Today was a busy day over at Munn Ice Arena with hockey media day taking place.
Tom Anastos’ second team at MSU will feature plenty of youth. The Spartans return just two defensemen from last year, making that an area of concern.
Anastos added that the defensemen this year are bigger, which can add a different dimension to this year’s team.
Jake Chelios was the most improved players in the program and is one of the two defensemen returning. MSU will have to replace Torey Krug, who was their captain, best offensive player, best defensive player, and emotional and undisputed leader.
With the youth on defense, the Spartans will be relying on junior goaltender Will Yanakeff to play a big role.
Here are some other items to come out of media day.
Anastos thought the preseason rankings were appropriate but hopes MSU can be that surprise team in the league this season. He expects the CCHA to be strong in its final season.
Captains haven’t been named yet. Anastos said they will likely wait until after Monday’s exhibition game against Windsor to name captains.
Redshirt freshman Branden Carney still hasn’t been cleared to resume activities but Anastos said he’s made good progress. Carney injured his C1 and C2 vertebrae during a fall in practice last November.
If the NHL lockout forces the cancellation of the Winter Classic, which is slated to take place at Michigan Stadium, the Great Lakes Invitational will be moved inside to Joe Louis Arena and be played Dec. 28-29. As of now, the GLI will be played outdoors at Comerica Park on Dec. 26-27.
We’ll have more media day coverage in tomorrow’s edition and with our hockey preview late next week.
In football news, MSU lineman Jack Allen was cleared of any wrong doing after a video review of the incident with Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins against Ohio State on Saturday.
Here is the statement MSU AD Mark Hollis made about the situation this afternoon.
“Michigan State values and respects the Big Ten’s Sportslike Conduct Policy, and both parties take any alleged violations of the agreement very seriously. There are procedures in place to review any alleged violations of the policy. After a thorough review, the Big Ten has determined that MSU offensive lineman Jack Allen didn’t violate the conference’s Sportslike Conduct Policy.
“As athletics director, I had an opportunity to be involved in this review process and while his actions ‘weren’t a football play,’ this clearly wasn’t an eye-gouging incident.”