Diamonds and Ice

U.S. National Team could rejoin USHL next season

Word is the United States Hockey League is considering adding USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program for next season. The last time the U-18 team played in the league was the 2000-01 season. It is playing a combined collegiate, international, North American Hockey League schedule this season.

A once frosty relationship between the USNTDP and USHL has apparently warmed in the last couple of years. The groups recruit many of the same kids, which has led to past animosity.  The USHL sees adding the USNTDP as an opportunity to get its players more heavily scouted by the NHL and Division I colleges.

First-year USHL Commissioner Ellis “Skip” Prince told the Lincoln Journal-Star last week that his eventual goal is an 18-team league. It now has 12 teams.

“There could be at least one team as early as next year,” Prince told the Journal-Star. “Obviously, I can’t talk about it at this time, but we have a board of directors meeting at the all-star game where that will be discussed. There are several teams and groups that have applied for participation as early as next year.”

Here’s USA Hockey’s Web site:

By the way, Michigan State player Corey Tropp has decided not to join the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede and will return to East Lansing. He and MSU teammate Andrew Conboy were suspended for the rest of the season after an ugly on-ice incident in which Michigan’s Steve Kampfer (a former USHLer, like Tropp and Conboy) was injured.

Tropp swung his stick at Kampfer as he lay on the ice, hitting him in the neck.

Here’s video: