The 2012-2013 will be the last season before the formation of the Big Ten Conference.
Minnesota and Wisconsin will spend their last season in the WCHA while Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will spend their last in the CCHA.
This shift will mark a monumental change in the college hockey landscape. This begs the question, will the Big Ten teams leave their conferences on top?
This slideshow presents five of the biggest questions for Big Ten Hockey going into the 2012-2013 season.
Kent Patterson was the backbone of the Minnesota Gophers last season. Patterson led the Gophers to a WCHA regular season championship and a trip to the Frozen Four.
Patterson recorded seven shutouts and named the WCHA's goaltending champion. Patterson's seven shutouts were a Minnesota single season record.
By far the most glaring problem associated with Patterson's departure is the fact he started every single game for the Gophers last season. Next season, the Gophers will have to deal with an inexperienced netminder.
There are two primary candidates to replace Patterson, Michael Shibrowski and Adam Wilcox.
Shibrowski will be a junior netminder next season and managed to earn 20 minutes of playing time last season.
Wilcox will be a rookie next season. Wilcox will join Minnesota after playing the 2011-2012 season with Tri City in the USHL. He posted a 2.91 goals-against average with Tri City.
If Minnesota can successfully navigate this challenge, Gopher fans can expect to see Minnesota contending for a national championship in 2013.
Ohio State shocked college hockey, starting the season with a 12-3-1 record in their first sixteen games and earning a spot in the top five of the USCHO.com poll.
It looked like a promising season for the Buckeyes. However, OSU posted a 3-12-4 record in their remaining 19 games.
Many experts believe youth was the cause of Ohio State's slide. The 2011-2012 squad had a dozen freshman on the roster.
Heading into next year, head coach Mark Osiecki must erase the doubts in his youngsters if he wants to lead the Buckeyes to the NCAA tournament.
Michigan has played in 22 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Their most recent appearance, ended with a 3-2 loss to Cornell in the opening round of the tournament.
Most of Michigan's core will be back. This group of Wolverines ranked fifth in the nation in team offense and tenth in team defense. The result was a 1.05 goal differential per game.
However, the Wolverines will lose four seniors, including Hobey Baker finalist Shawn Hunwick.
Hunwick was one of the nation's best netminders, posting a 2.00 goals-against average.
If Michigan can reload, as the Wolverines always do, the NCAA Tournament should not be a probability.
But, the issue does become more pressing when the program has nine national championships and 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
After Michigan State's 3-1 loss to Union in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, Torey Krug left East Lansing to pursue an NHL career in Boston.
Krug joined the Bruins for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boston was defeated by the Washington Capitals in overtime of Game 7 in the first round.
Torey Krug was Michigan State's best player last season. The junior defenseman set career highs for goals, assists and points. Krug finished the season with 34 points.
He was a 2012 Hobey Baker finalist and named a first team All-American by Inside College Hockey.
Krug's departure may leave the Spartan defense exposed.
MSU has four defenseman returning next season, but most have seen limited action.
The Spartans will need major contributions from defenseman Jake Chelios and Matt Grassi in order for MSU to successfully fill Krug's hole.
Justin Schultz has been the best defenseman in the country for the past two seasons.
Schultz is a two-time Hobey Baker finalist and a two-time, first-team All-American. The Badger blueliner has also led all defensemen in scoring the past two seasons.
Schultz's track record has proven he is ready for the next step into the NHL. According to TSN analyst Bob McKenzie, Schultz could be the third best NHL free agent this offseason.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are considered the top-two free agents available.
However, Schultz has not made his intentions known. Badger fans continue to pray for his return.
If Justin Schultz returns to Wisconsin, the Badgers could be an NCAA tournament team in 2013. Wisconsin will lose just one player from last year's squad, defenseman Eric Springer.
Furthermore, the Badgers finished the 2012 campaign with a 5-3-0 record in their last eight games.
The Badgers were starting to click at the end of last season, and if Justin Schultz returns to Madison, don't be surprised to see Wisconsin make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.