State Of Hockey
On a hot summer day, they were outside talking hockey at Minneapolis’ TCF Bank Stadium Wednesday for the official prelude to an outdoor NHL game in Minnesota. “This is an unbelievable day for us,” Wild owner Craig Leopold said. “We have worked really, really hard in the last seven, eight years to try to get an outdoor game for our market, for our fans.”
Hockey Day Minnesota is this Saturday. High school, college and pro teams will play outside throughout the day on a specially-made rink. It’s a celebration of the state’s official sport that an estimated 100,000 Minnesotans play.
The state hockey tournament is what every high school hockey player dreams about; a glorious tradition in the state of hockey. And it’s a tradition that the town of Luverne has never been a part of, until Wednesday. The town of 4,700 turned out in full, including Mayor Patrick Baustian, who led cheers instead of leading the government.
The all-day celebration of Minnesota’s official sport is underway across the State of Hockey on Saturday. Outdoor hockey is at its finest at picturesque Handke Pit in Elk River. Mayor John Dietz says it’s a special venue with a lot of history. “You know, it’s kind of a rebirth of how the sport was born. It’s just a unique type of thing,” Dietz said.
October 5, 1993 was the first time the franchise formerly known as the Minnesota North Stars would play a home game somewhere other than Bloomington, Minn. That night, the Stars beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-4 in Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas – officially, and for the foreseeable future, to be known as the “Dallas Stars.” Though Minnesota hockey fans would count on the promise of a future franchise from the NHL, they had to wait seven long years to get it.
Before everyone settled in for their fireworks on the Fourth of July, the Minnesota Wild put on quite a show themselves.
While it may seem like it, not everyone in Minnesota is born with skates on their feet. On Saturday, 40 hockey clubs across the state, held an open skate for the smallest of skaters.