The news is spreading quickly this morning that Andrew Cogliano has decided to skip his junior and senior seasons at Michigan in favor of signing a contract with the Edmonton Oilers.
This is an absolutely huge blow to the Michigan hockey team, who it seems more and more likely will have to outscore its opponents in order to win games. Cogliano would've been a big help with the "Win every game 6-5" project. He definitely came on as a sophomore, putting up a 24-26--50 line, and would've likely been our top candidate to have a Hobey-type year.
The impact? Well, we'll now be looking at having a freshman center our top line, and there's at least a chance that we could be starting four freshmen centers. Another option would be to slide Kolarik back to the middle, which would open up a spot for Pacioretty on the right side of the top line.
Even with Cogliano's departure, I still feel that Michigan is much deeper up front than they were last year. We just don't have that top-end talent that we had with Cogliano and Hensick. One also has to wonder what Cogliano's exit means for Kevin Porter. Will he be the next to bail, since his numbers will likely take a turn for the worse not having Hensick or Cogs to get him the puck?
If you're a Michigan hockey fan and feeling down about this news, however, I offer up this suggestion: Amazon now has copies for sale of the 1996 NCAA Championship Game on DVD. Get yourself one of those bad boys, sit back, relax, and dream of the days when the top players didn't leave school early. And then curse Amazon for offering up Free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.00 and then setting the price of this DVD at $24.99. Thanks to Michigan Hockey Net for the discovery.