ST. PAUL, Minn. — College hockey’s most prestigious award has a new home.
The Decathlon Athletic Club, which oversees the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey’s top player, has decided to move the trophy permanently from the Decathlon Hotel and Athletic Club in Bloomington, Minn., to the new Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The Xcel Energy Center is the current home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and the WCHA Final Five.
“This makes sense,” St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman said to the Associated Press. “There was a lot of discussion about, ‘do you bring the Hobey Baker into a building that houses a professional team?’ This is the right thing to do, because of this organization’s commitment to hockey.”
According to Hobey Baker Award co-chairman Jack Carlson, the decision to move the award and house it in St. Paul was made before the major fire that occured at the Decathlon Athletic Club in November. The award was not damaged in the blaze.
The Xcel Energy Center is also the new home of the Minnesota boys’ state high school hockey tournament, and will host the NCAA Frozen Four in 2002.
This year’s award winner will be announced Friday, April 6 at the NCAA Frozen Four in Albany, N.Y., and presented April 12 at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel in St. Paul.
The Hobey Baker Award has been presented annually since 1981. Finalists are now being chosen with the help of college hockey fans themselves, in on-line balloting.