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Comrade Fox
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. Like, I get it and do support the faculty/staff unions and all that (ex-Provost Rowsosky is an a-hole and he makes me barf that he's Mr. Catamount #1 Fan with how he treated those people), and I know many of the students are reeling from this, but...also like, large sigh. Just wait until some of the Burlington City Council members find out Coach Woody's ex employer was the Jets!*



*For reference for those of you not up on the local news: Burlington Council Tells Guard to Cool Their Jets During Pandemic
Rosowsky's lucky I bitched one too many times about KS, ROFL

I'm going to let myself be optimistic about this hire though. He's saying all the right things and I've seen some WPG fans/people call him their best coach, seems like a genuinely great person that the students can get behind (look up the story about him running a practice for a First Nations team that had been racially harassed in a Quebec tournament)
 

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Another article from the Free Press on the process of how Woodcroft got the job from the UVM side with some quotes from those you'd expect to be on the search panel like Gervais since he's the hockey sport admin and Jerry Tarrant.
 

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Comrade Fox
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Jerry Tarrant was on the Catamount Insider podcast this week talking about the search:

Some tidbits:
-There were seven candidates they felt were above the rest
-Woodcroft's NHL experience is a strength (cites Patrik Laine as an example, who Woodcroft worked w/ in WPG) - could help w/ advisors and aid recruiting
-Todd is fluent in French, could help in Quebec; Jeff Hill has helped re-open that pipeline
-Thinks the biggest learning curve will be time - going from full-time pro athletes to student-athletes
 

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Good stuff. I think the bilingual thing is a huge help. It's UVM's backyard and while I think being a fluent French speaker doesn't shut the door on recruiting up there, I think it's extra impactful to be able to speak it. It does sound like Quebec and some of the Maritime provinces are catching on that college hockey can be a much better pathway to the pros over major juniors, which is such an exploitative system (not that NCAA sports aren't...but I could easily argue CHL is worse, especially for the non-elite level/surefire NHL guys and how they poach kids/kill their NCAA eligibility at 16 and then they basically get screwed by 18-20 if they're not drafted...they can get the free Canadian college and play there, but based on what I've seen of them over the years at the Gut, those guys play like the Slap Shot era never died).

Did hear that there's a lot of interest in filling out the coaching staff from across hockey. Sounds like a Clarkson assistant might be on the radar. They've been a good program of late so that sounds like it'd be a positive.
 

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Comrade Fox
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Sad news - Jim Cross, UVM HC 1965-1984, has passed away from 'complications related to COVID-19'

 

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Damn, that's a real bummer about Cross. If not for him getting the team turned around once it was fully varsity and having that big run in the D2 days, hockey isn't what it is at UVM (historically speaking). There was that PBS documentary, Brothers of the Gut that was made around the 50th anniversary of the team. Wondering if there are copies out there? I'd heard PBS had to stop selling it because the director of the film didn't get authorization from the NCAA to show video clips and they threatened litigation.
 

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Sounds like the ball's rolling on Vermont hockey repair.
Admittedly, the combination of Woodcroft's hiring and a Covid-created excess of attention bandwith has rekindled my interest in the program. Sounds like this kid is coming in. UVM also got a commitment from Dovar Tinling likely for th 2021-22 season. His brother, Azzaro, is part of this year's freshman class...but Dovar is definitely the prize (I'm assuming we got one to get the other, more power to us). In a very amateur assessment, I'd say Dovar is good enough to worry about whether he'll ever actually make it here. The cynicism is still strong.
 

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Would you be willing to explain this to me as if I thought hockey was played with a bouncy orange rubber ball?
Well, he's 8th all-time in NHL history in wins, and has won a cup...but apparently he's also a colossal a-hole and was fired from the Maple Leafs this past year because of it:




Kinda sounds like he's just going to be advising the coaches and probably isn't moving to Burlington to join the bench if there's a season.
 

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colossal a-hole
I hope you don't mind, but I'm stealing this. This description is absolutely perfect for someone I know. The word "colossal" is such a great term yet seldom used thus I hadn't thought of it when trying to aptly describe him. My day has been made. Thank you very much!
 

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Not sure what happened to the “chair back seating” Schulman promised though.
Probably something to file under "one thing at a time." Certainly a lot easier to throw up some big screens than rip out and replace a bunch of bench seats. All in good time, I'd imagine.

Video boards do look nice, though. Adds a different element to the game presentation. Video is a little disorienting at first, because they've "turned" most of the rink 180 degrees. The Hockey East banners are now over where the press boxes were, and they've flipped the center ice V-Cat to face the other way.
 

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"You can put lipstick on a pig...". I don't know, that saying seems to come to mind. Especially seeing as the University of Maine has been doing that for the better part of 25-30 years with Alfond Arena.
 

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Probably something to file under "one thing at a time." Certainly a lot easier to throw up some big screens than rip out and replace a bunch of bench seats. All in good time, I'd imagine.

Video boards do look nice, though. Adds a different element to the game presentation. Video is a little disorienting at first, because they've "turned" most of the rink 180 degrees. The Hockey East banners are now over where the press boxes were, and they've flipped the center ice V-Cat to face the other way.
It is disorienting because I would like to see the progress from the other side...the new press box was going over there, but I wonder how much progress they've made on the concourse on that end? The south side of the rink was getting a concourse similar to the north side to connect the two to make it easier to get around. The north side I wonder how much that may be on hold considering it was being blended into the new basketball facility and since that's on an indefinite delay...

"You can put lipstick on a pig...". I don't know, that saying seems to come to mind. Especially seeing as the University of Maine has been doing that for the better part of 25-30 years with Alfond Arena.
The finished product will be fine (and as I said before, if you don't know the layout of Gutterson and what the final product is going to look like, that video isn't going to impress) and it will just become a matter of not letting needed renovations go too long without repair. Fact is, I don't think we're gonna see any college hockey teams getting shiny new facilities any time soon after Covid and frankly, the sport is way too niche to be investing any large chunks of money into doing so.
 

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Fact is, I don't think we're gonna see any college hockey teams getting shiny new facilities any time soon after Covid and frankly, the sport is way too niche to be investing any large chunks of money into doing so.
I completely agree!! So many hockey people at Maine want this huge investment into the program but honestly, the money isn't there to spend on the team nor is it there as a reward even if the team is very successful. This isn't the late 80's/early 90's.
 

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I completely agree!! So many hockey people at Maine want this huge investment into the program but honestly, the money isn't there to spend on the team nor is it there as a reward even if the team is very successful. This isn't the late 80's/early 90's.
This exactly. There's much more ROI on an NCAA tournament appearance (and even moreso with a win) than there ever would be with a Frozen Four trip. Alfond Arena needs to be replaced. Basketball needs to be on-campus. Fortunately, both are a priority of Ken Ralph.

There's something about renovating 50-year old rinks with odd wooden roof structures that don't exactly present themselves as good investments, Alfond and Gutterson included.
 
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