St. Paul, MN – September 17, 2013 – The Minnesota Sled Hockey Association (MSHA) today announced a partnership with the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild. The agreement establishes MSHA as the official sled hockey program of the Minnesota Wild.
The Minnesota Sled Hockey teams, formerly known as the Minnesota Northern (adult) and Minnesota Ice Hawks (youth) will adopt the Minnesota Wild name, logo and jerseys for all competitive events.
“We are so thankful for the support of such a tremendous organization,” said Judd Yaeger, President of MSHA. “We are very excited not only about the opportunities this will provide our current players but how this partnership will assist us in providing even more people the chance to participate in hockey.”
The affiliation with the Minnesota Wild represents a major milestone for current and future sled hockey players in Minnesota, as it will allow them to compete in the annual USA Hockey Sled Classic. Presented by the NHL and its member clubs, the Sled Classic is a premier event for sled hockey players across the nation that requires all participants to be affiliated with an NHL team.
“Programs for disabled hockey and sled hockey have been steadily growing in Minnesota and across the country in the past five years,” said Minnesota Wild Vice President of Brand Content and Communications John Maher. “The Wild organization believes that Hockey Is For Everybody, and is proud to support these efforts and the leadership that Minnesota Hockey has shown in making our game more accessible.”
The Minnesota Wild has been supporting Minnesota Disabled Hockey for several years through its Disabled Hockey Night. The preseason game provides members from each of Minnesota’s Disabled Hockey programs the opportunity to take part in activities such as being the flag bearer and skating during intermissions. This year’s event will take place on Wednesday, September 25th as the Minnesota Wild take on the St. Louis Blues in their final preseason game at the Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota Sled Hockey Association provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in hockey and promotes the development of excellence in hockey in Minnesota. MSHA is open to players ages five and above with physical and/or cognitive disabilities.
Minnesota Disabled Hockey provides sled hockey for those with physical disabilities, special hockey for those with developmental disabilities, and a Warriors program for injured veterans. As an affiliate of Minnesota Hockey, Minnesota Disabled Hockey is the largest hockey program for kids with disabilities in the country, growing from 20 players to over 220 participants in just eight years.