Yesterday Anthony Bitetto signed a pro contract with the Nashville Predators, thus ending his time at Northeastern. While tragic to lose such a solid defenseman, it is clear that this early departure was not surprising to the coaching staff. Madigan is bringing in 4 defensemen, and we were losing none of our top 6. So are we in danger of losing more? I think that is unlikely. Of the 4, 2 (Mike Gunn and Colton Saucerman, both from good teams in the USHL) look like they are meant to play a lot. Saucerman has been out with a knee injury likely means that there’s some doubt he’ll be 100% be the time the season starts. As for the other 2, they seem like an attempt to improve the depth positions we have, as well as provide some slack in the event we want to move a converted forward like Josh Manson back to being a forward.
The other big news today is UConn’s official application to join Hockey East. UConn’s application is, I believe, the first actual application to be the 12th member (others have expressed interest, but no actual application). Based on the article, it seems that UConn is willing to drop a decent amount of money to build a program, which will be necessary to join Hockey East. I think UConn’s entry is a good thing if it happens. They are in the one New England state untapped by Hockey East, and certainly have the willingness and money to make the needed investment in hockey. Their joining also adds another big name school to our ranks, and could help score a larger tv deal, or more national exposure.