UMD 2010-11 Schedule

      Minnesota Duluth’s 2010-11 schedule has already been posted on Rink and Run, but the school made an official release Friday. So here’s the release and the schedule. The only addition is a Jan. 8 home game with the USA Under18-team, which helps break up more than a month between games from Dec. 11 to Jan. 14. The only other game in that period is the opening of the DECC Expansion versus North Dakota, non-conference, on Dec. 30 in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.

     From UMD: A much-anticipated midseason move into a new facility and the Minnesota Duluth’s final eight games in the 44-year old Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center are among the highlights of the
2010-11 Bulldog men’s hockey schedule.
     The Bulldogs will launch their 67th year of intercollegiate competition — and 50th season as a member of the NCAA Division I ranks — on Oct. 8 with a road engagement against Lake Superior State University before taking on host Northern Michigan University, which qualified for the NCAA tournament this past March, the next evening in another Superior Cup matchup. One week later (Oct. 15-16), Hockey East combatant Providence College is slated to visit the DECC for UMD’s 2010-11 home debuts and the University of Alaska Anchorage will be in town the following weekend, marking the start of the Bulldogs’ 28-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association slate.

     UMD will host two more series at the DECC — Nov. 12-13 vs. Michigan Tech University and Dec. 3-4 against defending WCHA regular season champion Denver — until it christens its new $70-million, 6,800-seat arena on Dec. 30 by facing the University of North Dakota in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game. The remainder of the Bulldogs’ home schedule includes clashes with 2010 NCAA Frozen Four runnerup the University of Wisconsin (Jan. 14-15), the University of Minnesota (Feb. 4-5), St. Cloud State University (Feb. 11-12), the University of Nebraska-Omaha (regular season finales on March 4-5), which, along with Bemidji State University will join the WCHA fold this season, and the U.S. Under-18 Team (exhibition game on Jan. 8).

     The 2010-11 Bulldogs are slated to play Michigan Tech, Minnesota and Wisconsin four times next winter and the eight other WCHA schools twice each.

     "I can’t think of a better way to open our new building then to do so against our biggest rivals in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and St. Cloud State," said coach Scott Sandelin, who will embark on his 11th season behind the UMD bench this fall. "But, at the same time, that means we’ll have very challenging second half to deal with."

     UMD closed out 2009-10 with a 22-17-1 overall record — a second straight 22-win season — and tied for fourth place in the WCHA at 16-11-1 (their best conference mark in five years). The Bulldogs, who held down the No. 14 spot in the final poll, also advanced to the WCHA Final Five tournament for the fifth time in eight seasons.

UMD 2010-11 Schedule

10/8/2010 Lake Superior State Sault Ste. Marie, MI 6:05 pm
10/9/2010 Northern Michigan Marquette, MI 6:30 pm  
10/15/2010 Providence College Duluth 7:07 pm  
10/16/2010 Providence College Duluth 7:07 pm  
10/22/2010 Alaska-Anchorage Duluth 7:07 pm  
10/23/2010 Alaska-Anchorage Duluth 7:07 pm  
10/29/2010 Bemidji State Bemidji, MN 7:07 pm  
10/30/2010 Bemidji State Bemidji, MN 7:07 pm  
11/5/2010 North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 7:37 pm  
11/6/2010 North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 7:07 pm  
11/12/2010 Michigan Tech Duluth 7:07 pm  
11/13/2010 Michigan Tech Duluth 7:07 pm  
11/19/2010 Wisconsin Madison 7:07 pm  
11/20/2010 Wisconsin Madison 7:07 pm  
11/26/2010 Clarkson Potsdam, NY 6:00 pm  
11/27/2010 Clarkson Potsdam, NY 6:00 pm  
12/3/2010 Denver Duluth 7:07 pm  
12/4/2010 Denver Duluth 7:07 pm  
12/10/2010 Minnesota Minneapolis 7:07 pm   
12/11/2010 Minnesota Minneapolis 7:07 pm   
12/30/2010 North Dakota Duluth 7:37 pm  
1/8/2011 U.S. Under-18 Team Duluth 7:07 pm  
1/14/2011 Wisconsin Duluth 7:07 pm  
1/15/2011 Wisconsin Duluth 7:07 pm  
1/21/2011 Michigan Tech Houghton, MI 6:07 pm  
1/22/2011 Michigan Tech Houghton, MI 6:07 pm  
2/4/2011 Minnesota Duluth 7:07 pm   
2/5/2011 Minnesota Duluth 7:07 pm   
2/11/2011 St. Cloud State Duluth 7:07 pm  
2/12/2011 St. Cloud State Duluth 7:07 pm  
2/18/2011 Minnesota State-Mankato Mankato, MN 7:37 pm  
2/19/2011 Minnesota State-Mankato Mankato, MN 7:07 pm  
2/25/2011 Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO 8:37 pm  
2/26/2011 Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO 8:07 pm  
3/4/2011 Nebraska-Omaha Duluth 7:07 pm  
3/5/2011 Nebraska-Omaha Duluth 7:07 pm  
3/11/2011 WCHA Playoffs (First Round)      
3/12/2011 WCHA Playoffs (First Round)      
3/13/2011 WCHA Playoffs (First Round)      
3/17/2011 WCHA Final Five St. Paul    
3/18/2011 WCHA Final Five St. Paul    
3/19/2011 WCHA Final Five St. Paul    
3/25/2011 NCAA Regionals TBA     
3/26/2011 NCAA Regionals TBA     
3/27/2011 NCAA Regionals TBA  
4/8/2011 NCAA Frozen Four St. Paul    
4/9/2011 NCAA Frozen Four St. Paul    

Yzerman as Tampa Bay GM?

      Former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Tom Kurvers, an assistant general manager with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is working to keep the NHL team operating as a general manager is sought to replace Brian Lawton. The Windsor (Ontario) Star had this story Thursday on the prospect of Steve Yzerman coming to the Lightning:

The Windsor Star

The Detroit Red Wings have granted permission for Tampa Bay to speak with Steve Yzerman about the vacant general manager job, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Yzerman won’t comment on the possibility but Dreger said Yzerman’s interest in making the move may be increased when Detroit soon announces Ken Holland’s contract extension as executive vice president and general manager.

Yzerman, a vice-president with the Red Wings and executive director for Canada’s Olympic gold medal team, is believed to be high on new Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s short list of potential GMs.

Dave Nonis, the senior vice-president of hockey operations for the Toronto Maple Leafs is considered the frontrunner, and former Flames GM Doug Risebrough, a New York Ran-gers consultant this season, is another top candidate for replacing the recently fired Brian Lawton as Tampa Bay GM.

Northland Connection

Northland Connection No. 18 for 2009-10: Players with connections to Minnesota Duluth, Northeastern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. PLEASE, send along any updates of players not listed here, or corrections, deletions and other information. You can post to Rink and Run or e-mail


Jason Garrison, D, Florida, 39 GP, 2-3-5; Rochester, 38 GP, 3-16-19

Alex Goligoski, D, Pittsburgh, 69 GP,  8-29-37; playoffs 6 GP, 1-2-3

Jamie Langenbrunner, F, New Jersey, 81 GP, 19-42-61; playoffs 5 GP, 0-1-1

Matt Niskanen, D, Dallas, 74 GP, 3-11-14

Mason Raymond, F, Vancouver, 82 GP, 25-29-53; playoffs 6 GP, 1-0-1

Jay Rosehill, F, Toronto, 15 GP, 1-1-2; Marlies, 46 GP, 1-2-3


Zach FitzGerald, D, Albany (N.Y.), 77 GP, 2-12-14

Josh Meyers, D, Abbotsford, 54 GP, 3-15-18; playoffs 6 GP, 1-0-1

Evan Oberg, D, Manitoba, 70 GP, 3-23-26; playoffs 5 GP, 1-1-2; Vancouver, 1 GP, 0-0-0

MacGregor Sharp, C, San Antonio, 40 GP, 9-9-18; Bakersfield, 16 GP, 4-10-14; Anaheim, 8 GP, 0-0-0

Tim Stapleton, F, Chicago Wolves, 73 GP, 30-29-59; playoffs 7 GP, 2-4-6; Atlanta 6 GP, 2-0-2

Steve Wagner, D, Peoria, 46 GP, 3-12-15; Wilkes-Barre-Sranton 20 GP, 1-6-7; playoffs 4 GP, 0-1-1

Craig Weller, F,  Providence, 55 GP, 4-10-14; Houston, 5 GP, 0-1-1; Chicago, 14 GP, 0-3-3; playoffs 4 GP, 0-0-0

Clay Wilson, D, Rochester, 75 GP, 14-46-60; playoffs 7 GP, 2-0-2


Ross Carlson, F, Florida, 62 GP, 28-25-53; playoffs 6 GP, 2-5-7

Andrew Carroll, F, Charlotte, 61 GP, 30-17-47; playoffs 11 GP, 4-5-9

Jay Cascalenda, D, South Carolina, 42 GP, 2-5-7    

Jon Francisco, F, Ontario (Calif.), 72 GP, 15-30-45; playoffs 7 GP, 1-4-5

Ben Gordon, F, Reading, 56 GP, 24-45-69; playoffs 9 GP, 2-8-10

Gino Guyer, F, Bakersfield, 59 GP, 14-14-28; playoffs 7 GP, 0-0-0

Nick Kemp, F, Bakersfield, 62 GP, 9-13-22; playoffs 8 GP, 0-0-0

Dan Knapp, D, Ontario (Calif.), 40 GP, 1-1-2

Matt McKnight, F, Idaho, 48 GP, 13-18-31; playoffs 4 GP, 3-2-5

Aaron Slattengren, F, Charlotte, N.C., 52 GP, 17-23-40

Weston Tardy, D, Idaho, 50 GP, 1-18-19; playoffs 4 GP, 0-0-0    


Rod Aldoff, D, Rapid City, 31 GP, 1-6-7; Amarillo, 24 GP, 0-6-6

T.J. Caig, F, Tulsa, 51 GP, 23-32-55

Jay Hardwick, D, Rio Grande Valley, 60 GP, 0-4-4

Tom Sawatske, D, Rio Grande Valley, 58 GP, 4-8-12

Evan Schwabe, F, Laredo, 59 GP, 14-39-53; playoffs 7 GP, 1-4-5


Nick Anderson, F, Freiburg, 22 GP, 2-4-6; Landschut, Germany, 7 GP, 0-2-2

Nick Angell, D, Frankfurt, Germany, 56 GP, 13-14-27

Tim Hambly, D, Ingolstadt ERC, Germany, 56 GP, 3-19-22; playoffs 10 GP, 0-4-4

Andy Sertich, D, Zagreb, Austria, 65 GP, 9-30-39


Joey Hughes, F, Pensacola, 36 GP, 9-11-20

B.J. Radovich, F, Huntsville (Ala.), 56 GP, 12-22-34; playoffs 8 GP, 0-3-3



Alex Stalock, Worcester (Mass.), 61 GP (39-19-2), 2.63, .908; playoffs 7 GP (5-2), 2.17, .924,   


Adam Hauser, Kassel, Germany, 51 GP,  3.65, .903; playoffs 4 GP, 2.39, .918

2010 U.S. Team

     The 2010 United States men’s national team added 11 players Thursday. Here’s a release from USA Hockey:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that 11 players have been added to the 2010 U.S. Men’s National Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s Championship, May 7-23, in Cologne, Gelsenkirchen and Mannheim, Germany. In addition, Joe Sacco, head coach of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and a finalist for the 2010 Jack Adams Award as the league’s coach of the year, joins the coaching staff as an assistant coach.

Highlighting the additions is defenseman Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Los Angeles Kings/Univ. of Michigan), who was a member of the silver medal-winning 2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. A Team USA veteran, Johnson is making his third appearance on a U.S. Men’s National Team (2007, 2009). In addition to his recent silver at the Olympic Winter Games, Johnson has captured three medals at IIHF World Championships, including the gold medal with the 2005 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team, the silver medal with the 2004 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team and the bronze medal with the 2007 U.S. National Junior Team. Johnson was also a member of the 2006 U.S. National Junior Team.

Other members of Team USA with U.S. Men’s National Team experience include defenseman Matt Greene (Grand Ledge, Mich./Los Angeles Kings/Univ. of North Dakota/2007, 2008) and forwards Nick Foligno (Buffalo, N.Y./Ottawa Senators/2009) and T.J. Oshie (Warroad, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Univ. of North Dakota/2009). Greene was also a member of the 2003 U.S. National Junior Team and the 2001 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team, while Oshie played for the 2006 U.S. National Junior Team.

In addition, Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College), who helped the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, will make his first U.S. Men’s National Team appearance.

Six players will be making their Team USA debuts, including goaltenders Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo./Peoria Rivermen/Univ. of Maine) and David Leggio (Buffalo, N.Y./TPS Turku/Clarkson Univ.); defensemen Andy Greene (Trenton, Mich./New Jersey Devils/Miami Univ.) and Keith Yandle (Boston, Mass./Phoenix Coyotes); and forwards T.J. Galiardi (Denver, Colo./Colorado Avalanche/Dartmouth College) and Tim Kennedy (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Sabres/Michigan State Univ.).



2010 United States Men’s National Team                                                                                  


No   Name                                 Ht (cm)              Wt (kg)            Birthdate          S/C       Hometown                              Most Recent Team        College Team (if applicable)                   

1      Ben Bishop                       6-7 (201)           210 (95)           11/21/86             L         Des Peres, Mo.                      Peoria Rivermen (AHL)        Univ. of Maine (HEA)

30   Scott Clemmensen         6-3 (191)           205 (93)           7/23/77               L         Des Moines, Iowa                 Florida Panthers (NHL)        Boston College (HEA)

33   David Leggio                    5-11 (180)         179 (81)           7/31/84               L         Buffalo, N.Y.                            TPS Turku (FNL)        Clarkson Univ. (ECACH)



41   Taylor Chorney                 5-11 (180)         182 (83)           4/27/87               L         Hastings, Minn.                      Edmonton Oilers (NHL)        Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA)

97   Matt Gilroy                         6-1 (185)           201 (91)           7/20/84               R        North Bellmore, N.Y.             New York Rangers (NHL)        Boston Univ. (HEA)

6      Andy Greene                     5-11 (180)         190 (86)           10/30/82             L         Trenton, Mich.                         New Jersey Devils (NHL)        Miami Univ. (CCHA)

2      Matt Greene                      6-3 (191)           237 (108)        5/13/83               R        Grand Ledge, Mich.               Los Angeles Kings (NHL)        Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA)

38   Jack Hillen                        5-11 (180)         200 (91)           1/24/86               L         Hopkins, Minn.                       New York Islanders (NHL)        Colorado College (WCHA)

3      Jack Johnson                   6-0 (183)           218 (99)           1/13/87               L         Ann Arbor, Mich.                     Los Angeles Kings (NHL)        Univ. of Michigan (CCHA)

39   Mike Lundin                      6-2 (188)           197 (89)           9/24/84               L         Apple Valley, Minn.                Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)        Univ. of Maine (HEA)      

93   Keith Yandle                     6-1 (185)           195 (88)           9/9/86                  L         Boston, Mass.                        Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)       



22   Ryan Carter                      6-2 (188)           200 (91)           8/3/83                  L         White Bear Lake, Minn.        Anaheim Ducks (NHL)        Minnesota State Univ. (WCHA)

17   Brandon Dubinsky          6-1 (185)           205 (93)           4/29/86               L         Anchorage, Alaska                New York Rangers (NHL)       

71   Nick Foligno                     6-0 (183)           209 (95)           10/31/87             L         Buffalo, N.Y.                            Ottawa Senators (NHL)       

18   T.J. Galiardi                      6-2 (188)           190 (86)           4/22/88               L         Denver, Colo.                         Colorado Avalanche (NHL)        Dartmouth College (ECACH)

20   Christian Hanson            6-3 (191)           202 (92)           3/10/86               R        Pittsburgh, Pa.                       Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)        Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA)

13   Tim Kennedy                    5-10 (178)         173 (78)           4/30/86               L         Buffalo, N.Y.                            Buffalo Sabres (NHL)        Michigan State Univ. (CCHA)

19   Chris Kreider                    6-2 (188)           205 (93)           4/30/91               L         Boxford, Mass.                       Boston College (HEA)        Boston College (HEA)

25   David Moss                       6-3 (191)           200 (91)           12/28/81             R        Livonia, Mich.                          Calgary Flames (NHL)        Univ. of Michigan (CCHA)

23   Eric Nystrom                     6-1 (185)           193 (88)           2/14/83               L         Syosset, N.Y.                          Calgary Flames (NHL)        Univ. of Michigan (CCHA)

21   Kyle Okposo                     6-1 (185)           200 (91)           4/16/88               R        St. Paul, Minn.                        New York Islanders (NHL)        Univ. of Minnesota (WCHA)

74   T.J. Oshie                          5-11 (180)         194 (88)           12/23/86             R        Warroad, Minn.                       St. Louis Blues (NHL)        Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA)

16   Ryan Potulny                    6-0 (183)           190 (86)           9/5/84                  L         Grand Forks, N.D.                 Edmonton Oilers (NHL)        Univ. of Minnesota (WCHA)


TEAM STAFF                                                                                                     USA HOCKEY, INC.

General Manager: Brian Burke, Edina, Minn.                                                                                   President: Ron DeGregorio, Salem, N.H.

Associate General Manager: David Poile, Nashville, Tenn.                                                         Executive Director: Dave Ogrean, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Asst. Exec. Dir., Hockey Operations: Jim Johannson, Colorado Springs, Colo.                      Vice President and International Council Chair: Tony Rossi, Chicago, Ill.

Team Leader: Bob Webster, Littleton, Colo.                                                                                    Chairman of the Board: Walter L. Bush, Jr., Naples, Fla.

Head Coach: Scott Gordon, Easton, Mass.

Assistant Coach: Todd Richards, Crystal, Minn.

Assistant Coach: Joe Sacco, Medford, Mass.

Assistant Coach: Ron Rolston, Fenton, Mich.

Stalock, Worcester lose in OT

      First a bit of college news as Wisconsin junior defenseman CODY GOLOUBEF of Oakville, Ontario, has signed a three-year entry level contract with Columbus of the NHL.

     The Worcester Sharks and goalie Alex Stalock lost a third-period lead and lost the game in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division Championships series in overtime against Manchester on Wednesday night in Worcester, Mass. The best-of-7 series is 1-1 and continues Friday. This Thursday story from the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette:

WORCESTER —  Worcester Sharks coach Roy Sommer did not have a comfortable afternoon yesterday.

He got a sense at the morning skate that his Sharks were not quite ready to play the Manchester Monarchs in the Game 2 scheduled for here last night, and his coach’s intuition was right. Worcester was beaten 3-2 on Bud Holloway’s goal at 4:29 of overtime.

“They took it to us,” Sommer said of the Monarchs. “We sat back when it was 2-1 and thought we had won the game. Instead of going out and playing to win, we just kept it right there.”

Brandon Mashinter and Derek Joslin had the Sharks goals while Corey Elkins and Justin Azevedo scored in regulation for Manchester.

The next two games will be played in Manchester Friday and Saturday night. There will at least be a Game 5 and will be in Worcester next Wednesday night.

On the winning goal, Holloway fired a wrist shot past Alex Stalock from the right circle. In truth, the Sharks were fortunate to get it into OT. Manchester dominated the closing minutes of the third period but could not convert its chances and, over the course of the game, hit the post three different times.

Holloway has five playoff goals — the Monarchs have five playoff victories, and Holloway has had the winner in all of them.

“You’d figure,” Sommer said of his team, “that they’d know not to let that guy shoot the puck.”

“His history,” Monarchs coach Mark Morris said, “is that he gets stronger as the season goes on. Right now, he’s really riding a wave. We wouldn’t be where we are now if not for what he’s done.”

Elkins scored on the power play at 10:15 of the second period to give Manchester the lead, then Mashinter responded at 11:22 with a bullet from the left circle that went over Jonathan Bernier’s shoulder and in off the crossbar.

Joslin gave Worcester a 2-1 lead at 14:45 with a power-play goal, drilling a slap shot from the left point that broke through Bernier and trickled in. It stayed 2-1 until Azevedo tied it at 7:37 of the third period, deflecting home Alec Martinez’s wrist shot from the left point.

“I don’t know if we took our foot off the gas,” Andrew Desjardins said, “but we let them take control of the game. We didn’t keep playing the same way we played to get the lead. We didn’t keep trying to get that next goal.”

“This is a big momentum swing,” Morris said. “We didn’t want to be down, two to nothing, going back home, and now we’re in our building for two games.”

80,000-plus at Michigan Stadium

      This is more than a week old, but the response to the Michigan versus Michigan State outdoor game Dec. 11 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor has been huge. General ticket sales opened April 21 and there were 14,700 sold. Added to previous sales, there are nearly 80,000 tickets sold for a stadium that seats 107,501. Here’s a Jeff Arnold story from the April 21 Ann Arbor News:

By: Jeff Arnold, Staff

Ever since plans for an outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium were officially announced, Red Berenson knew it would be a hit.

The only question left to be answered was just how sizable The Big Chill at the Big House would be when the Michigan hockey team faces rival Michigan State on Dec. 11.

If opening-day sales are any indication, though, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Berenson anticipated could be a reality.

General ticket sales began April 21, netting 14,700 purchases by 4 p.m., according to an athletic department spokesman. When added to the that seats have already been sold or committed to by season-ticket holders, former players and other groups, officials announced Wednesday that close to 80,000 tickets have already been sold.

"This has just taken off. You knew it would when you have something this special at the Big House – the first time ever, maybe the only time ever," Berenson said in a statement. " Everybody wants to be there. I think we’ll be sold out before we know it. It’ll be a tough ticket to buy."

More than 7,000 tickets sold in the first 30 minutes they were sold – a total that rose to more than 11,000 by 10:30 a.m. End zone tickets are priced at $15 each, with a group sale rate of $10 for purchases of 15 or more tickets.

Michigan State holds the record, 74,544 at Spartan Stadium for a game against Michigan on Oct. 6, 2001.

Michigan Stadium holds 107,501 for football.

Wednesday’s first-day sales were higher than officials anticipated. With so many tickets already spoken for, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is excited by the possibilities of crowd size pushing 100,000.

"The excitement generated today by the public demand for tickets to The Big Chill at the Big House only reinforces my belief that this hockey game is going to be a very special event," Brandon said in a statement Wednesday. "Until now, I could only imagine how it would be to have 80,000 fans watching the Wolverine hockey team at Michigan Stadium."

Officials are hoping to break the record for the largest crowd ever to witness a hockey game. Michigan and Michigan State drew 74,544 in the Cold War game in 2001 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

Brandon told that university officials are planning a series of special events will be held in conjunction with the Big Chill game that could stretch the festivities throughout the weekend.

Among the activities: parties, tailgates, player reunions and public skating sessions as well as an alumni game.

Kurvers Keeps Tampa Bay Afloat

     A Sunday story in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times looks at former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Tom Kurvers, who has stepped in to help run the Tampa Bay franchise while a general manager is sought:

By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer

Tom Kurvers is doing more than just keeping a seat warm for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s next general manager. The assistant GM, moved up after Brian Lawton was fired this month, also has started the healing process within the organization.

After two years of turmoil between former owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, and six weeks of conflict between Lawton and former coach Rick Tocchet over the Feb. 24 firing of assistant coach Wes Walz and the hiring of AHL Norfolk coach Jim Johnson to replace him, it is time to pull together.

"This is the setup for now, and everyone is aware of it," Kurvers said. "There’s nothing hidden."

Including that he will be back in his old job when a new general manager — perhaps former Wild GM Doug Risebrough — takes over, expected to be before the June draft. In the interim, Kurvers, 47, who before coming to Tampa Bay spent 11 years with the Coyotes as a scout and player personnel director, is running scouting meetings in preparation for the draft and for free agency, which begins July 1. He is preparing offers that must be sent out by June 1 to keep unsigned 2009 draft choices from returning to the draft and preserve the negotiating rights to those players through May 2011.

He is getting an education that will be invaluable if he becomes a full-time GM. And he is playing cheerleader. Here is a question-and-answer with Kurvers:

How much of your job is morale-building?

It was difficult the last six weeks. We were all challenged by it. We’ve had some discussions in the office, and we want to put the best foot forward. We’re all going to be assessed again by someone else who has a different set of guidelines for what he’s looking for, and the best thing we can do is cooperate and try to create an air of energy and commitment to the team. There were a lot of challenges the last two years. Maybe some people have a better chance to put their best foot forward now.

How much of that is on you?

It’s a pretty easy conversation to have around the office. That chapter is closed. It wore a lot of people out. Let’s cooperate as a whole new environment takes shape here. Part of the reason any conflict happened the last couple of years, you had owners who played the game, and you can’t play the game without being somewhat defiant and tough and (holding) your ground on things you believe in. We had a coach and a GM who were tough guys. Hockey is full of these people willing to stand up for themselves. There’s conflict in winning environments, too. It’s part of the whole structure and organization of hockey. But for now, we’re going to try to lighten the air some in the office. The key people are aware that needs to happen.

How will what your scouts gather help the new GM?

They’re going to hire a (GM) with experience … and a different set of perspectives on those things. But it will be useful information because our draft lists and our free agent lists are a point of view we develop with the knowledge we already have.

Especially for the draft?

(The new GM’s) decisions will rule the day, but we have to have something ready for him to show our point of view. The GM will want that inside info on how we see our players and how that links up with the players available in the draft and free agency.

Is it weird that you’re holding a seat for someone else?

It’s not weird. The owner (Jeff Vinik) and (his adviser) Jac Sperling asked me to do this, and I agreed. It’s an opportunity. Some of the detail work of a GM I hadn’t seen before, so it’s been a good learning experience. There are a lot of good people here who want to stay on board. This team is going in the right direction, and the best we can do is keep doing the work.

It’s also a bit of self-preservation, correct?

Oh, I think so, for everybody. I don’t think people are seeking to exit here. I think people are seeking to stay a part of it. I look at (my) 11 years in Phoenix, and now they’re a good team. I left a little early, you know? I’d just as soon see this through and see how it turns out. It has great potential to be a really good team.

Do you want to be a GM?

I have aspirations, but it’s not the defining point of why I’m in the game. I like the game. The game’s been great to me. I’ll work to get there, but if I don’t, it doesn’t mean it’s a failure. On the back side of it, I want to be a pro scout again. You add important information to the machine and try to help make it a winner. You work hard. You give up a lot. At the end of it, you just want to be around the game. I’d rather stay in Tampa, but I want to be in hockey.

McAteer to Coach at Augsburg

     This Monday release from Minnesota Duluth on women’s assistant coach Michelle McAteer being hired as women’s coach at Augsburg College in Minneapolis:

In all, Michelle McAteer has won four NCAA titles with the Minnesota Duluth women’s team — three as a player (2003, 2002, 2001) and one as a coach (2010), and now McAteer will try to start another winning tradition at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

McAteer has been hired as the new head coach of the NCAA III Auggies after serving as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs for the past two seasons.  The Toronto native will replace former Augsburg head coach Jill Pohtillam, who was behind the bench for the past 15 years.

"I am excited to take over the reins of the Augsburg Women’s Hockey Program," said McAteer Monday.  "It is a tremendous opportunity and I’m thrilled to step up, lead, and provide a new direction.  I want to sincerely thank Coach Miller and the UMD community.  I have been involved with UMD athletics for 8 of the past 10 years, and I’m grateful for how the program has shaped me.  As a proud alum, I will always maintain my connection to UMD. I will miss the student athletes greatly, and will be cheering for them on and off the ice."

Becoming just the second head coach in Auggie program history, McAteer will assume her head coaching duties ahead of the 2010-2011 season. McAteer was a two-time assistant captain for the Bulldogs as a player 
and finished her career with 67 points 35-32=67) in four seasons (1999-2003) with the Maroon and Gold.  UMD won NCAA titles in 2001, 2002, and 2003, as well as the 2000 and 2003 WCHA regular season 
titles and 2000, 2001 and 2003 WCHA playoff titles during McAteer’s playing tenure.

Chris Connolly Captain at BU

     This Boston University release which includes Chris Connolly of Duluth being named a co-captain for 2010-11. Chris is the older brother of Minnesota Duluth All-American center Jack Connolly:

BOSTON – The Friends of Boston University Hockey held their annual end-of-season banquet April 17 at George Sherman Union. The 2009-10 men’s ice hockey team was recognized and the yearly awards were handed out in addition to honoring the squad’s three-member senior class. Chris Connolly and Joe Pereira were announced as co-captains for the 2010-11 season, while David Warsofsky will serve as an assistant captain for next year’s team.

Junior Nick Bonino was the recipient of the George V. Brown Most Valuable Player Award and the Ed Carpenter Award, given annually to the player with the most points scored.

The Friends * Albert Sidd Unsung Hero Award was given to senior Zach Cohen and sophomore Ross Gaudet was named the team’s Most Improved Player. Pereira received the Bennett McInnis Memorial Award for Spirit.

Wisconsin’s Osiecki to Ohio State

    Wisconsin assistant Mark Osiecki was named head coach at Ohio State on Saturday. Osiecki’s father, Tom, was a successful coach at Burnsville (Minn.) High School and is an assistant with the University of Minnesota women’s team. That hiring news in Columbus, Ohio, had to battle with spring football for attention and was hidden well at the Columbus Dispatch. Here’s a story courtesy of the Wisconsin State Journal:

The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey program is losing its top assistant coach to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Mark Osiecki was named Saturday as the head coach at Ohio State,  Chris Schneider, the Buckeyes’ associate athletics director for sport administration, announced.

Osiecki replaces John Markell, who had a record of 280-267-56 in 15 seasons with the Buckeyes. His contract was not renewed, it was announced in March.

Osiecki was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator for the Badgers the last six years. Prior to coming to UW, he was the head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers in the United States Hockey League for seven seasons.

 It marks the second assistant coach to leave the Badgers’ program. Kevin Patrick announced in March that he was leaving UW to become the head coach of the USHL’s expansion franchise in Muskegon, Mich.

"I can’t express how excited I am at the opportunity to take over the hockey program at an institution as great as Ohio State," Osiecki said. "The locker room is filled with good players and I look forward to building on the tradition of the coaches who have come before me."

Osiecki, who was chosen over Cornell assistant coach Casey Jones, and Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh, brings success and experience at a variety of levels to the Ohio State program.

"We are extremely excited to have Mark Osiecki join the Ohio State family as the next head coach of our men’s ice hockey program," Schneider said. "It was an extremely competitive pool of candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Mark is well respected in the hockey community as someone of strong character who has a history of developing players to be successful at every level, not just on the ice but also in the classroom and community."

At UW, Osiecki was the recruiting coordinator and defensive coach under Mike Eaves. The Badgers advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game this past season and won the national title in 2006. The squad made four NCAA tournament appearances and five appearances in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five during his tenure. In 2007 four incoming Badgers were first-round picks in the NHL Entry Draft, and five were selected among the Top 50 in the 2008 league draft to set an NCAA record.

Osiecki has coaching experience at the international level and was on the staff of the United States team that captured gold at the World Junior Championship this past winter in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He won silver medals as head coach for the United States Under-18 Team at the 1999 World Championship in Slovakia and as an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 Team at the 2000 World Championship in the Czech Republic.

 He led the United States Junior Select team to a gold medal at the 1999 Freedom Challenge in Lake Placid, N.Y. and served as video coordinator for Team USA at the 2006 World Championship. He also was a staff member for the 2008 and ’09 U.S. Junior National Camps in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Osiecki was with the Gamblers in the USHL from 1997-04 and led the team to the Clark Cup in 2000 and was the National Junior A runner-up that same season. The 1999 USHL Coach of the Year, his squad won a league-record four-consecutive division titles from 1999-02. Known for developing players, more than 65 of the Gamblers moved on to NCAA Division I hockey playing careers and 17 were drafted by NHL teams, with 12 of those players spending time in the National Hockey League. The squad recorded USHL records for fewest goals against in a season, team shutouts in a season and road wins in a campaign.

Osiecki started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach and strength and conditioning coordinator at North Dakota under Dean Blais. During the 1996-97 season with North Dakota, he helped direct the Fighting Sioux to the NCAA title and WCHA regular-season and playoff titles.

A three-year letterwinner on defense for Wisconsin from 1987-90, Osiecki served as an assistant captain for the 1990 NCAA Championship team. During the national championship season, he collected career highs with 38 assists and 43 points and earned a spot on the Frozen Four all-tournament team. The squad won conference regular-season and tournament titles during his career and he was the recipient of the Seventh Man Award.

Osiecki was selected in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames. He enjoyed a six-year career, including stints with the Flames, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota North Stars, before a wrist injury cut his career short. He also was a champion on the professional level, wining the IHL title with both the Salt Lake City Golden Eagles in his first year as a pro in 1991 and the Kalamazoo Wings in 1994. Osiecki represented his country as a player, competing for the United States at the 1992 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

A 1994 graduate of UW with a bachelor of arts degree in history, Osiecki and his wife, Robin, also a Wisconsin graduate, have a daughter, Emily, and a son, Jake. He is a Burnsville, Minn., native, and won two state championships playing for Burnsvile High School.

Nate Guenin, former Ohio State captain (2006) and current member of the St. Louis Blues’ organization, played for Osiecki with the Green Bay Gamblers.

"Coach Osiecki brings instant credibility to our program," Guenin said. "He is intense and a hard worker who will get the most out of each player."