MADISON, Wisc. – The nine member teams that will make up the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association beginning in 2013-2014 concluded a series of positive and productive meetings in Detroit this week and continue to move forward on a number of key issues.
"This is certainly an exciting time for the newly integrated WCHA," said Minnesota State University-Mankato President Richard Davenport, who is the chair of the league's Presidents Council. "Our meetings this week were spirited and full of camaraderie, and we are all looking forward to the 2013-2014 season. Across the board we are 100 percent committed to putting a highly competitive product on the ice in the WCHA, to compete for championships, to give our student-athletes the best possible experience and to provide our fans with a great game-day experience. The WCHA brand is strong, historic and full of rich tradition and we will carry on that tremendous tradition and also build upon it."
"We did have great cooperation among the members during the most recent meeting and we are working hard to promote Division 1 hockey through what we believe will be a very exciting league," said LSSU President Tony McLain, who attended the meeting with LSSU Athletics Director Kris Dunbar.
Among the many topics covered in the meetings, the membership:
-- discussed and approved a 28-game league schedule for 2013-2014
-- discussed and approved a nine-team post-season tournament format
-- discussed and updated the league's by-laws
-- discussed and continue to explore several potential venues for the annual WCHA Final Five playoff championship.
"We have accomplished a great deal and feel tremendously upbeat about where we are at as we look ahead to the 2013-2014 season," said WCHA Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod. "We have had very productive meetings with the coaches, athletic directors and presidents all present and we are united in moving forward to ensure the continued success of the WCHA and its member teams. We are also engaged in discussions with various locations for our flagship event – the WCHA Final Five – and hope to finalize those championship plans as soon as possible."
The league agreed on a change in governance that will have the Presidents Council act as the board of directors and the athletics directors serve as the Management Council. The Presidents Council also created a steering committee to coordinate and handle major issues. The Steering Committee consists of Minnesota State President Richard Davenport, Ferris State President Dave Eisler, Michigan Technological University Athletics Director Suzanne Sanregret and Bowling Green State Athletics Director Greg Christopher.
Other topics of discussion at the meetings included expansion and identifying potential member teams and public relations and marketing initiatives to coincide with the 2013-2014 campaign.
Founded in 1951 and home to a collegiate record 37 national championship teams, the men's WCHA, beginning in 2013-2014, will consist of the University of Alaska-Anchorage, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, and Northern Michigan University. -LSSU-