BIRTHPLACE: Winnipeg, Canada
BORN: Sept. 28, 1898
DIED: May 24, 1963
TEAMS/ASSOCIATIONS: Minneapolis Arena, Minneapolis Millers
Lyle Wright was identified with organized hockey from the first moment it existed in Minneapolis and remined identified with it, in one capacity or another, until his death. Wright served in the Canadian artillery in World War I and moved to Minneapolis in 1919.
After four years of playing hockey, he brought the famed Ching Johnson from Eveleth to Minneapolis to play for the Minneapolis Millers. He managed the Millers, who played in the American Hockey Association, from 1928 until 1931, and then moved to Chicago to become business manager of the Blackhawks. He returned to Minneapolis in the early 1930s and remained there for the remainder of his life serving in varying capacities with the minneapolis Arena eventually attaining the office of the president.
Over the years of his affiliation with the Minneapolis Arena, he was involved with the minor-league professional Minneapolis Millers almost continuously during their existence. But the Millers were not his only hockey interest. It was at the Arena that University of minnesota hockey got its start, justifying the construction of a hockey arena on campus. It was also at the Arena that through Wright's cooperation high school hockey flourished to become a major high school sport.
Wright's friends described him as a "practical promoter, a man with bold ideas, and a skilled organizer." In hockey he was an advocate of more scoring, less padding for goalies, and the determination that Minneapolis was a major league town. He was instrumental in bringing the Millers such hockey greats as Tiny Thompson, Stew Adams, and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinee Taffy Abel. In addition to hockey, Wright was also involved in figure skating, the Ice Follies, and the Minneapolis Aquatennial.