Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday is media day at Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac held a formal media day today. A typical press conference includes myself, Brian Farrell and one or two other Quinnipiac student-journalists. Today the Bobcats saw a horde. The local TV stations each had a crew along with at least a dozen writers from various state newspapers and websites. Rand Pecknold was even taken a back at the gathering.

Anyway, a few notes from the day.

  • Pecknold said he believes he has "6 to 8" players on the current roster with a shot to play in the NHL. He didn't name names, but, here's an educated guess at players who have a real shot at the AHL and NHL: Eric Hartzell, Matthew Peca, Connor and Kellen Jones, Bryce Van Brabant, Jeremy Langlois, the three Zachs, Jordan Samuels-Thomas. Pecknold also had there are "3 to 5" incoming recruits who can get there as well. Impressive for a school still looking for its first NHL alumni.
  • In years past, Yale and Quinnipiac players have been friendly, to some degree, off the ice. But none of the Quinnipiac players asked said they knew any of the Yale players personally. Only Hartzell offered a tale of exchanges with Yale captain Andrew Miller. Every year, Hartzell said, he seems to make a big glove save on Miller. "During the handshake line, he looks me in the eye and says he hates me," Hartzell said.
  • Jack McDonald hired George Gwozdecky while McDonald was the athletic director at Denver some 19 years ago. On Monday, Denver, after an incredibly successful rise under Gwozdecky that included successive national championships, fired him. Denver had been struggling prior to his hiring, and Gwozdecky certainly resurrected the program. McDonald said he was sad to hear the news, and sent Gwozdecky an email to see how his old friend was doing.
  • Lots of questions about the rivalry with Yale, and looking ahead to a potential all-New Haven national final. That story would indeed be incredible, but as irresistible as it may be, it's hard to look that far ahead. Especially when each team has such difficult first-round matchups.    
  • Hartzell said the teammate he struggles with the most is Jordan Samuels-Thomas. "I can never get a read on his shot," Hartzell said. Zack Currie said the teammate he feels is hardest to defend is Brabant, a tough combination of size, strength and speed.


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