Even before we could shout with glee that the Wild were back, hockey was still king in the State of Hockey. The Golden Gophers are ranked #1 in both men’s and women’s hockey. St Cloud State is tied for first in the WCHA. With all the teams I get to see through an SCSU hockey season, almost all of them have someone on the ice or on the bench from the land of 10,000 lakes. And yes the Wild, with their mega million off season spending spree, are off to a quick start in their shortened season.
But for me the true test of the state of hockey in the State of Hockey is at the youth level. Drive by any outdoor rink, stop by any of the many fine indoor facilities, and you will see the real state of hockey. Kids, of every age, size, and ability, enjoying Minnesota’s rite of passage. And imagine this: Nowhere on the ice do you see a cell phone, smart phone, iPad, iPod, Nintendo DS, Playstation, Kindel, or any other battery operated device. Kids that actually talk to one another without needing to text, Tweet, or Facebook.
You can likely figure my social media abilities by the previous verbose and likely wrong use of the common terms and items of today’s social technology. Kids can learn togetherness, work ethic, friendship, fun, sportsmanship, and how to be a kid. And they don’t need to download or get the information from some Doctor of child physiologies website entitled “cyberkids-happykids dot com. It is heartening to see that kids still “go out and play”. And mixed in with this group are likely to be future Huskies, Gophers and maybe just maybe Minnesota Wild. And a majority who will never play beyond the ponds and outdoor rinks that kids have enjoyed since before there was an internet, color TV. and even electricity. But they are equally important to the thousands that each and every year just play our game…… in the State of Hockey.