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State of Hockey Hotdish


What Minnesota player, coach, arena and mascot best represent the State of Hockey? Vote here now.


What makes Minnesota the State of Hockey? This state boasts thousands of players and coaches spread across hundreds of towns that embrace the sport of pucks, blue lines and slap shots. Arenas dot the state, from Warroad in the north to Albert Lea in the south, and from Stillwater in the east to Moorhead in the west. Those arenas host countless pro, college, junior, high school, youth and amateur hockey games throughout the year.

Minnesota has certainly produced some notable players, accomplished coaches, iconic arenas and legendary hockey programs. But who/what should be on the State of Hockey’s Mount Rushmore. That’s what we want to know and where we need your help as the devoted readers of Let’s Play Hockey.

Welcome to the Hockey Hotdish Tournament. This annual competition will determine what Minnesota player coach, arena and mascot best represent the State of Hockey. Sixty-four entries have been selected and seeded in four brackets: Beauty (players), Bench Boss (coaches), Barn (arenas) and Big Head (mascot). The winners of each bracket will face off in the Hockey Hotdish Tournament Finals to determine who or what is the best ambassador for hockey in Minnesota.

Following are the competitors for the inaugural Hockey Hotdish Tournament (listed in order of seed):


• Players: Phil Housley, Neal Broten, Dave Christian, Frank Brimsek, Jenny Potter, Mike Ramsey, Dave Langevin, Reed Larson, John Mayasich, Jamie Langenbrunner, Matt Cullen, Zach Parise, Bret Hedican, Henry Boucha, Natalie Darwitz, Johnny Pohl


• Coaches: Herb Brooks, Willard Ikola, Tom Saterdalen, Cliff Thompson, Bob Peters, Don Lucia, John Mariucci, Laura Halldorson, Lorne Grosso, Dave Palmquist, Doug Woog, Bob Johnson, Dean Blais, Mike Randolph, Terry Skrypek, Dave Peterson


• Arenas: Eveleth Hippodrome, White Bear Lake Hippodrome, Hibbing Memorial Arena, Roseau Memorial Arena, Warroad Gardens, Mariucci Arena, Braemar Ice Arena, Aldrich Ice Arena, Ralph Engelstad Arena, IRA Civic Center, Bronco Arena, Hodgins-Berardo Arena, Wakota Arena, Duluth Heritage Sports Center, New Hope Ice Arena, Riverside Arena


• Mascots: Moorhead Spud, Goldy Gopher, Duluth East Greyhound, Champ, Breck Mustang, Nordy, Edina Hornet, Grand Rapids Thunderhawk, Presto, Bucky Beaver, Blizzard, Stomper, Rochester Mayo Spartan, White Bear Lake Bear, Alexandria Cardinal, Apple Valley Eagle


Don’t see your favorite Minnesota player/coach/arena/mascot? Let us know. Future Hockey Hotdish Tournaments will include other deserving candidates. The selection committee worked to include wide-ranging worthy competitors for the inaugural edition of the HHT. 

Voting begins on Monday, June 9 and continues throughout the summer. Click here to go to the voting page. Follow Let’s Play Hockey on Twitter @LetsPlay_Hockey for updates on the inaugural Hockey Hotdish Tournament.


Click the image below for a PDF of the Hockey Hotdish Tournament bracket.