Hockey Enthusiasts Hope To Create Junior League Team In Duluth

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2010 Updated May 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM CDT

The Northland is nuts for hockey and has produced several players that have made it to the pro's.

A retired pro in Duluth thinks even more kids could have that chance if a new hockey league comes to town.

Dave Anderson shares his plans.

Butch Williams started his life on skates playing youth hockey in Duluth.
That led to an NHL career in the 1970's.

"Played with the Blues, the old California Seals franchise and the Oilers."

One thing Butch didn't do, though, was play junior hockey in the Northland.

He had to go to Canada for that.

Junior hockey is for players between ages 16 and 20.

"Primarily kids that have graduated from high school. They're looking for a Division 1 of Division 3 college scholarship. They need to hone their skills and this would be a perfect vehicle to do that."

The vehicle Williams is talking about is a plan to expand the Superior International Junior Hockey League to Duluth.

On Sunday, people interested in starting a team met at the Heritage Sports Center to gauge interest.

The commissioner of the Canadian League thinks a Duluth team based at Heritage would be a perfect fit.

"I think it's fantastic. I toured it with Butch and watched some games. It's a great place."

Duluth hockey supporters and league representatives hope to have a plan and proposal ready by June.

Old pro Williams feels the team will open more chances for Northland youth to play college and even professional hockey.

"We hope to bring the excitement of that age group to Duluth and we think we can develop and nurture these players."

Spooner Wisconsin is also looking into starting a team in the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

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