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Pens player: Ice conditions at Consol ‘some of the worst I’ve seen’

Oct 10, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT

Marc-Andre Fleury Getty Images

The Penguins have won all three of their home games to start the season, but that doesn’t mean all is well at the Consol Energy Center.

Three players, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the ice conditions at CEC are poor, and have been since the arena opened in 2010.

One player — “Player B” — told the Gazette conditions in the first two games of the year, a 3-0 win over New Jersey and 4-1 over Buffalo, were “some of the worst I’ve seen.”

“We joke around here that it shouldn’t be hard, because when we skate at Southpointe [practice facility] and skate at town rinks that have zero budget and don’t have the tools and technology that they have [at Consol Energy Center], and they all have great ice,” Player B explained. “If they can do it, there’s no excuse to not have it here.”

Despite less than stellar reviews from Pens players, CEC doesn’t appear to have the same reputation league-wide.

In the CBC/NHLPA 2011-12 player’s poll, Consol wasn’t named as one of the five worst arenas with regards to playing surface. The Tampa Bay Times Forum and Honda Center in Anaheim were voted to have the poorest ice, with Staples Center in L.A., Madison Square Garden in New York and the American Airlines Center in Dallas rounding out the top five.

(The top five, in case you’re curious: Bell Center in Montreal, Joe Louis in Detroit, Rogers Arena in Vancouver, MTS Centre in Winnipeg and the Saddledome in Calgary.)

Despite Consol not being up to snuff by the home team’s standards, at least one Pens player thinks it will get better.

“I think they’ll figure it out,” Player C said. “They’re very committed to making sure that they do everything they can to give us the best ice conditions.

“I think it’s just a matter of time.”

  1. 950003cups - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Gotta keep CEC ice very soft. Prince Crosby skates there. Heavens forbid he falls down and bumps his coconut again!!

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:50 AM


    • hockey412 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      You know when Pens articles about ICE draw more comments from spazoid “hey look at me!’ers” draw more comments than all others….you need to write more Pens articles.

      I love it. Crosby loves it. We ALL love it. :)

      And Southpointe DOES have a budget and just spent a bunch of money making their ice better which was completed WAY too late into the year.

      • hockey412 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        I meant “You know when Pens articles about ICE draw more comments from spazoid “hey look at me!’ers” than all others….you need to write more Pens articles.

        I am ashamed.

  2. mpops86 - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Is there anything that the Penguins won’t whine about?

    • curioustraveler13 - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      Haha they were asked about the ice conditions. They gave their opinion and that’s considered whining? I love how fans try and make up reasons to hate this team.

    • sabatimus - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      I love it when people get accused of whining when they tell the truth after being asked a direct question.

  3. jaybaileys - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    I don’t think they are whining, they are telling it like it is. I think it’s ridiculous that a brand new building can’t have good ice. It’s not like Mario skimped on the barn like the Rooney’s did on the mustard bowl. Why is this so hard? I can see if it were June, but we were there the other night about 10 rows from the top and my wife was freezing the whole game. If hot air rises and cold air falls it had to be close to ideal conditions near the ice.

    • c9castine - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      its not really as simple as hot or cold. im not saying im an ice expert, but i tihnk they are more talking about the surface, the texture and stability if you will. im sure the ice is plenty hard, probably just chips away easily and isnt smooth and stable to begin with. im from the pittsburgh area and atleast was a hockey player in my younger days and Southpointe does have excellent ice as well as most the rinks around the area. im sure a factor in this is how much the ice is used for other things. think about some of the worst surfaces….new york, LA, dallas….im sure those places get used alot for other things especially LA and New York

  4. earpaniac - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I understand they are working on it, but 3 years?!!

  5. curioustraveler13 - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    The post gazette tries to find controversy in the midst of a great season. They always seek negative stories because they feel it gets them publicity. They created the Crosby DMV thing, now the try to stir the pot with poor ice conditions. It’s a joke of a paper. Tribune review writers >>>>>post gazette writers.

    • curioustraveler13 - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      Meant “what should be” a great season. Feel free to crucify.

  6. ravanator - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Bad ice, Bad team, Bad city, Bad captain. At least the Penguins are consistent.


    • curioustraveler13 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Hey at least you got one of those right. The ice. You should of added “bad comment” at the end though.

    • drone501 - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      ratbird. remember when baltimore was a MINOR LEAGUE affliate for pittsburgh until baltimore couldn’t support the team.

  7. yougotgirouxed - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Pens players: Nice job being men and putting your name next to your comments trashing our home ice conditions. Im sure the guy who drives the zamboni would be pissed.

    • curioustraveler13 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      How else are they supposed to know there’s a problem if no one speaks up? Also it doesn’t say the player asked to be anonymous that’s up to the writer. If he felt there could be backlash he could choose to keep the players name confidential.The guy driving the zamboni isn’t the issue by the way. The issue is the guy who operates the equipment below the ice that maintains the ice at a certain temperature. Way to take it personal though.

      • hawkeedawg - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        FYI, all visiting teams have to fill out reports on ice condition and dressing room facilities after every game, so the Pens Brass would know about it. That is why they brought the guy from Calgary to Vancouver to oversee the ice for the Olympics. Because he is considered the best ice man in the business.

    • hockey412 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Just an fyi – if the Post-Gazette quotes something from somebody “under condition of anonymity”, those people typically don’t exist.

      And are you itrying to say that the Pens players are afraid of the zamboni driver? Next you’ll be saying Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball. pulease.

  8. blackandorangeforlife - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    If it’s true i love to know why it has not been corrected yet……They do play half their games on that ice…..Bad ice can create bad injuries!

  9. mpdonovan1968 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    “Hey, why didn’t they use my quotes?”
    -Player A

  10. haterzinc - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Its a proven fact that all new arenas deal with this v problem. The engineering design is never perfect and yes it takes years to correct. The problem is insulation and ventilation.

  11. blomfeld - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM


    Though I don’t normally comment on eastern teams as such, this story is nonetheless interesting in that it leaves one wondering just who exactly are these three ‘anonymous’ players ? So if I had to bet, then my money would be on the following …

    Player A – Sidney Crosby
    Player B – Marc-Andre Fleury
    Player C – Rob Scuderi

    At any rate, hopefully now the powers that be there in Pittsburgh will see to it to provide the Penguins with a ‘proper and playable’ ice surface … one can only hope eh ?

    GO CROSBY !!!

    GO PENGUINS !!!!!!

    GO FROZEN ICE SURFACES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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