NHL ice guru Dan Craig on what to expect at Dodger Stadium

More comments from the NHL press event held at Dodger Stadium on Monday afternoon. Here’s what NHL ice guru Dan Craig had to share…

On the difficulties of the LA weather:

“That’s why we have the trailer that we have. It’s a special engineered trailer, especially engineered for. This is a brand new truck. It was built specifically for this. As you can tell by today, we’re about 15 degrees warmer than an average. So, when we started this venture, we were looking at mid-60’s, high 60’s at the warmest and now here we are in the 80’s. So it’s a matter of letting mother nature help you and not work during the day. When the sun goes down, 10 or 12 degrees drops right  out of the air right away. We’re probably not going to start working until about seven o’clock at night and work until seven in the morning.”

On if he ever thought he would have to face the challenge of putting down an ice rink in LA:

“No, never- and that’s the thing, we didn’t even envision going outdoors. Even though growing up in Northern Alberta, we did outdoor rinks all the time. My kids grew up on outdoor rinks that I grew for them, but you never envisioned that you’d have a professional game outdoors.”

On seeing the growth of hockey:

“I’ve been on this crew now since 2005-2006, and every time we start our event, we always look at each other and kinda go, ‘one more chapter. Nobody would ever have dreamed that we were doing this.'”

On the difference in preparing for this outdoor game compared to the one in Pittsburgh:

“It is but it isn’t. In Pittsburgh, we knew that the rain was coming, so we had two or three days to prepare for it. One of the things that we’re going to do here, we have ourselves an extra day. We are hooking up and we’re putting our glycol in Wednesday morning at 6:30 in the morning. We’re going to let the truck run all day and really monitor the truck and idle the truck to see what the truck will do, even without covering the floor. Just see what this new machine will do for us. Then when the sun goes down, we lose 10, 12, even 15 degrees right out of the air right away. That’s when we know that we’re going to be in good shape. Just let the truck do what it’s supposed to do during the day.”

On what worries him about the game:

“Perfection. Perfection. This is an NHL game, two points on the table. Especially with clubs like this. These guys are going to be battling for first overall. It’s not that they’re battling for a playoff spot- they’re going to be in the playoffs. They don’t want ot lose these two points and I don’t want in anyway have our conditions dictate how they play the game.”

On if he was amazed of the Kings’ outdoor game in Las Vegas in 1991:

“Yes, totally amazed but at the same time, that was an exhibition game. Like I can play an exhibition game here tomorrow. I can put water down and away we go. I’ll put a cone out and we will skate around and tell the guys, ‘don’t worry about it.’ But this is an NHL game. I don’t want one player worrying about where his skate is going, how the puck is moving, not one thing. That is my crew’s goal. We are perfectionists.”

PAIR OF MUST-READ ARTICLES:

Robitaille on having Gretzky involved in LA’s outdoor game

Doughty and Penner bring the jokes to outdoor game presser

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