|UW men's hockey: Schachte gets a 'grand deal'|
|Written by Andy Baggot|
Truth be told, Verona resident and newly retired NHL linesman Dan Schachte was hoping to start a new life with the Big Ten Conference when it begins sanctioning men's hockey in 2013-14. He hoped to be its first coordinator of on-ice officials.
But when that role went to former Central Collegiate Hockey Association supervisor of officials Steve Piotrowski, Schachte looked elsewhere and was rewarded earlier this week when he was hired by the Hockey East Association.
"I'm really excited,'' Schachte said after agreeing to a one-year contract that will be reviewed annually. "It's a grand deal.''
When Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna asked Schachte if he would relocate -- Boston is regarded as the hub for the league -- Schachte declined, which he thought amounted to a deal-breaker. But the league wanted Schachte, who got his push into officiating by former NHL and University of Wisconsin men's coaching icon Bob Johnson, badly enough that it will underwrite his travel during the season.
Being on the go will be nothing new for Schachte, who spent 30 years working in the NHL and moving between 2,009 assignments. He estimates this new job will not be nearly as demanding in terms of travel because most Hockey East schools are within driving distance of Boston.
Schachte, 54, said he plans to drive one of the family vehicles to Boston and leave it there for use during the season. He said Massachusetts-Lowell coach Norm Bazin has already offered to provide a secure on-campus parking spot.
Since being hired Tuesday, Schachte said he's spoken with dozens of officials who are vying for spots in Hockey East. He's looking forward to getting a crew ready for the 2012-13 season that begins in less than two months.
"There's no shortage of guys,'' Schachte said.
The fact Hockey East has seen Boston College and Boston University claim national titles since 2008 is a sign of its quality, which attracted Schachte.
"It's a really good league,'' he said.