Season 3, Episode 30 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcase from Tech Hockey Guide: No More Mr. Dirkside. This week, Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom and Rob Gilreath were joined by the Director of Athletic Partnerships and Ticket Sales (maybe better known as the voice of Husky hockey) Dirk Hembroff. In this episode they discussed Dirk’s new position with the Michigan Tech, the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI), the “Halonen Rule”, Coach Brooks moving to Clarkson, Augustana joining the CCHA, and listener questions.
Dirk’s new job
Dirk recently started his role with Michigan Tech as the Director of Athletic Partnerships and Ticket Sales. He said that the position is in charge of getting sponsorships and partners throughout the athletic program. This ranges from the boards in the John MacInnes Student Ice arena, to the video board advertisements, to having a big hand in the VIP tailgate prior to Michigan Tech football games. Dirk talked about the Copper Country community and how the business owners and people want to be involved with Michigan Tech, which makes his position easier. Tim asked what this new position meant for Dirk on the radio, and Dirk said that he is still going to be the voice of the Huskies, but his regular radio show is not continuing.
It was recently announced that the GLI will be moving to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. and that the University of Michigan is not a part of the tournament. Dirk said that the move to the new arena was not a surprise and has been coming since the Little Caesar’s Arena opened. Dirk talked about being excited for the new venue and was hopeful that there will be great crowds. Dustin, Tim and Rob all agreed that changes needed to be made and Tim pointed out that the GLI was no longer special to the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry since the “Duel in the D” was implemented. Rob thought it was great to have the GLI in a location that was excited to host it.
The guys then talked about the teams participating in the GLI. This year it will be Michigan Tech, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, and Ferris State University. Tim thought that Tech wants to keep Michigan State and Western Michigan every year. Dustin thought that some arrangement could be made between Tech, Michigan State, and Western regarding who is there each year, if all three are not. Dustin also thought that it would be great to rotate through some of the independent teams in the fourth slot. Dirk talked about the need to have quality teams at the GLI to potentially help with Pairwise rankings.
The “Halonen Rule”
Tim talked about the news that the NCAA is looking into changing the rule that Brian Halonen was ejected for during Tech’s NCAA Tournament game this past spring. Tim said it was his understanding that Halonen didn’t need to have the call go the way it did, but that the referee chose to call it the way he did. Dirk discussed his vantage point of the play, which wasn’t good at all, and how he was blown away that Halonen was ejected from the game.
Coach Brooks on the move
The guys talked about former Tech assistant coach Chris Brooks moving on to become an assistant coach at Clarkson University. At this point in time, Dirk said he did not know where head coach Joe Shawhan would be looking for a replacement. Some of the fan reaction to the move was discussed, and Tim talked about coaches moving and looking for opportunities to advance their careers all the time. Dirk provided one exception to the rule, mentioning Bob Daniels and his staff at Ferris State who have been together for a long time. Tim talked about a couple of Tech hockey alum that aren’t head coaches anymore who may be good replacements, including Brad Patterson.
Augustana to the CCHA
The guys were able to get Dirk’s thoughts on Augustana coming to the CCHA. To start, Tim shared his thoughts that having nine teams in the conference isn’t as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. Dirk talked about needing to have other conferences in the same boat and that it can be difficult to schedule games if other leagues are happy with their conference makeup. Dirk also talked about the balance between scheduling games that are fun for players and fans, and games that are helpful to Pairwise. Ultimately, Dirk said he was anxious to see how it all works out.
Rob talked about Augustana fitting the geographical footprint of the CCHA, and added that he likes that the conference is willing to grow hockey. Dirk then brought up recruiting and pointed out that Arizona State University has had no issues recruiting despite their lack of a quality hockey rink. Dirk added that he is hopefully Augustana can make progress quickly and fit in with the CCHA.
Tech Hockey Guide’s own Old Dog asked Dirk to name his All-Time Husky team from the time he’s been broadcasting games. Dirk said it was easier to pull names from the first ten years, which were much more lean with quality players. Some names Dirk mentioned included Chris Conner, Lars Helminen, Colin Murphy and Steven Seigo. Tim took things on a bit of a tangent and talked about understanding his friends being angry when their teams lost to Tech back in the day. He said that he gets the same way now with Tech, but also somewhat misses the days then a loss didn’t bother him because that’s what was expected.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 39 minutes long. Tim’s internet troubles persisted, and there was extended discussion on the GLI. There was a discussion about traveling to Alaska this upcoming season. There was extended discussion on the CCHA scheduling as a result of Augustana joining the conference as well as extended conversation about the Alaska hockey programs. Three additional listener questions was answered and Tim asked Dirk about filtering questions for the Joe Shawhan Hour. The guys discussed Mel Pearson’s coaching situation.
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