Posted By: Christian Marin
When the Minnesota North Stars relocated to Dallas in 1993, Minnesota lost their beloved North Stars and was left with nothing but the memories from the 26 years that the team entertained the state for. With the North Stars no longer residing in Minnesota, the Minnesota North Stars Alumni Association became the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association to better reflect the backgrounds of the members, making the Alumni Association open to not only former North Stars, but to all hockey players who are from or played in Minnesota.
“When I came to the North Stars I was only 19,” said current president and former North Star Brad Maxwell. “We’d go out and do certain charity events that the North Stars would put on,“ he continued. “It was awesome because it’s always nice to give back which is why I’m doing this alumni stuff too, it is just kind of who I am.”
“I appreciate the people that came out and spent hard earned dollars to watch me play a game I like to play, so you’ve got to give back to them for the times they came out and participated for us, so we need to go out and help them out in return,” explained the Brandon, Manitoba native.
Although the team hasn’t been around for nearly 20 years, the North Stars and the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association continue to get sensational support from the old fans and the residents of Minnesota, despite now having the Minnesota Wild to call their own. The Alumni Association continues to raise money year after year for many various charities and youth hockey teams throughout Minnesota.
“Being a non-profit organization we don’t pay our alumni anything, they come out on their own to participate and give back,” Maxwell elucidated. “We give the money away at the end of the year, whether it be through a scholarship or local youth hockey,” he continued.
“We’re starting to look at different situations to participate in and get involved with around Minnesota. We’ve been kind of like a lost sheep since the North Stars left and went to Dallas,” he stated. “We are kind of affiliated with the Wild and were working on bettering that, but for an alumni that doesn’t really have a team, we do pretty well. We’ve raised over $400,000 that we’ve donated to different organizations at different times over the years.”
Already making such a positive impact in the hockey community and helping out as many local charities throughout Minnesota as they can, the Alumni Association is starting to focus on other ways to help out within the community to branch out to more people in Minnesota and want to incorporate the Minnesota Wild into their plans as much as possible.
“We’ve been more into the minor hockey side of things but now we want to take a look at a 30-day program here where they help people with their mortgage payments,” explained Maxwell.
“Sometimes people just need 30 days to get help to get them back on their feet so we want to look into that and get involved with that because we want to start branching out as an Alumni Association,” he proceeded.
“We’re also looking into working more with the Wild to set up more charity events and hospital visits, just things like that.”
Brad Maxwell took over for former NHL defenseman Tom Reid as the president of the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association and hopes to continue the success that the Alumni Association has accomplished over the years. With the improvement in technology, Maxwell does not take anything for granted and continues to praise Reid for what he accomplished without a lot of the things we have today that make our lives that much easier.
“I took over for Tom [Reid] who did this for twelve years and I still don’t know how he did it by himself,” expressed Maxwell. “Back in the day it was all phone calls and not a lot of Internet, but now we’re lucky enough to be able to use the Internet to email guys with current events that are coming up.”
“I love that the players donate their time and it’s really impressive that they don’t want to be paid, they just want to donate their time to help out.”
When the North Stars packed up their bags and relocated to Dallas, all of the memorabilia from the years of their existence was packed up and sent with the team to their new home. Maxwell’s biggest goal for himself as president is to bring the memorabilia back to Minnesota where it once called home.
“When the North Stars moved to Dallas in ’93 a lot of our memorabilia went with them and I think that I’m going to make it a personal deal for myself to retrieve some of that,” declared Maxwell. “I know that Dallas has a lot of it in their arena down there and I just don’t understand why they would want it since they are a team that has won a Stanley Cup and have their own identity.“
Whether or not the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association gets the memorabilia back, they will continue to move forward to find out more ways that they can be of some help to the people of Minnesota and continue to serve the community they’ve been supporting and has supported them for the last 25 years.
To learn more about the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association, visit http://mnnhlalumni.com/