OPINION

Times Editorial: A couple of thoughts on a couple things

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    Two topics on the table today that shouldn’t be allowed to collect dust...

    • Speaking of dust, there’s another “d” word that began making the rounds around these parts before our excessively mild and dry winter even started to wane: Drought.

    It seems weird, what with the record wet 2019 fall and the snow-laden winters we’ve experience in recent years, to talk about drought, but it’s a legitimate concern because of the winter we’ve just experienced. For many, as far as snowfall and temperatures go, it was about as pleasant a winter they can recall.

    But the result was a spring melt and runoff that were basically non-events.

    We’ve gotten some welcome rain over the past few days, and this week looks like it’ll bring some more precipitation, but we need a drenching. With the persistent high winds we’ve dealt with late this winter and into spring, we can’t have the topsoil on our incredibly flat fields simply blowing away.

    April showers? Yes, bring them on. The May flowers that are said to follow are certainly welcome as well.

    • It’s always a cool moment when a National Hockey League player scores his first goal. It’s even better when the player is not some top-notch prospect who’s been coddled his whole life and was selected in the NHL draft lottery.

    Which brings us to Luke Johnson, a Grand Forks native and UND hockey alum. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, and this year he’s found his way onto the Minnesota Wild’s “taxi squad,” where, in this season impacted by the pandemic, teams can keep a handful of minor league/fringe NHLers around for practice and on standby in case COVID or other injuries strike and some taxi squad players are needed in a pinch.

    Johnson earlier this season was summoned for a fill-in role with the Wild, and he’s made the most of it. Last week, eight years after being drafted, he scored his first NHL goal against the mighty Colorado Avalanche, off a beautiful feed from another Wild taxi-squad player, former Minnesota Gopher Kyle Rau.

    The smile on Johnson’s face as his linemates skated over to congratulate him made it obvious what the moment meant to him.

    Oh, and did we mention that Johnson is the son of Steve Johnson, head coach of UMN Crookston’s club hockey team, which just came off a successful inaugural season and now has a conference to call its own? And did we also mention that Steve Johnson and other members of Luke’s family were among the 3,000 fans now allowed to watch Wild games in-person at Xcel Energy Center?

    Yes, it was a cool moment, indeed.

– Mike Christopherson