Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

October 12, 2010 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


. ....










Ya {y

The phone calls. The promises. The threats. The
Montreal Canadiens had used them alL.
They wanted the kid wearing Michigan hockey's
No. 9 sweater to sign a pro contract. But he wanted
to stay in school - to get his degree. The Canadiens
didn't want to wait. They called the kid after his freshman sea-
son, trying to sign him to a contract. He said no. Asa sophomore,
the result was the same.
No. 9 went on to become an All-American his junior year. And
Montreal came calling again. The response was always the same.
He told the Canadiens he wasn't going to leave Michigan. He
wasn't going to leave his classmate. He wasn't going to leave his
team and he wasn't going to leave his school.
The Canadiens didn't just resort to phone calls though. Mon-
treal realized the talented center's thirst for education during his
time at Michigan. They also realized it wasn't going away. Even-
tually, theybrought him to the foot of Mount Royal in downtown
Montreal - the site of McGill University. The Canadiens had
thought of a compromise.
Sign with them, play a grueling NHL schedule and get your
degree at McGill at the same time. It may be an unconvention-
al strategy for an NHL team in today's terms, but this was the
1960's. So the young hockey standout had a meeting with the
Dean of McGill's Engineering School.
The Dean only reinforced his original decision.
"He said 'Son, you can't go to school,'- engineering school,
can you imagine that? - 'And play pro hockey in the NHL and
miss days and weeks,"' the not-so young anymore says today.
The Dean's next thought may have been the most important.
"Besides, Michigan's got a better engineering school than we
do, so stay at Michigan."
More than 40 years before he would lead the Wolverines into
the 2010-11 season as Michigan's coach, Red Berenson's decision
didn't waver.
"I was reinforced everywhere I looked," Berenson said. "The
right thing to do was stay in school."
And Berenson reaped the benefits. In his final year donning
the maize-and-blue, he scored 43 goals (still a Michigan record)
and 70 points in just 28 games. The year ended with a third-place
finish at the NCAA Championships.
The night after the season ended, Berenson finally signed
with Montreal and began what would be a 17-year NHL career,
which included a Stanley Cup.
Long before leaving early for the NHL was a common practice
in college hockey, Red Berenson stayed.
Kevin Porter had to talk to his coach.
After being drafted in the fifth round by the Phoenix Coyotes,
the Michigan forward had blossomed into a prolific scorer in his
three years in Ann Arbor. Phoenix offered him a pro contract
after his sophomore year and he turned it down. After leading
the team in scoring his junior season, the Coyotes came back and
made another offer.
This year was a bit different though. Then-sophomore Jack
Johnson left soon after Michigan's loss to North Dakota in the
NCAA Tournament. And Andrew Cogliano, who Porter out-
scored the past season, jumped directly into an NHL lineup.

Today Porter says he wasn't seriously considering leaving, he just
wanted to run it by Berenson.
"He wasn't too happy about it," Porter said. "He sat down and
gave me some pros and cons and we talked about it and that was
it. I never told him, 'I'm leaning towards leaving,' or 'I'm leaning
towards staying,' I just wanted to get his input and talk with the
coaches about it and see what they thought and I did that."
The year may have been different, but the decision didn't
change. Porter returned to captain the Wolverines in his senior
season. Like Berenson, he reaped the rewards. Porter put up in
63 points in 43 games in his senior season, winning the Hobey
Baker Award. His team, consisting of just three seniors and 12
freshmen, ended one win away from the National Championship
Among that large class of freshmen were Carl Hagelin, Louie
Caporusso and Matt Rust. They were similar to Porter: middle-
to-late round draft picks who showed some promise at the col-
legiate level. They saw what Porter did.
When everybody else was leaving early, Kevin Porter stayed.
Three years later, Hagelin, Caporusso and Rust sit in the
Michigan coaches lounge before practice.
The top three scorers on the team during their junior seasons,
the trio followed in the footsteps of their coach and their team-
mate. The three returned for their final year, along with the rest
of their team. For the first time in 13 years, every non-senior on
Michigan's final roster came back.
Caporusso and Hagelin are sitting on couches with the
block 'M' emblazoned on them wearing their Michigan hockey
warmups. Hagelin's picture adorns the wall, and Caporusso and
Rust's pictures will join it soon. That wall is reserved for pictures
of the captains.
To the left is Brendan Morrison's Hobey Baker Award: a con-
stant reminder of just how much one can accomplish in a senior
year. To the right is a wall of pictures with all the former Wol-
verines who have played in the NHL, beginning with Berenson.
Second to last is Porter: a constant reminder of the ultimate
They're entrenched in this program, but they probably
shouldn't be here, sitting together.
Caporusso, from Woodbridge, Ontario, Hagelin, from Soder-
talje, Sweden, and Rust, from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, all
had other options when choosing colleges. Hagelin didn't have
to cross the Atlantic Ocean to continue his hockey career. And
each could have pushed their envelop with their professional
team early.
At a school where leaving for the NHL is common, how did
possibly the three candidates most likely to leave all decide to
Caporusso had the best opportunity of the three. After his
sophomore, year he was a Hobey Baker finalist. His linemate that
season, Aaron Palushaj, left for the NHL that the summer. But
Caporusso, a third-round pick of the Ottawa Senators, kept the
"I think it was more the opposite actually," Caporusso said. "It

(Clockwise from botto
Berenson. The trio's re'

Senior forwards Carl.H

, Louie Caporusso and Matt Rust decided to come back for a fourth year under Michigan c

Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan