Michigan State Hockey: An inside look at the Munn Ice Arena renovations

With renovations set to be completed in mid-July, Michigan State hockey is getting a heavily updated Munn Ice Arena for the 2022-2023 season.

It’s one aspect in a major reset of the hockey program at Michigan State. Adam Nightingale — who will be in his first season as head coach for the Spartans — gave the media a tour of the facilities on Monday.

Eli McKown, sports editor at the State News, recently shared updates about the renovations at Munn.

Jump-starting recruiting and the roster

Additionally, Nightingale was able to talk about some of the plans moving forward that he had drawn up with associate head coaches Jared DeMichiel and Mike Towns. Both are focusing their attention now on recruiting.

DeMichiel was hired from the University of Massachusetts on May 26. He was instrumental in building UMass’ recruiting class in 2017-2018, which was the top class that year. In 2021, I have helped the Minutemen win the program’s first national title.

Towns, on the other hand, was hired on June 9 after three years with Clarkson. He was on the staff at American International previously, which helped kick off a run of three consecutive conference titles.

“First of all, they are really good people and have really good character,” Nightingale said, via the Lansing State Journal. “They are both experienced and have been in similar situations with a program trying to bring something back.

“You look at (DeMichiel), he’s seen as the top recruiter in the country. On top of that, he’s worked with some of the best college hockey players. With (Towns), at AIC he helped rebuild them and then at Clarkson he contributed to them being a top-15 program. With both these guys, I’m super excited about them.”

Nightingale hasn’t talked to most of the roster yet, but will meet them when reporting for summer camp on July 5. They’ll be able to practice eight hours per week, with a four-hour limit of on-ice time. From then, players will be on campus until Aug. 18, the second summer break.

Munn Ice Arena renovations far from done, but are showing promise

According to Nightingale, the renovations will be completed between “mid to end July.”

The project first broke ground in 2019 just before the COVID-19 pandemic began, which ended up halting construction.

At the south entrance, there will be something similar to the Hall of History in the east entrance of the Breslin Center for Michigan State basketball.

Only one conference and one video room needs to be completed. Meanwhile, Nightingale’s office is almost done. Only needing finishing touches is Nightingale’s “war room” where he goes over practices with the team and will be the staff’s recruiting hub.

Under the seats is the team’s new theater, which is also almost done. Flooring and the screen still need to be installed there.

New benches and seating are completed. Michigan State’s bench has shifted to the opposite side of the rink, as have the new penalty boxes. The old penalty boxes have been replaced by seating.

Michigan State’s upcoming non-conference schedule — which includes both home games at the new Munn Ice Arena and road games — was just released earlier this month. The conference schedule for Big Ten play will be released at a later date, so be sure to check back again soon.

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