Photo credit: Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald
The Canucks have long since stopped playing hockey, as have all of their prospects. While the world championships and Stanley Cup playoffs are still going, Vancouver hockey is very much in summer mode. And it is in summertime that we hockey bloggers begin to tell tales of odd happenings in the sports world that are only tenuously tied to our team.
Such is the case in this tangled web of a story that technically involves Canucks prospects Brock Boeser and Troy Stecher. The NCAA champion University of North Dakota men’s hockey team will be honoured by the local Major League Baseball team this coming weekend – read on to find out why residents of Boeser’s home state of Minnesota are losing their s#@& over this.
The answer is simple even if the reasoning behind it is pretty silly.
As it turns out, the nearest MLB team to the University of North Dakota is the Minnesota Twins. The Twins will honour the NCAA champions this coming Sunday at Target Field prior to first pitch.
NCAA champs to be honored at upcoming Twins game https://t.co/1Tmq9K47qn
— North Dakota MHockey (@UNDmhockey) May 17, 2016
As a side note, I only stumbled across this story because I’m an unabashed Twins fan (please direct your jokes and/or sympathy to the comments section) and came across Twins twitter eating itself alive over this issue.
So why is it an issue anyways? Well despite that fact that North Dakota is considered “Twins Territory” as far as unspoken MLB fan boundaries are concerned, Target Field is only a few miles away from the arena that the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers call home, and although the two schools are no longer in the same conference, they have a rivalry that dates back decades.
— Riley Grams (@TheGreatGrams) May 17, 2016
(Bonus points if your can find the misogyny in that tweet).
If you are at all familiar with the pride involved in college sports in the U.S., then I don’t need to tell you that honouring a hated rival of a local team is a bit of a faux pas, even if it is supposed to be on neutral ground.
Last time I checked North Dakota was part of Twins Territory. https://t.co/57yVFbmKfC
— Dave St. Peter (@TwinsPrez) May 17, 2016
Minnesota Twins fans already had plenty of reasons to be upset at this point – the Twins are off to an abysmal 10-27 start in a year wear things were finally supposed to start turning around. There was already plenty of civil unrest in Target Field before the team decided to honour a bitter college rival. The likelihood that Boeser and Stecher get booed is quite high at this point – Minnesotans have already been booing their own team for a while.
As a fun added twist, Boeser is actually a native of the town of Burnsville, Minnesota, a town which is substantially closer to Target Field than the University of North Dakota is, which is located in Grand Forks, ND.
Furthermore, this native son was among North Dakota’s best players all season and was instrumental in the title winning game. Maybe that will soothe the ire of riled up Minnesota fans?
On second thought I will attend the twins game that honors UND…and lustily boo!
— Biddy (@Biddco) May 17, 2016
Oh and one final thing: the Twins’ opponent in this game is actually the Toronto Blue Jays, and the game will be televised for us locally on Sportsnet Pacific. Maybe if fans get unruly enough, they’ll show some clips during the Jays broadcast. Cross your fingers.
Isn’t summer hockey blogging the greatest?