Saturday, February 20, 2016

The State Of Hockey?

                 Minnesota calls itself “the state of hockey.” At least that’s what the state’s professional hockey team uses as its motto. And that certainly was the case a few short years ago.
                 But the times, they are a’changin’ to quote a native Minnesotan. Richfield High School, once one of the state’s prouder hockey powers, recently discontinued its hockey program. The school that sent Steve Christoff and Darby Hendrickson, among others, to the NHL, no longer has enough kids coming out for the sport to continue to compete. Demographic changes are behind this trend. Ramsey county, home of the city of St. Paul, itself the home of the National Hockey League’s  Minnesota Wild, is considering closing several ice arenas. In 1975, 16 high school hockey teams existed in St. Paul. There are five now. Again, demographic changes are to blame.
                It turns out Somalis, Middle Easterners and North Africans aren’t big on hockey.
                “The state of hockey” may be gradually morphing into… “The state of female genital mutilation.”

                Oh well, there’s always soccer. Go team! 

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