The city held a ceremony at Happy Acres Park to honor Buth for his service and his retirement. He was the city’s longest-serving employee and worked in the public works department. Part of the responsibility of the department is to build and maintain the hockey rinks. The rinks at Happy Acres Park will now bear his name.
“Mike is a perfectionist,” said Blaine Parks and Rec Manager Jerome Krieger. “There was always something we got to tweak to make it look like the XCel Energy Center.”
Buth is a hockey lover, and over the years collected hockey pucks that players had hit over the boards and lost. Some were signed by professionals, including former NHLer Gordie Roberts and former Vikings great Randall McDaniel.
He explained his secret to maintaining the perfect sheet of ice:
“When we get (the hockey rinks), they’re just on grass, and I said there’s got to be a better way to save on water. Why don’t we asphalt it?” said Buth. “(The city) talked about it and finally said, ‘Let’s do it.’ I’m still hoping to get that fourth rink (at Happy Acres Park).”
Buth said a lot of people are incredulous about how long he worked for the city.
“I enjoyed it,” said Buth. “I mean, I grew up in Blaine.”
He retired earlier this year.