Minnesota Wild Deaf/Hard of Hearing Hockey program will be the first at a state affiliate level in the USA

Inaugural season will be launched on Sept. 24 in St. Louis Park

Minnesota Wild Deaf-Hard of Hearing Hockey.jpeg

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Hockey, in partnership with the Minnesota Wild, announced that it will be launching a new diversified hockey program for players in Minnesota with hearing loss. The Minnesota Wild Deaf/Hard of Hearing Hockey program will kick off its inaugural season with an event on Sept. 24 at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.

While official Deaf/HOH competitions feature a lighting system that is used in place of whistles, the games are played with standard playing rules and have minimal modifications. Many participants in Deaf/Hard of Hearing hockey compete on local association, high school or even college teams. Nonverbal communication plays a critical role in the instruction of these athletes as many utilize sign language, lip reading, hearing aids, or interpreters on the bench to ensure understanding of instruction.

“We are really excited to be part of this amazing initiative,” said Raimondo Fusco, president of Minnesota Wild Deaf/HOH Hockey, in a news release. “The Minnesota Wild Deaf/HOH program will provide a great platform for the incredibly talented players in this community, from all backgrounds and abilities, to showcase their skills and continuing living life to the fullest.”
Minnesota’s Deaf/HOH hockey team will be the first at a state affiliate level in the United States. USA Hockey and the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association (AHIHA) have fielded teams in the Deaflympics since 1991, including gold medals in 1995, 2007 and 2019.

“Minnesota Hockey is excited to welcome the players of the Minnesota Wild Deaf//HOH program into our hockey family,” Minnesota Hockey President Steve Oleheiser said in a news release. “We’re proud to be a leader in Diversified Hockey, and with the start of this deaf/hard of hearing program, Minnesota Hockey takes another step toward our goal of ensuring hockey truly is for everyone.”

Minnesota Wild Deaf/HOH Hockey's founding sponsors are the Hendrickson Foundation, Minnesota Hockey, Minnesota Wild and Miracle-Ear.


For more information on Deaf/HOH hockey or to register, visit .

Minnesota Diversified Hockey is the largest hockey program for players with disabilities in the country. Minnesota Diversified Hockey provides five disciplines of hockey opportunities for kids and adults in Minnesota including Blind, Deaf/HOH, Special Hockey, Sled Hockey and the Minnesota Warriors.

Players from across the state traveled to Pennsylvania to compete against other special hockey teams from around the country.
The Minnesota Warriors hockey program provides a team for wounded, injured or disabled veterans.

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014.
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