That leaves an opening in St. Cloud.
The Fighting Hawks finished in the top half of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for Idalski‘s final seven years with the program, a feat St. Cloud State hasn’t accomplished since UND’s run started. The Huskies haven’t finished higher than sixth since 2009-10.
UND’s arrival under Idalski broke up the longstanding “Big Three” in the WCHA — Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth — three programs that held down the top three spots in the standings for 11 of 12 WCHA seasons from 1999-2011. Then, the Fighting Hawks finished ahead of the Bulldogs in five of UND’s last six seasons, and tied for second with Wisconsin once.
UND never made it to the NCAA Frozen Four under Idalski, but was a goal away in 2013, when it lost in triple overtime in the NCAA quarterfinals to a Minnesota team that went a perfect 41-0-0 that season.
There is one more reason why Idalski would be an intriguing option at St. Cloud State: He’s been there. Idalski was an assistant with the Huskies when UND hired him away. It’s also worth noting that three of St. Cloud State’s top six returning scorers for next season’s team are players who Idalski originally recruited to UND.
The next St. Cloud State coach will face different circumstances than Idalski did when he landed at UND in the fall of 2007. On one hand, the Huskies program isn’t in as deep of a hole as UND’s was at that time and isn’t dealing with the growing pains of a fledgling program. But the Huskies also don’t have a recruiting tool like Ralph Engelstad Arena to sell prospects.
The surprising part wasn’t who Miami hired. It had been known for a week that Barry Schutte and Rud would assist new head coach Chris Bergeron.
The surprising part of Monday’s announcement was that both Schutte and Rud were named associate head coaches.
Could this be a new trend in college hockey aimed at luring top coaching candidates by giving more prestigious job titles to both assistants instead of just one?
According to collegehockeystats.net, there are four other NCAA teams that have two associate head coaches — Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Quinnipiac and Providence. The Fighting Irish and Friars have only done it for one season. Wisconsin and Quinnipiac have done it for several years.
UND had the more traditional setup last season: a head coach (Brad Berry), an associate head coach (Dane Jackson) and an assistant coach (Matt Shaw).
Ralph Engelstad Arena is making way for the old scoreboard’s video panels.
They will hang above the lounges on the ends of the arena. Workers installed brackets this week to hold the panels.
UND will be getting a new center-hung video board this summer. It will be the largest in college hockey by total screen area.