Hockey is more than a game. It's a part of life. It embodies who we are - capturing our passion, our commitment and our joy.
When Bob Utecht, a newspaper man, sports promoter, emcee and radio announcer whose career spanned more than 60 years, took the job of rink announcer he made his mark on hockey forever.
Early on, the colorful Utecht began preparing fans at the Metropolitan Sports Center for the dropping of the first puck by announcing in his laconic way: “Let’s play hockey.”
Standing spectators line the rink, holding beverages with gloved hands. Fans wearing jerseys signed by their favorite players cheer, stomp their feet in unison, and ring cowbells. And you know the game is underway when the announcer’s call of “Let’s play hockey” is followed by the sound of skates cutting across the ice.
The NHL’s Wild still begin their home games at the Xcel Energy Center by having someone make the “Let’s play hockey” call.