From the moment the Bruins and Fenway Park were awarded the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Boston's GM had a visual in his head of what everything would look like. He just didn't picture it to be this awesome.
As a manager you try to focus on the games and practices and hand and the players try to do the same thing, but I was just walking out there before this press conference and it's pretty cool out there. It's cold and the ice looks unbelievable. I'm starting to get excited about it. - Peter Chiarelli
"You see the artist rendition of what it's supposed to look like, but walking out there it was pretty exciting," Chiarelli said during a press conference Thursday. "The quality of the ice is unbelievable. I wasn't on it, but I saw it and having seen ice all my life, I could tell. It's really cool. Until you see it, you don't think they can make ice like that outdoors.
"I don't know, it's just a real exciting visual for me to see the way that the rink is," he added. "While it's in the close confines of Fenway, it's isolated enough that it's under the microscope. It's an interesting visual and they have done a really good job putting it together."
Chiarelli's team skated onto the ice for the first time late Thursday morning underneath a steady New England snowfall that provided the perfect visual for what the Winter Classic is all about. Just prior to that, Chiarelli spoke about how it's finally time for him to get excited about the big event.
"As a manager you try to focus on the games and practices at hand and the players try to do the same thing, but I was just walking out there before this press conference and it's pretty cool out there," he said. "It's cold and the ice looks unbelievable. I'm starting to get excited about it."
Chiarelli was even more excited about the weather forecast for Friday's game that was delivered to him by NHL ice guru Dan Craig.
"He said an inch of snow and overcast, so there is no mention of rain," Chiarelli said. "I know it can change, but as of now there is no mention of rain. There is supposed to be an inch of snow until midnight and a light dusting tomorrow. That's good."
"From what I can remember playing on the outdoor rink, when you have weather like that you're pretty excited."
The Winter Classic has added to Chiarelli's laundry list of duties. He didn't want to dive into detail about everything he's had to do, but he did admit that he'll also be happy once the game is over.
"As a manager there are so many things associated with this game that I wouldn't dare bore you about, but talking to (Flyers' GM) Paul (Holmgren) the other day it was like, 'Thank God it's here,' " Chiarelli said. "We're both excited."Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer