Of all the Southeast Division and “non-traditional” markets, the Washington Capitals might get the most abuse for having choppy ice. For a time, it flew in the face of the wide-open style they play; one can only imagine what the 2009-10 version of the team would have done on, say, Edmonton’s surface. Playing in borderline puddles sounds like something that would suit Dale Hunter’s hockey worldview just fine, but the Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno reports that the Verizon Center staff is doing whatever it can to avoid bad ice.
Most specifically, it means using “giant dehumidifiers” to combat the conditions, as Whyno captures in this photo:
That machine might as well gain the staff an alternate captain’s “A” for effort.
Here’s what the arena manager had to say about the machines.
“We decided because the weather’s been so wacky this year where we go from 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity to 40 degrees and threats and of frost, that we would be proactive and go ahead and get them for this round,” arena senior vice president and general manager Dave Touhey said. “It gives us one more tool to be able to control the climate.”
For more on the Capitals’ efforts, click here.
Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.
Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.
From the club:
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.
Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.
Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.
Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.
Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.
A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.
“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”
The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.
Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap