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NCHC Frozen Faceoff, commitments discussed

September 20, 2017 Updated: September 20, 2017 at 6:53 pm
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(Photo via National Collegiate Hockey Conference/Twitter)

ST. PAUL, MINN. - A group of five with various ties to the National College Hockey Conference's championship - some newly formed - said a few words Wednesday.

Most of the press conference highlighted the NCHC and the city of St. Paul's excitement surrounding a recent five-year deal, starting this season, that brings the Frozen Faceoff to the Xcel Energy Center. The mayor of St. Paul, Chris Coleman, and the vice president and general manager of the Xcel Energy Center, Jack Larson, both spoke.

Then NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton took the floor. He said the conference has looked at expansion recently, but ultimately decided to focus on the current eight teams.

His speech took on a serious tone when he brought up fragile verbal commitments and how they're being made by younger and younger athletes. While he acknowledged that these issues weren't specific to hockey, he said the sport is looking at how to improve the system, if possible.

"We need to truly understand what commitment means and how we've gotten ourselves to this point," Fenton said.

"The committee (which includes Colorado College director of athletics Ken Ralph) has spent considerable time discussing various models to alter when any contact is made, which would delay and slow the recruiting process. We expect to gather feedback on these various models from coaches, administrators and the NCAA before any sort of legislation would be proposed."

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