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(Page 7 of 12)
2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Rangers v. Flyers

Smorgasbord of food options set for Winter Classic

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- For the fans attending Citizens Bank Park for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic expecting the usual ballpark fare, think again.

Pass on breakfast and bring your appetite, because there will be a bill of fare available that will keep you warm and happy.

Citizens Bank Park Senior Executive Chef Glenn Richmond and his staff have created a selection of soups, sandwiches, desserts and beverages for the Winter Classic that are sure to satisfy.

"It's the winter season so we're getting away from the tomatoes and fruit-based items we'd offer in the summertime," Richmond told NHL.com. "We're gravitating more toward comfort foods and things that will warm you up, like hot chocolate, homemade soups and hot sandwiches."

Weather not stopping work at Citizens Bank Park

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The forecast for Jan. 2 in Philadelphia is calling for a clear day and temperatures in the mid-40s, according to NHL Senior Vice President of Events Don Renzulli.

However, the NHL staff working at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday is dealing with rain that started late Tuesday morning and is scheduled to last well into the night.

Renzulli told NHL.com that the soaking is expected to be only a hiccup in the schedule largely because so much of the larger tasks, such as the rink-build, staging, camera perches, broadcast studio sets and temporary bleachers already are in place for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Craig keeping close tabs on rain's effect on rink

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- While everyone else around Citizens Bank Park will be attempting to get out of the rain that's supposed to soak the city from Tuesday afternoon into early Wednesday morning, NHL Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig said his job will be running back and forth through the rain, from his refrigeration truck parked on the street behind the right field wall to his ice rink being built in the middle of the infield.

It's the only way Craig will be able to overcome the challenge that rain presents in building the perfect sheet of NHL-quality ice for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2 between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.

Hagelin eager for another outdoor game

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Carl Hagelin doesn't have a whole lot of wisdom he can impart on veteran teammates Henrik Lundqvist, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. The 23-year-old has been in the NHL for barely a month, so there are very few pieces of unsolicited advice he can bestow upon those who have been playing at this level since he was a teen in Sweden.

But when it comes to playing in outdoor hockey games, Hagelin makes almost everyone in the New York Rangers' locker room look like a wet-behind-the-ears kid -- the speedy left wing is the only Ranger who can say he has played in two outdoor games.

Renzulli sees good weather coming for Winter Classic

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The rain predicted for the Philadelphia region on Tuesday afternoon may create an immediate challenge for the rink build, but the weather patterns beyond the impending soaking appear promising right through Jan. 2, according to the detailed reports NHL Senior Vice President of Events Don Renzulli receives twice daily.

"It's mid-to-upper 20s and 30s at night and up into the mid-to-upper 40s during the day," Renzulli told NHL.com. "Right now they're calling game-day as mostly cloudy, chance for light rain or snow showers late. So I would anticipate we're not going to see much during the game."

Renzulli's updates come from Planalytics, a weather-tracking company based in Berwyn, Pa., that specializes in giving detailed weather reports and statistics.

"You still have to go day by day, but what didn't change is last year in Pittsburgh, for two weeks it was right on with what we got," Renzulli said. "It hasn't changed at all yet. We don't have any big fronts coming through. I don't see that changing."

Craig continuing to work on building Classic ice

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- After two relatively quiet days at Citizens Bank Park, the ballpark was alive again Monday with staffers returning from their holiday break to start or continue chores that will lead into New Year's weekend and the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

"We're going to be working until midnight. We have four guys on the crew here right now and we'll get another four here by 5 o'clock. The sun is off the field by 2:30, the truck really grabs a hold of the floor somewhere around 3 or 3:15, so we'll get two hoses going and we'll keep on spraying. We'll be in good shape for (Tuesday) morning." -- Dan Craig

However, for NHL Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig and his crew, the upcoming grind doesn't seem so daunting because they didn't take a holiday break.

Craig and selected members of his crew stayed in town over Christmas and managed to build over a quarter of an inch of ice, which put them almost 50 percent to their target depth they have to reach before they can begin painting the surface white and putting down lines and logos. They had to work around the sun that lit up the ice for roughly four hours each day before fading by 2:30 p.m., but they did so with little to no pressure at all.

"We got a little work done in the morning, took a break and then got a little more done. We built over a quarter of an inch and we didn't really push ourselves that hard," Craig told NHL.com. "We let the guys kind of kick up their feet a little bit, but made sure we paid attention to what the truck was doing in relation to all the sun hitting the (floor). It helped us when nobody was around to really make this work."

Boyle recalls scary moment from playing outdoors

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ask almost any NHL player for memories about what it was like to skate outside as a kid, and more often than not you'll hear a whimsical tale of childhood innocence and playing hockey until the sun went down or mom rang the dinner bell.

Ask that question to Rangers forward Brian Boyle, who will be playing outside in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 2, and he'll tell a different story about playing on a pond in his backyard in Hingham, Mass.

"I was like 4 or 5," Boyle said. "I remember seeing my dad fall into a pond. That was one of my scariest moments."

Boyle's father, Artie, was none the worse for wear. But that didn't make it any less traumatic for the extremely young Boyle.

"He's a big maniac," Boyle said of his dad. "We were playing hockey and he fell in. He was going to get a puck out by some brush and some trees. The ice was kind of thin and he fell in. I was so scared. I remember it now. I can picture it. He went into the house. He used to be a goalie. He changed all his gear, put on his goalie skates and came back out and played. My mother was horrified.

Staal doesn't want to miss Classic, won't rush back

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Marc Staal probably has a good idea of what brother Jordan Staal was going through last season in the days leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Jordan missed the first 39 games of the regular season due to a broken hand. The Penguins' center was able to mend just in time to participate in the outdoor contest at Heinz Field, providing him with a rain-soaked memory of skating in an NHL game at a football field for the second time in his career.

Marc is in the same boat this season. He has yet to play in a game due to a concussion. With a little more than a week before his New York Rangers face the Philadelphia Flyers in this year's Winter Classic, he has yet to reach the stage in his recovery from a concussion where he is cleared for contact.

While Jordan had the luxury of perhaps rushing himself back a bit from his injury to play in the Winter Classic, Marc is unable to do the same.

2012 Winter Classic: Craig sprays ice at CBP

CBP ice taking shape after first spray

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Christmas morning came a day early for NHL Senior Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig.

Craig awoke Saturday morning to a clear, cold day -- perfect for making ice.

So at 9:35 a.m., Craig and his crew dragged a hose onto the rink he's helped build over the last five days and started spraying the first drops of water that over the next 2-3 days will freeze into the first inch of ice the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will skate on at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

"Last night everything went well," Craig told NHL.com. "We got the balance on the floor we want, we got the temperature we wanted. We could have started going last night, but we wanted to make sure the guys are rested because we're going to be running hard from here on out.  Got up this morning, the temperature was right in the mid-30s out here, the wind is down. We're ready to put down the first spray and make sure all the slush we put in last night on all the joints is in good shape and go from there."

It takes about 10,000 gallons of water to make an inch of ice on a hockey rink, so this won't be a quick process.

Flyers play down past Classic experience as edge

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

If Winter Classic experience means anything, the Philadelphia Flyers should have a decided edge against the New York Rangers on Jan. 2.

The Rangers have one player -- Michael Rupp -- who has participated in a Winter Classic contest. When the Flyers lace up their skates at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, they will likely have nine players who have participated in one outdoor game.

For Maxime Talbot, this will mark his third Winter Classic -- he was with the Penguins in the inaugural game against the Sabres in 2008 but did not play due to injury, but he participated in last year's contest against the Capitals.
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