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Decades in the State of Hockey

Wild.com came up with a list of the greatest players ever to come from Minnesota and the decade in which each player did his dominating.

Thursday, 01.07.2010 / 4:48 PM / Minnesota Wild | Hockey Day Minnesota
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Decades in the State of Hockey

For many in our great state, Hockey Day Minnesota is fast becoming an annual tradition. There is no doubt that this day is a special one for our state. Of course, it didn’t become this way overnight. We rightfully call this the “State of Hockey,” not because of some name that was picked out of a hat, but because of all of those who have come before us and played the game the right way. The Minnesota way. And so, our collection of staff writers came up with a list of the greatest players to come from Minnesota in each decade starting with the 1910s. It’s just another way show the great tradition that hockey has been in our great state.


1910s: FRANK "CODDY" WINTERS

Frank Winters was born in Duluth  on January 29, 1884, and picked up the nickname “Coddy” at an early age. Winters grew up on Park Point in the 1890s when the cold weather game of choice was ice polo...


1920s: FRANK "MOOSE" GOHEEN

Goheen was born in Saint Paul on February 9, 1894, but the family soon moved to White Bear Lake where he grew up and learned the game. After playing on White Bear’s senior team, he joined the St. Paul Athletic Club. His longtime teammate Tony Conroy recalled how it all started:hockey and professional career there...


1930s: ELWYN "DOC" ROMNES

When “Doc” Romnes stepped on the ice for the Chicago Blackhawks in December 1930, he became the first Minnesotan to play in the NHL and there wasn’t exactly a welcoming committee awaiting him at Chicago Stadium....


1940s: FRANK BRIMSEK

Frank Brimsek’s star flashed on the NHL scene with an initial brilliance that few rookies have ever matched. Recalled from the Providence Reds by the Boston Bruins in December 1938 after having started the season there, he reeled off six shutouts in eight games and quickly gained the moniker “Mr. Zero.”...


1950s: JOHN MAYASICH

John Mayasich grew up and played his high school hockey in Eveleth followed by four seasons at the University of Minnesota before becoming a decorated hero on the national stage for the U.S...


1960s: TOMMY WILLIAMS

Victoria, B.C., February 23, 1963. A group of hockey fans are gathered around a hotel lobby’s TV set watching Hockey Night in Canada coming through from Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. The Leafs are facing the doormat Boston Bruins who have Duluth native Tommy Williams in their lineup. Described by the media of the day “as hockey’s lonely American” in the then six-team NHL, he silences the Toronto partisans with a third period goal and the Bruins go on to a 4-2 victory, one of only 14 they would win that year...


1970s: BILL NYROP

Bill Nyrop emerged on the scene to play a meaningful role in the Montreal Canadiens run to three of their four Stanley Cups in the 1970s...


1980s: NEAL BROTEN

Neal Broten is regarded as one of the best, if not the best hockey player the state of Minnesota has ever produced. The native of Roseau is the only player to have played on teams that won the NCAA hockey championship (University of Minnesota, 1979), the Olympic Gold Medal (Team USA, 1980) and the Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils, 1995)...


1990s: PHIL HOUSLEY

Phil Housley played at a level that few players have reached. The Saint Paul native played 21 NHL seasons and set records for U.S. born and Minnesota born players.
Housley played hockey at South St. Paul High School before being drafted sixth overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Playing in the NHL straight out of high school, Housley quickly established himself among the elite defenseman in the NHL...


2000s: JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER

As a new millennium dawned, Jamie Langenbrunner had already established himself as a regular player, and one with a Stanley Cup ring, in the NHL. Drafted No. 35 overall by the Dallas Stars in 1993, the former Minnesota High School Player of the Year, who twice represented Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championships, had seen more than 200 games at hockey’s highest level...



The following staff writers contributed to this story: Roger Godin, Dewayne Hankins, James MacDonald, Aaron Sickman and Ryan Stanzel



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