Pete Kotz: How Don Lucia killed the Minnesota Gopher's hockey dynasty

BleedGopher

Active member
per Kotz:

With an NCAA playoff spot on the line, a team formerly known as college hockey’s premier program was swept four straight by Penn State. One night, the Gophers had given up 61 shots. This was not a number common to dynasties. These were digits reserved for pee wee teams with their defensive corps out with the flu.

Yet the fall of Lucia, who resigned Tuesday, could be foretold on any number of nights over the previous years. Despite having more resources, better facilities, and a brand that was near gold on collegiate rinks, he managed to systematically squander it all.

The Gophers had not just become an afterthought across the nation. They weren’t even close to being the best team in Minnesota. Over the last four years they went 5-18 against Duluth, Mankato, and St. Cloud, despite a roster loaded with the state’s most glimmering talents.

This year’s squad held 13 NHL draft picks. It still managed to finish just fifth in the Big 10. Out of seven schools.

It wasn’t that Lucia had forgotten how to coach. It’s that he’d forgotten what constitutes a good hockey team. He’d increasingly turned to recruiting younger and younger players, getting commitments from 15- and 16-year-old child prodigies who shined in box scores. Last fall he plunged ever lower, getting commitments from Cruz and Chaz Lucius, ages 13 and 14, from Gentry Academy in Vadnais Heights.

http://www.citypages.com/news/how-don-lucia-killed-the-minnesota-gophers-hockey-dynasty/477582963

Go Gophers!!
 

PMWinSTP

Active member
The author basically contradicts himself in the OP. Making it seem like Lucia failed recruiting but then states half the squad are NHL draft picks. Hmm...

To my eyes, at the arena, the talent was absolutely there. I agree there was a disconnect between the talent level and performance on the ice...I think it was coaching and that Lucia lost the fire he needed to keep these guys focused on defense and position playing in our zone.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

Active member
I agree with your 65 35 breakdown. Regardless of sport, with bow bad our athletics department is at marketing and fan relations, I have trouble blaming coaches for attendance issues.
 

Ewert86PC

Metrodome Era Survivor
I agree with your 65 35 breakdown. Regardless of sport, with bow bad our athletics department is at marketing and fan relations, I have trouble blaming coaches for attendance issues.
Athletic department marketing is incredibly weak. You'd think that the Carlson School of Business would develop a sports marketing certificate, if not a degree.

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KillmeNow

Active member
Yeah, he mentions how UMn has struggled vs SCSU, UMD & Mankato recently, and how Lucia is going after younger and younger recruits, but he fails to mention how EVERY blue blood program is going after younger and younger recruits!!! That is irresponsible journalism, it's FAKE NEWS!!!

And though he acknowledged how many drafted players are on the roster, no one seems to want to acknowledge that UMn has sent as many players to the NHL as SCSU, UMD, Mankato AND Bemidji COMBINED!!!

UMn has 25 in the NHL right now with 20 having scored at least a point.

Other 4 have 25 in the NHL right now with 20 having scored at least a point.


Now that may seem pretty even, right? Hold on...

Those 4 school's alums, COMBINED, have scored a whole 220 points in the NHL this year.

UMn's alums? 566


566 > 220.


And the VAST majority of the ones doing the scoring for the Gophers LEFT EARLY. 558 of those points were scored by guys who left UMn early. I doubt those other Minnesota schools can claim the same.


People, that is WAY MORE THAN DOUBLE the talent that the other 4 Minnesota teams are losing early COMBINED, and it could be TRIPLE???
 

KillmeNow

Active member
I'd give the article an 80/20 breakdown. It was a very irresponsibly written article. FAKE NEWS basically.

As of right now, the former UMn players who left early to play in the NHL are outscoring ALL of the other four Minnesota based school's alums COMBINED by an almost 3 to 1 margin. 566 to 220.

Well, only 558 are points scored by guys who left UMn early. Not sure about the 20 guys playing for the other 4 Minnesota based schools? 186 would be 1/3rd, so if just 2 of the Top half of those 20 played 4 years, that would give UMn THREE TIMES as many points scored than all 4 of those schools combined.
 

Some Day...Maybe

Active member
Yeah, he mentions how UMn has struggled vs SCSU, UMD & Mankato recently, and how Lucia is going after younger and younger recruits, but he fails to mention how EVERY blue blood program is going after younger and younger recruits!!! That is irresponsible journalism, it's FAKE NEWS!!!

And though he acknowledged how many drafted players are on the roster, no one seems to want to acknowledge that UMn has sent as many players to the NHL as SCSU, UMD, Mankato AND Bemidji COMBINED!!!

UMn has 25 in the NHL right now with 20 having scored at least a point.

Other 4 have 25 in the NHL right now with 20 having scored at least a point.


Now that may seem pretty even, right? Hold on...

Those 4 school's alums, COMBINED, have scored a whole 220 points in the NHL this year.

UMn's alums? 566


566 > 220.


And the VAST majority of the ones doing the scoring for the Gophers LEFT EARLY. 558 of those points were scored by guys who left UMn early. I doubt those other Minnesota schools can claim the same.


People, that is WAY MORE THAN DOUBLE the talent that the other 4 Minnesota teams are losing early COMBINED, and it could be TRIPLE???
Who gives a sh^t how many alum are in the NHL when you routinely get beat by in state rivals? Your excuses are amazing. I’d rather be a winner and have no draft picks. The object of a college hockey program is to win when it matters, Lucia’s teams have under achieved for the better part of the last decade. Maybe guys wouldn’t leave so early if there was something to stay for? Gopher hockey has become a sad afterthought, Lucia leaving was long overdue.


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WindyCityGopher

Active member
Athletic department marketing is incredibly weak. You'd think that the Carlson School of Business would develop a sports marketing certificate, if not a degree.

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Marketing is marketing, no matter the business. You don't need a specialization in sports, you need more sophisticated marketers, but those people are expensive and athletic departments at public universities generally don't pay enough to attract that kind of talent.
 

Ewert86PC

Metrodome Era Survivor
Marketing is marketing, no matter the business. You don't need a specialization in sports, you need more sophisticated marketers, but those people are expensive and athletic departments at public universities generally don't pay enough to attract that kind of talent.
And there are no marketing graduates of the Carlson School who are altruistically inclined to help their alma mater? What? They don't want to deal with the administrative flustercuck?

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WindyCityGopher

Active member
And there are no marketing graduates of the Carlson School who are altruistically inclined to help their alma mater? What? They don't want to deal with the administrative flustercuck?

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I got my MBA from Carlson, and when most of the grads are being recruited by Fortune 500 companies offering great pay and sign-on bonuses, altruism to their alma mater usually goes out the window. And even if they really want to work in sports they have 4 big league sports teams to pursue (6 if you count the Lynx and Loons) who pay more and offer higher profile gigs, so the U's athletics department gets the leftovers.
 

Ewert86PC

Metrodome Era Survivor
I got my MBA from Carlson, and when most of the grads are being recruited by Fortune 500 companies offering great pay and sign-on bonuses, altruism to their alma mater usually goes out the window. And even if they really want to work in sports they have 4 big league sports teams to pursue (6 if you count the Lynx and Loons) who pay more and offer higher profile gigs, so the U's athletics department gets the leftovers.
This just confirms my experience that the U is lacking in creating the good memories and other intangibles that draw alumni back and make them want to contribute their money to the school. Which is why having winning athletic programs is more important to a state university.

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MennoSota

Active member
Yeah, he mentions how UMn has struggled vs SCSU, UMD & Mankato recently, and how Lucia is going after younger and younger recruits, but he fails to mention how EVERY blue blood program is going after younger and younger recruits!!! That is irresponsible journalism, it's FAKE NEWS!!!

And though he acknowledged how many drafted players are on the roster, no one seems to want to acknowledge that UMn has sent as many players to the NHL as SCSU, UMD, Mankato AND Bemidji COMBINED!!!

UMn has 25 in the NHL right now with 20 having scored at least a point.

Other 4 have 25 in the NHL right now with 20 having scored at least a point.


Now that may seem pretty even, right? Hold on...

Those 4 school's alums, COMBINED, have scored a whole 220 points in the NHL this year.

UMn's alums? 566


566 > 220.


And the VAST majority of the ones doing the scoring for the Gophers LEFT EARLY. 558 of those points were scored by guys who left UMn early. I doubt those other Minnesota schools can claim the same.


People, that is WAY MORE THAN DOUBLE the talent that the other 4 Minnesota teams are losing early COMBINED, and it could be TRIPLE???
Great...we're a feeder system for the NHL, but haven't won a championship in 15 years. I'm sure the NHL is thankful, but it does nothing for the fanbase.
 

KillmeNow

Active member
Great...we're a feeder system for the NHL, but haven't won a championship in 15 years. I'm sure the NHL is thankful, but it does nothing for the fanbase.
No, it doesn't. But blaming it on Lucia doesn't help, either.


Just ONE COACH has more Frozen Fours over the last 7 years than Lucia.


ALL of the blue bloods have been negatively affected by this.


Which two schools have come closest to getting to 3 FFs in a limited period of time outside of BC? UMD & Notre Dame. Both non-blue blood schools.
 

Ewert86PC

Metrodome Era Survivor
No, it doesn't. But blaming it on Lucia doesn't help, either.


Just ONE COACH has more Frozen Fours over the last 7 years than Lucia.


ALL of the blue bloods have been negatively affected by this.


Which two schools have come closest to getting to 3 FFs in a limited period of time outside of BC? UMD & Notre Dame. Both non-blue blood schools.
And then there is this....

https://amp.ncaa.com/amp/news/icehockey-men/article/2018-04-07/frozen-four-2018-minnesota-duluth-holds-notre-dame-win-ncaa

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bonin21

Member
UMD is currently the best program in Minnesota, and has joined the highest tier of college hockey programs. BC, BU, DU, UM, UMN, UND, uw, and now UMD. Notre Dame is close.
 
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