1976: Two weeks after the Fighting Saints folded WHA operations 59 games into the season, Mike Antonovich signed a “bargain rate” contract with the North Stars to play the remaining 12 games of the NHL season. The former prep standout player for Greenway and later the Gophers was signed despite North Stars GM Jack Gordon never having seen him play.
“He’s going to work out all right,” coach Ted Harris said.
The scrappy 5-8, 165-pound Antonovich was signed for his talent – he scored 90 goals in four seasons for the Fighting Saints – but also as an effort to bring a local name to Met Center and put butts in the seats during a dismal 18-win season. Antonovich was a crowd favorite in high school and college.
“He was really flying,” North Stars goalie Cesare Maniago said after Antonovich practiced with the team. “The way he hustles, he could be the shot in the arm this club needs.”
Elsewhere in former Saints signings: Bill Butters agreed to terms with with Houston and Dave Keon signed with Indianapolis.
1981: Jottings from Sid Hartman’s Friday column:
- Every NHL team will have a representative at the state hockey tournament, including people like Scotty Bowman, general manager of the Buffalo Sabres. "The young Minnesota players skate as good and have as much ability as the ones in Canada," Bowman said.
- Lou Nanne believes "As many as 60 players from the state" could be picked in the June draft.
- The State High School League has no interest in changing to two high school tournaments – A and AA – and will not discuss the matter at this week’s meeting.
- North Stars defenseman Curt Giles, who has been out with knee trouble, has started to skate but will not make the upcoming road trip.
1982: In a game Edina coach Willard Ikola called one of the finest he’d seen, the Hornets’ Wally Chapman scored with 57 seconds left in the first overtime to defeat defending champion Bloomington Jefferson 3-2 in the state semifinals. It was played in front of a semifinals-session record 18,985 fans at the Civic Center.
1987: Billed as a state tournament matchup of Warroad’s crafty offense against Hill-Murray’s rugged defense, the small-town Warriors disposed of the hometown Pioneers 5-1 in front of a decidedly pro-underdog crowd. “Everybody loves to hate us,” Hill-Murray defenseman Sean Fabian said.
2001: NHL VP/communications Frank Brown acknowledged the league was “aware of … and looking into” alleged comments by referee Brad Meier to Wild coach Jacques Lemaire during a game March 4. “[Meier] told me he would get back at me,” for criticism, Lemaire said. The Wild lost on March 11 in overtime, after Meier called a penalty setting up Detroit’s winning power-play goal.
2016: In their final game at Ridder Arena, Amanda Kessel and Hannah Brandt combined for seven points in a 6-2 Gophers rout of Princeton.