When visitors walk up the stairs of the National Sports Center’s Super Rink, a black and white Pure Hockey logo appears on the staircase that leads to an overlook of rinks one through four. Outside the rink, the addition of a newly hung decal greets those coming to skating sessions, games and practice. This year, Pure Hockey became a sponsor of the Super Rink, reminding everyone that Pure Hockey, the #1 hockey retailer in the United States, is committed to serving the state of hockey and that the Super Rink is the perfect place to indulge in ice sports.
It seems like it was a no-brainer for Pure Hockey to become a sponsor of the Super Rink, a facility that draws more than 2.1 million visitors per year. Both Pure Hockey and the NSC Super Rink implement ice hockey incentive programs that introduce young people to the sport. Pure Hockey’s Little Wild Learn to Play Program gears up Minnesota children with all the required hockey equipment, includes four skating sessions and a ticket to a Minnesota Wild game. The Super Rink, similarly, works to introduce young people to ice skating through the Learn to Skate program that offers classes slotted for half-hour skating lessons with professional instructors who have expertise and extensive backgrounds in ice skating.
David Nectow, co-owner and president of Pure Hockey, saw the love his son had for the sport and decided to open his first store in 1994 in Charleston, Massachusetts. Nectow’s business has now flourished into one of the largest ice hockey retailers in the country and continues to grow.
One of Nectow’s newest retail stores happens to be located less than three blocks away from the Super Rink in a space that previously housed a different hockey store called Hockey Central. Hockey Central was owned by Blaine residents and National Sports Center employees Mike and Kathy Brodzinski until Pure Hockey acquired it this year. The Brodzinskis had been running Hockey Central for 13 years before the remodel took place, and Mike continues managing the store for Pure Hockey today.
“Pure Hockey is extremely happy and fortunate to be partners with the National Sports Center in Blaine. We watched the incredible activity at the Super Rink from afar for the past several years, and we’re very lucky to have met Mike Brodzinski, who had built up a great business across the street. The timing couldn’t have been better for the both of us,” Mentioned Nectow. “We’ve been extraordinarily impressed with everyone we’ve worked with at the NSC and are looking forward to a long-term partnership.”
Mike was okay with the transition of his store to Pure Hockey. He still has loyal Hockey Central customers that now shop at Pure Hockey, and inventory has never been higher.
In addition to managing Pure Hockey, Mike also runs a popular hockey program called the Brodzinski Shooting School. The school teaches proper shooting and stick-handling skills.
If the Brodzinski name sounds familiar, it’s because the family has been a part of the Minnesota hockey community for almost 50 years now. Kathy grew up in Blaine her entire life and works as the office administrator at the Super Rink. All four of Mike and Kathy’s kids have graduated through the Blaine Youth Hockey Association and were put to work at the hockey store.
In Fact, the Brodzinski’s impact on hockey runs deep. Mike remembers carrying the bricks alongside his dad and brothers that eventually built Fogerty Arena, Blaine’s first hockey arena.
Keeping the Brodzinski name associated with the new Pure Hockey store is vital to David Nectow. One of the most important parts of the Pure Hockey and Super Rink deal was that Mike agreed to stay on as store manager and become a part of the Pure Hockey team.
The hockey season never stops for most Pure Hockey customers, and having a hockey store so close to the Super Rink has proved to be more than convenient over the years. Players who stay in the dorms at the NSC can walk across the street to the store to shop in between time spent at the rink.
Both Pure Hockey and the Super Rink aim to grow the game of hockey. The next time you’re at the Super Rink, stop by Pure Hockey Blaine where you’ll most likely be greeted by Mike Brodzinski, who continues to equip hockey players from head to toe.
(In addition to Michael and Easton, Mike and Kathy have two other sons, Johnny and Bryce. Johnny plays in the NHL for the San Jose Sharks, and Bryce, the youngest of four brothers, was recently named the 35th annual Mr. Hockey Award winner, plays for the University of Minnesota and was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers).