Casey Hankinson, who joined the Gophers men's hockey team in 1994 (the year after the new Mariucci opened), replied with this when I asked if players care about things such as the building being renamed 3M Arena at Mariucci:
"We do care. We'd prefer it to still be Mariucci Arena, but it is the sign of the times. I do like that they still kept Mariucci in the name and for most it will still be called that."
Justin Kloos, who played his final game for the Gophers just a few months ago and is now a Wild prospect, agreed that "guys care."
As for a potential change to Williams Arena, former Gopher Lawrence McKenzie, who played in the mid-to-late-2000s, said: "In my opinion, renaming it just takes away a lot of the history behind the building. It's like once you rename it, it becomes something totally different. The players know it as Williams, and in my eyes that's always what it will be regardless of the name if they decide to change it."
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.