It was a busy week in the world of Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey. Let’s take a look at some of the big stories in the week that was.
Mark Strobel named associate head coach
After the departure of former associate head coach Don Granato, head coach Tony Granato wasted little time filling the void in his coaching staff, bringing on board former Wisconsin captain Mark Strobel.
Strobel comes to Wisconsin having served as associate head coach at Ohio State under former Badger Steve Rohlik for two seasons. Strobel was a four-year letter winner at Wisconsin, serving twice as captain (1993–94, 1994–95). He has coached at several schools, including Colorado College, Minnesota-Duluth, and Omaha, as well as in the USHL.
Notre Dame joins the Big Ten (in hockey)
A longtime dream (OK, for some, a nightmare) member has finally joined the Big Ten. Notre Dame, most recently of Hockey East, is now a sport affiliate member in men’s hockey.
The Irish are not unfamiliar with their new conference rivals, having been a CCHA member with Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State from 1992–93 through 2012–13.
Notre Dame was a Frozen Four participant last season (knocking off Minnesota in the the process) before losing to eventual champion Denver 6-1 in the semifinal. The Irish finished the regular season 2016–17 with a record of 23–12–5 (12–6–4 Hockey East).
The Fighting Irish make their first trip to the Kohl Center as Big Ten members Dec. 8–9. Wisconsin travels to South Bend Jan. 19–20, 2018.
NHL free agency has begun and already some Badgers have been inked to new deals. They include:
- Goaltender Brian Elliott signed with the Philadelphia Flyers for two years, $2.75M per year. Elliott was also named a member of the 2017 University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame class.
- Defenseman Brendan Smith extended with the New York Rangers, who acquired him last season from Detroit, for four years, $4.35 per year.
- Defenseman Jamie McBain signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Forward Ben Street signed a one-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings.
- Todd Milewski of the Wisconsin State Journal reports 12 Wisconsin men’s hockey players received invitations to NHL prospect camps.