The way you begin most of your posts -"Yo, putz"- sounds more like the middle of a phrase than a salutation. You know, like "How come yo putz never seem to make it to the hole? I'm, talkin' 'bout your golf game here, not your love life.
Anyway, digressions aside, why is hockey suddenly the whipping boy of college administrations? It looks like they are focusing on hockey as a way of cutting costs the way they did when schools cut wrestling programs by the dozens about 20 years ago. First the Bemidji president pushes the blame for his money-losing program into the laps of the folks at the WCHA and now the UMass administration wants to kill the U-Lowell program? How do the two Division I programs in the Mass State University system lose $2.1 million? They must be talking about the athletic departments as a whole, right?
Anyway, moving out of Hockey East will not save money, but it might help rebuild a once proud hockey program. U-Lowell and Merrimack are perennial doormats in the league. Maine, BU, UNH and BC have dominated the league and the East pretty much since the league began. That won't change soon.
Lowell and Merrimack should move to Atlantic Hockey where most of the schools are teams they compete against in other sports. These traditional Division II powers can compete and maybe even dominate in the league populated by Bentley, RIT, Sacred Heart, AIC and Mercyhurst. Move Holy Cross and Niagara into the ECAC, close down College Hockey America and move Bemidji and Wayne State to the WCHA or CCHA and realign the college hockey leagues. The west should also realign and create a new league, but that won't happen for a while.
On the ECAC - You're right (man it hurts to say that), they need to cut the playoffs back to 10 teams again. They won't, because they went to 12 teams when the Ivies always had two teams missing the playoffs every year. With Union in the league, that shouldn't happen every year, especially if RPI can't get a goalie and some scorers; not to mention some players who prefer spending the first five minutes of the game on the ice rather than in the penalty box.
Nobody cares about these first round games, where all but one or two of the teams have no chance of winning on the road the next week, let alone actually making a run at the championship in Albany. Cut the bottom two teams out of the mix.
Give the top six teams a week off and have the next four teams play a two-game, first team to three points, series at the sites of the two higher seeds (#10 at #7 and 9 at 8). You only play overtime on the second night. If the first game ends in a tie, it's a tie. The second night you play until someone drops.
The survivors move on to the next round with the six top seeds. Continue the current format through the championship in Albany. You will get rid of a couple of bad first-round series that way, increase the attendance and interest and make the regular season more important. The last weekend of the regular season this year would've been interesting. The bottom four of RPI, Union, Yale and Brown would've been playing against each other for the chance to prolong their seasons. Two would've been done after the weekend. The other two would be playing for seeding in the first round.
I still think that you will get crowds like you did at the first round games, but at least there will only be two series instead of four. What is up at places like Princeton, where they drew 1,900 in two nights and Colgate (3,500)? Princeton is having its best season in more than a decade and Colgate has a proud hockey tradition. These places can't draw more people than that? This league needs help, immediately.
I'm done - time for a bloody mary.