The Effects of Gwozdecky's Release

Since the firing of former Denver hockey coach, George Gwozdecky, the Pioneers have been faced with issues other than finding a new coach for the team.

With the early departures of Scott Mayfield and Juho Olkinuora, the de-commitment from Gage Ausmus and the backlash from former players and fans about the reasoning for Gwozdecky's firing, one must ponder what's going to happen next.

Mayfield, a promising 6-4 defenseman, left the team with two years of NCAA eligibility left to pursue a professional career with the Edmonton Oilers.  Olkinuora, a very talented goaltender from Finland, left the team with two years of eligibility as well, signing with the Winnipeg Jets.

Will others follow in the steps of Mayfield and Olkinoura?
The Pioneers still possess top-end talent like Nick Shore (LOS), Joey LaLeggia (EDM), Zac Larraza (PHZ) and Josiah Didier (MTL), who all could very well play with AHL affiliates at the least.

If player's leaving the team early isn't enough for the DU hockey team to deal with, Gage Ausmus, a talented 6-1 defenseman currently playing for the Under-18 US National Development Team, recently de-committed from the team.

This is good news for Bulldogs fans, though, as Ausmus had UMD on his list of possible colleges before deciding to attend DU once upon a time.  The East Grand Forks native decided he wanted to get away from his home town and many thought he would come to Duluth because his father, Troy Ausmus, was a skilled Bulldog football player.  Kevin Pates wrote a very interesting article about the Ausmus family here.

Photo: Dave Harwig
Will other's de-commit from Denver as well?

It's almost comical to think of all the possibilities that could hurt Denver's hockey program in the long-run because Peg Bradley-Doppes, DU's vice chancellor of athletics, was quick to fire her successful coach.

The recruits that Gwozdecky reeled in because they wanted to play for him and the players he coached now have got to feel cheated, having to soon start a relationship with a brand new coach in the middle of their college careers.

Bradley-Doppes still hasn't gone into details with the firing of Gwozdecky, but I'm sure it will come soon, as fans are starting to get restless watching their team slowly dismantle.

As for the Dogs, watch out for Ausmus.  It seems to be a battle between UMD and UND for his commitment, but to be honest, that is just a guess.

Until I hear anything else...


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