November 3, 2006
He was spotted in training camp on the 31st.
August 28, 2006
The 13th series of McFarlane’s NHL figures is due out in October. Included in this series are Alexandre Ovechkin, Bryan McCabe, Alex Tanguay, Joe Thornton, and two that I’d love to get: Dany Heatley and Henrik Lundqvist. If you’ve never seen these figures before, check them out. The detail is amazing and my kids love them.
August 1, 2006
You know you’re a hockey dad when your wife sends you emails like this:
Hi Honey. In case I forget to tell you, can you please take the tomatoes out of the hockey table. Ben put them in for pucks!
That’s my boy! He and his brother had actually scored three goals with the small tomatos in our dome hockey table before they were caught. Fortunately, I was able to extract them without breaking them open.
March 7, 2006
I think this photo of Ethan with Jeff Glass from the post game skate with the Senators on Sunday might be my favorite. Ethan has been all about goalies lately so I can just see a thought bubble with this picture saying “Nice pads!”
January 29, 2006
It has been a strange winter so far in central NY. It started with a snow storm and an early deep freeze, but has been followed by several warm spells that were interspersed with single digit temps. Just yesterday we were back in the single digits, but tomorrow it is supposed to be upper 40s. These warm spells have meant more rain than snow this year, but through it all my rink has held up suprisingly well.
I see two keys to my success. First, the rain filled my rink almost to the top and the first deep freeze left me a thick 6″ base. The worst the warm spells could do was reduce my base to a 3 inch ice berg, but when the temps dropped again it quickly froze solid again.
Second, my rink is located on the north side of my house and is enclosed in shadow almost all day long. The shade protects it from the sun on those unseasonably warm days and help it freeze quicker when mother nature cooperates.
In the future I want to expand the rink which will mean exposing it to the sun. To deal with this I plan on replacing my 2 x 8 frame with 2 x 10 or 2 x 12 so I can have an even thicker ice base. I also want to add 3-4 foot side boards. These will not only keep pucks (and toddlers) in the rink, but also provide additional shade. The only downside will be getting the snow out of the rink. Hmmm…maybe the taller boards will wait until my boys are old enough to shovel the rink themselves…
December 26, 2005
I’ve mentioned that this is my second year with an ice rink. Most of the advice I’m dishing out on building a backyard rink is based on things I did wrong last year. Some might say the first thing I did wrong was building a rink at all since my yard is not level at all. I had to build a huge frame and then get 80 tons of fill delivered in order to create a spot level enough for my 24 x 24 rink. Here’s the framing:
How did I move 80 tons of fill? I rented a bobcat of course, but thats a story for another post.
December 23, 2005
I’m not an expert at backyard ice rinks, but last year I made a lot of mistakes and I figured I’d pass along what I learned.
Here are my top ten backyard ice rink mistakes:
1) Using 2 Tarps - I tried to go with a 24 x 24 rink and using 20 ft plastic sheeting. I bought some adhesive and tried gluing the pieces together, but it was a disaster. Even if I HAD bought the correct glue (the stuff I got did not stick to the plastic), I had a helluva time keeping the plastic on the ground. The slightest breeze messed it all up. So I decided to lay down the plastic with a nice 10 ft overlap. No good…the water kept leaking out and creating ’shell ice’. What a nightmare. Note: Two tarps might work with the correct adhesive and duct tape. If you’ve gotten it to work, let me know what you used.
2) Adding water from the hose - That water from the hose may feel cold on your skin, but it is much warmer than your ice. Just putting the hose in your rink to try and build layers is asking for trouble. The water will melt a hole and the warm water will find its way to the bottom. Worse yet, after it melts under your ice it will leave air pockets and create, you guessed it, shell ice.
3) Leaving the hose outside - Yeah, a no brainer, but who knew what a royal pain in the ass it is to thaw out a 20 foot section of hose! My solution…put the hose in a rubbermaid to make carting it in and out easier and with no drips on the floor.
4) Using a sprinkler - Seems like a nice even distribution of water when you’re trying to dodge the water, but on the ice it just melted lines and made a rough surface to skate on.
5) Leaving a running hose on the ice - Seems innocent enough, but you’ll be amazed how fast the how will start melting into your ice. It is cool in a Mr Wizard kind of way, but the rut it leaves will give someone a nice toe pick.
6) Dumping garbage cans of water to build ice - Seemed like a good idea and I know it can work, but the sudden dumping of warm water will crack the ice thus giving it an opening to seep underneath and create more shell ice.
7) Leaves - I didn’t think much of the leaves that blew onto the rink. Well, I didn’t think much of them until the next sunny day when the leaves had magically sunk an inch into the ice and left some nice holes. Dark colors + sunlight can do bad things to your rink.
Branches - Make sure you rake the yard well before you put your liner down. I had to do a quick patch with duct tape when a branch poked through my liner as I was filling it this fall. The duct tape worked well, though!
9) Shovel - You might get away with leaving an inch of snow on your driveway, but if you walk on your rink after a light dusting you’re going to end up with frozen footprints to skate on.
10) Ow, my back! - Another reason why I went from a 24 x 24 rink to a 16 x 24 was the snow clearing. A large rink is like adding a second driveway to shovel…except this one is covered in ice! Maybe next year I’ll build a ramp for the snow blower.
There you have it. Hopefully this list will prevent someone else from repeating my mistakes. If you have one to add, post it in the comments.
December 17, 2005
My oldest son is turning into a real rink rat. We sit close to the visitor locker room so we’ve been going down before periods start so he can get a few high fives. The hockey players are very cool about it, but last night Matt Keith was the first one out and he had some fun playing with Ethan.
If you ever bring your young hockey fan to a game, I highly recommend bringing the down to either the home or visitor locker room for getting a few high fives. Some players are focused on the game and don’t pay attention to the kids, but many will put a glove or stick out. The nice thing about going to the visitor locker room is that there is no one there, at least at our arena. The home side is often to crowded for a 3 year old.
And if any Norfolk fans find this, you’re players were one of the best teams we’ve seen yet for interacting with the little fans on their way out from the locker room.
December 12, 2005
Fenton Ice Palace is looking good this year. Got it shoveled off and put the nets out, but ice started cracking before we could drop the puck. Going to need a couple more days to finish freezing.
December 1, 2005
I joked with my coworkers about ice rink becoming a goldfish pond. Well, no goldfish yet, but I did fish a few of these guys out.
All the research I did on building a backyard rink and none of them mentioned salamander invasion!