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Rink taking shape

Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 11:15 AM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / 2011 Winter Classic Blog

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2011 Winter Classic Blog
Rink taking shape
PITTSBURGH -- This is how well things are going here at Heinz Field:

Dan Craig sent his overnight crew back to the hotel at 2 o'clock this morning because they were so far ahead of schedule that he figured he could give them a normal night of sleep and have them back here by lunch.

Craig told me he's got about a half an inch of ice built already, so he's a third of the way to his mark before he brings out the white paint. He's planning on building an inch between now and Monday afternoon before painting white and getting in some lines and logos when that paint dries.

Craig will be doing an on-camera report for us later this afternoon, so make sure to look for that.

The leading man here is in a giddy mood today not only because of the way things are progressing on the ice, but his son, Mike Craig, is due to arrive tonight and join the crew for an overnight shift. Mike, who lives in British Columbia, has worked with his dad on all of the Winter Classics as well as three Olympics and several other events.

Off the ice there is still plenty going on here. I was just outside and could see what had to be close to 100 people in the stands place seat cushions on the seats here. The player benches are in place and right now they're laying out the armor decking in order to build erect the stage that will house the penalty boxes and scorers box.

Several members of the NHL family are expected to arrive today (provided they can get here due to the anticipated blizzard in New York), so the select few of us that have been here since Thursday are about to get some much-needed company from our close friends, including NHL.com's own Shawn P. Roarke.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff