With the Stanley Cup Finals in the book and the NHL Draft commencing this weekend, hockey now will return to a cabin in Saskatchewan, waiting the end of soccer and warmth for colder days. This provides a good opportunity for yours truly to keep the writing skills sharp and catch up on all things Spartan hockey from current, future and past players.
The Munn Renovation
Well I picked a bad time to plan the perfect proposal for my now fiancee. Instead of being able to propose at Munn Arena at an open skate I had to change plans, as you see Munn Arena currently has no ice in place. Munn is getting a bit of a facelift this summer with a new hvac system installed, new boards and glass and a new sound system (RECRUITZZSZ!!) being installed. Chris Solari from LSJ had a great article highlighting the renovations and future plans. The new walkaway highlighting Olympians and NCAA Championships sounds great and I can't wait for that to happen.
Josh Jacobs Only Spartan Selected in 2014 NHL Draft
The NHL draft went by with only one Spartan commitment being selected, as defenseman Josh Jacobs was taken with the 41st pick overall by the New Jersey Devils. This has started some concern that Jacobs will not uphold to his commitment and will join the Sarnia Sting in the OHL, presumably for a quicker path to the NHL. I believe those chances are slight. Defenseman typically develop much slower than forwards and comparing Jacobs to former Spartan commit Reid Boucher (OHL player also selected by NJ) is not accurate as family situations and desire to get an education can be different with each player. For what it's worth Tom Anastos isn't phased.
MSU coach Tom Anastos said he "fully expects" D Joshua Jacobs to play for Spartans. Jacobs was selected 41st overall by Devils.— George Sipple (@GeorgeSipple) June 28, 2014
It was a little bit surprising that future Spartan goaltender Edwin Minney went unselected. Minney saw 19 goaltenders get selected even though he was ranked as high as 2nd in the midterm central scouting rankings and finished the season 7th among North American goaltenders. Due to age Minney may have a chance to get drafted again next season, similar to Boston College freshman Thatcher Demko, the top goalie selected in the 2014 draft. Overall not going selected isn't a terrible situation for a goalie. With each NHL system having only 4-5 goalies signed, being a free agent and picking the best situation for yourself isn't a bad choice to have.
Tom Anastos said he spent time at NHL Draft with Jacobs and G Edwin Minney, who went undrafted. TA told Minney "just keep getting better."— George Sipple (@GeorgeSipple) June 28, 2014
The Spartans released their full schedule for the 2014-15 season. Some highlights:
- UMass will pay a return visit to East Lansing to open the regular season
- East coast Spartans will have a chance to see the Spartans. They play series at New Hampshire and Princeton and a game each at UMass Lowell and Boston University.
- B1G play opens with a series at Ohio State November 20
- Boston College will come to town for one game November 14th.
- MSU will play Ferris State in the 1st game of the GLI
- The B1G tournament will be at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit March 19-21
No Hall (yet) for Brind'Amour
Former Spartan Rod Brind'Amour went another year without election into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The four players to get the call this year were Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano. Brind'Amour, who is currently a coach with the Carolina Hurricanes, will have to wait for next year when players like Nick Lidstrom and Chris Osgood will also be eligible for the Hall.
Torey Krug Selected to All-Rookie Team
Former Spartan defenseman Torey Krug continued his rise to stardom in Boston, by following up his strong 2013 postseason with a strong first full season in the NHL. Krug led all rookie defenseman in points, notching 14 goals, 2 assists and 40 points.
Chris Mueller is a Champion Again
Chris Mueller, a member of the national championship team from 2007, was a champion again this spring winning a Calder Cup Trophy with the Texas Stars in the American Hockey League. Mueller spent 9 games in the NHL this season with Dallas but really found his stride in the AHL. He averaged nearly a point per game in the regular season, 57 points in 60 games played and continued that in the playoffs with 11 points in 19 games. Mueller is a free agent after signing a one year deal with the Stars last off season and may be looking for a situation to try the NHL one last time before pursuing a bigger pay day overseas.