by Duluth News Tribune
June 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
UMD women add two Swedish players
Tags: Hockey, Sports, umd 16 Comments »
Any players from Minnesota on this team? I’m sure these women are fine players, and I’m sure they will appreciate their tax supported education at UMD…but…the M is for Minnesota….isn’t it?
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 11
Actually I went and looked at last year’s roster, and I saw exactly three players from Minnesota??? And they wonder why they can’t draw a crowd??
The men, by contrast, have 17 players from Minnesota. That seems to work out pretty well for them….
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 10
Just to be fair, I went to the UW women’s hockey roster…and what did I find….three players from Minnesota, more from Wisconsin, and no Europeans…and yet somehow they managed to win a national championship…??? Imagine that…
So….looks like the UMD coaches have fallen in love with travel to Finland and Sweden and are neglecting local recruiting….quite a slap in the face for the Minnesota tax payer (and the Minnesota hockey player even more so…)
Hot debate. What do you think? 21 9
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You’re comparing a Big Ten school with a Division II school? Really? And just how far along do you think hockey development is for girls in Minnesota? Do you really think there’s a lot of 18-year-olds ready to play at the Division I level? It’s getting better, little by little, but they’re not there yet. Until then, a Division II school with a Division II budget has to get the good players wherever they can find them. And since NCAA Division I and especially the WCHA is the premier place to play hockey for college-aged women anywhere in the world, the best want to come play for the five-time national champions. It’s not a big mystery and there isn’t some grand conspiracy going on.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 19
I’m sorry but I just can’t figure out why UMD essentially fields a European based women’s hockey team. That seems really weird, and makes it seem like UMD thinks itself above the state and the citizens that fund it. And then they wonder why nobody goes to the games…?
If you look at UW or Gopher’s women, they have mostly players from the USA or Canada. The Gopher’s have 10 women from Minnesota.
UMD plays Division 1 hockey, btw. I know the school overall isn’t Div 1, but hockey is…so comparisons between Division 1 schools seems fair. UMD men have 17 Minnesota based players, so I’m not sure I buy the idea that UMD can’t recruit against Big Ten Schools…
And yes, I think Minnesota high school girls hockey is pretty far along, and certainly there are more than three players in the state who would be able to play at UMD and want to do so (if they were recruited).
I’ve randomly sampled a few different women’s hockey teams (division 1) and I can’t find any with as many European players. Serious question – are there any other division 1 women’s hockey with this kind of player make-up??
This seems like a UMD thing, and I don’t think it’s good overall for UMD. You have to recruit your own back yard first and hard, and it really doesn’t look like UMD is doing that. The back yard is Minnesota for goodness sake – there are hockey players here!
I’m sure the young women from Sweden and Finland and Germany are great people and all the rest, but college sports is a local thing. People in Minnesota want to see Minnesota kids make it up to the college level…that’s true in any state for any sport, and it is part of what builds fan support. And it helps build up the player base in the state. UMD women’s hockey wants support from the state and the fans while essentially ignoring the player pool here….somehow that doesn’t seem sustainable.
And ironically enough it seems that the taxpayers and students at UMD are helping to train and improve Team Sweden and Team Finland. Hmmm.
Like or Dislike: 21 8
I’d love it if the entire roster was from Minnesota. But that’s not the state of girl’s hockey in Minnesota, not yet. It will be someday. Until then, the Bulldogs have to recruit the best players they can find to be competitive. And they’ve got five national championships to show for their efforts. They’re all good people, good student athletes who’ve represented UMD and Duluth very well nationally and internationally. There’s a lot more to it than just “pick the hometown girls.” Women’s hockey is constantly changing and improving as are girl’s hockey programs in Minnesota. It won’t change overnight, but it’s getting better all the time.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 5 19
Tough to put a value on the cultural benefits these foreign players bring to our campus. And, they play hockey. If you don’t like UMD Women’s Hockey do yourself a favor and pretend they’re not there. Ignorance is bliss, you know.
Or cheer for the rodents down south.
Like or Dislike: 10 14
It’s tough to put a value on all this, but it is easy to put a cost on it, and it’s rather high. Women’s hockey loses money for UMD, and so I don’t know if ignorance is quite the right way to view that.
I notice my question remains unanswered – is there any other women’s hockey program that has as many players from Europe (and so few from the state that actually funds it)? I think the answer is “no” but if I’m wrong then I’ll be curious to learn something new. But if everyone else makes due with mostly players from their own backyard, why can’t UMD?
Let’s assume that there are not enough players in Minnesota to field a competitive division 1 program in women’s hockey at UMD. I think that’s nuts, but let’s assume it all the same. If that is true, why do we have a division 1 women’s hockey program at all? Why not step down to division 2 (and yes, say goodbye to shannon miller and the swedes and the finns) and field a team made up primarily of minnesota players, and help out in the development of minnesota hockey (and not that of finland or sweden).
Anyway, look around for a team in any sport at a state supported school that isn’t made up mostly of players from that state…that’s just how it works, and I think UMD has adopted a really strange model for women’s hockey. It wins, certainly, but it costs a lot of money and seems strangely disconnected from the state that supports it financially (which might be why fan interest is so low despite lots of success).
Like or Dislike: 18 5
Why are the men playing Division I? After 60+ years, they’ve won a grand total of one national title. After 11 seasons, the women have won five. Should UMD field competitive teams or just “homegrown” teams? Why field a team at all if it isn’t going to be competitive? You could do away with every sport if that’s the criteria and have them all just play at the club level. That would save a bunch of money, wouldn’t it?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 6 18
The men stay at Division 1 because they manage to make some money. They make money because they win (sometimes) AND they have lots of local players (which is part of the reason they draw fans). But, if they didn’t make money or they could only win if they loaded up on players from Sweden or Russia, I’d say the same thing about dropping them down to Division 2.
You *still* haven’t answered my question about any other team that gets most of their players from Europe…I guess that means nobody else does this. I certainly can’t find any examples.
Here’s a good rule of thumb for sports programs at state universities. Be as good as you can while you rely mostly on the talent in your state. That’s how college sports works, and that’s a big big part of it’s appeal. If you can’t compete at Division 1 while doing that, then it’s either time to drop down to a level where you can. So yes, be competitive, but do it with the talent in your state. That’s how most college sports teams work, btw, regardless of the sport, and that is a big part of the appeal too.
If we were talking about many other sports, I’d accept the premise that Minnesota isn’t a fertile recruiting ground. But my goodness, this is Minnesota. There are hockey players here, and the UMD women’s program really should be doing a better job getting them and then developing them. It just comes across as weird (because nobody else recruits like this, nobody, unless you can show otherwise?…)
Like or Dislike: 16 3
Well, no offense, but you’re wrong about the state of girl’s hockey in Minnesota. There aren’t a lot of 18-year-olds ready to play at the Division I level. Not yet. I said before that I hope they get there someday, and they will, but they’re not there yet. Women’s hockey is a relatively young sport. Give it some time. And more teams are starting to recruit from Europe. They didn’t used to until they decided they’d like a shot at a national title, too.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 18
Easy enough to dismiss the quality of Minnesota hockey without any data … but … according to this Dec 2010 article (link below), there are 109 Minnesota girls playing Division 1 hockey (presumably last season). Three of them were at UMD. Three out of 109? I’m sorry but I’m not buying the lack of talent argument…
2011 champs UW has 4! from Minnesota, 4 from Wisconsin, 2 from Michigan, … a few from other US states… 6 from Canada…no Europeans….so…I dunno, I’m not buying into the Europeans are needed for championships argument…And while you suggest other schools are going this route (bring in the Europeans!) the fact you can’t actually cite one besides UMD is telling…
Like or Dislike: 17 3
I didn’t know you wanted specific teams. But okay, of the eight teams on the women’s side of the WCHA, six of them had European players last year. You’re right in that Wisconsin had none. The only other team that had none was St. Cloud State, but then…well, they only won one game last year. Kind of hard to recruit with a program like that.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 1 17
And just for the sake of fairness, of the 12 teams on the men’s side of the WCHA, seven had foreign players last year.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 3 14
Duluthian, tell UMD what they should do. For all our sake.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 14
Hmmm….Not sure if you are seriously asking and really want to encourage more of this, but just in case…it’s a pretty simple request – recruit harder in Minnesota and surrounding areas, and less so in Europe. Have more than a token number of players from Minnesota (or nearby states) on the team.
That’s what they should do. This would help the development of girl’s hockey in Minnesota, and might put a few more fans in the seats. UMD’s first responsibility is to Minnesota, not Sweden or Finland. If you have more players from Europe than Minnesota (which is the case now) then something isn’t quite right.
Like or Dislike: 15 3
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