WCHA Statement Regarding Announcement of Another New Division 1 Men’s Hockey Conference
08/23/2011, 4:03pm CDT
By Minnesota Hockey Journal
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) issued the following statement from Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod in response to the announcement that five current men’s league member teams will depart following the 2012-13 season to form a new hockey conference that will begin play in 2013-14. Those teams are Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha and North Dakota.
“Obviously it’s a tough day for the WCHA and a sad one for me personally,” said McLeod, “and it’s one that is not easy to put into perspective. We wish everyone well, but make no mistake, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is not going away. The league will proudly mark it’s 60th season this fall and we will continue to operate as a full-fledged Association and continue to do business the way we always have – in a first-class and forward-thinking manner.
“The history of the WCHA includes numerous eras of expansion and contraction but what has remained constant has been our success – both on and off the ice. Our remaining member institutions – Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State – are absolutely committed to both Division 1 hockey and the WCHA and as an Association we will continue – as we always have – to provide a first-class product. We remain firm in our belief both that the game of college hockey is the best there is and that the WCHA will always be at the forefront of doing what is in the best interests of our sport. We look forward to promoting and enhancing the student-athlete experience, building on positive relationships with our local communities and fans, exciting rivalries and battling for championships.
“As regards to our future,” said McLeod, “the WCHA has a short-term plan that we will implement immediately. In the long-term, we will continue to formulate a strategic approach that will ensure the well-being of this Association and it’s member teams for the long run. As a group, we remain committed and we are 100% confident our future remains bright.”
The WCHA, home to a record 37 national championships teams since it’s founding in 1951, will continue to operate as a 12-team conference for the upcoming 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Current members consist of University of Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State University, Colorado College, University of Denver, Michigan Technological University, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State University, University of Nebraska Omaha, University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State University and University of Wisconsin.
Earlier this year (March 21) the Big Ten announced the formation of a new Div. 1 men’s hockey conference that will begin play in 2013-14 and include current WCHA-members Minnesota and Wisconsin.