope that the Board of Trustees will revisit the policy during their meetings this week. In light of the disingenuousness LetsGoDU exposed, and the shady back story of how it was created for reasons other than safety, as well as the surge of alumni goodwill that can be anticipated if the policy is revoked, we hope the Board will rescind this debunked policy. The sooner the Board throws it out, or at least makes an exception for a vetted Boone, the more credibility they will gain with their largest audience.

Finally, the appearance of administrative deceit, honor code violations by high level DU administrators and staff, and the ignoring of alumni and fans in this process are hugely concerning to all of us. We hope DU will use what it has learned to clean up its house so that we can trust our university again.

It should be known and remembered that we didn’t choose this fight. We became forced to fight for our 93-year-old Pioneer identity when we were betrayed by our leadership. DU is a much better place today as than it was a few weeks ago, and while we hated revealing some of the things we were forced to reveal, we know that we were right to do it. University employees who lived in fear of the University’s Inclusive Excellence shadow have reached out to us to let us know how thankful they are to us, as they lived in fear of retribution if they spoke out. Indeed, this would be a very good time to look at IE in a much more critical way. For all the good things that it can create, there is a dark side to it that stunts free speech, kills diversity of thought and, apparently, can turn capable administrators into seditious community-dividers.

We look forward to the healing that must take place, but we also remind everyone that we should never have to experience dishonesty, malfeasance and deception from our own leaders.

We hope that DU will work hard to restore our confidence following the betrayals we have experienced as this episode has unfolded.

We also hope that the Board of Trustees will address the contents of this column in their meetings, and will take the actions it needs to take.

DU needs to be better, and we all play a part in that.

Puck Swami is the Internet moniker of a long-time DU fan and alumnus. Her shares his views periodically here at LetsGoDU.