After reading an article in last week’s issue of The Pointer, sophomore forward Kyle Heck of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point hockey team left the Pointer hockey team to play for the intramural College Hockey League. Heck is coming off of a season where he scored a team high 20 goals and 27 points for the Pointers.
Heck declared a change of heart on March 26, 2012, stating ‘I am taking my talents to Intramurals’ during a television broadcast. Heck made what has become known as The Decision just 10 days after being named American Hockey Coaches Association West Region Second Team All-American.
There is mass chaos in the community seeing as Heck is a local of the Stevens Point area and his departure from the UWSP hockey team has stirred up things on campus. It has become common to see Pointer fans burning Heck jerseys in the streets since The Decision.
"I feel like I have the best chance of winning a championship in the CHL," said Heck. Which may be true but the caliper of competition is far from as credible as the UWSP team’s competition.
The CHL’s newest member will trek into unfamiliar territory, after playing among some of the best players in division III hockey he will now face off against a melting pot of talent. Though the competition is different, Heck will still be playing on his home ice of the K.B. Willet Arena.
"I am not sure how much the league will change once I start playing, all I know is if it gets better than it is it will be a bonus," said Heck.
The UWSP hockey team averaged playing in front of almost 1000 fans during the 2012 season whereas the intramural league averaged less than 10. Heck is planning on providing more players and attracting a crowd to the intramural league that plays Wednesday’s and Sunday’s.
Heck did not say if he was bringing any of his Pointer team members but he did say that the team reacted similarly to him after reading the article. However, Heck does plan on replacing former player-commissioner Patrick Holtan next year.
"It would be an honor to replace Patrick as player-commissioner," said Heck. Heck and Holtan have established a friendship through their passion for hockey but claim they never discussed the CHL prior.
Heck will be restricted from using his slapshots in the CHL seeing as they are not allowed in the league. Heck will also have to refrain from checking players into the boards, another restriction of the CHL.
"I think the CHL needs me as much as I need them," said Heck. "I read the article and instantly told myself that it is something that will fulfill my college experience."
Heck’s current sponsorship with Bauer and Easton will not be affected by his decision, with the companies stating: "We support Kyle Heck and his career decisions; we feel he will continue to represent us as much as he did playing for the university."
"I am not going to win one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, but eight championships in the CHL," said Heck.