Friday reading: Hillen, Michigan Tech, Alaska-Fairbanks, DU student assistant, Bemidji State, Minnesota-Duluth, NHL lockout

Former Tiger Jack Hillen’s future with the Capitals (assuming lockout ends fairly soon) is predicted by this Washington blogger. Hillen is pictured last season playing for Nashville.

Here is a feature on a Michigan Tech freshman goalie from North Pole, Alaska, just outside of Fairbanks. UAF had its first practice recently.

Denver player Wade Bennett has retired due to injuries and will return as a student assistant coach according to DU’s Twitter feed.

Bemidji State home games will be broadcast on the regional Lakeland TV Network. This does not affect Colorado College

The NHL lockout is giving these five AHL teams a serious boost in starpower and talent. What does that mean for some former Tigers? It may be difficult for the unsigned free agents to make some AHL teams during training camp, which could lead to a trickle-down effect that may boost some ECHL franchises. Or they may consider the stability of playing overseas, if spots are available.

Once the NHL lockout ends (I remain hopeful), rosters will shift and a number of promotions from the ECHL to the AHL will return things to normal for most former Tigers.

Saturday reading: Minnesota, SCSU, predictions, rules video

The first USA Hockey preseason poll will be released on Sept. 24 with new ones to follow most Mondays.

The 2012-13 Minnesota schedule was finalized  as is the SCSU Huskies.

Sioux7 announced his preseason picks for the WCHA with Denver ahead of North Dakota. Here is Goon’s World’s prediction.

Here is the 25-minute NCAA video with some examples about the rules emphasis and tweaks for the 2012-13 season, including that indirect contact to the head (player hits body and then slides up to head) could lead to a two-minute minor using existing penalties (elbowing, high sticking, roughing, charging) at the discretion of referee. Penalties (including awarding a goal) for dislodging the net is also discussed along with an effort to clarify goals off a players’ skate.

Bob Caldwell is the new assistant coach at Western Michigan.  High expectations are now the norm for Air Force.

The ECHL Colorado Eagles landed a big-time free agent by league standards: The Colorado Eagles of the ECHL announced Thursday the signing of forward Trent Daavettila (dah-VUH-till-uh) who has spent the first four years of his professional career as a standout with the Kalamazoo Wings.  Since the 2009-10 season, no player has produced more points in the ECHL than Daavettila’s 249 (including playoff games).  In that time, his 168 assists also rank as the most, while his plus-52 plus/minus ranking is tied for the 2nd-best.  In 191 regular season ECHL games, the 6-foot, 190-pound forward accumulated 203 points (69-134-203), highlighted by a stellar 2010-11 season (in which he led the league with a plus-28 plus/minus) that helped the Wings reach the league finals.  He led Kalamazoo in points each of the past two seasons (154 in 140 games) & led the 2011 playoff field in points (28) & assists (22) as well.

Tuesday reading: Johnson, CC practice, Wisconsin, Elite League

Former Tiger Tyler Johnson, pictured scoring while playing in Norway, confirmed via Facebook that he will be headed to the ECHL this season to play for the South Carolina Stingrays after playing with Jimmy Kilpatrick on the Norway league champion Stavanger Oilers last season.

Here is the Gazette’s story on the first CC captain’s practice.

Wisconsin landed a commitment from the son of a former Badger, beating out North Dakota and Ohio State.

Here is a recap of Week 1 of the Minnesota High School Elite League, which includes many of the state’ top prospects.

Notre Dame’s Robbie Russo is profiled by INCH.

Thursday reading: Lampl, North Dakota, AIC, WCHA mobile

Former Tiger Cody Lampl, pictured playing for Idaho earlier in his pro career, signed with ECHL Toledo. The Utah Grizzlies assistant captain was traded to Toledo in the offseason. He was traded from Idaho to Utah in 2011.

“Cody is a solid defenseman in his own zone and he has a very high competition level,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci told the Toledo Blade. “He is a proven defenseman at this level and will be a great asset in front of our net.”

The North Dakota athletic director received a contract extension.

Here are the four incoming freshmen for American International College (AIC).

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced its new mobile web site.

Tuesday reading: Dell leaves UND, Quinnipiac, OHL sanctions

Courtesy UND Athletics

North Dakota starting goalie Aaron Dell, pictured, dropped his final year of eligibility to play for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles., which includes CC’s Arthur Bidwill. The link includes a list of the early departures from the WCHA. Here are more details including an interview with Dell.

Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold signed a contract extension that will keep him behind the Bobcat bench through the 2016-17 season.

The college hockey community is wisely staying quiet on the Windsor Spitfires’ recruiting violations punishment. Later in that column, the lawyer representing the student Michigan Daily newspaper against Kitchener is suggesting he may put the whole OHL under the microscope if he must.

This Canadian columnist says the Windsor situation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friday reading: Hall contract,Tech jerseys, Army obit, PSU arena

Former Tiger Tim Hall, pictured, performed well enough late last season to get another contract with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, who travel to Colorado to face Arthur Bidwill‘s Eagles Oct. 12-13. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, CC opens against Clarkson that weekend. Colorado hosts Alaska Wednesday, March 20 and Friday-Saturday March 22-23, which is the WCHA Final Five weekend.

Hall, 22, will enter his first full pro season after joining the Aces as an amateur last year. A week after his CC career ended, Hall made his pro debut in mid-March. He appeared in eight games for Alaska and registered a pair of assists. He also played in five postseason games for Alaska. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Pennsylvania native and defensive forward finished with 40 points (16g, 24a) in 135 college games. As a senior, Hall recorded five goals and three assists in 34 games. Four of his five goals came in the final 12 games of the year. Hall was a mathematical economics major who twice made the WCHA All-Academic team. His best offensive production came as a sophomore when Hall had 18 points (5g, 13a) in 38 games and received the team’s Most Improved Player Award.

Michigan Tech has announced its three new jerseys for the coming season. Here are links to the home white, the road black and gold alternate pictures.

From Tech sports information: “This design is a throwback to the 70s, when Tech played in three straight NCAA Championship games,” said head coach Mel Pearson, who lettered for the Huskies from 1977-81. “As I said when we released the black jersey, we want to honor the tradition and long-standing history of the Michigan Tech hockey program.”

The Army hockey program is mourning the death of former player and officer representative Tom Kennedy, who was killed in Afghanistan. He was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado after leaving West Point.

The first seating section for Penn State’s Pegula Ice Arena was installed Tuesday night.

Weekend reading: MacDonald, Sioux nickname, profiles, Bidwill

From CC sports information …

Tiger Hockey lost one of its all-time greats late last week when Bill MacDonald, a 1952 graduate of Colorado College, passed away at the age of 82.

As a sophomore in 1949-50, MacDonald was instrumental in helping CC skate to the first of its two national championships. He was inducted, along with his entire team, into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.

Elsewhere in the WCHA, supporters have until Aug. 8 to get enough signatures to get the Sioux nickname onto the November ballot.

Inside College Hockey started up its summer A-Z mini-profiles recently. Here are the future CC foes posted so far: Cornell’s Cole Bardreau; Yale’s Clinton Bourbonais; and Denver’s Josh Didier.

Future Air Force foes include: Bentley’s Justin Breton; Robert Morris’ Adam BraceGrant Blakey of Mercyhurst;  Alaska-Fairbanks’ Colton Beck and Ben Danford of Canisius.

The Colorado Eagles announced they have signed DU’s Kyle Ostrow and former CC defenseman Arthur Bidwill.

The Hockey East commissioner gets a contract extension.

A Bowling Green freshman from Latvia is suspended 33 games for playing a pro league by the NCAA.

The NCAA opens the door to admitting Canadian universities.

In the pros: Schultz heads to ECHL Trenton

Former Tiger Stephen Schultz has signed with the Trenton Titans of the ECHL. He is entering his second full professional season, and spent the majority of his 2011-12 campaign in the AHL with the Texas Stars. No contract details were announced.

The 5-foot-11, 185 pound winger tallied 11 points in 34 games with Texas last season, and also had a brief two-game stint in the ECHL with Idaho. The 2011 graduate played in five AHL games after his senior season at CC ended but could not find a regular role in Texas. His AHL contract expired at the end of this past season.

Trenton is the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and the AHL affiliate of the Adirondack Phantoms where Mike Testwuide recently signed a two-way deal.

In the pros: Bidwill signs with Colorado Eagles

Arthur Bidwill saw a chance to move up a level in pro hockey and return to Colorado. He gladly took it.

The former Colorado College defenseman said he signed a one-year contract recently with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles.

“After last season (in the Central Hockey League) ended I was looking for the best fit,” he said Friday. “It is great that I get to stay in Colorado. I really enjoyed my four years at CC. I know the Eagles have a really good fan base. It will be fun.”

Bidwill played four postseason games with the CHL’s Allen (Texas) Americans, with former teammate Brian McMillin, who recently re-signed with the franchise. Bidwill’s season ended early with a knee injury in the playoffs. He he fully recovered by the team awards brunch in May.

Bidwill did well in his short time in the CHL, finishing plus-7 thanks in part to the slower, more controlled pace on the NHL-sized sheets of the CHL, especially when compared to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He knows the ECHL (which used to be an acronym for East Coast Hockey League) will be a step up in speed and skill.

“I do not know really what to expect,” he said. “I hope I can contribute. I know I will go in, work hard and then we will see what happens.”

The preseason starts Oct. 5 with the Eagles hosting the expansion franchise San Francisco Bulls with the regular-season opener at home against Alaska, which has Tim Hall on its protected list, on Oct. 12 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.