Michigan State men’s ice hockey is entering a new era with both a renovated Munn Ice Arena and new coaching staff. On Friday, MSU presented a dedication for donors and alumni who made the renovation possible.
POV: you’re at the Munn renovation.— Brad LaPlante (@bradlaplante) September 23, 2022
MSU is putting on a dedication for donors tonight. As you can see, both penalty boxes and the home bench are on one side of the rink. Visitors’ bench opposite. pic.twitter.com/QpOivcZyk7
The media was given a tour of the facilities in the hour leading up to the presentation. Most of the new additions to the facility are part of a brand new structure not previously present at the arena. What fans will notice immediately upon walking in is Michigan State’s new Hall of Hockey.
Within the Hall of Hockey are statues, videos, screens and lights. It is an entire celebration of what was and is the Michigan State hockey program. At the end of the Hall, there is a massive video screen that flashes the names of current players. While I was gazing, the screen happened to flash the profiles of sophomore forward Jesse Tucker (although he’s still listed as a freshman on-screen), graduate defenseman Christian Krygier, junior forward Zach Dubinsky and freshman forward Tiernan Shoudy.
There is a brand new entrance on the south side of the arena, where the Hall of Hockey resides. That entrance is the completely renovated structure. Inside the actual rink, the only major updates include seating. Seats have been moved to accommodate new placement of MSU’s home bench. Essentially, the arena has “flipped” since the new locker room is on the opposite side.
- MSU conference room Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Player Lounge at Munn Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Rehab Center Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Locker Room at Munn Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Locker Room at Munn Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- MSU hockey film room Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Film Room seating Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- MSU hockey sticks Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Skate sharpening Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Skate oven Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Jerseys Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- POV from Munn Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Hobey Baker Award dedicated to Ryan Miller in 2001 Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Hall of Hockey Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Hobey Baker Award dedicated to Kip Miller in 1990 Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Player screen: Jesse Tucker Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Player screen: Christian Krygier Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Player screen: Zach Dubinsky Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
- Player screen: Tiernan Shoudy Brad LaPlante/The Only Colors
One very specific change I noticed is actually in the paint underneath the ice. Until now, the center line was a pattern of red and white. NCAA rules, like the NHL, require some form of pattern interval in the center line to distinguish it from the blue lines. Right now, Munn Ice Arena was painted with a solid white line and a thin red outline as the center line.
Enforcement of these rules is unclear since the NHL has several teams that use solid red center lines. Additionally, many NCAA teams’ rinks do not follow dimension requirements, although most of them are being renovated to fit IIHF guidelines, 200 feet long by 100 feet wide. Minnesota’s rink fits these dimensions, but Michigan State’s arena is still at 200 feet long by 85 feet wide, which is actually what is used by the NHL.
While fans will not see most of what’s been renovated, there is a lot to see. For one, the entrance is breathtaking. It’s crisp and modern with an all-glass exterior. Walking up, all of the offices are completely visible. So are the stairs leading down to the renovation.
MSU hockey player lounge. pic.twitter.com/XostFjhMB4— Brad LaPlante (@bradlaplante) September 23, 2022
Downstairs, out of fan-view, is the updated weight room, player lounge, rehab center and more. One specific upgrade that brought me back to my playing days was the shooting room, right next to the player lounge.
In describing the new shooting room, head coach Adam Nightingale thinks it will help immensely for Michigan State.
“This is right underneath my office,” he said in front of a-couple-hundred donors on Friday. “In the morning, I’ll hear ‘whack, whack, whack, whack,’ you know? That gets me excited.”
MSU forward Karsen Dorwart demonstrating the new Shooting Room at Munn. pic.twitter.com/o629AINehL— Brad LaPlante (@bradlaplante) September 23, 2022
MSU is starting to sharply look into the health of its student athletes. With a new player lounge, the team can come in, watch NHL Network or ESPN and have something to eat, or “fuel” as the team puts it. This “fuel” is a major focus on player health, strength and conditioning. The new rehab center features three pools, all fitted with a television. The last one includes a treadmill.
My favorite feature, and one I somehow forgot to snap a photo of, is the brag wall just outside of the locker room. It includes all of Michigan State’s accomplishments in program history.
Achievement wall located right outside of the MSU locker room pic.twitter.com/NA2SJ0OgeQ— Ryan Radosevich (@ryanradosevich) September 23, 2022
Finally, Michigan State introduced the media to a brand new film room. This is also where Nightingale and players will do their postgame press conferences this season.
Donors and alumni were treated to a dedication ceremony. Speaking during the program were Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr, trustee Melanie Foster, Nightingale, alum Gary Harpell and players/twins Cole and Christian Krygier.
“Our beloved arena has been home to one of the most successful programs in college hockey, Haller said. “It is a facility that tackles tradition and glory with memories still frozen in our minds...Though it is important to celebrate the past, we continue to be ambitious. We will be guided by our principles of valuing people, empowering our student athletes and living in a culture of excellence. We are excited to usher in a new era of Spartan hockey.”
Stanley proceeded to speak for several minutes, thanking all of the donors and listing all of the program’s accomplishments over the years. To follow, Foster mentioned that these new facilities will help “recruit and retain the very best student athletes.” She said that Michigan State can offer an “extraordinary experience.”
Michigan State will play its first game at the renovated arena on Oct. 1 when it faces off against the Team USA National Team Development Program under-18 squad for an exhibition matchup. The home opener and first game of the season is against Bowling Green on Oct. 7.
Find the full schedule below.
Michigan State men’s ice hockey 2022-23 schedule
|Oct. 7||Bowling Green Falcons||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+||Home Opener||L 1-3|
|Oct. 8||at Bowling Green Falcons||Bowling Green, Ohio||7 p.m.||FloHockey||W 2-1|
|Oct. 13||UMass-Lowell River Hawks||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+||W 4-3|
|Oct. 14||UMass-Lowell River Hawks||East Lansing, Mich.||7:30 p.m.||BTN+||2007 National Champ. Reunion||L 2-3|
|Oct. 21||Long Island Sharks||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+||W 3-1|
|Oct. 22||Long Island Sharks||East Lansing, Mich.||6 p.m.||BTN+||W 8-4|
|Oct. 28||at Notre Dame Fighting Irish||South Bend, Ind.||7:30 p.m.||Peacock|
|Oct. 29||at Notre Dame Fighting Irish||South Bend, Ind.||6 p.m.||Peacock|
|Nov. 4||Wisconsin Badgers||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Nov. 5||Wisconsin Badgers||East Lansing, Mich.||TBA||BTN+|
|Nov. 10||Ohio State Buckeyes||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Nov. 11||Ohio State Buckeyes||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Nov. 18||at Penn State Nittany Lions||University Park, Pa.||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Nov. 19||at Penn State Nittany Lions||University Park, Pa.||TBA||BTN+|
|Nov. 25||at Miami (OH) Red Hawks||Oxford, Ohio||7 p.m.||NCHC TV|
|Nov. 26||at Miami (OH) Red Hawks||Oxford, Ohio||5 p.m.||NCHC TV|
|Dec. 2||Minnesota Golden Gophers||East Lansing, Mich.||6:30 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Dec. 3||Minnesota Golden Gophers||East Lansing, Mich.||TBA||Big Ten Network|
|Dec. 9||Michigan Wolverines||East Lansing, Mich.||6:30 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Dec. 10||at Michigan Wolverines||Ann Arbor, Mich.||6:30 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Dec. 27||vs. Ferris State Bulldogs||Grand Rapids, Mich.||7 p.m.||TBA||Great Lakes Invitational|
|Dec. 28||vs. MTU/WMU||Grand Rapids, Mich.||TBA||TBA||Great Lakes Invitational|
|Jan. 6||at Ohio State Buckeyes||Columbus, Ohio||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Jan. 7||at Ohio State Buckeyes||Columbus, Ohio||4 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Jan. 13||Penn State Nittany Lions||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Jan. 14||Penn State Nittany Lions||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Jan. 27||at Minnesota Golden Gophers||Minneapolis, Minn.||8 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Jan. 28||at Minnesota Golden Gophers||Minneapolis, Minn.||5 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Feb. 3||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BTN+|
|Feb. 4||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||East Lansing, Mich.||4 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Feb. 10||Michigan Wolverines||East Lansing, Mich.||7 p.m.||BSD PLUS||Senior Day|
|Feb. 11||vs. Michigan Wolverines||Detroit, Mich.||8 p.m.||ESPNU||Duel In the D|
|Feb. 17||at Wisconsin Badgers||Madison, Wisc.||9 p.m.||Big Ten Network|
|Feb. 18||at Wisconsin Badgers||Madison, Wisc.||8 p.m.||BSW/BSD PLUS|
|March 3-5||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||Big Ten Tournament: Quarterfinals|
|March 11||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||Big Ten Tournament: Semifinals|
|March 18||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||Big Ten Tournament: Championship|