By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild is hosting a leadership summit to help build an even greater state of hockey.

More than 300 team captains and their coaches from more than 71 schools cross Minnesota invaded St. Paul’s RiverCentre Tuesday for the leadership training.

This is the Wild’s second year hosting a leadership summit for girls and boys on high school and college hockey teams. The Wild are the first NHL team to hold such a summit, and other professional teams are following in their lead.

“The bottom line is: We’re trying to teach life lessons, and leadership is a big part of that,” said Derek Ricke, the Park Rapids boys hockey coach.

He says his players are at this year’s summit to learn to be true leaders.

Educating them at the event are none other than some of the biggest names in Minnesota sports.

The Wild’s Jason Zucker and former Vikings player Chad Greenway are hosting roundtable discussions about leadership, both on and off the field.

“For them to re-invest into the high school hockey community here in Minnesota, it just shows how much they care about being a part of that state of hockey,” Ricke said. “They say it all the time, ‘Create a greater state of hockey’…What a great way to do it.”

Each high school and college team attending the leadership summit donated a team-signed hockey stick that will be given to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Reg Chapman