In Friday's Daily Skate we passed along the news that a college hockey super-conference could be in the works involving six of the top programs in the country: North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Colorado College, Denver, Miami (Ohio) and Nebraska-Omaha. The athletic directors from the six schools released a joint statement on Saturday officially announcing the new league which will begin play during the 2013-14 season.
Below is the announcement:
We are pleased to announce that six top NCAA Division I ice hockey programs will become founding members of a newly formed hockey conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season. The six institutions are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota.The new league, along with the formation of the hockey version of the Big Ten, certainly has its share of critics and concerns for the long-term well being of college hockey. In the short-term, it leaves the remaining teams in the WCHA and CCHA (the conferences the six aforementioned teams have left) hanging in limbo. A five-team conference (which they are set to become once the dust settles) doesn't get an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament (six is the requirement) which has led to speculation that the two conferences could merge to form a massive 10-team league, which would essentially be a quantity over quality deal.
We understand and appreciate the widespread interest in developments relating to the formation of the new hockey conference. More information will be provided about the initiatives that have been undertaken, as well as the next steps involved, at a news conference in Colorado Springs this Wednesday, July 13. Our programs look forward to continued associations with our current leagues, the WCHA and CCHA, for the next two seasons.
Additional information about Wednesday’s news conference will be forthcoming in the next few days. There will be no further comment from athletic directors, coaches or other officials from any of the institutions until Wednesday’s news conference.
The CCHA already had a conference call on Friday morning to discuss meeting with the WCHA according to the Fairbanks Daily News.