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Commotion comes to town

Monday, 12.27.2010 / 11:35 AM

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

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2011 Winter Classic Blog
Commotion comes to town
PITTSBURGH -- As expected, Heinz Field is buzzing with people this morning. There is plenty of commotion going on all around this place. It feels so different than it did the past couple of days.

The rink continues to take shape as the boys are on it right now with hoses. The goal is to paint white later today.

The ice pans for the auxiliary rink have been placed down and connected in the south end zone. Not far away workers are putting together the bleachers that will be used for 1,500 auxiliary seats that the NHL is bringing in for the New Year's Day game.

Spotted Dan Craig for a few moments this morning and he appears in good spirits. His son, Mike, who lives in Kelowna, B.C., arrived late last night. Mike is part of the ice crew and has been working jobs with his dad for years, including the last three Winter Classics and the last three Olympics.

Winter Classic signage is going up around the stadium, both inside and outside.

The blizzard in the New York metropolitan area (my wife and son are stuck inside because of 4-foot snow drifts) left several NHL personnel stranded, but they're starting to make their way here now. I know of one guy who was so fed up with the travel that he decided to rent a car and drive here.

It is much colder today than it has been in previous days here. I just spent nearly an hour outside shooting the Blackberry All-Access Pregame Show with Heidi Androl, and I couldn't feel my fingers by the time we were done. And, yes, I was wearing gloves.

The frigid temps work just fine for Craig and his crew.

I'll be introducing you to the ice crew in a story today. They're a wild and fun bunch.

That's about all for now. I'll be back with further updates later.

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

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks