PITTSBURGH -- It was a white Christmas morning in Pittsburgh, but all that meant for the guys here was added labor.
Snow fell overnight and there was about an inch covering the ice pans, so the shovels and brooms had to be used to clear that off so the boys could get back to work. Fortunately it was so light and so little that it didn't require much effort.
They're still running some brooms across the rink just to be sure, but pretty much all of the snow and slush is cleared off now and the boys are hard at work putting up dasher boards and filling in all the cracks between the ice pans. That's a little trick to the trade in order to make sure the sub-floor beneath the ice is as solid as it can be.
They pack snow in between all the cracks between the pans so when they turn on the truck and the glycol starts running through the pipes and freezing the floor it will also freeze that packed snow. The idea is that you don't want the floor moving in anyway, so by freezing the cracks they are making a solid, immovable base.
As long as the truck is on and that glycol is pumping the cracks will remain frozen together.
As of now we can happily report that are right on schedule and hope to have the hoses on within the 5-9 o'clock window this evening.
I'll have a more in depth update later after I sit down and chat with Dan Craig.
It's a tribute to him, and everything he's done and deserved is coming to fruition tonight with his jersey in the rafters. He's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. And I said today, if he's not, take my stuff out. If he doesn't deserve to be in there first ballot, no one does. Except for (Wayne) Gretzky, I guess.
— Hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull on former teammate Mike Modano, whose No. 9 was retired by the Dallas Stars on Saturday