Now seeing as my Gophers are ranked, #2 in Men's Hockey right now, made the Frozen Four last year, and the Women's team is ranked #1 as well it came to my attention that a former Gopher, Thomas Vanek, is leading the NHL in scoring right now and has held this lead for over 2 weeks straight now. When I looked up the stats for all the other former Gophers, they weren't too bad either. So it got me thinking about revisiting a topic I discussed with some hockey folk many years ago. I suggested that I could field a pretty good NHL hockey club with an All-Star former Gopher's lineup. But the # of Gophers in the NHL at that time was not as healthy a # as it is this year and has been for the past couple of years, so instead of filling up my NHL team with current AND past former Gophers who have been successful in the NHL, which would as of now, be a pretty damned good team, I'm going to attempt to show that I could fill up an entire NHL roster with nothing other than current NHLers who have played for the Gophers, and native Minnesotans. Who would I have to pick from to fill up this roster? <br /><br /><br />LW - Thomas Vanek, C - Jim O'Brien, RW - Phil Kessel, D - Nick Leddy, D - Alex Goligoski - ALL former Gophers<br />LW - Stu Bickel, C - Jordon Schroeder, RW - Blake Wheeler, D - Paul Martin, D - Jordon Leopold - ALL former Gophers<br /><br /><br />As for the rest of the team, I have more defensemen than I know what to do with, including former Gophers Keith Ballard and former #1 pick in the draft Eric Johnson and native Minnesotans Tom Gilbert, Jamie McBain and Dustin Byfuglen. So I'd have a pretty solid defensive corps, possibly one of the best in the NHL?<br />Then I'd also have more Centers and Right Wingers than I'd know what to do with, including former Gopher Kyle Okposo, native Minnesotans Peter Mueller, Matt Cullen, David Backes, Derek Stephan and Ryan Conter just to name some of the better ones. That has me at 21 players and too many Centers and RWers. Needing 2 more LWers for a good solid 4 lines up and down, Zach Parise would be one for sure, putting me at 22 players but needing one more LWer, so I'd simply figure out which one of my many Centers and RW's would be best to switch to the left side and there you go, a full NHL roster made up of nothing but former Gophers and native Minnesotans currently playing in the NHL as we speak. <br /><br />Just one big problem. I'm missing a goalie. Not aware of any former Gophers or native Minnesotans currently in the NHL at the goalie position. Not sure why that is, but like any all-star team made up from a certain locality, there will be strengths and there will be weaknesses. <br /><br /><br /><br />Minnesota hockey, you could say is on the verge of moving up a notch. 10-15 years ago when I first discussed this with some hockey fans, I had to basically use players from the past and present to fill out the team and even then it may not have been a team that could have won a Stanley Cup, or even made the playoffs? Not sure. There was star power with Neal Broten, Reed Larson and Paul Holmgren all getting named an All-Star on more than one occasion, but not alot of depth. <br />Now its gotten to the point that I can rely completely on current players, with the exception of a solid goalie that is. <br /><br />In another 10 years, with how many players the Gophers are sending to the NHL, as they are the #1 producer of NHL talent in history among American Colleges, I see being able to fill up the entire team with only former Gophers, and hopefully will have a goalie or two in the NHL by then as well to fill up that last hole in the lineup. Sure, some of the current 13 players will be retired by then, but when looking at the current Gopher roster, only 2 players on the entire roster haven't already been drafted by the NHL and the team is looking like a pretty solid bet to make another Frozen Four, and if by some miracle they didn't suffer too many or any early defections to the NHL, next year could be even better as the only Senior on the team ranks 17th in scoring on the as well. And the goalie is only a freshman. They could supplant BC as the newest Dynasty in college hockey, or if too many of those players make the jump to the NHL, they could let BC go back to dominating college hockey while Minnesota would just feed the NHL to the brim with former Gophers. I hope the stellar Jr Class stays one more year to get the dynasty started, because if they did, UMn would have time to reload and not miss a step when they graduated. Would mean UMn could do both, dominate college hockey AND be the #1 feeder system among American colleges for the NHL. <br /><br /><br />Well, not sure how people will respond to this post, but it would be fun if fans of Michigan or Wisconsin or UND or Boston College or Boston Univ put up their rosters and we could compare. I'm not sure if any of those teams could fill up an entire NHL roster as well as the Gophers do. But I am sure that they could do a pretty good job of coming close. Both the states of Michigan and Massechusetts(sp?) are among the Top 3 states when it comes to producing college hockey players, so I am sure that closely correlates to the NHL, and I doubt that Wisconsin isn't Top 5. Might be tough for UND to keep pace, though. I'd also be fine if all the Ohio schools combined to try to fill up a roster. <br /><br />And if no one takes any interest, and I get no responses, thats ok too, I'll just take that as a sign that every has accepted the fact that Minnesota is #1 in every way, shape and form when it comes to everything to do with hockey. lol <br /><br />Later <br />
I know for a cold hard fact that I had that post separated into several paragraphs and for some reason they all got crammed together? lol WELL, mister BC, I totalled up the points for BC players in the NHL through Weds games and UMn had 89 to BC's 34. <br /><br /><br />89 vs 34. <br /><br /><br />Thats almost TRIPLE. lol
And yes, BC's been to 8 FFs compared to UMn's 4 in the last 12 years and tallied 4 Titles to our 2. But in the 30 years prior to that, UMn made 12 FFs to BCs 6. And not one of those 6 FFs resulted in a Natl Title, while UMn tallied 3 Titles in those 12 trips. And it could be worth mentioning that Minnesota garnered 4 Hobey Baker Awards to BC's 2? and well over a dozen Gold Medals to how many for BC?! And Minnesota as of right now is loaded and primed to maybe win a Title this year, and possibly to sent a good handful of players to the NHL as well. And with just a very small percentage, like 2% of UMn's offense graduating this year, I'm hoping all those future NHLers hold off just one more year, for next year would be one to remember for the ages if they did. Could add another Back2Back title run if they did, making my moniker even more valid than it already is.<br />
Funny that you call me 'mister BC' while having the ridiculous name that you do while making that initial post. I also noticed that you failed to mention the goalie comparables. Regardless, none of that matters, titles and head to head do.
How many more NHL points do the gophers have over Holy Cross?
<p>LOL, I suppose you think that one loss to HC cancels out over 90 years of glorious Gopher hockey history? Wow, what a powerful argument. As for my moniker, seeing as you have no clue what it means, & how could you, BC is a one sport school basically. UMn see, has back2back Natl Titles in college bb, cfb, men's hk, women's hk, wrestling, dance & debate. And the women's team will probably garner another Back2Back soon here, after breaking about every record in the book this season, sitting at 34-0-0 right now. So you can think my moniker is ridiculous all you want, but it stands for something of significance. Does BC have a nickname? Maybe "Every other year U" maybe?! LOL And you mentioned that head to head mattered?! Minnesota has a 15-12-2 record vs BC all-time = Advantage UMn.</p>
And as of tonight, you can ADD ANOTHER Back2Back Natl Title run to UMn's resume because tonight UMn won its 2nd Natl Duals Wrestling Title in a row, giving them a total of 8 Natl Duals Titles total and our 2nd back2back run at the Natl Duals. And it IS awesome about the debate team, isn't it. We're pretty top notch when it comes to Solar Rayce Car racing as well.
After Sunday's games, <br />Vanek is rated #1 in points scored by a Left Winger, #3 overall.<br />Wheeler is rated #6 in points scored by a Right Winger, #31 overall.<br />Kessel is rated #8 in points scored by a Right Winger, #36 overall.<br />Martin is rated #4 in points scored by a Defenseman, #51 overall. <br /><br /><br />And 10 former Gophers have 4 or more points.