Hey all. My name is Hailey Eidenschink, I’m the program coordinator at the St. Louis County Depot, and for the past several weeks I’ve been developing a pop-up exhibit on Minnesota hockey.
My community didn’t have a hockey program and I would never describe myself as a sports fan. But it turns out those things aren’t required to love hockey. I was born during the dark age between Minnesota’s NHL franchises and during one of those early Minnesota Wild game broadcasts, I remember sitting with my father as he explained basic rules. He told me about how the team that he had grown up watching had been bought and moved to Texas, and how the Wild were brand new. What I recall the most vividly from those memories is feeling my dad’s excitement, and now as an adult, I know that it’s because he was excited to share this new team with me and my sister.
The goal of this exhibit was to try to explain why so many people feel so connected to hockey, and why Minnesotans take such pride in being associated with the sport. I’ve never played a single second of hockey, but the game makes me feel nostalgic in a way that is extremely difficult to express. I’m a particularly sentimental person (probably why I’m such a big museum geek) but I know that many folks feel similarly emotionally connected to hockey. The cultural impact that this game has had across Minnesota is undeniable, and its importance is felt particularly strong here in St. Louis County.
I hope that this exhibit can capture just a little bit of the magic of Minnesota Hockey, and to all of you non-Minnesotan’s, I hope that it can help you make sense of all us crazy folks up north.