Tuesday reading: Prosser, Rau, UND, UMass, Berenson

Here is where former Tigers Nate Prosser and Chad Rau, pictured,fit into the Minnesota Wild’s depth chart.

Grand Forks Herald columnist Tom Miller points out that all eyes will be on the performance of the major sport coaches at North Dakota as the Sioux nickname controversy fades. The major contract extensions will put added pressure on them to produce championship teams.

UMass makes its coaching hire official.

Michigan coach Red Berenson signed a contract extension hrough the 2015-16 season.

Wednesday reading: Adam, Testwuide, Holmstrom, UND, UMass job

Louisville Police Officer Don Adam is also a WCHA hockey referee. Adam was photographed at work Tuesday afternoon, June 12, 2012. Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

Here is a well-done feature on WCHA referee Don Adam, pictured, whose day job is as a City of Louisville police officer.

The Flyers extended a contract offer to Ben Holmstrom but not former Tiger Mike Testwuide. It looks like the former CC captain will be a free agent after July 1.

UND nickname supporters file another appeal.

The Mankato beat writer talks about the WCHA’s Alaska Plan for the 2014 playoffs.

Suddenly the UMass head coaching job is open.

The incoming Wisconsin freshmen are coming in this week to start summer school.

Weekend reading: Interesting 2014 WCHA playoff format, North Dakota nickname, Jaden and Mandi Schwartz, Parise, Big 10

The WCHA announced its nine-team playoff format which includes Anchorage and Fairbanks playing in a best-of-three first-round series every time unless one is the No. 1 seed.

It is clearly a cost-cutting measure so the league does not have to pay for two teams’ round trips to or from Alaska, but could make for some weird playoff scenarios in March 2014.

Here are more details from the Mankato beat writer and a reaction from the UND reporter.

Also, there was no word about any move toward adding Alabama Huntsville. Too bad. There is a lot of unfinished business ahead for the new-look WCHA. There was no word on the postseason venue either.

The state Board of Higher Education has directed the University of North Dakota to retire its Fighting Sioux nickname. State residents voted overwhelmingly earlier this week to uphold the Legislature’s repeal of a state law requiring the school to use the nickname. The moniker that the NCAA finds offensive had been brought out of retirement for a second time while the measure was decided.

Board President Grant Shaft, of Grand Forks, says there’s not much more that can be said about the issue that hasn’t been said already. UND will be asked to report its progress at a later date.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz will get to see the CHL’s Memorial Cup firsthand this week.

One of Mandi Schwartz‘s former teammates is a finalist for a league award in her honor.

The Minnesota Wild keep being mentioned as the possible new homes for free agents Ryan Sutter and Zach Parise. This may be a case of wishful thinking judging from this NHL.com interview by Parise.

Here is a feature on UNO recruit Brian Cooper of Anchorage.

The Big Ten paid out $24,6 million to its member schools.

The Fargo arena is in financial trouble. The Dartmouth women add an assistant.

Division III New England ran afoul of the NCAA’s financial aid rules. UMass has lost its radio home.

The dream is one step closer to fruition: the Penn State club hockey web site shut down voluntarily since the varsity program is handled by the university. Follow TYT for PSU updates.

Here is a look at the Mercyhurst program.

More weekend reading: Lasch, UND, Duluth, BU, Wayne State

Former St. Cloud State standout wing Ryan Lasch, fresh off the Finnish Elite League scoring title (62 points including 24 goals), has signed a two-way deal with Anaheim.

He is the first Orange County native to sign with the Ducks. Lasch (pictured playing for the Lahti Pelicans) is interviewed in this Q&A.

The North Dakota Alumni Association explains why it wants the Sioux nickname retired.

In happier news, incoming freshman Jordan Schmaltz has said he is 100 percent committed to playing at UND.

Nebraska-Omaha reportedly will hire St. Cloud State assistant Steve Johnson as its new assistant coach. replacing MSU Mankato head coach Mike Hastings. An announcement is expected soon. It is expected to take another week to 12 days before North Dakota announces its assistant hire: Brad Berry.

Cody Danberg, 25, received a medical hardship year from the NCAA and was named as captain by Minnesota-Duluth for 2012-13.

Boston University lost a sophomore to the Blackhawks organization. Rape charges against a former Terriers defenseman were dropped.

Wayne State, which recently eliminated its varsity program, has added a club team. Here’s hoping this is the first step toward another varsity program in Michigan.

An unheralded coaching icon at Providence College is retiring.

Here is some interesting info about the big money Canadian major junior franchises haul in while paying their players only $200 per month, which makes them ineligible for a college hockey scholarship, full or partial. Think the kids in the CHL are getting their real worth?

Friday reading: Hastings, Sioux nickname ad and TV debate

New Minnesota State Mankato coach Mike Hastings talks about why he jumped at the chance to coach the purple Mavs.

Here is the latest TV spot urging North Dakota voters about the Sioux nickname debate which goes to the ballot on June 12. Here is a short TV debate between both sides.

Mark Stuart’s father, Dr. Michael Stuart of the Mayo Clinic, is interviewed in this Boston Globe story on youth hockey concussions.

Michigan Tech officially announced its 2012-13 schedule as did Northern Michigan. Here are some details about Michigan Tech’s approach to scheduling.

Wisconsin announced its schedule. With a lot returning (13 forwards, six defensemen, including Justin Schultz at this point, and two goaltenders), the Badgers are hopeful they will to contend in their final season in the WCHA. They open at home against CC on Nov. 2-3.

No word yet on the long-rumored NCHC postseason venue. The recent Minnesota bill signed to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis also included about $100 million of renovations for the Target Center. Hopefully that can address some of the hockey fans’ concerns about the facility before March 2014.

Miami picked up a 20-year-old NAHL defenseman.

St. Lawrence filled one of the few vacant assistant jobs out there with a former Union goalie standout.

Wednesday reading: UND early departures, Connelly, Crabb, J. Schwartz video, Slattengren, Sterling, M. Stuart, Air Force news

Winnipeg Jets' Mark Stuart (L), Tobias Enstrom (C) and Andrew Ladd (R) celebrate Ladd's game-winning goal against the Florida Panthers during the overtime period of their NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Florida April 3, 2012.
Photograph by: Rhona Wise, REUTERS

North Dakota sophomore Brock Nelson signed with the Islanders with Aaron Dell likely to follow him out of Grand Forks. Here’s a roundup of the comings and goings there. Here is a Sioux nickname update.

You can vote for former Tiger goalie Matt Zaba to be named European Player of the Month for March.

Here’s a video interview of Jaden Schwartz talking about his first few games with the Blues.

Aaron Slattengren scored the only Colorado Eagles goal in an ECHL playoff loss to Stockton.

Brian Connelly picked up an assist for AHL Abbotsford while Brett Sterling scored for Portland.

Joey Crabb picked up an assist for the Leafs in a loss.

Ninth-year Air Force assistant Mike Corbett has been promoted to associate head coach according to a press release.

“Mike has done an outstanding job throughout his tenure at Air Force,” coach Frank Serratore said. “He has played a key role in the overall success the program has enjoyed, Mike’s expertise has factored greatly into our six-year championship run, the promotion in title is well deserved and overdue.”

The former Denver defenseman and assistant captain under Serratore works with the Falcon defensemen and also assists in recruiting. Corbett has guided a group of defenseman that has helped lead the team to the five best goals-against averages in school history. This past season, the team allowed just 2.09 goals per game, the second best mark in school history and the best since setting the school record of 2.07 in 2008-09.

I am glad to see this happen. Mike has been a quality coach from the start, beginning when we first met as we started our careers; he as a Junior A coach of the Butte (Mont.) Irish and me as a sportswriter at the local paper.

Here is College Hockey Inc.’s graphic illustrating where the U.S. Division I players come from. Here is the latest from USCHO on the Frozen Four.

Friday reading: WCHA, national web site and blogger awards, previews

The WCHA announced its all-league honorees, including academics. Sophomore forward Jaden Schwartz was named to the second team as was senior defenseman Gabe Guentzel. Sophomore goalie Josh Thorimbert was named as the third team goalie. Inexplicably, Rylan Schwartz was not honored.

The first annual All-WCHA Blogger awards were doled out this morning. The differences are interesting. Both Rylan Schwartz and Guentzel did not make the cut. Jaden Schwartz was a third team forward while Thorimbert moved up to second team netminder.

Whether you agree with the blogger list or not, thanks to Tradition of Excellence for compiling it. I doubt it was easy. The voters, which included me, are listed. I posted my ballot earlier this week.

USCHO announced its all-WCHA honorees as did College Hockey News. Inside College Hockey announced its all-WCHA team and playoff capsules here.

Here are more playoff series previews:

No. 12 seed Alaska Anchorage needs to make marked improvement in a number of areas if they hope to knock off top seed Minnesota at Mariucci. Nate Condon is one of the reasons why that still may not be enough for UAA.

No. 11 MSU Mankato is playing well and has a chance, albeit small, of returning to the Final Five with a series win at Minnesota Duluth, which is leaning on five rookies.

No. 10 Wisconsin will rely on Justin Schultz and Mark Zengerle at third-seeded Denver. Here’s a preview capsule. The Pioneers will platoon goalies this weekend with Juho Olkinuora starting on Friday.

No. 9 Bemidji State has quiet confidence headed into its series at fourth-seeded North Dakota, which has another nickname distraction brewing.

No. 8 Michigan Tech is hopeful that lessons learned from the regular-season finale at fifth-seeded Colorado College will pay off this weekend. The Tigers will need to play up to their potential to get a sweep and keep their Pairwise hopes alive.

No. 7 Nebraska Omaha hopes to reverse its downward trend at No. 6 St. Cloud State, which expects a physical series against the red Mavs.

Here are the Roman Empire’s predictions, including two series upsets.