MARQUETTE - Newly appointed CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch confirmed Monday afternoon that his his new contract as head of the league will expire when Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State join Wisconsin, Minnesota and Penn State in the Big Ten hockey conference after the 2012-13 season.
Pletsch was announced as the league's fifth commissioner on Monday, replacing Tom Anastos.
Pletsch said the best possible outcome is for the CCHA to remain intact. With a degree of uncertainty surrounding the league's future, however, a two-year deal was not only in the best interest of the CCHA, but for Pletsch as well.
"The best possible outcome for all of this is to say that there are eight teams left now in the CCHA and those are going to be the eight, the foundation, for a great league moving forward," Pletsch said by phone from the CCHA's Farmington Hills offices on Monday afternoon. "I hope that's the case. There is a degree of uncertainty there.
"I'm assuming - but this was never said to me - for the executive committee that made the decision and the recommendation to the CCHA council it wouldn't make sense for them to go beyond two years with some degree of uncertainty there. From my perspective, which certainly isn't as important as what they were dealing with, it wouldn't make sense to me to commit to something with that uncertainty out there too."
Northern Michigan University's Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Information and Compliance Bridget Berube said the league did not feel it was in a position to bring in a new commissioner with new goals and a new focus.
Pletsch, who has been with the league since 2001, knows how the league operates and the current expectations of the 11 schools, making him the best choice Berube said.
NMU's Associate Athletic Director of Operations and acting Athletic Director Steve Reed said Pletsch was the right choice right now for the league and that a two-year deal allows both side some flexibility in the future.
"It was a smart move last week to get an experienced voice and a person that is aware of where we have been in the past and some of the challenges ahead of us," Reed said.
"Two years to me was the timing that was appropriate to give everybody the time and flexibility to adjust as plans develop."