Monday, September 12, 2016

Up and down the ice

For years I liked hockey alone.  I had friends, but none who watched or cared about hockey.  I had family, but on my side they were about football or baseball.  And while I am married to a Canadian, my wife really didn't care about the ongoing game, seasons, or events of hockey.  As a result I longed for time with her father, who was not bored with chat about the sport, but was very informed, intelligent, and even provocative in discussion about hockey.  He didn't like non Canadian players, but that is just fine, an outlook.   But due to sports cards and my son loving to play nintendo hockey, I've met numerous hockey friends, and people who are far more informed about sport than I am.

I've watched nowhere near as many games as I'd like.  I LOVE hockey.  And this year, I plan to watch more.  Come spring I am going to watch the Minnesota Boys Tournament.   

Going back to mentioning my father in law, and his dislike of players who are not Canadian, or, with special exceptions, "North Americans" so long as they are good players, I am not like that, as I like hockey of any nationality.  So, when I watch the highlights of Modo, or HVN or Riga Dinamo, all from Europe, I am thrilled by the play.  The chance to see Americans refurbish their career is one thing, but those leagues are not junior leagues for talent, the Swiss League and many of the KHL teams are quite good.  Watching the games is hard to do, as I don't have direct access, but I follow in highlights, and read updates with English language sites devoted to the respective leagues.  Go RIGA DINAMO!!!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Minnesota, The State of Hockey

The best part of being from Minnesota is the fact that hockey is widely loved, widely played, and the sport is something anyone can speak about.  From youth sports and non contact, to college and juniors and every sort of hockey from professional and for fun, you can find hockey in Minnesota. 

We love hockey, and have loved hockey for many decades.  The point is, we should never have lost the North Stars and have needed to have them replaced with The Wild.  However good the Wild will ever be or has already been, the North Stars were the best team in hockey for the fact that we felt they were ours.


Forwards:  David Backes, Matt Cullen, TJ Oshie, Joel Otto, Zach Parise, Derek Stepan, Jake Gardiner, Aaron Broten, Kyle Okposo, Neal Broten, Anders Lee, Paul Broten, Blake Wheeler, Ryan McDonagh

Defensemen:  Dustin Byfuglien, Matt Niskanen, Phil Hously, Sean Hill, Jordan Leopold, Nick Leddy, Paul Martin, Chris Dahlquist

Jon Casey, Robb Stauber, Alex Stalock