Give It Up for Alabama’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman

“Why isn’t Carmine Guerriero playing?”

This is a common question to Michael and me, and since we’ve never addressed it here, let’s do this:

  1. Carmine Guerriero told me back in September that he didn’t think that he’d play Division I hockey.  He was bound for D-III or CIS hockey.  UAH needed a third, and they knew the truth as well as anyone: with our favorite fighting Frenchman (okay, French-Canadian) having been born on 1992-02-20, would be ineligible for a year of NCAA hockey for having played 12 games for the CCHL’s Hawkesbury Hawks in his final year in juniors.
  2. Carmine came here anyway and has had a couple okay games along the way.  True, last year’s campaign was not what he or anyone else wanted, but he’s a fine young man, a valuable part of the team, and a good student.
  3. UAH and Guerriero appealed to the NCAA in the offseason for Carmine to get some eligibility for this season.  The argument was effective, but Guerriero’s grant of a fourth year came at the cost of missing 12 games at the beginning of the season, one for each of the games played over age.

UAH was never at risk of forfeiting games, as some have feared — Guerriero was simply awarded more eligibility than would otherwise have been afforded him by NCAA rules.  All parties involved recognized this: giving Carmine another year of hockey eligibility allows him to hone his skills for play at any further level but far more importantly gives him a chance to complete his degree on time.

I’d say that Jordan Uhelski earned the Friday start based on his body of work during those 12 games, but I expect that we’ll see 35 soon enough.  This isn’t a situation where the NCAA missed the ball (that one still completely boggles me because hockeydb is right over there, bro) but is one where everyone went in with clear eyes and good intentions, both in the past and this summer.

See ya soon, Carm.  Don’t throw away your shot.