I don’t think it has anything to do with WHUS finances. The most immediate answer is Alex Giner has been a community member of WHUS who has done play by play UConn hockey for over ten years. While I don’t know for sure, I suspect that for what ever reason he has left the station, and there is no one in the WHUS sports department is interested in broadcasting hockey on a full time a basis as he did.
The second part of the answer is that their seems to be a declining interest in people (both students and community members) in either joining WHUS to do a show or to join the sports department. If you check the WHUS general broadcast schedule there are chunks of broadcast time where an automated music stream is used when no one has a show. Before automated music was introduced several years ago that never was the case, there was always someone at the station.
As for the sports department, there seem to be fewer people involved in broadcasting sports than there were five or so years ago. For WHUS to carry a game they need broadcasters at the event and someone to staff the studio and run the board while the game is taking place. Like I said, five years ago that never seemed a problem. Now it most certainly is. Last year I sent several emails to the WHUS sports director at asking about a tentative sports schedule for the station and why a number of home basketball games weren’t covered. I was basically told that they either couldn’t get people to do the games or man the studio. That was a very rare occurrence five or so years ago, now it is much more frequent. The staff shortage definitely hurts in game coverage.
Anyway, last years WHUS sports director gave up his post at the end of the school year in May. In previous years, there was always on the WHUS sports staff, an experienced student broadcaster, who would take up the position. I’ve been a long time listener to WHUS sports, and it was usually easy to predict who the next sports director would be. In this case there was no one obvious, and no one took the position. WHUS ended up hiring someone from outside the sports department to take the job, but there still don’t seem to be a lot of people involved in the sports department.
Where the sports staff shortages hurt the most are in sports such as soccer and hockey. Each of these sports has had a long term community member involved in doing the games, John Tuite for men’s soccer, and Giner for hockey. There used to be a number of students who would also be involved in soccer and hockey broadcasts as well, and they would fill in on games either as an analyst, or for play by play when Tuite couldn’t make the game. There were a number of students who would broadcast the women’s soccer games as well. These days seem to be long gone. The last few years have seen a lot of games where Tuite or Giner have done solo broadcasts, with no students or anyone else interested in doing the games. It used to be that if Tuite couldn’t make a post season soccer game (something of a regular event due to his PA duties with UConn football and basketball), students would fill in for him. Then, a few years ago WHUS didn’t send anyone to cover the AAC men’s soccer tourney when Tuite couldn’t make it. This past season WHUS did not carry women's soccer at all, for the first time in may years. Now, no one subs for Tuite doing the men's soccer games, as no one seems interested in broadcasting soccer. Now, with Alex Giner seemingly gone from, there is no obvious replacement to do the games consistently.