Wednesday reading: West, Lowell, SCSU, Providence, Michigan

Former Minnesota women’s standout Emily West, a Pine Creek High School graduate in Colorado Springs, was named to the U.S. Over 18 camp roster for the 2012 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival Aug. 5-13 in Blaine, Minn.

The graduated Gophers captain scored the game-winners in the WCHA postseason and NCAA Tournament championships games to conclude her college career.

The festival ends with the selection of teams to represent the United States in a  a U22 series vs. Canada in Calgary. Three games between the two nations will be played from Aug. 16-19.

Here are the nine incoming freshmen, including fifth-round NHL draft pick Connor Hellebuyck, for future CC foe UMass-Lowell, which is coached by former Tiger assistants Norm Bazin and Jason Lammers.

Former SCSU standout  David Eddy was featured by the Calgary Flames web site.

Providence picked up a Flames’ NHL Draft pick a year earlier than expected.

Michigan retains a big-time defenseman.

NHL free agency: Wild ink Connelly to two-year, two-way deal

The Wild brass continue to make smart moves including this very good depth signing. This was a smart move by former Tiger Brian Connelly, pictured in foreground, who reportedly did not seem a good fit for the Flames organization.

Tiger fans can expect Connelly to make his NHL debut and  spend a little time in St. Paul this season depending on the big club’s health.

He joins Nate Prosser and Chad Rau at the Minnesota training camp later this summer/fall.

Here is the updated list of former Tigers testing the waters of free agency as of 9a.m. MT this July 7.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, (Dallas): Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

From NHL.com …

The Minnesota Wild bolstered its defensive depth late Friday night by inking defenseman Brian Connelly to a two-year, two-way deal. The move gives the Wild an added weapon from the blue line capable of contributing at the offensive end and displaying outstanding puck moving ability and skating.

The Bloomington native split time between the Abbotsford Heat and Rockford IceHogs last season of the American Hockey League. His 52 points (6-46=52) ranked second amongst defensemen in the AHL.

Connelly has played in the AHL All-Star Game the last two seasons. At last year’s AHL Skills Competition, he represented the Western Conference in the Fastest Skater Competition.

The 26-year-old has played professionally. For three seasons, all in the AHL. Before turning pro, the blueliner was a three-year standout at Colorado College. With the Tigers, he amassed 63 points (8-55=63) and was a teammate of Nate Prosser and Chad Rau.

A left-handed shot, Connelly is listed at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds.

Friday reading: Duluth, SCSU, UMass, outdoor games, CC free agents

Three former Minnesota-Duluth defensemen signed NHL contracts.

St. Cloud State is bringing in a Finnish forward this fall along with other updates on the Huskies.

UMass is turned down for the second time this week. The search committee for a new head coach is now regrouping. This story suggests why the job may not be all that attractive. Here is more from the UMass fan blog wondering what the deal is.

Some outdoor hockey games will be played in a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre in Croatia, pictured, by some European leagues this Sept. 14 and 16. The facility has hosted a number of big-time music acts over the years and seats 5,000.

Here is the updated list of former CC Tigers testing the waters of free agency as of 11 a.m. MT this July 6th.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, (Dallas): Brian Connelly (Calgary); Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

From the GF Herald Twitter feed: Brendan O’Donnell, who missed the second half of the season after shoulder surgery, is playing at Tampa’s development camp.

NHL free agency: Available Tigers update

Here is the updated list of former CC Tigers testing the waters of free agency as of 11 a.m. MT this July 4th.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, pictured, (Dallas): Brian Connelly (Calgary); Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

Of those listed, Bachman has the best chance of an NHL-only contract while the others are looking for two-way deals.

Weekend reading: DU’s Bennett leaves early; Mankato coach search

Denver’s Beau Bennett has left early to join the Penguins organization.

UNO assistant Mike Hastings is in Mankato interviewing for the purple Mavs vacant head coaching job.

This article shows that NCAA Division I hockey is the better route to the NHL.

Hobey Baker Award winner Jack Connolly of Minnesota Duluth has signed a pro contract with a Swedish pro league team.

Former Tiger Brian Connelly’s future in Calgary is discussed here.

Former CC assistant Norm Bazin is the USCHO Coach of the Year.

North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol is the Inside College Hockey Coach of the Year.