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Fake Ice A Problem In Alberta Town

from Niall McKenna of CBC,

North America’s first NHL-sized synthetic ice rink appears to be a bust after officials were forced to remove the $550,000 surface due to unexpected cracks and bumps.

The Archie Simpson Arena in Fort Chipewyan, Alta., was outfitted in December 2010 with a plastic-based surface, which acts similar to real ice but requires no refrigeration.

At the time, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which owns the arena, said the surface would save money because maintenance costs are lower than artificially cooled ice.

Problems emerged when the synthetic surface was covered with natural ice, which local hockey players prefer for the months temperatures in the northern Alberta arena stay below zero.

“The ice began to buckle and in some places there were air pockets, and it was impossible for them to get a level sheet of natural ice on it,” local hockey player Darrel Laboucan told CBC News.


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MsRedWinger's avatar

Happy Thanksgiving, Paul!

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 11/24/11 at 01:20 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

How they thought putting ice on top of the surface in the first place was a good idea is beyond me….

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 11/24/11 at 04:35 PM ET

SYF's avatar

mrfluffy, the link to the rest of the article is missing.  Clicky.

Georges Laraque, a former NHL player and president of Super-Glide Canada which made the synthetic ice, said workers with the municipality neglected to apply the natural ice in layers, as they were instructed.

Former NHL forward George Laraque, who owns the company that installed the ice, said the municipality is to blame for its failure. Ryan Remiorz/Canadian PressThat caused water to seep between the sheets of synthetic ice and into the gravel foundation.

“This has nothing to do with the product, it has to do with bad luck. Somebody made a mistake,” Laraque said.

His company has installed more than 400 synthetic rinks worldwide and problems have been rare, he said.

Laraque added the company that installed the rink, Wilco Contractors, repaired it free of charge several times, but the municipality would now have to pay for a new foundation.

It seemed to me they were in a hurry to get the thing up before it was properly installed.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 11/24/11 at 05:22 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I still have yet to see an explanation as to why they put real ice on top of it in the first place…

Posted by Primis on 11/25/11 at 12:26 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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