Kukla's Korner

KK Members Blog


Ovie yesterday astutely noted that the ice at MSG is bad.  That's pretty obvious and yet never discussed. 

The Rangers clearly have a big advantage on the perennial slush vs. the visitors.  Does the NHL actually regulate ice conditions?  What are the tolerances?  Do they allow for slushy conditions.

Granted, the venue in question is a center of many activities that tend to raise the temps, but this should not be an excuse for allowing the ice to deteriorate during an NHL game.

There definitely should be huge fines for failing to meet a minimum that is conducive to player health and parity.  Does anyone know if this regulated and, if so, how?

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+rangers, washington+capitals


Savage Henry's avatar

This has been a problem in several places around the league . . .


I’m not inclined to accept the excuse that conditions are difficult in a particular city or building.  Refrigeration and dehumidification are well-known processes.  If your ice is slushy, you need more HVAC hardware.  I’m constantly amazed that teams have $60M+ annual payrolls and yet are willing to put up with shitty ice because they don’t want to spend a fraction of that on HVAC.

Posted by Savage Henry on 05/12/13 at 12:50 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Some information (but with no reference) here: http://stayclassy.net/2009/03/01/nhl-ice-quality-regulations-and-excuses/

Posted by Savage Henry on 05/12/13 at 12:58 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

They just finished a several year refurb of MSG which no doubt. Cost upwards of $100 million, but most likely spent $0.00 on the ice plant and environmental controls.

When the Wings leave JLA for their new arena, gone will be the days of god ice in Detroit

Posted by Down River Dan on 05/12/13 at 02:18 PM ET

stibbens's avatar

Thank, SH, for the links and comment.  Good example of the hazards of bad ice.  The players association might raise the issue if they were concerned enough about health.  It’s not clear they are.

The technology is certainly available to address the basic issue.  What prevents the Rangers barn from being comparable to the Capital’s? 

Hockey is not meant for tropical or desert climates, but the powers that be insist upon it.  They should be obligated to maintain parity in these improbable venues.

Posted by stibbens on 05/12/13 at 02:39 PM ET

stibbens's avatar

DRD, I think the ice Ovie was talking about was ice that the Rangers insist upon.  It’s what they start with.  That’s what raises the question of what is allowed in the NHL, legally speaking.  Does the organization have any specifications for this?

Posted by stibbens on 05/12/13 at 02:55 PM ET


Down River Dan,
I am old enough to remember that when the Wings moved from Olympia to Joe Louis there were complaints in the early years that the ice was not as good. I imagine it took a year or two to learn how to get the new building and ice plant working effectively. I have no doubt when the Wings move Al Sobotka and his crew will quickly have the new ice surface in shape.

Posted by mc keeper on 05/12/13 at 02:57 PM ET

stibbens's avatar

SK, it is always bad there.  It’s not an excuse, in any event.

Posted by stibbens on 05/12/13 at 03:00 PM ET


With proper dehumidifiers, air lock entrances, and temperature control you can have decent ice anywhere. Phoenix cools the arena down into the 60’s on 100 degree days in the desert. It is so cold in the arena you need to wear a coat during the game. There is no excuse for MSG.

Posted by timbits on 05/12/13 at 03:03 PM ET

stibbens's avatar

Timbits, that’s sayin’ summick!

Posted by stibbens on 05/12/13 at 03:24 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About KK Members Blog

If you want to be a hockey writer, be our special guest!

We’re giving the KK community a chance to add their two-bits. Sign up to be a KK member, write your piece, and be heard right here on one of the Internet’s most visited hockey news websites.


How to Post

More details here. But basically, just use the posting page to write anything you like on what's going on in the hockey news or your analysis of the NHL and your favorite team.

We only ask that you avoid profanity, and that you're careful to credit your sources -- news media or other bloggers -- and provide links to those other sites when appropriate.

Need help? Check out our help page.