ESPN vendor inspection: Caps' Verizon Center dirtiest in NHL

verizoncenter.jpgIt’s always an “out of sight, out of mind” experience when you go to get your favorite food at the concession stand in your favorite NHL arena. You don’t think about where the food and drinks come from, and you just want to enjoy your hot dog and beer or soda in peace without putting too much thought into just how it ended up in your hands in the first place. ESPN released a report on an inspection of vendors across all four major sports that was conducted back in 2009 to see how up to code, health-wise, each stadium and arena was doing.

For some NHL fans, and Washington Capitals fans in particular, you might want to grab that beer and food somewhere else before or after the game instead. Be prepared, some of these descriptions are pretty stomach-turning.

Verizon Center
Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals
Vendors with critical violations: 100%

Inspection report excerpt: Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors.

Hang on a second while I vomit profusely.

To clarify what that 100% rating means, it means the number of vendors in violation of health requirements. While it doesn’t mean that all vendors at Verizon Center had mouse droppings (shudder) it does mean that each stand had something wrong going on there whether it was having vendors handling food with bare hands, having cleaning supplies too close to serving areas, or having food being served that was too cold.

Other arenas that didn’t fare well on the survey, here’s three terrifying examples.

St. Pete Times Forum
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vendors with critical violations: 88%

Inspection report excerpt: At one location with five critical violations, an inspector saw an employee handle dirty dishes and then put away clean dishes without washing his/her hands or changing gloves. The same location lacked soap at a hand sink.

Pepsi Center
Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche
Vendors with critical violations: 67%

Inspection report excerpt: At one bar, inspectors found phorid flies, sometimes called coffin flies, in a bottle of cognac.

Madison Square Garden
New York Knicks, New York Rangers
Vendors with critical violations: 61%

Inspection report excerpt: At one stand, inspectors found “53 mouse excreta” (38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit).

Not everything was doom and gloom on this report, there are some places that had exception scores. What may not be too surprising is that all arenas in Canada scored very well.  While this isn’t meant to be a completely damning report, you can certainly bet that Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis will certainly have the staff at Verizon Center buckling down. Bad PR like this doesn’t do anyone any favors and I know it would make me think really long and hard about whether or not I’d want to get anything in any of these arenas ever again.

Scroll Down For:

    Former first round pick Zach Boychuk signs in KHL

    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Zach Boychuk #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes heads back for the puck during the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on November 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Leave a comment

    After spending the past eight years moving around the NHL, Zach Boychuk is moving overseas.

    On Friday it was announced that the 27-year-old forward has signed a contract with HC Sibir of the KHL.

    Boychuk was a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2008 and has also spent time with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators in his career.

    He did not play in the NHL during the 2015-16 season, spending the year split between the Charlotte Checkers and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League.

    In 127 NHL games he has scored 12 goals and added 18 assists.

    Boychuk was in camp in September with the Arizona Coyotes on a tryout contract but did not make the team.

    Flyers’ Dale Weise suspended three games

    GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 15:  Dale Weise #22 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the NHL game against Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 15, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Flyers 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    The Philadelphia Flyers are going to be without forward Dale Weise for the next three games as a result of a suspension handed out by the NHL’s department of player safety on Friday evening.

    The league announced that Weise has been suspended due to an illegal check to the head of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer during their game in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

    Weise was not penalized for the hit.

    The incident happened midway through the second period of the Ducks’ 3-2 win, and came just as Holzer was skating with the puck in his own zone.

    Here is a look at the play, as well as the NHL’s explanation for the suspension.

    Holzer was not injured as a result of the hit.

    The Flyers have been hit hard by suspensions so far this season. They played the first three games of the season without forward Brayden Schenn as he served a suspension that carried over from the 2016 playoffs. Defenseman Radko Gudas is still sidelined as he serves a six-game suspension for a hit this preseason.

    Weise has yet to record a point in four games for the Flyers this season. He scored 14 goals and added 13 assists a year ago for the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks.

    This suspension will cost him $39,166.68 in salary.

    He will be eligible to return to the Flyers’ lineup on Oct. 27 when they host the Arizona Coyotes. He will miss games against Carolina, Montreal and Buffalo.

    Douglas Murray calls it a career


    One of the more unique blueliners in recent memory is hanging up his skates.

    Douglas Murray, the big-bodied Swedish rearguard that appeared in over 500 NHL contests, has decided to retire.

    “Thirty general managers do not want me,” Murray told Alftonbladet (translation per Yahoo). “I know that I can still play, but it’s over now.”

    Murray, 36, is best remembered for his time in San Jose, where he used his 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame to become one of the hardest hitters in the league.

    His best years came between 2009-11, when he helped the Sharks advance to a pair of Western Conference Finals, and represented Sweden at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

    Murray also spent time with Pittsburgh and Montreal, before joining German League side Kolner Haie in ’14-15. He also had a brief stint with the Calgary Flames, though things never progressed beyond the professional tryout stage.

    As mentioned above, Murray was a pretty interesting guy. A late bloomer, he was 25 upon making his NHL debut but quickly endeared himself to Shark fans.

    Ivy-league educated, Murray and friends also created a beer dispensing system called the UberTap while at Cornell University.

    A few years ago, Murray was rumored to be dating Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. Murray later shot down the reports, saying he and Nordegren were just friends.

    Goalie nods: Domingue has ‘got to play better’ for Coyotes tonight in Brooklyn

    Louis Domingue
    1 Comment

    Pressure’s on, Louis Domingue.

    Domingue, now Arizona’s No. 1 goalie with Mike Smith (lower body) shelved indefinitely, will get another chance to prove himself when the Coyotes visit the Isles at Barclays on Friday night.

    Things haven’t gone great for Domingue thus far.

    Since coming on in relief of Smith in Ottawa, the 24-year-old has allowed seven goals on 30 shots in just over 36 minutes of action — leaving him with a ghastly .767 save percentage and 11.35 GAA.

    (Not a typo. Eleven. Point. Three. Five.)

    “He’s gotta play better,” coach Dave Tippett said, per the Arizona Republic. “He’s gotta play better than these two games he’s played. We’ll give him another opportunity, and hopefully he responds.”

    The Coyotes haven’t provided a health update on Smith, who was flown back to Arizona earlier this week to be examined by team doctors. Justin Peters was recalled from the minors to serve as Domingue’s backup and looked sharp in relief of Domingue last night in Montreal, stopping 23 of 24 shots faced.

    As such, Domingue has plenty on the line tonight. Peters is a 30-year-old veteran with over 80 games of NHL experience, so the Coyotes could turn to him if Domingue struggle yet again.

    For the Isles, Jaroslav Halak gets the call in goal.


    Corey Crawford starts yet again for the Blackhawks, who are in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky will be in the opposing goal.

    Pekka Rinne, sporting a 2.04 GAA and .934 save percentage thus far, gets the nod as the Preds head to Detroit. Petr Mrazek will be in goal for the Red Wings, after Jimmy Howard played well in a Wednesday win over the Rangers.