February 29, 2012
The Minnesota state high school hockey tournament is once more upon us, and that’s the perfect opportunity to talk about a shamefully underused natural resource here in our great state: our growing supply of Mr. Hockeys.
Every year since 1985, one puck star has been chosen as Mr. Hockey: the best of the best, the official representative of the State of Hockey. (In 1993, that honor went to Bloomington Jefferson’s Nick Checco, who later married our own Allison Checco.)
They get a trophy of some sorts, their name in the paper and an occasional shout-out around tourney time. But shouldn’t there be more?
If hockey is the game that represents the true character of Minnesota, and these young men represent the best of hockey, then why wouldn’t we want them to continue representing us as they progress through life? We’re wasting a lot of great manhood here.
I think we need to incorporate our Mr. Hockeys into Minnesota life in a structured, ongoing way. A few ideas:
We’ve got a couple dozen Mr. Hockeys right now, with a new one added every year. They’re in the prime of life. Let’s not squander them.