Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/06/09 at 11:23 AM ET
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
At training centres, fake ice is becoming popular. The Athletic Conditioning Centre, where several NHL Senators train in the summer, has recently installed a sheet of synthetic ice inside the Ben Franklin dome.
Public-private facilities (such as the Bell Sensplex), covered outdoor ice, warehouse ice, trumped up backyard rinks, rink-in-a-box facilities that can be assembled like an adult version of a child’s Leggo project: these are just some of the arena trends available to cities and private interests.
Dave Gagner played 15 NHL seasons with seven clubs, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Since retiring, Gagner has developed a niche business with Custom Ice Inc., a company he started in Burlington, Ont., nine years ago. Gagner also has a facility in Minnesota.
Though not as romantic as the image of Gordie Howe skating on a natural pond in rural Saskatchewan, Gagner’s rink business had the same idea in mind: a sheet of ice on which kids can skate and play at their convenience, whether in a backyard, park or studio.
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