People like alumni games. Fanbases get to come together one more time to watch former players once again don the uniforms that made them famous. These events are usually fun and often introduce newer fans to players from previous generations.
The Minnesota Wild roster should be interesting with the likes of Wes Walz, Brian Rolston, Filip Kuba, Lubomir Sekeras, Basil McRae, Neal Broten, Dino Ciccarelli, and MIke Modano.
If you're moody about the inclusion of the North Stars in a weekend involving the Wild, shame on you. What else would the team do? Bring back Marian Gaborik? Include Cliff Ronning, Sergei Krivokrasov or Brad Bombardir? Though Minnesota is the State of Hockey (as people there love to tell non-Minnesotans all the time) the Wild organization played its first season in 2000-01.
As the article points out there were no alumni games last year, so what is the rush to have one this year if one of the teams involved has no history to speak of? Absolutely make them watch Cliff Ronning and Brad Bombardir. They watched Andrew Brunette and Stephane Veilleux forever. Let them do it again. I imagine Dany Heatley is probably free too.
If you don't have alumni, you don't need an alumni game. The Minnesota North Stars left to come to Dallas. The North Stars no longer exist. North Stars retired numbers are hanging in the rafters of American Airlines Center. The franchise and its history relocated to Dallas.
The Dallas Stars have already issued a statement about the Wild claiming Dallas Stars franchise history for an alumni exhibition game:
"The Stadium Series game is a pinnacle NHL event and we wish the Minnesota Wild the best with it this upcoming season," Dallas Stars president CEO and alternate governor Jim Lites said. "Including the North Stars alumni in the event is appropriate as it's a celebration of hockey in the state of Minnesota. Those players are very much a part of that culture and tradition, and it's only fitting for them to be included in the alumni game."
He isn't wrong, and that's where this becomes a gray area. These players did make an impact on the people of Minnesota. This is an exhibition game. Shouldn't they be allowed to see them play again?
I thought I cared more about this, but really I don't. Minnesota North Stars alumni aren't Wild alumni. If the people of Minnesota want to see players they grew up watching play again, then let them. Just don't call it an alumni game and who is really hurt by this even if they do?
Call me crazy or tell me I'm getting soft in my advancing years, but I just don't care. It's stupid and inaccurate if they call it an alumni game, but I can't even muster enough fake outrage to even pretend this is upsetting to me.