Last week on a local sports radio show there was an interview of Tom Anastos, the Commissioner of the CCHA. When asked how the lockout would affect college hockey he pointed out that there would be more players playing college hockey this year instead of going to the NHL (such as Michigan netminder Al Montoya), so there would be better players and a somewhat better product. However, overall the lockout is a negative for the game of hockey as a whole, especially if it lasts for as long as predicted.The University of Michigan (currenlty ranked #1 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey poll) does keep an excellent netminder for another year, which improves their chances of winning some hardware. However, since all of their games are sold out anyway (Yost only holds about 8,100 fans) it won't lead to a drastic increase in attendance (there's nowhere to put any more fans!) More college hockey games will be broadcast (at least here in Metro Detroit), which is a bonus for college hockey... but college hockey isn't going to sustain hardcore fans for long. There's almost no fighting, the action isn't anywhere near as fast as the NHL, and the no touch icing rule is in effect (which drives me batty, even if it is safer it slows down the flow of the game too much IMHO, it just isn't as exciting.) The name recognition is also almost entirely absent.I try to work as many UofM hockey games as I can, so I'll get my hockey fix. Maybe I'll shell out some money for tickets to the Great Lakes Inventational at Joe Louis Arena this year, but it may be a hot ticket given the lockout situation. It looks like the NCAA will benefit for about a year from this sitation. If it goes longer than that then players will have to start thinking about options other than the NHL, which would probably hurt the NCAA.Mike
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