WCHA Offers Spots to 5 CCHA Schools


The WCHA is offering 5 schools spots in the conference starting in 2013 in a move that will shake up the landscape of college hockey even more. Bowling Green, Lake Superior State, Western Michigan, Alaska and Ferris State are the five. If they accept, they will join St. Cloud, Minnesota State, Michigan Tech, Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State and Northern Michigan.

The interesting one to me is Western. The Broncos are rumored to be included in the NCHC plans, but their fate probably hinges on whether Notre Dame chooses to move to Hockey East or the NCHC. Given a 30 day period to accept, I wonder if Western will move to the WCHA and take the safe route, perhaps hoping that if a NCHC spot is opened in the near future they could jump anyways.

Fortunately this will (hopefully) save the programs at Ferris State and Lake State, as there will be four Michigan schools in the new combined league forming a nice group of rivalries there, and it will somewhat lessen travel costs (though they will be higher than in the CCHA).

I am also interested to see how the two Alaska teams are handled. The obvious solution seems to be the creation of two divisions, with one Alaska team in each, to limit the number of times teams have to make that daunting trip.

Sadly, no invite to Alabama-Huntsville was extended. It seems a bit hypocritical to me that every school and conference official is talking about not wanting to lose any programs, yet nothing is being done in regards to Huntsville.

Finally, I saw some talk on twitter of Bowling Green getting an NCHC invite if Notre Dame chooses the Hockey East. I can’t really see that happening for a number of reasons, most notably because the NCHC has cited a commitment to hockey as an important trait in a prospective member. Bowling Green, as you recall, nearly axed their program a couple of years ago.