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Classic ice truck having big day in NYC

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK – The 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic’s refrigeration truck is having a whirlwind Sunday, making an appearance with NBC’s “Weekend Today,” stopping in front of the NHL Store Powered by RBK and concluding its tour by parking outside of Madison Square Garden.

The day started at Rockefeller Center when ice expert Dan Craig and the ice truck, which will be used to create and maintain the ice for the Winter Classic contest at Fenway Park in Boston between the Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, took center stage on “Weekend Today.”

But don’t think for a second Craig has gone Hollywood with all the publicity and press that comes with being an ice guru.

"No, not at all," the humble Craig said when asked if he gets a kick out of seeing his face on TV. "I love to share the information, I love to teach, I love people to understand what we’re doing and get the grassroots of the projects, and fortunately for me I’ve been selected to make that presentation and I do the best that I can with the image."

A crowd gathered outside the NBC studios early Sunday morning to watch the taping and see Craig talk about the outdoor game on New Year’s Day and how the ice truck plays into the spectacle. Craig told NBC’s Jenna Wolfe how the Winter Classic is a way of getting hockey back to its outdoor roots and the truck helps make that happen.

The truck made its next stop only a couple blocks away in front of the NHL Store on the corner of 47th Street and Sixth Avenue. It’s somewhat surprising to see the effect of a big rig emblazoned with Winter Classic art on hockey fans.

"Saturday in Philadelphia, we were there with the truck parade and the toy drive and people were coming up and saying, 'Can I get a picture of the truck?" Craig said. "They stand there and visit with you for a few minutes and that’s a pretty cool thing. Those people are very excited."

"I love to share the information, I love to teach, I love people to understand what we’re doing and get the grassroots of the projects, and fortunately for me I’ve been selected to make that presentation and I do the best that I can with the image." -- Dan Craig

Later in the day, the most famous truck not named Optimus Prime settled in front of Madison Square Garden as the New York Rangers hosted the Detroit Red Wings. Fans snapped pictures next to the puck and were treated to free pucks courtesy of the NHL.
 
Ranger fan Marc Levine and his daughter Sophie stopped by the truck and expressed their excitement that the Blueshirts could one day take part in a Winter Classic.
 
"Sure, I’d love it," said Marc. "I'd travel anywhere to see them play."
 
But how does he feel about this year's game?
 
"Anyone but the Bruins and Flyers," he said jokingly about two of his least favorite teams.

The truck has scheduled stops this week in Springfield, Mass., on Tuesday and Bristol, Conn., on Wednesday before it settles in Boston to begin shaping Fenway Park into a field suitable for a hockey game.