On Friday, we asked fans to tell us why Grand Rapids and Traverse City were Hockeytowns. The following 50-75 word passages will be rewarded with a pair of tickets to that city’s respective Red & White games.
Why is Grand Rapids a Hockeytown? While I grew up watching Hockey Night in Canada in southwestern Ontario on Saturday evenings, my kids grew up in Grand Rapids, watching hockey on Saturday nights at the Van, catching today’s Griffins and tomorrow’s Red Wings. Grand Rapids also is where my kids learned to skate on Reeds Lake and backyard rinks. Simply put: Grand Rapids is where my kids fell in love with hockey, and I’ll forever be grateful to GR.
– Phil de Haan
“If one was to randomly find themselves walking about downtown Grand Rapids on any given Friday night, they would discover a city of people draped in navy, white, and red. The exception of anybody not wearing the colors of the Griffins will be draped in red and white hats, t-shirts, and fans using their jerseys as a billboard proudly showing their Griffins’ heritage with the names Hudler, Howard, Flippula. This is Grand Rapids, rightly known as “Hockeytown West.”
– Ryan Clark
I’ll try and keep this short and sweet because I’m sure you have read thousands of desperate pleas of incredible devotion to our hometown favorite hockey team. However, my story is not that of some astronomical obsession with the Wings. In fact, I don’t watch hockey. The true story is that of my roommate at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. I have never met a more dedicated, passionate, or annoying Red Wings fan. With the amount of information this kid retains about hockey history and the wings, it amazes me that he has the mental capacity to major in chemistry…and be good at it. The real objective of this letter is to get him out of the room so he can see his team behind mesh, and not a TV screen. And so I can have a night where I do not hear him bark at Sports Center for not covering more hockey games. Thank you for your time, and please make my roommates year with tickets to this hockey game. Oh ya, and Grand Rapids is definitely a hockey town.
People come from all over the world to visit Traverse City. They come to see our beaches and the clear blue water. Some come to see the Cherry trees or the grapes for our wines.
But what us locals look forward to each year, is when the Red Wings come to town. That means its Hockey time, in Hockeytown. Let Go Wings !!!!
– Don Frank
Traverse City is the perfect hockey town because we know how to show our Wings a good time. Not only do we provide them with all the ice time they need, we entertain them with golf, sailing, fishing, and great restaurants to dine at. We are respectful fans; we try to give them their space but still take any advantage to meet one of the stars of the ice. We are true Wing Nuts!
– Patty Hirst
You call Traverse City Hockeytown for its residents love of the game. I call Traverse City Hockeytown because of its diversity, just like our Detroit Red Wings. In each game, the Red Wings pull from the variety of strengths of the players. Traverse City has the same diversity it pulls from each year. From the winter snowmobiling, to the fall color tours along with swimming, boating, fishing, and golfing filling in the summer months.
– Mike Buchanan
Congrats to all of our winners!
- In other news, our organization would like to thank the 4,000 or so fans who joined us at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday for HockeyFest. The event was a major success and a tremendous way to kick off the 2011-12 season. We couldn’t have done it without you.
- Two signs that the new season is right around the corner? NHL preview magazines are on the shelves at your local Meijer and EA Sports NHL 12 comes out tomorrow.
- There was a beautiful story by Michael Rosenberg in Friday’s Free Press about Mike Babcock’s speech to the Livonia and Novi chambers of commerce and how it paid tribute to Ruslan Salei and Brad McCrimmon.
- Pavel Datsyuk chats with Dmitry Chesnokov about the tragic Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crash.