Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/25/14 at 09:37 AM ET
from Mike Wagner of the Columbus Dispatch,
The sound of the steel-edged tool chiseling into a small buildup of ice echoes through an empty and dim Nationwide Arena about three hours after a tough shootout loss for the Blue Jackets.
It takes 27 slashes before Ian Huffman is satisfied that he has restored a small patch of the rink to perfection.
It had been 19 hours since the head ice technician entered the arena to prepare the surface for the Jackets’ March 13 game against the San Jose Sharks.
During that time, he had made 16 Zamboni runs; incessantly checked computers and equipment that monitor air temperature and humidity; filed a pile of condition reports; edged the perimeter of the ice by hand a half-dozen times; managed his 15 staff members before and during the game; and consumed more cups of coffee than a truck driver on a cross-country trip.
“There isn’t a single detail he misses, and that’s one reason Ian is one of the best in the world at what he does,” said Dan Craig, the National Hockey League’s senior director of facility operations.
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