But there's still plenty of maroon and a slightly different hue of gold that runs through Mottau's veins, as the former Boston College star will always remain an Eagle at heart.
Mottau, who won the Hobey Baker award as the nation's top collegiate player while skating with BC in 2000, returned to his alma mater to talk with this year's team before the NCAA Regionals. And even with the Bruins playing in Ottawa on Thursday, Mottau found a way to sneak a few peaks at BC's 6-1 win over Minnesota in the semifinals of the Frozen Four in Tampa.
"[Bruins director of hockey administration] Ryan Nadeau had the game on his computer, so I caught a little bit of it during the intermissions of our game," said Mottau, who was a healthy scratch for Boston's 3-1 win over the Senators. "It lined up perfectly because of the 7:30 start. The boys were playing great, made some good plays. They looked strong, and hopefully they can continue it Saturday night. It's exciting stuff."
The timing should work out for Saturday's national championship game against Ferris State as well, with the Bruins closing out the regular season against the Sabres at 4 p.m. and BC not taking the ice until 7.
"I'll absolutely watch it," Mottau said. "After the game I'll have a little dinner, then settle in somewhere and catch it. It's fun because I know what they're going through. I went through it twice getting to the final game. The Frozen Four in general is quite a thrill. I actually went over and talked to them before they went to the regionals, and my advice was just to take it in, because it goes quick. Those are some of the memories that you'll always have."
Mottau's memories of the Frozen Four are bittersweet, with the Eagles losing in both of his trips, as they fell to Michigan in Boston during his sophomore year and lost to Maine in overtime in the semifinals in Anaheim when he was a junior.
"We had some chances to win some championships and fell a little short," Mottau said. "And then BC ended up winning the next year in '01. They got rid of the dead weight."
The self-deprecating Mottau was anything but dead weight in his time at the Heights, with the talented blueliner scoring 157 points in 163 career games with the Eagles.
Mottau may have just missed winning a title at BC, but the Eagles have done a pretty good job of claiming championships in recent years. They're playing for their fifth title overall, and their third in the last five years. Ferris State, meanwhile, is playing in just its second NCAA tournament in program history.
The Bulldogs' only other appearance came back in 2002-03 when they were led by current Penguins star Chris Kunitz. The following year, Kunitz began his pro career with Anaheim's AHL affiliate in Cincinnati, where his roommate was none other than Mottau. That connection has created an opportunity for some trash talking between the former teammates.
"I think the only guy I know [from Ferris State] is Chris Kunitz, I think he went there," Mottau said. "I actually roomed with him his rookie year in Cincinnati, that's why I know that. If we end up seeing them in the playoffs, I'll have to talk some garbage after hopefully BC wins. Actually, I do have his number, so maybe I'll talk some trash over texts. Maybe a friendly wager for dinner or something like that, then talk some trash after the game."
Mottau might have a surprising ally in his war of words with Kunitz, as Kunitz's own coach has a reason to root for the Eagles. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma played for BC coach Jerry York for four seasons at Bowling Green from 1988-92, and had some strong praise for his former mentor when the Penguins were in town to face the Bruins on Tuesday.
"Remarkable success is almost a gross understatement for what Boston College has done and the success they've had under Jerry York," Bylsma said. "I remember my time, although I'm starting to get to a point where I'm forgetting these things. He was a great teacher of the game, but more a teacher to our team, a teacher of life lessons when it came to how he coached. That's what I remember about my four years under Jerry York at Bowling Green. Some of those [lessons] made me successful as a player, made our team successful, some of them made me successful in whatever I choose to do. I fully see why the Boston College Eagles have had so much success under him."
Mottau shared similar memories of his time under York.
"He's a good recruiter, he's extremely upbeat, always finds the positive in everything," Mottau said. "But just beyond hockey, he develops people. I think a lot of guys, after going through there for four years under Jerry come out of there a better person and I think that's more important than anything he does on the ice."
Photo via Facebook/Boston College Hockey
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