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HOCKEY

NHL ICE-MAKERS IN FOR A TOUGH TIME SHOULD PLAY RESUME IN THE SUMMER

TIM TUCKER
MARCH 23, 2020  ·  18H57
At this point in time, there's no guarantee we're going to be seeing any NHL action before the beginning of the 2020-21 season. There has been plenty of talk about the possibility of some type of playoffs to determine this season's Stanley Cup winner, but that all depends on when the ban on large gatherings might end. However, should we end up getting something in June, it will make for a daunting task for ice-makers in the NHL, especially those in the southern U.S.

TSN's Mark Master has posted an interesting article where he interviews Jared Dupre, the ice technician for the Carolina Hurricanes.

"Our biggest problem here in North Carolina is the humidity we face at that time of year,' Dupre told Masters. Typically in July and August we can have temperatures anywhere from 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) to 115 (32 to 46 degrees celcius) with 65 per cent humidity outside. We all like to joke about the fact that, 'Hot and humid, plenty of sunshine, chance of afternoon thundershowers,' is pretty much the weather forecast from about the end of May to the beginning of September on a daily basis."

Dupre said the PNC Arena where the Canes play has a dehumidifying system, but once 15,000 people start pouring in through the doors it doesn't help much.

"Because once the doors are open and all that hot, humid air starts coming in , we can't pull it back out with the people in here," said Dupre. "You get 15​,000-plus people in the building for a game, you're adding to the humidity with people talking and yelling and screaming and the general body heat warming the air."

Dupre insisted it won't just be a problem for Carolina, but pretty much any team on the Eastern Seaboard. He added games without fans would help some when it came to ice conditions, but there would still be issues. He also said ice-makers around the NHL are already discussing the problems they are likely to face if games come back this season.

""Yeah, I mean, everybody's kind of in that uncertainty area right now, not sure what's going to happen and what the next steps are going to be, but we're all hoping we get back up and running at some point here sooner rather than later."
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