Season 3 Episode 5 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; BBerry51. This week Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by Brad Schlossman from the Grand Forks Herald. With Brad, the guys discussed topics including College Hockey Stats, how Brad stays relevant on a national stage and his process to breaking stories, his experience with players kneeling during the national anthem, college hockey expansion and the outlook for the NCHC, the transfer portal, and how the CCHA stacks up in Brad’s eyes.
College Hockey Stats
Tim started off with his amazement that Brad always has a stat, whether it’s for North Dakota, the NCHC or the hockey alumni. Brad talked about how he enjoys stats, and he has learned through the years where to pull them. He also talked about the ease of searching for information in the post-internet era we are currently versus the pre-internet days which relied on media guides published by the schools.
Brad then talked about the loss of the College Hockey Stats website. He liked that it was a text based site which would load in an instant; it was laid out well which made information easy to find. Brad recently wrote an article on the creator of College Hockey Stats, Tim Danehy, and how much Danehy meant to college hockey. Brad noted that College Hockey Stats was always unbelievable at making sure the stats were right. Brad also talked about how Danehy was the guy that coaches and leagues would seek out when they had questions on pairwise. Rob chimed in and talked about how he liked that the site was created, by a hockey fan, for hockey specific stats. He was worried that the NCAA will lose this on their site which is the same for all sports.
Staying relevant in Grand Forks and breaking news
Matt pointed out that Grand Forks isn’t the biggest media market and wanted to know how Brad was able to keep himself relevant on a national stage. Brad talked about how big North Dakota hockey is in the area, which allows the Grand Forks Herald to invest in the coverage because they know his articles will get traffic. The last game (home or away) that Brad missed was in 2009.
Brad then talked about his experience in the pod setup that the NCHC utilized for last season. He and one other writer were the only writers in attendance not from Omaha; this allowed him to get to know the coaches very well. The pod was run with very tight health and safety protocols: there were wellness checks every day, no family was allowed, limited media were allowed, and those who were in attendance were separated into tiers within the stadium. Rob added that there is something unique about getting to watch games with no fans and being able to hear everything that is said on the ice.
It was noted that Brad tends to be one of the first to break major college hockey news and Matt was curious how that starting happening, especially with news outside of Grand Forks. Brad talked about it largely coming down to him knowing a lot of people around the sport for many years. He discussed how the information snowballs; once he gets scoops that are correct, more people start coming to him. He also talked about how people are comfortable coming to him because they know that the information they’re providing won’t come back to them. One of Brad’s biggest scoops was when he was hearing about six schools leaving the old WCHA to form the NCHC.
North Dakota players kneeling during the national anthem
While in the pod, Jasper Weatherby and Jacob Bernard-Docker knelt during the national anthem on the first day of games. Brad talked about how this went back to the summer before and the widespread protests within the US. He then also outlined Jasper’s family tree which contains a long history of activists. Brad explained that Jasper and Jacob had called him prior to kneeling and told Brad what they were going to do. They wanted a story put out first so that people would know why they were doing it, rather than making assumptions. Brad talked about the mixed reactions he got from the North Dakota fanbase, and Tim added that he found it interesting that it happened at North Dakota with the recent history of Mitchell Miller. The guys then discussed the relationship between politics and sports.
Brad talked about how many of the North Dakota transfer portal acquisitions have been making a big impact already. Brad also shared his thoughts on the transfer portal and how he sees it affecting the college hockey landscape over the next three to five years. One crunch Brad talked about was the scholarship situation next year once teams are not allowed to go over 18 scholarships again. Brad also talked about being able to look in the transfer portal, which made Tim jealous.
Where does the CCHA fit in conference rankings?
Brad said that this answer changes on a seasonal basis as conferences ebb and flow. He talked about how the NCHC, BIG, and Hockey East have been dominant the last couple of years, but this year the CCHA is better than normal. He thought that the CCHA will get multiple teams into the NCAA tournament.
Dustin started off with a review of last week’s results, which did not favor Matt’s goalie pick who got kicked out of his game for spearing an opponent. Currently, Tim is in the lead with 20 points followed by a big gap to Rob and the Ghost with 9 points, then Dustin with 2 points. Matt brings up the rear with -2 points. This week’s theme was Transfer Portal Madness. All of the players this week are transfers and have some connection to a current CCHA school. These players currently play for North Dakota (2x), Michigan State, Boston College, and Arizona State.
Cut for time
This week’s cut content for patrons is approximately 46 minutes long. Tim talked about his collection of media guides. There was more in depth conversation of College Hockey Stats. Tim talked about the time he told the creator of College Hockey News app what was wrong with his pairwise calculation. The guys went more in depth on the conversation about social injustice and Tim tied the conversation to Kevin Smith movies. Tim talked about the time Tech Hockey Guide messed up a scoop, but then got to break the big news when Joe Shawhan was hired. The longest segment of the cut time was about Augustana joining D1 hockey and the shifting that is still to come and Brad specifically talked about how it may affect a couple of NCHC teams. The guys talked about the “Go Fund Me” route some college hockey teams have taken recently. There was more conversation about ASU joining a league. Brad and Tim discussed more about the transfer portal and Brad talked in more detail about how it has affected North Dakota. The guys discussed the NCHC’s statement on the referee’s blown call over the weekend. There was GLI talk and a very quick review of weekend series and how it affects pairwise. They guys also discussed pasties and pasty sauce.
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