With a curt news release this morning, Alex Hudson's career at UNO came to a sad end after his second violation of team rules. What's that violation? Don't know, and frankly, don't care. Rules are rules, and if Hudson broke a rule set by Dean Blais, he needs to suffer the consequences...especially after being suspended earlier this season.
Not the finish I expected for Hudson at UNO. This summer, he was the team captain. Two years ago, I thought he had the potential to be one of UNO's all-time greats...and until this season, he did nothing to make me question that. Take that last-second game winning goal against North Dakota last season:
On a roster filled with youth, senior leadership becomes even more important...and going into this season, it looked like Hudson was going to be that leader. Certainly that was the case in this interview from March with KETV-Channel 7's Andy Kendeigh. At times he was the biggest, fastest, and strongest guy on the ice. The only on-ice downside was consistency.
That's why it was such a surprise to see him get suspended back in September, and while he showed flashes of his past form since returning, at other times, some fans thought he was a liability on the ice. So in that light, I wasn't 100% surprised when today's news came out. Disappointed? Absolutely.
It'll be interesting to see how the team responds to this change. UNO hockey has been inconsistent in the first half of the season, and will need a good run in the second half to get back into contention for a post-season run. Dean Blais questions whether the team can make that run with just two natural centers; that might be more of a challenge to his team than anything.
As for Hudson, it's likely off to professional hockey for him. At least I hope so, and hopefully he's gotten the message. He's too good of a player to let things end here, and too talented to let a lack of discipline short-change his career.