From ESPN's Craig Custance:
Completion of the new arena going up in Edmonton is still more than 300 days away, but there's a level of activity going on right now that suggests opening night is barreling in frantically.
Everywhere you look, there is someone hard at work: a guy rolling paint on a wall, sparks flying as someone else works near a giant metal beam, guys spraying purple insulation on the outside, others muscling their way through a job with handsaws. A smashed can of drained energy drink lies on the floor, giving the impression that some arena construction worker downed it, smashed it and got back to work.
It's all starting to take shape at this mammoth, state-of-the-art arena.
"This is Peter's office," says a guide giving a tour of Rogers Place, the Edmonton Oilers future home starting next season, replacing the aged Rexall Place. "This is Todd's office."
The future workplace of Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Todd McLellan are nothing more than studded-out walls, but at this relentless construction pace, there will be drywall and family photos up before the tour is completed.
It's remarkable, really: the pace. The plans. The vision of Oilers owner Daryl Katz. The giant oval dressing room. The attached practice rink. The parking for players and staff that will go under the ice. The 25 acres of land in downtown Edmonton being transformed into the Ice District at just about the same time the team is supposed to be transformed from an annual loser into one that can do great things.
The off-ice plan looks flawless.