Story and Photo By: Matthew Wiernasz
WINTHROP, MA- Earlier last week, it was announced the Atlantic Hockey Association and College Hockey America beginning with the 2024-25 season Newly appointed commissioner Michelle Morgan gave her thoughts about the merger.
” I think it’s really an exciting time and I think there is certainly a lot that still we have to figure out with the first steps and identifying where we’re going and strategically outlining a plan moving forward.” Morgan Said
Morgan began the job as the new Atlantic Hockey Association/College Hockey America commissioner back in April. Morgan said there were conversations well before her arrival and tenure at the Atlantic Hockey Association/College Hockey America.
” It was trying to figure out what was best for the strategic alliance and partnership that is between the AHA and CHA. They’re kind of in the eyes of many. They’re kind of like brother/sister conferences knowing that a lot of our same resources and structure related to personnel and operational things. You know there is a lot of things that are shared or streamlined. That they have had two separate identities. There is some overlap of the same membership. It made sense in terms of some of the same institutions. There is also quite an array of different institutions. It’s not like some of the other conferences that kind of have a mere membership between their men and women’s programs. I think it was something that was discussed for a while but you know in my short time coming in. It was an opportunity to have purposeful discussion about where we’re going. What are the goals and objectives and how we can advance the thing that were doing and be the premiere league in the country.” Morgan Continued
Morgan said anything is on the table for the 2024-25 season with expanding teams. There is certainly a lot to discuss but with operating under one umbrella. It gives the idea and the framework to figure out what makes sense on the men’s and women’s side.
” Certainly on the women’s side, there is a six-team that is a smaller size conference certainly something to consider as we move forward.” Morgan Said
We have seen the Atlantic Hockey Association grow over the last few years. Morgan believes that the conferences have a good bone structure
” Bob Degregorio over the last 20 years has put a lot of blood sweat and tears into making it what it is today. I think there is also an opportunity to elevate what we are doing and tell our story better really build on the great things happening on our campuses and all of our student-athletes.” Morgan Said
Morgan said that hockey has been in her blood since she was a little kid. Growing up with the Chicago Blackhawks and growing up playing hockey and ultimately working for two NHL teams in being involved in hockey at a specific high level along with other sports.
Robert Morris University will be coming back to Atlantic Hockey for the 2023-24 season after a hiatus
” I think they’ve had a long tradition There’s been a few bumps in the road in their recent past needing to pause the program and come back to sort of square one and build on some new momentum. Start the building blocks. There is a structure there and a fan base there. They have Coaches and an Athletic Director that is very excited about this opportunity and you can tell it’s contagious when you’re around them. They’re really excited hockey is back. I am very excited and the things I am hearing about as they open up this year and the season. Some of the things they wanted to do in the community and create a buzz on campus. Have their campus and community aside really excited about bringing hockey back and that opportunity.” Morgan Said
The 2023-24 Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America season will begin in October.