Chat about College Hockey
Send your questions now and join INCH every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome to our weekly college hockey discussion here at ESPN.com. This week we're pleased to have ECAC Hockey League Commissioner Steve Hagwell here to field your questions.
Steve Hagwell (2:31 PM)
It's great to be here, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to answer any questions that people have about our league or nationally. It should be a good time.
Tim (Massapequa, NY)
Hi Mr. Hagwell. What's your take on renewing the BU-Cornell to the annual slate? Has there been any recent discussion? One of my biggest regrets as a BU undergrad was missing out on seeing this rivalry played out in Boston.
Steve Hagwell (2:34 PM)
Hello Tim, I appreciate the question. Certainly the BU-Cornell rivalry is one the greatest in college hockey. With respect to renewing it for the scheduling in the future, that's up to the institutions. It's a great rivalry and we hope that it is played out in the future. Non-league schedules are determined by the institutions. I'm sure they have talked and we'll see what the future holds.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:35 PM)
As a follow-up, Cornell coach Mike Schafer told me that BU and Cornell will be playing next season in Madison Square Garden, and it will likely be a part of a three-year agreement with subsequent games at Agganis and Lynah.
Mike (Washington D.C.)
Mr. Hagwell, why do ECAC teams such as Cornell, Harvard and Colgate seem to do so well against other conferences during the regular season but can't seem to win the big game in the NCAA Tournament.
Steve Hagwell (2:40 PM)
Good afternoon, Mike. I certainly would not make the assesment that you have made and would disagree with it. The NCAA Tournament is a one-game scenario and to blanket teams certainly isn't fair. You can only have one national champion in a given year. To take the assessment that you have provided would basically say that all teams that have qualified for the NCAA Tournament have failed. Qualifying for the tournament in itself, as only 16 teams do, is an accomplishment.
Steve, when will you convince some WCHA teams to come to your neck of the woods i.e. DU vs. Cornell?
Steve Hagwell (2:43 PM)
We continually talk about scheduling, both from a league standpoint and a non-league standpoint. The difficulty is in the number of non-league games that many of our institutions have to schedule, and the non-league games that other leagues have available. Many of our teams have scheduling arrangements with western teams, where they reciprocate. That isn't going to be across the board for any league. You won't have an even exchange where all 12 of our teams go west one year, and 12 western teams would come to our buildings. We will continue to discuss and raise the issue.
Congratulations on a great Governor's Cup. What are your takes on the new coaches in the ECACHL and how their clubs seem to be stepping it up this year?
Steve Hagwell (2:46 PM)
Good afternoon Fred, thanks for the comment on the Governor's Cup, we look forward to helping to build that event in future years. With regard to the new coaches in the league, both Seth Appert at RPI and Keith Allain at Yale have impressed me through my early interaction with both individuals. I will state, that from my perspective the biggest strength, or plus, in the ECACHL is the group of coaches as a whole. All of them are great representatives of their institutions.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
Can you talk a little more about the Governor's Cup, held earlier this month in Albany. What aspects were you pleased with, and what aspects might you like to improve upon?
Steve Hagwell (2:51 PM)
With regard to the Governor's Cup, it was a realization of long discussions and the collaboration of the schools and the arena to make it happen. As for reviewing the event we certainly feel there were a lot of positives. We did receive a number of comments from fans and participants that they enjoyed the event. We're certainly never going to take the position that we've achieved our ultimate objective, because there are always things that you can improve. We want to get as many people in the seats as possible, to showcase college hockey and what a great game it is, and what great teams we have.
For a while the ECAC was seen as the weak sister among the Big Four conferences. Do you think that has changed, and assuming you do, what led to that change?
Steve Hagwell (2:55 PM)
Hello Stewie, we appreciate your interest in the league. I can't speak to the perception people may have about our league or any league. What I can speak to is the strength of the programs that make up our league. In my time with the league, getting to an earlier comment, our coaches specifically do a tremendous job of recruiting, coaching, and building their programs. The coaches and student-athletes work very hard to improve their programs, and the result is that the league as a whole benefits from that.
Are there any plans in the works for more ECAC games to be broadcast on regional/national carriers. NESN is a good first step with Quinnipiac, but not everyone can see those games.
Steve Hagwell (2:58 PM)
Frank, thanks for the question. We continually strive to get as many games on national and or regional outlets as possible. Working with entities such as CSTV, ESPNU, etc. we continually push our league to those outlets. In addition, we also promote our league to other regional carriers like Time-Warner, CN8 Comcast, etc. It's an ongoing process.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:58 PM)
That's all the time we have for questions today. Thanks for stopping by to chat.
Steve Hagwell (2:59 PM)
Thank you very much for allowing me to participate. I enjoyed it very, very much.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:01 PM)
We'll be back next week at 2:30 with another college hockey discussion. Follow Inside College Hockey all season long for extensive coverage of the ECAC Hockey League and all of the other leagues.
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