Minnesota Hockey Journal

February 2015

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T 14 MINNESOTAHOCKEYJOURNAL.COM // FEBRUARY.2015 MHJ: What are your thoughts on community-based hockey and the system we have in place in Minnesota? John Buccigross: I wish it was copied all over the country, in all 50 states. Hockey is a great enough game to be played and loved everywhere. MHJ: From the perspective of an outsider that loves hockey, what is it that Minnesota is doing right to earn the status of the State of Hockey? JB: The passion. It means more. Where there is interest and passion, in anything, there is talent. MHJ: How are tiny towns in Minnesota able to produce college, NHL and Olympic talent (see: Warroad, Roseau, Spring Lake Park, Little Falls, etc.)? JB: Because of what it means to the state. There is a goal, a realization that it is possible. MHJ: Outdoor hockey. Are kids doing enough of it these days? JB: Probably not. The more they play without coaches the more instinctual they will be. MHJ: Why won't the NHL give Minnesota a Winter Classic? JB: They got an outdoor game finally next year it looks like. It never made sense to me. MHJ: Have you ever been to the Minnesota state high school tournament? JB: I haven't been but it's on my bucket list. MHJ: Would you ever consider doing the play-by-play for the state high school tournament? JB: Yes! MHJ: You're a certified USA Hockey coach. What's your favorite part about coaching? JB: I love interacting with the kids. I'm the kind of person that sees every- thing and forgets nothing. I like pointing out small things the kids did well and telling them over and over again. They light up when you men- tion something they did well that even they didn't realize was a good play. MHJ: Is the future bright for hockey in America? JB: Yes. USA Hockey continues to produce high-end talent. It will only continue to grow. MHJ: You do a lot for the game in terms of visibility. Why? JB: It's a great game with great people. The values it teaches makes great people. I want people to see the light. MHJ: When will the Wild win their first Stanley Cup? JB: 2017. MHJ: Your love of college hockey mirrors that of Minnesota's. What is it about the college game that you're so passionate about? JB: The game is fast and fun. The players and coaches are so passionate and fun. They don't get the attention they deserve and I want to give it to them. MHJ: How does hockey prepare young people for the real world? JB: It teaches them commitment and accountability. Sacrifice, selflessness and love are all a part of the game at every level and from every portion of the experience — parents, coaches, teammates. Hockey has the biggest heart in the room. Tweet your outdoor hockey photos to @MNHockeyJournal and @Buccigross for a chance to win a prize. Thin mints, #cawlidgehawkey, chicken parm, dangle-snipe- celly — John Buccigross flexes a heavy hockey vocabulary, so it's no surprise he's a fan of the State of Hockey. Minnesota Hockey Journal caught up with the ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor and college hockey TV broadcaster to talk hockey in Minnesota and beyond. Q&A WITH JOHN BUCCIGROSS SPORTSCENTER ANCHOR AND ESPN COLLEGE HOCKEY BROADCASTER JOHN BUCCIGROSS TALKS HOCKEY IN MINNESOTA BY AARON PAITICH A tweet after calling a Gopher game at Mariucci Arena this past November

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