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It's in the books: Hockey is state's official sport

  • Star Tribune
  • July 1, 2009 - 7:10 PM

A lot of Minnesotans consider hockey the state's official sport, but it didn't become official until Wednesday.

Under a new state law, hockey joined such diverse state-recognized favorites as milk, blueberry muffins and lady-slippers.

A little-noticed line was tucked into this year's omnibus jobs and economic development bill, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a well-known hockey fanatic.

It's simple: "Ice hockey is adopted as the official sport of the state of Minnesota."

The designation was the work of two hockey fans in the Legislature, Sens. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista, and David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm.

Fifth-graders from Groveland Elementary School in Minnetonka came up with the idea two years ago when they visited the State Capitol, telling their senators that Minnesota needs a state sport -- specifically, hockey.

The senators agreed, citing the state's extensive boys' and girls' hockey programs, its five NCAA Division I college teams and its NHL team, the Wild.

The new designation is old news to the Wild, which since its inception has branded Minnesota the "State of Hockey."

BOB VON STERNBERG AND ASSOCIATED PRESS

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