MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a city with one of the richest hockey histories in the United States — a history that has never been documented. Until now.
“And so I decided we needed a Hall of Fame because nobody had done it,” Steve Jecha said.
Jecha is the executive director of the Minneapolis youth hockey program. He started working toward this a couple of years ago, after Minneapolis celebrated its 100th anniversary of high school hockey.
“What’s really great is when I started digging in, just how much and how rich the history was of Minneapolis hockey. I don’t think there’s a city in the country that can match the kind of history we had out here on the ice today,” he said.
The inaugural 30-member class is a who’s who of hockey history, with names like Reed Larson, Mike Ramsey, Tom Chorske and Tom Hirsch — even a Charlie Brown.
And even, my personal favorite, a McCoy. No relation. Each commemorated with a banner inside Parade Ice Garden.
“When you get older and your career is behind you and you start looking back at where it all began, it’s a real honor, and I’m really thrilled to be part of it,” Chorske said.
“You can’t say enough about how important it is for the kids that are playing hockey now and the families that are putting so much time and effort into it now, to realize that they’re doing it in a community and an association where there is a lot of history.”
“Four Stanley Cups, probably eight or nine NHLers, probably a dozen or more U.S. national team members,” Jecha said.
“We’ve been working hard to build our youth program over the last decade, and what we wanted to really do for our kids here is to show them that there is this rich history, and that they can be a part of it now and in the future.”
“Having knowledge of your history, whether it’s with your hockey and your sport, is important, your family, your community, your country,” Tom Lundeen said. “Connecting with your roots is an important thing.”