Mack’s Mailbag for Feb. 21, 2012

You can join in the mailbag by e-mailing questions from the contact link above, sending questions on Twitter @MikeMcMahonET or by commenting on a post.

Any chance Merrimack might bump Murphy up to next years class to add a little bit of scoring touch and reduce the chance that he decides to go major junior?
I’m sure there’s a chance. The coaching staff of every college program is in constant contact with their recruits and their recruits’ families. They know the situations with all of them. Murphy is the type of player that, if he came to the coaches and said “I need a spot next year or I’m signing with a WHL team,” well I’m sure Merrimack would make room for him. For a player like that, you figure it out. But not everyone is going to jump at the first Major Junior team that comes their way. There are players out there who want to play college hockey.

What do you think of Merrimack’s scoring slump? What do they have to do?
This might sound crazy, but they have to keep doing what they’re doing. The only thing not happening for this team is goals. They’re getting chances, they’re just not finishing them. I think if the power play started to click at a pace it was more towards the begining of the year, it could help dramatically. This past weekend, the first two periods at BC on Friday were some of the worst hockey this team has played all season. But look at Saturday; that was one of the most complete games they’ve played. The second period on Saturday, I thought, ranks right up there as far as one of the best periods of the entire season. They need to finish, and that’s something you can’t just spark with different line combos or drills in practice. Not this late in the year. If it happens, it has to happen organically.

Paul Kelly resigning from College Hockey Inc. raise any red flags with you?
Not really. No disrespect to Paul Kelly, but I think he did his job. When the organization was first established, it’s goal was to market the game of college hockey. Kelly was a big name that everyone in the hockey world knew. The organization itself is now established. It’s young, but it’s established. Again, no disrespect to Kelly, but I think they could bring in someone who was doing everything Kelly was doing, maybe even be willing to be greasier and more trailblazing when it comes to tactics to promote the game, and likely make less money doing it. Sources have told multiple news outlets that Kelly was reaching out to ADs in some sort of an attempt for “power” within college hockey. That’s not what the role was intented for. That’s not what the organization is intended for.
Nate Elwell was hired on Tuesday afternoon as his replacement on an interim basis. Elwell is a tremendous advocate for college hockey. He’s the former VP of Communication for the Washington Capitals and has connections throughout the pro and college game. I don’t think I’ve met a person more dedicated to the cause of raising awareness for college hockey than him.

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