Thank you for another great season

The winter season is now over and how quickly it seems to go by. Team banquets have been held; state youth, high school, and some college programs have finished for this season.  Spring is in the air with the Frozen Four in St. Paul and NHL playoffs looming. For many, their off-season teams are winding up, the Reebok High Performance programs are slated for April and our expanded Reebok High Performance 15 format begins.

This is also the time of year to say “thank you” to all of the folks behind the scenes who give so much of their time, talents and treasure to make sure we get through each and every season. The first and obvious praise goes to coaches, parents and the players. Hundreds of hours in rinks, cars and travel make all of this possible.

Second are the local association board members and coordinators who make sure their organizations function smoothly. Our 13 districts are operated by a representative from each of our 160 local associations and they ensure that the leagues operate smoothly, schedule officials and sponsor the district playoffs that seed teams to regional and state tournaments. All of these volunteers collectively spend thousands of hours in meetings and planning sessions to ensure that all kids have a place to play.

At the state level the board is comprised of the 13 district directors, VPs and representatives of many segments of hockey. These are dedicated volunteers who define the parameters of the game in Minnesota, work with USA Hockey on mutual programs, arbitrate disputes, take the late night phone calls and are guardians of the game and all it means to Minnesota. These individuals spend four weekends a year at state meeting, attend hundreds of events and games, and donate their time and talents for the benefit of all hockey players in the state. These are critical positions that are essential to the operation of the organization.

Minnesota Hockey also has some terrific corporate sponsors at the state level and every local association has numerous businesses and financial supporters that help to make Minnesota the “Best Place to Play Hockey” in the country.

And of course, a big thanks to the volunteers, board members, arena managers, and local and statewide sponsors for making this another great season for Minnesota Hockey and the 53,000+ registered skaters. These are “players” that aren’t often recognized enough for their contribution to the great game of hockey.

No matter what role you play, whether player or volunteer, you are an important part of making hockey possible here in Minnesota. So, thank you for another great season and we will see you next season!

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Hal Tearse, Coach in Chief of Minnesota Hockey, for this story.

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