Weekend reading: Jaden Schwartz, Mankato, Minnesota, NHL negotiations, CHI, NCAA hockey in Lincoln?, outdoor ticket prices

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz could prove to be a real boon for AHL Peoria if he falls short of making the very deep Blues’ NHL roster.

A BCHL defenseman has committed to MSU-Mankato.

Minnesota players and coach Don Lucia took part in a Q&A session at the state fair recently.

The College Hockey News points out that colleges will likely not benefit from a new NHL CBA.

Here is CHN’s Q&A article with new College Hockey Inc. executive director Mike Snee, who looks to take on a more positive tone than his predecessor. Here is an interview with Snee by USCHO.

This Nebraska-Lincoln student columnist thinks UNL should add Division I hockey now that it is in the Big Ten.  Thanks to Goon’s World for finding that. I love the concept, but believe one of the reasons Nebraska-Omaha dropped football and wrestling was to focus on D1 hockey and avoid those kinds of conflicts with the nearby big school. It seems unlikely any school can afford adding a men’s varsity sport (two with a women’s program needed under Title IX) in the near future.

Wisconsin season ticket holders got a rude surprise when the outdoor game ticket prices were announced.

The Atlantic Hockey Association gave its commissioner a three-year contract extension.

College Hockey Inc. names new executive director

From College Hockey Inc. …

Mike Snee, a veteran amateur hockey and NHL executive, has been named the Executive Director of College Hockey, Inc., the organization’s Board of Directors announced today. Snee spent the past four years as the Executive Director of Minnesota Hockey and will begin his new duties on Sept. 17.

“Mike is a very talented professional with a great passion and love for college hockey,” said Steve Hagwell, Commissioner of ECAC Hockey and Chair of the 10-member Board of Directors of College Hockey, Inc. “He has enjoyed a great amount of success professionally. We look forward to a bright future for College Hockey, Inc. under Mike’s leadership.”

Snee becomes the second executive director in College Hockey, Inc.’s history. The organization was formed in 2009 to promote Division I men’s college hockey to prospective student-athletes and fans.

“I have followed College Hockey, Inc. closely since its inception and am honored to have this opportunity,” said Snee, a native of Duluth, Minn.  “I believe strongly in CHI’s mission and look forward to working with [Director of Communications] Nate Ewell and the Board to continue the exciting growth of college hockey throughout the country.”

Members of the Board – which consists of commissioners, athletic directors and head coaches – echoed Hagwell’s enthusiasm for Snee’s hire.

“Mike has a tremendous passion for hockey as well as an understanding of the issues and people involved at all levels necessary to succeed,” said Dave Smith, head coach at Canisius. “As our executive director, Mike’s previous experiences will be beneficial as he takes the lead for Division I college hockey in discussions with the NHL, NCAA and the current and future landscape of college hockey.”

“Mike has had tremendous success as an innovator and leader within the hockey community,” said Dr. Robert Corran, Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at Vermont. “His experience, from the NHL to youth hockey, will be invaluable in preparing CHI and college hockey for the opportunities which lie ahead.”

During Snee’s tenure with Minnesota Hockey he led a multi-platform strategic plan to ensure the long-term growth of the sport in Minnesota. He led the organization’s branding and communications efforts and nearly tripled corporate sponsorship revenue in just four years. He also served as a member of the USA Hockey Marketing Committee.

Prior to joining Minnesota Hockey, Snee spent nine years with Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. He served stints as Director of Corporate Sales and Director of Ticket Sales and worked closely with college hockey as the Xcel Energy Center hosted the annual WCHA Final Five and the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four.

Snee led one of the most successful sponsorship groups in the NHL and helped spearhead the creation and execution of Hockey Day in Minnesota in 2007, a state-wide celebration of the game. Previously he led the initial ticket sales efforts for the expansion Wild, which produced a season-ticket base of 16,000.

Snee, a 1991 graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., started his sports business career as an intern with the Minnesota North Stars and also worked for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Moose of the now-defunct International Hockey League.