As Michigan State hockey's on-ice struggles continue toward critical mass, athletic director Mark Hollis said he's paying close attention.

"Obviously, I’m spending hours watching over programs that need some recalibration, and hockey is one of those,” Hollis told media gathered Thursday for the Michigan AP Sports meeting.

But Hollis was evasive when asked about the future and job security of MSU hockey coach Tom Anastos.

"We don't talk about personnel during the season," Hollis said.

MSU hockey coach Tom Anastos (photo courtesy MSU athletics)

Anastos' Spartan icers are dead last in the Big Ten with a record of 5-17-2 (1-7-0). MSU also in the midst of a putrid funk, having gone 1-14-1 over their last 16 games.

Anastos has an overall record of 66-92-18 midway through his fifth season at MSU. Hollis said they continue to have ongoing conversations about the hockey program.

“It’s a challenging sport to transition based upon how recruiting works there and the age of the guys that are coming in to play in that sport,” Hollis said. “It’s uniquely different. But Tom and I have had several frequent conversations about what that looks like.

“I have great memories of college hockey and great ambitions for college hockey at Michigan State. And that’s what we’re working toward.”