In North Dakota we love hockey.  We have very robust youth hockey programs for both boys and girls. Our NAHL junior hockey teams such as the Bismarck Bobcats and Minot Minotauros pack in the fans all season long.  The University of North Dakota’s Fighting S***x and Fighting Hawks have made over 30 appearances in the NCAA tournament, appeared in the Frozen Four 22 times, and have won 8 NCAA Division Titles. Plus in the awesome Ralph Englestad Arena in Grand Forks we’ve already hosted 2 international hockey events.

So it makes sense the National Hockey League would want to appeal to our enthusiastic fan base and make North Dakota Home Ice for their 2019-2020 season playoffs.  North Dakota doesn’t have a single professional sports franchise- so is this even a real thing?

Sportsnet right here says maybe.

CBS Sports chimes in here.

Sports Illustrated jumped in here

Sporting News says wha?

 

If you clicked the links- you’ll see I’m not kidding.  The list of pros and cons? Let’s start first with the cons being presented.  Firstly, the Grand Forks area may not have enough hotel rooms.  That may be true, but just a little over 3 hours away is Minot- which thanks to the oil boom, Minot is now almost completely made up of nearly vacant hotels. Another con considered- lack of air travel in and out of Grand Forks.  Well, land in Fargo and that drive is just over an hour.

So what are the pros listed?  Well as I can tell…there’s just less of us North Dakotans around to either get infected or infect others.  As a lifelong North Dakotan I’m more than a little offended by the thought that there is just less of us at risk.

Clearly we will need to march our way out of this Covid 19 madness.  Our economy demands it- but our familes and friends demand we do it in the most responsible way possible. North Dakota has always been considered a “fly-over” state and honestly most of us are OK with that.  But if the only reason people want to come here is because there’s less of us to be potentially affected/infected then I would extend them an invitation to play NHL games here anytime....next season.

Hockey fans (including my hockey crazy buddy Rick Ryder) I hope you see my point.