ST. PAUL (AP) - A Minnesota lawmaker wants to make sure the Minnesota-North Dakota men's college hockey rivalry continues after the Gophers leave the WCHA.

Rep. Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley, introduced a bill Thursday that would pay the University of Minnesota $800,000 in any year that Minnesota plays North Dakota at least once. It wouldn't matter which team wins.

Winkler says his bill is a little bit in jest. But he points out he's on a higher education committee with jurisdiction over university funding.

Minnesota is leaving the WCHA to join the Big Ten's new hockey league while North Dakota is joining the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. They won't play again in the regular season for at least two years.

Winkler says that's no reason to end one of the great rivalries in college hockey.