Tag: Dan Craig


Could the owner of the gray Ford Escape with Jersey plates please move your vehicle? You’re ruining the Winter Classic

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Today, NHL ice guru Dan Craig and his 53-foot refrigeration truck arrived at Citizens Bank Park in Philly, ready to begin building the rink for the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic.

Just one problem — this guy stole his parking spot:

Dan Rosen of NHL.com explained that nobody knew who the Ford Escape belonged to or why it was parked illegally (when the cops ran the plates, it came up as unregistered), but people around the ballpark were saying it had been there since early in the morning.

Flyers’ letter to season ticket holders confirms 2012 Winter Classic

Darroll Powe

On a rough day like this, it’s nice to think about a day that’s regularly been a joyous occasion for the NHL and hockey fans in general. The Winter Classic has been a marquee event for four years running and rumors that the Philadelphia Flyers would host the New York Rangers in the 2012 edition have been around for quite some time.

While it didn’t confirm that the event will take place at Citizens Bank Park, CSNPhilly.com’s Sarah Baicker reveals that the Flyers backed up the rumors that they will host the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic on January 2 via a letter to their season ticket holders.

A letter to season ticket holders included the following note:

“The Flyers will host the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic! You will notice that only 43 games are included in your ticket and parking book(s). Winter Classic tickets are not a part of your 2011-12 season ticket package. However, all full season ticket holders will have the ability to purchase up to same number of Winter Classic Packages as 2011-12 full season seats you own.”

Baicker points out that Citizens Bank Park is still the logical locale because the Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled to host the Washington Redskins during a game on New Year’s Day. (Even an ice guru like Dan Craig couldn’t reasonably be expected to get the ice ready for the next Winter Classic in a day.)

It might take time for other details of the 2012 Winter Classic to trickle in, so PHT will make sure to keep you updated as different aspects are made official.

Could weather concerns force the NHL to postpone the Heritage Classic?


It wouldn’t be an outdoor game in 2011 if we didn’t have concerns about the weather. In Pittsburgh, there were problems with rain that pushed the game from an afternoon start to the evening. In Calgary, the question isn’t rain. It’s that is just too freaking cold for the ice to stand up to the abuse of a hockey game. Who knew that moisture and cold temperatures could be a bad thing for ice?

On the eve of the Heritage Classic, we’re sitting here with a good news/bad news situation (depending on who you’re talking to). For the optimists, look no further than the players who practiced on the ice in the morning. Both the Habs and the hometown Flames participated in 1-hour practice sessions to test out the ice and the elements. Once they stepped off the ice, one of the first questions asked was, “How are the ice conditions?” Thankfully, the players are saying the right things.

Flames center Olli Jokinen pretty much summed up most of the players assessments when he said, “The ice was great. No complaints.” But he wasn’t alone in his optimism. Steve Staios played in the Heritage Classic back in 2003 when he was a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Back then, the cold weather was also the big concern and ended up being a problem. For a man who has experience playing in these conditions, he doesn’t sound very concerned:

“This is much better. It’s a lot better. There are a few areas where it chipped up and in ’03 there were a lot of areas like that. We were on it for as long as we were and I know they can do things between TV timeouts to patch it up and also in between periods.”

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows up in Calgary. Former NHL goaltender and current CBC broadcaster Glenn Healy was less than complimentary when he spoke of the ice conditions in McMahon Stadium:

“There’s no question that the ice for the alumni game was dangerous and was unsafe. It wasn’t one spot; it was in a couple of hundred spots.”


What a killjoy.

What we know is that the NHLPA has been in contact with the league about the ice conditions. The story as of tonight is that they’ll go out and reassess the ice tomorrow morning and start making decisions. In the event that the Heritage Classic had to be postponed due to unplayable ice conditions, the event would be moved to Monday.

The good news is there will be a lot less usage tomorrow than there was today. There were two practices, a public-type skate, and an alumni game on the ice surface today. All things told, they had about six hours of total usage throughout the day. Considering the worst thing for ice in these conditions is over usage, that shouldn’t be a problem tomorrow. The only thing planned for the ice surface tomorrow is some TLC from NHL ice guru Dan Craig and the hockey game. Speaking of Craig, he doesn’t seem too worried either:

“Our first skate was pretty good. Our second skate was probably a little chunky,” Craig said. “It’s still very cold out there. It tightened up that top surface so it got a little flaky, but other than that, I think we’ll be good. We just have a few things to do tonight and we’ll be ready to go.”


For the record, Sunday’s forecast in Calgary is 16 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 Celsius for our Canadian readers). The forecast calls for colder conditions than previously expected and is about 16 degrees below optimal conditions for an ice sheet. But as Staios said, there are things they can do during the intermissions and TV timeouts that can pacify the haters.

After listening to the players, announcers, and participants of the alumni game, the sun could be a bigger problem at the beginning of the game as it sets and creates a reflection off the ice. But I don’t think Dan Craig is going to be able to do anything about that.