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If You Leave Me Now

6 April 2015

There’s nothing we can do about the departure of our seniors; they’ve exhausted their eligibility. But we have so many talented juniors, sophomores, and freshmen who we need to return next year. The men’s team team is ready to make a deep run in the NCAAs next year, if everyone comes back. The women’s team has an exciting new coach and quality returning players, but the loss of a few top players could mean a disastrous season for our Doggies.

Players, we need you all. We need Toronto, Anaheim, and Minnesota to keep their grubby little mitts off our drafted players. We need the other WCHA coaches (or even other leagues?) to stop sniffing around our players. We need ALL NHL teams to keep their grimy hands off of our undrafted superstars. We need our committed players honoring their national letters of intent, or signing them if they are not signed yet.

I don’t know that there’s a single person playing Bulldog hockey who would benefit from leaving the team. Why start your NHL career now, when you could be captain of your hometown team? Why ask for a release, leave, sit out a year, and then re-start your college career with a new team, when you’re a part of the most storied program in women’s college hockey?

I also don’t know if anyone is in serious danger of leaving. Andy Welinski is weighing his options. Sometimes guys surprise us and leave. Our athletic director said no women’s players have asked for a release. Other sources say three players have, and one recruit has not signed her NLI. (A release just means a player can talk to other teams, not that she is definitely leaving.) I don’t know the circumstances or the timing of these events (or non-event, in the case of the NLI), nor can I verify which case is true (the AD’s or the Reinstate Miller FB page). I hope once the new coaching staff is in place, the concerns of any players or recruits are assuaged.

Let me be one little, insignificant voice out there saying don’t go. Stay another year, two years, all the years you can. Whatever else is beckoning can wait. Stay a Bulldog, all of you.

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