Gophers hockey defenseman Mike Crowley said on Monday that he’s still mulling over his career options but will decide by June 1 whether he’s going to return this fall for his senior season at Minnesota or turn pro.
The two-time All-American, whose NHL rights are held by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, said he’s taking his time because he doesn’t want to have any regrets. He added that money is not the most important factor in his decision.
Anaheim’s latest offer is believed to be in the $800,000-per-year range. Crowley declined to comment on the exact amount, but he said it “wasn’t a bad offer.”
“Obviously money plays a role in the decision,” he said. “But the biggest factor is what’s the right step for me to take.”
The decision, then, is one of moral values instead of contract value.
“There are pros and cons of going either way. If I stay here, I’ll be with my friends and having a lot of fun. There’s always more to accomplish,” Crowley said. “But I also have a chance to move on. I’ve always wanted to play at the next level.”
If he returns to Minnesota, Crowley will be a favorite to win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the nation’s top college player. He would also have a chance to bring Minnesota its first national title since 1979.
On the other hand, his pro option is also enticing. Anaheim finished 36-33-13 and advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. Additionally, Dan Trebil, Crowley’s defensive partner at Minnesota and Bloomington Jefferson High School, already plays for the Ducks.
Crowley said he’s not leaning in either direction. He added that the decision-making process has been a little stressful.
“This isn’t something I would say I enjoy,” Crowley said. “I’m a kid. If (going pro) wasn’t an option, I could just come back next year and know it would be a lot of fun.”
Gophers freshman high jumper Staffan Strand added his second NCAA automatic qualifying jump of the season on Sunday with a 7-foot, 4 1/2-inch leap at the Adidas Oregon Classic in Portland, Ore.
At the Modesto Relays in Sacramento, Calif., pole vaulters Tye Harvey and Vesa Rantanen provisionally qualified for the NCAAs. Both athletes cleared 18-0 1/2 and have provisionally qualified for the NCAAs before.– Matthew Cross