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TCF=UnitedWeStand
12-05-2009, 06:37 AM
I'm a Lucia guy, but this is beyond ridiculous and the last three years have been a steady regression. He used to fall back on the loss of players to the NHL, but as pointed out in today's Pioneer Press, they have 20 NHL draft picks (including four first rounders!) on the roster! The team has absolutely quit on him.

Who has Dean Blais's number?

GoGophers2005
12-05-2009, 12:02 PM
It would be much easier on everyone involved if Lucia just stepped aside. That way he could coach at a high level again but yet everyone saves face.
Thanks for the National Championships..but its time. For some reason he can't light a fire under anyone to play. And I have no idea how John Hill is still employed.

Ski U Mah Gopher
12-05-2009, 12:42 PM
Complete the relationship

John Hill: Don Lucia as Richard Solomon:

MrGopher
12-05-2009, 06:08 PM
I have been a Lucia backer this whole time. When we were swept by UMD i started to waver. When we lost last night I officially decided to support a change at head coach at the U.

You guys are right. The 'losing guys to the NHL' excuse is no good anymore. The team looks lazy. Nobody goes to the net on offense. Nobody plays aggressively on defense. The gophers should never only score 1 goal in a game against a MANKATO team who isn't even the best team that MSU has had in recent memory. We honestly should be putting up 1.5 goals per period on teams like this. This is my fifth year on campus and we have done nothing but get WORSE every single year. Im sick of it. Ever since the Holy Cross loss, it has been nothing but disappointment and it needs to end. I realize i sound like a Kentucky basketball fan, but as soon as we missed out on the NCAA tournament, we should have seriously started to look in another direction. Minnesota hockey does not miss the tournament.

Lucia is a good guy. And he can be a good hockey coach. I think both the Gophers and Lucia need a change. This downslide has no end in sight.... especially when SCSU, UMD, Bemidji, and Mankato are beginning to close the gap in recruiting, coaching talent, fan support, even hockey facilities.

JohnnyGopher
12-05-2009, 06:30 PM
Was at the game last night and wow is all I can say. Alot of empty seats and the natives are restless. Talking to some longtime fans, a couple who are plugged in and have always been huge Lucia backers, and even they have concided that the Don's hole is too deep to get out. As referenced above, John Hill is a popular villian. One popular opinion was a compromise where Lucia would be allowed to step down citing his illiness as a main reason. Others don't have any confidence that Maturi will do anything. Obviously Dean Blais is the overwhelmingly favorite for the job but his age may move them in anopther direction and Wild Coach and former Gopher Mike Ramsey is a darkhorse candidate.

MRJ
12-05-2009, 07:05 PM
Was at the game last night and wow is all I can say. Alot of empty seats and the natives are restless. Talking to some longtime fans, a couple who are plugged in and have always been huge Lucia backers, and even they have concided that the Don's hole is too deep to get out. As referenced above, John Hill is a popular villian. One popular opinion was a compromise where Lucia would be allowed to step down citing his illiness as a main reason. Others don't have any confidence that Maturi will do anything. Obviously Dean Blais is the overwhelmingly favorite for the job but his age may move them in anopther direction and Wild Coach and former Gopher Mike Ramsey is a darkhorse candidate.

I'm more worried that Maturi is apparently completely oblivious to what is happening with the hockey program. He hasn't said anything regarding the team's pathetic performance and there is more than enough evidence to support a possible termination of Lucia as coach. Like others, I have been a Lucia fan ever since he came here, but this situation is quickly becoming intolerable. I know I've said this before, but Maturi is going to have to say something by the end of this year for sure. If he fails to address the situation, he's going to have quite the uproar on his hands.

MrGopher
12-05-2009, 07:16 PM
I guess i could go for the Mike Ramsey idea. Who else is out there? I think the program would prefer someone within the gopher hockey family. I think it would also be worth looking into some of the coaches out there whose programs are overachieving.... Miami(OH) comes to mind. An overachieving team is nearly always a well coached team, coached by a guy who gets the most out of the players he gets.

I also hope we are willing to nab some top players from outside the great state of Minnesota. Yeah, we all are proud when we can get a team who are 100% Minnesotans. But I think snagging that Potulny, Kessel, Vanek, Briggs, etc. from outside our state can only help our program. Guys like that are out there, we need to make them Gophers. Minnesota will always produce its share of elite talent, and we should get those guys too, but I dont think a lower caliber Minnesotan should be preferred over an elite player from outside our borders. Those lower caliber players can play for St. Cloud.

tjgopher
12-05-2009, 07:49 PM
I never thought I'd see an extended time like this for the Gophers. Lucia's WCHA record in the last two-and-a-half years:

2007-08: 9-12-7
2008-09: 12-11-5
2009-10: 3-7-1

That's 24-30-13 since 2007-08. Ouch.

TCF=UnitedWeStand
12-06-2009, 12:34 PM
Was at the game last night and wow is all I can say. Alot of empty seats and the natives are restless. Talking to some longtime fans, a couple who are plugged in and have always been huge Lucia backers, and even they have concided that the Don's hole is too deep to get out. As referenced above, John Hill is a popular villian. One popular opinion was a compromise where Lucia would be allowed to step down citing his illiness as a main reason. Others don't have any confidence that Maturi will do anything. Obviously Dean Blais is the overwhelmingly favorite for the job but his age may move them in anopther direction and Wild Coach and former Gopher Mike Ramsey is a darkhorse candidate.

Wow, Ramsey is a good thought. Since we are just throwing names out there, how about Mark Johnson, UW womens coach?

MrGopher
12-06-2009, 12:42 PM
Wow, Ramsey is a good thought. Since we are just throwing names out there, how about Mark Johnson, UW womens coach?

Good guy. Good coach. Bleeds red.

(Yes, bleeding red is a bad thing.)

TCF=UnitedWeStand
12-06-2009, 07:09 PM
Good guy. Good coach. Bleeds red.

(Yes, bleeding red is a bad thing.)

Yes, I would think that as well, but wouldn't hurt to ask. I'm not sure Eaves would be going anwhere anytime soon, and I'm pretty sure UW Womens hockey doesn't offer the same pay check UM mens does.

SelectionSunday
12-07-2009, 08:40 AM
An argument could be made that the Gophers are the #5 team in the . .......... state.

That probably doesn't sit very well with the ole' hockey pucks that follow the Gophers, I'm guessing.

TCF=UnitedWeStand
12-07-2009, 12:12 PM
Per this article: http://www.startribune.com/blogs/78695167.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD 3aPc:_Yyc:aUgOy9cP3DieyckcUsI

Lucia continues to say "we don't have talent. We have to work harder. We are a lunch pail group." We have 20 NHL draft picks on the roster, including FOUR first rounders!!! How many other teams can say that?

If he doesn't think they have talent, others certainly do think so. And if they've gotten to the U and now he doesn't think these kids are as talented as he/the other coaches thought they were, then that's on them as well as evaluators.

I think the Don needs to look in the mirror and ask himself, "What do I need to do better here?", along with all of the other coaches. I'd like to see him take some ownership here.

MRJ
12-08-2009, 10:18 AM
I was taken aback by Lucia's comment about not looking or worrying about the bigger picture. Well, here's the bigger picture since Lucia is apparently not concerned about it: Three straight years of out-and-out mediocrity. And to be honest, if he's constantly thinking of ways to get the team better, as he says he does, he really hasn't done his job there either. This team has been the same thing for going on three years now with no signs of improvement on any front.

In other words, Don will have to start thinking about the bigger picture because it's going to smack him dead in the face if the team doesn't pick it up big-time between now and the end of the season.

TCF=UnitedWeStand
12-08-2009, 03:07 PM
I'm with ya.

MrGopher
12-09-2009, 09:44 AM
I sense a Tubby Smith-like thing about to happen here.....

Big name school underachieving. Coach who has won it all early in his tenure with the program is under some fire. Fans growing more and more restless with questionable recruiting and players leaving early for the pros.

Tubby bailed in that situation and went to a lower profile program and rejuvenated it. Lucia is a good hockey coach, and is well respected enough to get a position, and a fresh start, at most other places. He himself went to school at Notre Dame... I doubt they have coaching issues, but who knows.

cjcarter8
12-09-2009, 03:03 PM
I wouldn't compare Tubby's last few teams at Kentucky to Lucia's past few years here. Tubby's teams were much better compared to the recent teams that Lucia has putting on to the ice. Tubby went 22-12 in his last year at Kentucky. Lucia is struggling to break .500 this year. They are outhustled on a nightly basis and most of them shy away from contact. They arent playing with heart and its frustrating to watch. There is an immense amount of talent on this team and everyone of them is redefining the meaning of underachieving. These players need a coach that preaches hardwork and doing the little things that win a game: hustle and playing aggressively. Minnesota hockey has a proud tradition and something needs to be done to maintain it.

ditt1605
12-10-2009, 03:57 PM
It makes me wonder if the the mindset of our players in recent years has changed. Instead of guys with a team oriented mindset of working hard towards winning a national championship, maybe guys are now thinking of the U as a training camp/prep school for the NHL. Maybe they don't care as much about the overall team goals as they they do about individual improvement. Could be that players are now here to wear the big M, spend a year or two to work on their game, experience college and if they win then great, that's a bonus. If not, they at least got to spend some time being a college kid before having to button up in the AHL/NHL.

I just find it really hard to believe that Lucia is coaching any differently than he has in the past as I don't see him going away from a formula that won him 2 championships. Obviously, something is not working, so if he's using the same old schtick, he does need to come up with something new. If he can't or won't, we need to get someone who will motivate these guys to play college hockey using their pro potential.

MRJ
12-11-2009, 02:43 PM
It makes me wonder if the the mindset of our players in recent years has changed. Instead of guys with a team oriented mindset of working hard towards winning a national championship, maybe guys are now thinking of the U as a training camp/prep school for the NHL. Maybe they don't care as much about the overall team goals as they they do about individual improvement. Could be that players are now here to wear the big M, spend a year or two to work on their game, experience college and if they win then great, that's a bonus. If not, they at least got to spend some time being a college kid before having to button up in the AHL/NHL.

I just find it really hard to believe that Lucia is coaching any differently than he has in the past as I don't see him going away from a formula that won him 2 championships. Obviously, something is not working, so if he's using the same old schtick, he does need to come up with something new. If he can't or won't, we need to get someone who will motivate these guys to play college hockey using their pro potential.

This is definitely part of the problem imo. Lucia has always said he wants to recruit the best players he can to come to the program, and for the most part, he has done exactly that. However, there was an inherent risk of the focus changing from the Gophers competing for championships to now simply being a training ground for kids with stars in their eyes. Now, we're seeing the results of having a lot of kids who are more worried about their draft rights than putting on the "M" and wearing it with pride. Obviously, this is an approach that needs to be changed, otherwise there's going to be even bigger problems down the road.

akgopher
12-12-2009, 12:54 PM
Maybe Mike Guentzel will finally get his shot. Wouldn't be surprising to see Bob Motzko resurface as a candidate also if something opens up.

Gold Rush
12-13-2009, 09:14 PM
Winning some games will help some of this talk die down. It looks like they are starting to play a little better the last few games.

Gopherholefan
12-17-2009, 10:33 PM
Winning some games will help some of this talk die down. It looks like they are starting to play a little better the last few games.

Who have they played the last few games?

SMinnyAu
01-02-2010, 12:57 PM
Never realized that the record was that low the last 3 seasons. Hope they finish it strong.

TCF=UnitedWeStand
01-04-2010, 11:13 AM
Northern Michigan?

We are officially mediocre - an unacceptable, unexpected and unimaginable fall from being one of the top five programs in the country. We are now arguably the 4th or 5th best team in MN! Come season's end, the change needs to be made.

gopheraschells
01-04-2010, 11:48 AM
the team has quit on him, they dont want to play for him anymore, get him out of here

Ke$ha
02-14-2010, 06:41 PM
Hopefully not.

GopherFan75
02-14-2010, 07:48 PM
Ke$ha= Mclovin lol
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The Ghost of Bierman
02-15-2010, 04:01 PM
my personal desire = i hope not

what will "spineless" joel maturi do.......probably nothing

umgh23
02-19-2010, 08:56 AM
His first few years had me convinced Don could walk on water, but he won with much of the core being Woog recruited players. I think he has a penchant for small offensive minded players who don't like to hit or be hit, and consider defensive obligations beneath their skill level. Get some tough grinders who actually go to the net with determination and things would change.

alchemy2u
02-21-2010, 07:06 AM
I was so excited when the Gophers hired Lucia, he looked like the best coach in college hockey. I would hate to see us get beat by CC, but it sure was fun to see them set-up plays in offensive zone and cycle the puck. The CC teams he coached always out worked everyone, were very quick and created scoring opportunities versus the old Woog style. I seriously thought we would be able to contend for a national title every couple of years.

Well, Lucia's gophers always seem to get out worked by the other teams and they don't back check. The Gophers are loaded with talent! Compare them to the other Minnesota teams...

How many of our players did the other MN teams want on their team? about 75% of our players
How many players on the other MN teams were offered scollys to the Gophers and turned them down? guess about 5%

The Gophers still get just about any local player that they want. We need to keep it that way and get back the winning tradition. It is time for Lucia to step down gracefully and to get the spirit back.

gophersfan
02-21-2010, 09:24 AM
I hate to say this. but i don't think Lucia is the problem here. we will get back to winning as time go bye. but you cannot alway blame the coach.

but that just me. we swept CC this weekend, so that a start.

GopherFan75
02-21-2010, 11:28 AM
A lot of people talk about the talent level we have here, but I really don't think there is as much talent as it seems. Almost all of these guys are very heavily recruited in high school and most of them have been drafted, but the talent level is overrated in my opinion. Look at a guy like David Fischer, he was a first round draft pick, but watching him on the ice he just does not look like that caliber of a player. Mike Howe, who graduated a couple years ago, was also a first round pick, but never really became the type of player he should have. Patrick White is another guy who was probably drafted too high. These guys appear to have talent, but I think a lot of them are just not as good/talented as people think.
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Gopher Gold
02-21-2010, 11:48 AM
I still believe this team has to much "ME" and not enough of a team mentality. It seems to me like so many of these guys are just passing time until they can punch their ticket to the NHL and cash that first check.

lakesbison
02-21-2010, 12:18 PM
Lucia can turn this around, there's too much talent NOT to succeed. I also don't want his recruiting to change, if Minnesota ever started recruiting like the canadian team in grand forks, then he will lose a ton of fans.

ditt1605
02-22-2010, 03:26 PM
A lot of people talk about the talent level we have here, but I really don't think there is as much talent as it seems. Almost all of these guys are very heavily recruited in high school and most of them have been drafted, but the talent level is overrated in my opinion. Look at a guy like David Fischer, he was a first round draft pick, but watching him on the ice he just does not look like that caliber of a player. Mike Howe, who graduated a couple years ago, was also a first round pick, but never really became the type of player he should have. Patrick White is another guy who was probably drafted too high. These guys appear to have talent, but I think a lot of them are just not as good/talented as people think.

A lot of rumors going around that NHL scouts think that it's not the talent that is questionable but rather the coaching the talent is receiving. A few documented instances come to mind: When Islanders GM Garth Snow called out Lucia regarding Okposo, when Erik Johnson left and said that he didn't think he was being used properly at the U and more recently when Leddy was included in the Cam Barker trade, an unnamed scout was quoted as saying the U wasn't doing a good job of preparing/developing players.

In Lucia's defense, his job is to develop a team rather than individuals. You don't give a guy more playing time just because he's a first round pick.

JohnnyGopher
02-22-2010, 05:30 PM
The Leddy comments from the Wild we're pathetic, the guy missed half the year with a pretty serious injury and has played in what, 20 games of his freshman season, not to mention that he's been one of our best players the past three weeks and his developement looks just fine. Wild just covering there asses for Tommy Thompson's terrible drafting and another first round pick that will never make it to St Paul.

The problem with Eric Johnson was he was the #1 pick and he and the Blues expected him to play first unit D from the day he stepped on campus and he wasn't ready for that and whether people like it or not, Lucia was going to do whats best for the team and that was to bring Eric along slowly just like Martin, Leo, Ballard, Goligoski all did there first season. Kids in all sports want immediate results and playing time and we've seen plenty here who transfer if they don't get major ice time right away.

Okposo was just really struggling his second season for a number of reasons but the coaches weren't doing anything to hold him back.

How did Kris Chucko work out for the Flames when they yanked him early, the answer is very bad and how is Jimmy O'Brien doing in juniors, the answer is the same.

Winnipegopher
02-23-2010, 07:52 AM
The reality is NHL GMs strongly prefer their players in juniors or minors rather than the NCAA. In junior you bring them into NHL training camp every year and, if you like, send them to minor league if they are too good for junior (or you don't like the junior program). Addtionally junior leagues and minor leagues play NHL type schedules while NCAA teams play about half as many games.

I have no doubt it is more fun to play for U Minnesota than Moose Jaw but if you are a legit NHL prospect, you are probably better off in Moose Jaw.

trixR4kids
03-01-2010, 05:24 PM
His first few years had me convinced Don could walk on water, but he won with much of the core being Woog recruited players. I think he has a penchant for small offensive minded players who don't like to hit or be hit, and consider defensive obligations beneath their skill level. Get some tough grinders who actually go to the net with determination and things would change.

This isn't true at all. I could give you the numbers but I don't know them off the top of my head.


The reality is NHL GMs strongly prefer their players in juniors or minors rather than the NCAA. In junior you bring them into NHL training camp every year and, if you like, send them to minor league if they are too good for junior (or you don't like the junior program). Addtionally junior leagues and minor leagues play NHL type schedules while NCAA teams play about half as many games.

I have no doubt it is more fun to play for U Minnesota than Moose Jaw but if you are a legit NHL prospect, you are probably better off in Moose Jaw.
This also isn't necessarily true. The WCHA (college in general but definitely the WCHA) is more physical and the players are older which is why many teams like seeing players develop there. It's similar to the kids who come to the U from high school versus the USHL. The USHL is more physical and those players tend to be more physically ready to step up to the next level.

Winnipegopher
03-02-2010, 09:53 AM
The NHL is about control. They have far less control over players in University than in juniors or minors.

If you ever meet any NHL people (even to the scout level) they will tell you that. No one will go on the record because it makes them look like they don't care about education (they don't).

maxwellsmart
03-06-2010, 11:52 PM
The guy who took McDonald's to the height of the business world once said "It's not that we don't want the Harvard grads, it's that we can't hire them. They won't clean the toilets." Back in the 70's (I think) Lou Nanne commented on a North Star team that had graded out on paper as one of the best in the NHL, only to horribly underachieve each season: "You can't win without muckers."

The Gophers need size, physicality and a blue-collar mentality because that's what wins hockey games. The slick puck handlers have a role, but there should be a limited number on any one team and especially not very many offense-minded players at the blue line. Someone before me mentioned elite players. We have enough of those. We need guys like a Minnesota kid I know who is playing in the W. Why the heck is Minnesota not paying him to go to school instead of a tier I junior team? He's a crowd favorite in Canada because he's a smallish, strong, tough kid who would just as soon knock your head off as carry the puck. There's another big Minnesota kid who is making a splash out east and never got a look from the Gophers.

Gopher Gold
03-07-2010, 03:13 PM
The guy who took McDonald's to the height of the business world once said "It's not that we don't want the Harvard grads, it's that we can't hire them. They won't clean the toilets." Back in the 70's (I think) Lou Nanne commented on a North Star team that had graded out on paper as one of the best in the NHL, only to horribly underachieve each season: "You can't win without muckers."

The Gophers need size, physicality and a blue-collar mentality because that's what wins hockey games. The slick puck handlers have a role, but there should be a limited number on any one team and especially not very many offense-minded players at the blue line. Someone before me mentioned elite players. We have enough of those. We need guys like a Minnesota kid I know who is playing in the W. Why the heck is Minnesota not paying him to go to school instead of a tier I junior team? He's a crowd favorite in Canada because he's a smallish, strong, tough kid who would just as soon knock your head off as carry the puck. There's another big Minnesota kid who is making a splash out east and never got a look from the Gophers.

Who?

Good win by the way today especially on senior day. Will be a tough match-up in Grand Forks, cant wait!

TCF=UnitedWeStand
11-05-2010, 07:59 PM
I'm a Lucia guy, but this is beyond ridiculous and the last three years have been a steady regression. He used to fall back on the loss of players to the NHL, but as pointed out in today's Pioneer Press, they have 20 NHL draft picks (including four first rounders!) on the roster! The team has absolutely quit on him.

Who has Dean Blais's number?

It's been 11 months and my opinion still stands.

gophersfan
11-06-2010, 07:55 PM
Will Lucia please make Patterson the starting goalie for the rest of the season. If he does that, Minnesota in the NCAA book it. Patterson way better then Kangas right now.

BeerBibleBullets
11-09-2010, 11:14 AM
I dont think Blais is coming. He's almost 50, and may choose to stick with the U20 development team and UNO. What about Guentzel?