Vikings Lobby MPLS Council To Change Street Name To Green Bay Boulevard And Much More!

Marc Elliott

LAKE VERMILLION… When I was a kid growing up in St. Paul, the Mighty Mississippi River may as well have been the Mason-Dixon line. Things seemed that provincial at times back then. However, we did have occasion to cross the river now and then to go downtown Minneapolis and do some shopping, amongst other things. On one of those trips, just a block or two from the local newspaper offices there, I first saw Chicago Avenue. I didn’t give it a heck of a lot of thought and in fact, had been in cities where the streets were named after Presidents and/or states, and some of those were even in alphabetical order! So, as a young man and after the Twins and Vikings both moved to the HHH Metrodome downtown, likewise, I didn’t give it much attention that we had a street named after the city where at least a couple of our close rivals hailed from near the Dome.

With the new Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium due to host it’s first gridiron action this fall, someone has noticed and is attempting to take some action. Oddly though, it isn’t what you think. The Vikings themselves have sent representatives to lobby the Minneapolis City Council for a street name change. And the Vikings have also determined they would rather have the street named after a city from a neighboring state then after the Windy City! Yes, as strange as it seems, the team has approached the Council about having the name changed to Green Bay Boulevard! What the? Son of a? When I first read this in a Metro publication I just about got whiplash from the double take I did. The request is scheduled for a hearing in the near future and I will keep you posted as to what gets decided….

JUST LAST WEEK I did a piece chronicling a half sleep-half fantasy dream I had about getting the Big Ten Hockey conference dismantled and just reverting back to the way things were prior to the Collegiate hockey conference realignment. I miss the old WCHA and I’m currently not too fond of the B10 league as it stands. And then, lo and behold! I had heard whispers about this, but nothing official, but now it is and the University of Notre Dame will be joining the B10 hockey conference for the 2017-2018 college hockey season. They have notified their current host conference Hockey East that they will be leaving and have cited travel time and expense as the reason for this. This will give the league 7 teams and some are of the belief that with Arizona State now competing in D1 hockey, that they may eventually become the 8th league team.

Will this placate me somewhat or make me feel better about B10 hockey? Perhaps a little bit, but when you are the dastardly entity that was responsible for the breakup of the greatest hockey conference in college hockey history, you will probably never be getting a clean slate from me. The Fighting Irish have a solid program and will be a nice and welcome addition to the league. Heck, I can remember back to the days when they were a WCHA member and were coached by the famous Charles W. “Lefty” Smith Jr., a native of South Saint Paul. Smith usually had a pretty competitive club and I saw them play many a time in Minneapolis. I was in South Bend a few years back for a tournament and had time to take in a game versus the Mavericks of Mankato at their old arena. How long ago was that? The STL Blues David Backes was still on that team! In 2011 the Irish moved into the new Compton Family Arena and I have heard from friends that have been there that it is a nice venue for some puck action. I will definitely add that to my list….

WCHA REFEREE Oliver “Butch” Mosseau has succumbed to head injuries incurred at the recent WCHA tournament in Grand Rapids MI. Mosseau was injured in a freak accident of sorts during warm-ups of one of the tourney games he would have been working. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and eventually placed into a medically induced coma. Mosseau was 48 and is survived by his wife and three children. If you can, go to the league website and you can find info on how to make a donation to his family. Please do so for a hockey brother and family in their time of need….

FORMER NHL REFEREE Ron Wicks has announced that he is losing his battle with liver cancer and may be on his “final laps” around the rink of life. He is hospitalized in Brampton Ontario and his condition is worsening. Wicks officiated in the league from 1960 through 1986. I saw him call many games on the tube and in person at the Old Met Center and he always performed his job in a straightforward manner. As someone who knows what the battle can do to a person and their family, I cringe when I see these stories. If I knew Wicks I’m not certain what I could say at this time and he would understand. There are no words. Thank you for your contributions to the game I love…

THE MINNESOTA WILD WENT into the Mile High City yesterday afternoon and for all practical purposes secured themselves the 8th playoff position and 2nd Wild Card spot for the upcoming Stanley Cup tournament. In an impressive performance in a tough road arena, bolstered by many Wild fans in attendance, the club put a veritable smack down on the Colorado Avalanche winning 4-0. The win and 2 points give the Wild a 5 point lead over the Av’s. The Wild have 6 games remaining and the Av’s 7, but if you examine the schedules, the Wild have a better chance of extending their lead and holding on then do the Av’s.

In the Sagarin NHL rank the Av’s will face the 11th ranked Pred’s twice, all other games are against top 10 teams. The Wild will face only one team above them in that rank. I see the Av’s gaining perhaps only 2 more points with the Wild grabbing possibly 10 more. Does Av’s Coach Patrick Roy survive the off-season? Does Wild Coach John Torchetti get to return in the fall? We shall see! Lets Play Hockey! PEACE