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Weather issues at a minimum for Winter Classic

by Dan Rosen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The NHL is still expecting a frigid day with a chance of light snow for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day.

NHL Executive Vice President of Events Don Renzulli receives updated forecasts twice a day and the one he got Sunday morning reflected no changes from the forecast he received Saturday afternoon.

Renzulli said the forecast for Wednesday is currently calling for mostly cloudy skies with a temperature between 8-15 degrees Fahrenheit, a 30 percent chance of light snow and northerly winds ranging between 5-10 miles per hour.

The more pressing issue for the event is the chance for snow late Sunday, which is forecast to be a 60 percent chance. Renzulli said it could only be an inch of snow, but the temperature is expected to drop to 11 degrees. However, according to NHL Senior Manager of Facilities Operations Mike Craig, the expectation is for the ice crew to work late into the night to thicken up the ice surface. He said the ice depth is already at two and a half inches.

The crew stayed at the stadium on Saturday until midnight, building up another three-eighths of an inch of ice. The overcast skies Sunday meant there was no need to cover the ice with tarps in the same manner used Saturday in order to protect the lines, logos and other on-ice markings.


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