Big Ten Notebook: Kamil Sadlocha is still on the Ohio State roster, but his path to return remains uncertain
After using a racial slur during a game, Kamil Sadlocha is still a Buckeye, but no timetable or process for his reinstatement has been set. Also, former Spartan and Badger standouts are honored by the USHHF, and a Minnesotan playing at Notre Dame is the conference's top shot-blocker.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State forward Kamil Sadlocha will not be on the bench, or on the line chart, this weekend when the Buckeyes visit Penn State for a pair. When he met with the media this week, Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik made it clear that Sadlocha is still part of the Buckeyes team. The rest of what lies ahead for the senior forward remains unclear.
“Right now, Kamil is at home with his family. He’s still on this team, he still goes to school here, he’s a part of this and we’re supporting him through this tough time,” Steve Rohlik said. “When he’s going to play again, that hasn’t been decided yet. We’ll continue to work through the process.”
Sadlocha missed last weekend’s Buckeyes split at Long Island, after he was sent home by the school prior to Thanksgiving. His absence from the team stems from an early November game at Michigan State, in which Sadlocha was given a game misconduct for use of a racial slur directed at Spartans forward Jagger Joshua. Ten days later, after no additional punishment had been handed down by Ohio State nor by the Big Ten, Joshua took his complaints to social media, and Sadlocha departed the OSU campus for his family’s home in Illinois.
While nobody was making excuses for a loss, the Buckeyes admitted there was a lot of non-hockey noise affecting them prior to the upset by Long Island last Friday.
“It’s been a lot, and not something you expect to go through during a season at all,” said Jake Wise, a fifth-year forward who is in his second year with the Buckeyes after transferring from Boston University. “It’s obviously really unfortunate but we’re working on moving forward as a group and just continuing on and playing hockey.”
As for what’s next for Sadlocha and how/when he might rejoin the team, Rohlik said the future is fitting for a college setting.
“We’re going to educate these guys. We’re going to continue to educate the team and continue to help Kamil,” Rohlik said. “From our team to any other team, we want to be part of the solution, we want to do what’s right and we don’t want to see anything like this happen again.”
Spartan and Badger legends honored by the USHHF
Michigan State coach Adam Nightingale faces the Minnesota Gophers for the first time this weekend. Wisconsin coach Tony Granato faces them next weekend. Yet both men came face-to-face with Minnesota coach Bob Motzko this week as legends from all three programs were honored by the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Nightingale made a quick trip to St. Paul for Wednesday evening's official USHHF induction ceremony where Spartans star goalie Ryan Miller accepted American hockey’s highest honor. Miller, who grew up in East Lansing, was part of the committee that advised the school on its next coaching hire last spring following the dismissal of Danton Cole. From the podium during his acceptance speech, Miller gave a shout-out to the Spartans crew in attendance to honor him.
Granato and several others with connections to the Badgers program were there to honor the late Jim Johannson, who was a member of Wisconsin’s 1983 NCAA title team before a lengthy career as the general manager for several gold medal USA Hockey teams. Johannson, who was originally from Rochester, Minnesota, died unexpectedly in January 2018, at age 53.
Motzko, who was the head coach of two USA World Juniors teams where Johannson was the general manager, had high praise for his late friend.
“How sad that JJ’s not with us, but he was as important to USA Hockey in the past two decades as any person has been,” Motzko said. “His fingerprints are all over gold medals everywhere. He was a special friend and colleague.”
Block party at Notre Dame
At season’s end, Notre Dame defenseman might have an ice pack framed to remember this season. Through the first two months of the season, the former Gophers commit from Edina, Minnesota, is leading the Big Ten in blocked shots with 33, or more more than two per game, on average. Elsewhere, Michigan State’s Matt Basgall is averaging 1.9 blocks per game, and Wisconsin’s Daniel Laatsch is next at 1.7.
Boltmann’s Fighting Irish are tied with the Gophers as a team in blocked shots, averaging 12.8 blocks per game.