VANCOUVER -- NHL senior manager of facilities operations Mike Craig hasn't actually been working on making ice outdoors for two straight months. It just feels that way sometimes.
After prepping ice for three outdoor games since Jan. 1, Craig and his crew took over BC Place this week and have been building the playing surface for the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Despite the long hours, Craig is enjoying certain comforts at the stadium, which features a retractable roof.
Craig has been busy for the past two months. Before coming to Vancouver, he worked on the ice for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., on New Year's Day, as well as the two Coors Light NHL Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium in late January.
His crew has been especially busy in Vancouver, where two groups have been alternating 12-hours shifts. Since Monday, the ice crew has been working 24 hours each day in preparation for the Heritage Classic.