Warroad’s Henry Boucha and Greenway’s Mike Antonovich, longtime friends who starred in the 1969 state tournament, were sharing laughs and signing autographs on Saturday afternoon at the Let’s Play Hockey Expo.
A few hours later they strolled onto the Xcel Energy Center ice to be honored as part of the Minnesota State High School League’s all-time, all-tournament team.
Boucha’s appearance with the lineup of Minnesota high school legends (Eveleth’s John Mayasich, Edina's Willard Ikola, Duluth East’s Dave Spehar and Centennial’s Gregg Stutz among them) was in jeopardy of never happening a month ago.
Boucha underwent hip surgery on Feb. 1 and, two hours after the procedure, had a major heart attack.
“I was in the hospital for most of February,” Boucha said.
Boucha planned on spending some time with members of the 1969 Edina team holding a reunion during Saturday’s Class 2A championship game. Those Hornets beat Warroad in overtime for the 1969 title. Boucha was knocked out of that game in the second period after being checked into the boards and suffering a ruptured eardrum.
“I forgave them years ago,” said Boucha, who sells homes through Edina Realty, with a laugh.
Boucha has been involved in multiple discussions about movie projects over the years, and he said PBS plans on making a one-hour docudrama on Boucha’s life.
“We’ve got the budget together,” Boucha said. “We are going to start filming at the end of the month up in Warroad.”
Also making an appearance at the Expo on Saturday was Boucha’s old jersey, the one that was cut off of him at the hospital after he was injured. Collector John Lindberg rescued the jersey from Boucha’s storage shed in Warroad. It had been reduced to mostly to pile of black and gold rags after pieces of it were brought home from the hospital as mementos by doctors and nurses.