Sunday, February 14, 2016

Flyers, Habs: Best ice in NHL

Flyers, Habs: Best ice in NHL

The Wells Fargo Center won high marks for the quality of its ice and its atmosphere. (Matt Slocum/AP file photo)
The Wells Fargo Center won high marks for the quality of its ice and its atmosphere. (Matt Slocum/AP file photo)


In baseball, many top-flight free-agents have selected teams because they thought their ballpark was tailored to their strengths.

For the Flyers' sake, it's a shame that same thinking isn't applied by the premier NHL free-agents.

You see, the ice at the Wells Fargo Center was ranked No. 1 in the NHL on Monday, tied for the top spot with the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens.

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We presume Zach Parise and Ryan Suter like the WFC's made-for-speed ice, but it didn't factor in their decisions. The marquee free-agents rejected the Flyers — and many others — and signed with Minnesota last week. (For what it's worth, the Flyers had one of the NHL's fastest teams last season.)

The Wells Fargo Center and Bell Centre each scored a 4.6 out of a possible 5 points. The scoring is based on reports filed by on-ice officials after each game. The gradings are done on  the hardness (which translates to quickness) of the ice, snow consistency, ice rutting, ice edging, frozen puck, the officials' room, and the arena environment.

 "Our ice crew works extremely hard to ensure the ice is the best it can be for the players," said Peter Luukko, president of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor. "With all of the events that we host at Wells Fargo Center, it is imperative that our crew pays close detail, including walking the ice twice a day to check dashers and glass to assure the best possible playing conditions."

Luukko praised Chris Jennings, the head ice technician, and his team for the high standards they have established.

Ah, Parise and Suter don't know what they're missing.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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Sam Carchidi Staff Writer
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