As had been said by many writers there are many questions that will have to be answered as the WCHA and the CCHA move forward. So much won't be known until the 2013-2014 season schedules are released. Here are a few of things the tarot card reader told me today and our thoughts:
Bi6 10 schools will schedule non-conference games with their traditional rivals.
We keep hearing that the Bi6 10 schools will work with making scheduling arrangements with the schools future non-conference, which is positive news for UMD, UND, and SCSU fans. However, with the need for UW and UMTC to play home games a real commitment to play road games with these schools is a must. Will they really make arrangements to play at BSU, MTU, UAA, DU, CC, UNO and even MSUM? Not very likely at all.
The new conference will be better for college hockey as the TV viewer audience will be larger with the Big Ten network.
The Bi6 10 folks keep saying this, but with the recent economic times that schools have gone through and some programs already facing tough financial times (MTU, Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Ferris State) it will be surprising if all the current programs will remain. Does adding say Univ. of Illinois improve college hockey if you lose a program such as MTU or Bowling Green, each of which have won NCAA championships?
The quality of play in the WCHA won't be affected.
This is probably true at least in the short term. The Bi6 10 TV network might bring more first round NHL 1-and-done recruits to the Bi6 10 schools, but chances to get a NCAA champion will keep the WCHA teams strong. Most of The schools of the WCHA have strong programs and if revenue is good the play should be good as recruiting efforts won't be reduced.