Blaine, Minn. (June 14, 2014) – The Herb Brooks Foundation’s annual Golf Classic was held at the Victory Links Golf Course on the campus of the National Sports Center in Blaine, June 13. Proceeds raised by the tournament will support the Foundation’s mission to grow the game of hockey. A total of 135 golfers participated in this year’s event.
St Cloud State's Hobie Baker Award nominee Jonny Brodzinski and his father Mike at the HBF banquet following the golf tournament.
The event was a who’s-who of American hockey. Some of the hockey celebrities who participated included 1980 Olympians Dave Christian and Rob McClanahan, Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo and general manager Chuck Fletcher, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy, New Jersey Devils forward Ryan Carter, Colorado Avalanche forward Brad Malone, New York Islanders center Anders Less, St. Cloud State Hobie Baker Award nominee Jonny Brodzinski, Colorado College forward Sam Rothstein, Gopher defenseman Brady Skjei, 2007 Hobie Baker Award winner Ryan Duncan of the University of North Dakota, former Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School star Grant Besse, and retired stars Brian Bonin, Joe Dziedzic, Phil Housley, Pat Micheletti and Brian Lawton.
Micheletti also served as the co-MC of the banquet program along with Herb Brooks’ son Dan Brooks.
HBF Hall of Fame honoree Chuck Grillo, center, with Pat Micheletti, left, and Dan Brooks.
The centerpiece of the banquet was the induction of this year’s addition to the Herb Brooks Foundation Youth Hockey Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors those individuals who have significantly contributed to growing the game of hockey, the mission of the Herb Brooks Foundation.
The 2014 honoree was Chuck Grillo. For 50 years, the Hibbing, Minn. native has put his stamp on all levels of hockey, from youth up through the National Hockey League. The Hibbing High School and University of Minnesota-Duluth graduate was a pioneering Minnesota high school coach, in both hockey and baseball. At Bemidji High School, he took his hockey team to the state tournament four times and the baseball team to state seven times, including one state title. Following his stint up north, he moved to the Twin Cities, where he built the Rosemount High School hockey program from 1976-1980.
Grillo went on to be an NHL scout with the Rangers, North Stars, Penguins and eventually rose to become the general manager of the San Jose Sharks from 1992-1996.
In Minnesota however, Grillo is best known for his influence on youth hockey. As the creator and still owner-operator of the Minnesota Hockey Camps, a summer youth hockey camp based in Nisswa, Minn., Grillo has tutored young players in hockey skills, life lessons and the value of being a good teammate. From its creation in 1976 through the present, over 35,000 kids have come through the Minnesota Hockey Camps program.
“I owe my life in hockey to 16, 17 and 18 year old kids,” said Grillo, during his acceptance speech at the Herb Brooks Foundation banquet Friday evening.
Past inductees into the Herb Brooks Foundation Youth Hockey Hall of Fame have been Janet Marvin; Jim McDonough; Cal, Tut and Jack Marvin; Rudy Krampotich; Stan Hubbard and Wes Barette and Larry Hendrickson.
With a score of 51, the golf title went to the team of Rick Copeland, Chuck Grillo, Dino Grillo, Lou Schaefer and their celebrity player, Brad Malone. Grabbing second place with a score of 53 was the team of Jon Stoebe, Stefan Stoebe, Brent Johnson, Jack Brandes and their celebrity player Jonny Brodzinski. Slotting in for third place was the team of Peter Barsness, Keith LeBlanc Ross Bernstein, Murray Rudisill, with the celebrity player Brady Skjei.
The major sponsors of the 2014 Herb Brooks Foundation’s Golf Classic were Morrie’s Automotive Group, RBC Wealth Management, Total Hockey, Craig Hallum, FHIT Players, Minnesota Wild, Dave’s Sport Shop, The Butzow Foundation, ASPIRE Beverages, JB Hudson Jewelers, Victory Links golf course, National Hockey League Players Association, and Hockey Central.