Using a little bit of data and a lot of anecdotal evidence, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski set out to find the center of the American hockey universe.
If his methods had yielded different results, I’m sure there would have been plenty of things to pick apart about his process.
Alas, Wyshynski properly concluded that the Twin Cities metro area is, indeed, the locus from which all hockey radiates outward in the United States — the geographical center of all things puck-related (not to be confused with Rugby, N.D., the geographical center of North America, which us North Dakota natives cling to as a selling point for our state).
After conceding that New York, Chicago, Detroit and Boston are in the mix, he quotes Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey with the knockout punch.
“I’m a native Bostonian, so this is going to get me in trouble. But it’s hard not to say Minnesota,” said Kelleher. “You have the Wild. You have all the college programs, men’s and women’s. You have girls high school hockey that’s just huge there. It’s tremendous.”
After unloading a lot of supporting data, Kelleher is quoted again: “Minnesota is the heartbeat.”
Yes, yes, thank you. We know that, but it is nice to be recognized.
But then Wyshynski goes a step further and tries to narrow it down to the center within the center. This part is far less scientific and perhaps more controversial to anyone who does not eat a significant amount of cake.
It is determined based on youth participation, overall success and famous alums — without even mentioning the Nanne family! — that Edina is the small dot inside the big dot.
“In the Twin Cities, it might be Edina,” said Tom Chorske, a Minneapolis-born former NHL player who’s now an analyst for Fox Sports North. “They win a lot at youth level and produce a lot of college players. A lot of Wild players live in Edina and their little kids are playing there.”
So there you have it: Edina, Minnesota. The center of the center of the hockey universe in the United States.
It should be noted that Chorske has a horse in the race. He has kids who played in the Edina system -- including daughter Hannah, who will represent Edina in the Class 2A state tournament starting Thursday.
You can read the entire piece here, and you can agree (or disagree) in the comments.