When you think of the prettiest pictures in hockey, a clean sheet of ice is up there. We’ve seen plenty of examples of NHL players complaining about the exact opposite – and not just in Brooklyn – but it sounds like the league is going to the players to try to solve this problem.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports that following each game, players will fill out forms reviewing ice conditions from each period.
It’s dubbed the NHLPA/NHL Playing Environment subcommittee, which gives off a bit of a “sandwich artist” vibe, but is still a sound idea.
The surveys are meant to provide NHL ice expert/Winter Classic ice surface wizard Dan Craig with information he can use to improve conditions. It’s worth noting that the league prompted teams to do a “better job” avoiding bad ice in late January.
Renaud Lavoie provides additional details in the Journal de Montreal (in French), including that all players will fill out the form. His report asserts that many believe that league scoring issues could be solved in part by improving ice quality, especially at struggling rinks.
Players have made the most noise lately about the playing surface for the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Still, it’s worth noting that a Red Wings – Hurricanes game was postponed due to issues and fans of teams like the Washington Capitals have become seasoned in complaints about their teams’ surfaces.
While it remains to be seen how much power the league has over improving ice conditions in places that are prone to issues – whether the factors are related to weather or arenas that were never intended to house NHL teams – asking the players makes a whole lot of sense.
Bonus points if this means fewer issues during the playoffs, when the fun – and heat – really ramps up anyway.