By: Daniel Shulman
BOSTON — Twelve days and counting from the first exhibition games, the Hockey East season unofficially began today with Media Day at TD Garden.
Players and coaches from around the league were in attendance for the event, and Commissioner Joe Bertagna ended the day with an overview of some important news items and additions to the league for the 2015-16 season.
Here is what stood out during today’s Hockey East Media Day:
1. American Sports Network Partnership
The Hockey East announced the signing of a two-year television deal with ASN that includes 14 games, nine league contests, the Women’s Hockey East Championship Game, and a Men’s playoff game. Boston University will feature in four ASN games (at Providence Nov. 13, vs. Michigan Nov. 20, at Boston College Jan. 15, at New Hampshire Feb. 19). These games will be a part of a national double-header, where an eastern contest will be shown before a western one. In other words, college hockey is getting a lot more televised air-time.
2. Northern Ireland Series
Hockey East is sending two teams, UMass-Lowell and Northeastern, to Belfast, Northern Ireland on Thanksgiving weekend to participate in the Friendship Four Tournament. The other two participants will be ECAC sides Brown and Colgate. UMass-Lowell and Northeastern will face-off on Friday, November 27 at 2:30 p.m. along with an ECAC clash afterwards at 4 p.m., with the winners playing for the trophy and the losers for the consolation game on Saturday.
3. Coaches Poll
The Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll was released. Boston College, receiving seven first place votes, was ranked first followed closely by Boston University in second and Providence in third. Rounding out the top five are UMass-Lowell and Northeastern.
4. 2015 Joe Concannon Hockey East Media Award
This year’s recipient of the award was Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, who became the first woman to receive the award. Marrapese-Burrell covered the NHL’s Boston Bruins from 1990-2006 for the Boston Globe, and has been a college hockey beat writer for the paper since 1987. She will be leaving the Globe after 28 years. The last BU recipient of the award was radio analyst Bernie Corbett in 2003.