Right here on this site you’ll see a great article from BDN Maine Sportswriter Larry Mahoney addressing the mediocre state of the University of Maine hockey program. It is very well done. Nobody walking this planet knows more about Black Bear hockey than Larry.
His article is thorough and fair. He points out evidence of coaching deficiencies such as the teams annual offensive woes and lofty penalty minutes resulting from undisciplined players.
But he took the time to speak with new Maine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph and six year head coach Red Gendron. Which means the column is predictably filled to the brim with the same tired excuses that we have heard from the coaches and the athletic administration in Orono for years.
It’s hard to recruit to Orono. The Alfond needs to be renovated. Maine can’t pay our coaches what others can. The landscape has changed and is sprinkled with fiery upstarts.
After every losing season you can apply checkmarks to the same laundry list of cop outs.
If your child spouted this endless stream of excuses for why they can’t succeed at a project you’d send them to their room to do some positive thinking.
So, I ask Ken Ralph, the administration, the boosters who defend the current coach and Red Gendron: “What’s the plan to make UMaine hockey relevant again?”
In the next three to five years what will you all do show Black Bear fans that you are serious about at least being a legit Hockey East threat, and perhaps a Frozen Four contender?
Is the AD working on it? Will there be a Blue Ribbon committee? A capital campaign? More coaches who focus on recruiting? Reallocation of resources? More marketing? Bring back the Black Bear Advisory Board? Lean on famous program alumni?
And when will we hear about it? Later this spring? Summer? By the end of the year?
Much thought has gone into creating the well documented list of excuses. I’d love to hear about possible solutions to some of these problems.
As I tell my 10 year old twin daughters all the time, “Whether you think you can, or you think can’t, you’re right.”
Time to stop thinking about what we can't do in Orono and think about what we will do to be better.