Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who Is Running the WCHA?

Just when you think the WCHA can't get any more screwed up, they challenge that notion, again.

We're aware of the Wandering Coach Hockey Association (courtesy PCM) merely rubber-stamping a wrist-slap on George "The Dashing Dasher Dancer" Gwozdecky by Denver University. Coach Gwoz got a one-game suspension for: a) standing on the dasher and delaying play, b) a stroll across the ice attempt to intimidate a uniformed league game official, and c) violation of the "no contact with team until the contest is complete" rule that is part of a game ejection. (Did I mention that Coach Gwoz was part of the rules committee not that long ago?)

We're aware of the WCHA rubber-stamping another DU action when they suspended Mullen for a vicious, and near bench-clearning brawl triggering, slash at the end of a game at UM-Duluth.

We're aware of the league doing nothing about MSU-Mankato's Trevor Bruess (who should have been called for checking from behind after a vicious hit on UND's Jason Gregoire but it was called "boarding"). Before that, Bruess had been penalized for kneeing. The next night, in a game he probably shouldn't have been playing in due to the check from behind, he ends up (I'm going to say it) slew footing UND's Derrick LaPoint, breaking LaPoint's leg in two places in the process. The league rubber-stamped the MSU-Mankato "no reason given" suspension of Bruess for a game.

Oh, and MSU-M's Geoff Irwin laid just as vicious of a slash on a UND player as the one that got Mullen suspended by DU (not by the league remember). And like Mullen, Irwin's was at the end of a game and could've trigged a post-game brawl. Irwin received no sanction for that: Thank you MSU-M and WCHA.

The WCHA doesn't lead when it comes to player safety. It appears to have abdicated that role completely.

Turns out the WCHA doesn't even have a contingency plan for the (given recent seismic activity) likely event of a volcanic eruption affecting games and travel with Alaska-Anchorage. Don't get me wrong, volcano plans aren't the norm, but the league has no "act of God" (think: blizzard) contingency plan that applies?

Now we find out that the penalty to Wisconsin's Mitchell (at the end of the Saturday game with DU) is a major and game DQ, no, a double-minor, no, wait, a major but only a game misconduct. (Dear Wisconsin president, after you decide what to do with Mitchell, make sure the WCHA gets a chance to rubber-stamp it.)

Read all about Mitchell and the "no reason given" MSU-M suspension of Bruess at USCHO.

If Milewski's blog is correct the change appears to fly in the face of the NCAA (you've heard of them I'd guess) rule that penalties after games can only be INCREASED, not reduced. Then again, the WCHA didn't seem to care about the Dashing Dasher Dancer violating the NCAA "team contact" rule.

Then again, the league seems to not care about NCAA points of emphasis regarding checking from behind and obstruction much either.

Just when you think the WCHA can't get more screwed up it shows its consistency:

The WCHA lacks consistent leadership, and worse, consistently just lacks leadership.

1 comment:

Nate F said...

I agree completely. The Mitchell situation is mind boggling. When I was reading about it, all I could say was "wow."

Maybe it was a poor call by the on-ice official, but show some faith in your officials and back them up on the call. Back-tracking like they did with this one will make things even worse.

I imagine the conversation in the league office went something like this..."Wait guys, now that we know it comes with an extra game penalty, we have to come up with some kind of excuse to change our minds on the call. We didn't really mean to call that penalty. I mean...uh...we looked at the tape, and uh...Ooh, something shiny!"