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Monday update: For Craig, it's a laugher

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"We have had two awesome days for construction here, so if you see a couple of my ice crew out there and they just look like they came from the Bahamas, they've been sitting out there and getting a reflection off the ice pans from this beautiful day in Boston."
-- Dan Craig

BOSTON -- Dan Craig is in such good spirits these days that the normally reserved and straightforward ice guru was laughing and yucking it up with the media during his press briefing Monday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Asked how pumped he is now that his nine-member ice crew is in the building and the ice panels are going down atop the sub-floor, Craig cracked that we were wasting his time because he wanted to be out on the field working with his boys.

"That's how psyched I am," Craig said. "Get me out there and get me going. We're pumped. We had a little bit of a delay because of the weather last night, some guys didn't get in until around 10 o'clock, but at 6 this morning they were standing in the (hotel) lobby ready to get at it.

"The crew is here and we're ready to put on such a great event. The more that this thing comes together the more atmosphere it has created on the field. The security, everybody is just so friendly. They are excited to have us walk through the door. It's awesome."

Craig said the panels that cool the surface and allow ice to be built would all be down, locked in and hooked into the refrigeration system back in the truck on Van Ness Street by close of business Monday. Roughly half of the boards would also be up.

Tuesday morning the rest of the boards will be put up and Craig is planning to start circulating the coolant solution, glycol, through the pipes. By the afternoon the hoses should be on and the crew will be making ice.

There should be ice available sometime Wednesday, but the League doesn't hand over the facility to the City of Boston, the Bruins and the Red Sox until 9 a.m. Friday.

The Bruins announced Monday that Ray Bourque, who got a tour of the rink Monday from Craig, Cam Neely, Terry O'Reilly and Bobby Orr would be among the Bruins' greats who will  participate in the "First Skate at Fenway" on Friday morning at 9:30.

"We have had two awesome days for construction here," Craig said in regards to the relatively balmy and sunny temperatures he and the crew had to work with Monday, "so if you see a couple of my ice crew out there and they just look like they came from the Bahamas, they've been sitting out there and getting a reflection off the ice pans from this beautiful day in Boston."

Early Monday the crew was working to fix one little hiccup right around third base. Since Fenway Park's field crowns at first and third, Craig said they found a slight deviation after laying the foundation down that could create an imbalance in the ice and could cause the ice to crack if the Zamboni drove over it.

To fix it, members of the crew were laying what was roughly a quarter-inch layer of sand on top of the foundation before putting the ice panels down. They had to do something similar in two spots at Wrigley Field last year.

"Once we put the panels in and start locking them down, there is no other way for us to fix it," Craig told NHL.com. "So, we take our time now. We have two good days to do it and we just make sure everything is taken care of."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com