Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
"The ice surface is not simply a place to play a game. It is a space where ordinary children become hockey players."
What is it about a Zamboni that everyone finds so hypnotic? Everyone loves them, kids especially. Even the Dallas Stars have a tricked out Zamboni for kids to ride just for fun in between periods. Something about them is just so magical, just so enjoyable.
There's even a song about them. Odds are you just sang the words in your head just thinking about it. If you didn't, then click this link and listen to it. There aren't any songs about the maintenance devices for other sports. We don't hear about the water sprinklers for a football field, or those dirt-scraper-things that they use on the baseball diamond.
That's because the Zamboni is a special machine, that has a place reserved in every hockey fan's heart, even if they aren't sure why. We all want to drive the Zamboni.
One man, Gerald Morton, is lucky enough to do just that. And he offers his insight into what makes the Zamboni such an attention grabbing piece of hockey lore.
I am responsible for protecting and renewing a transformational space. The ice surface is not simply a place to play a game. It is a space where ordinary children become hockey players. It is a place of magic and mystery, outside the boundaries of ordinary society, where rituals turn children into adults and grownups are able to ignore the rules of their lives and simply play once more.
I guard the boundary of that space, and am responsible for its eternal return. The true power of a Zamboni operator comes from the acknowledgment that the space is mine until it is ritually cleaned by me and my machine. Hockey players will stand at an open doorway, with no physical boundary preventing access to the ice, until the Zamboni guy blesses the space by closing the Zamboni pit doors. Of course, the kids sometimes push this boundary and try to enter the space early. But, like any good Shaman of the mundane world, I jealously guard my sacred space.
It makes sense when you think about it. A guardian and protector of our hockey hopes and dreams. It's silly, of course, but at the same time, it strikes true.
Gerald has a lot of interesting things to say on these ideas, so make sure you give his full article a read. If you love zambonis, it's worth it.
Coming up in today's links: Jamie Benn faces off against a future him, Manny Malholtra will miss the rest of the season, and a double helping of (extremely quick) daily videos.
- Mark Stepneski takes a look at the back to back woes of this season and last. As it turns out, the numbers aren't good. [Stars Inside Edge]
- With Ryan Kesler slated to return against when the Stars face the Canucks, Jamie Benn could be playing against the type of player that the Stars hope he will soon become. [Dallas News]
- Jamie Oleksiak was sent back to Austin yesterday, and that should make room for other defensemen to shine. [Dallas News]
- Kari Lehtonen gets some love in the Fantasy Hockey department. Not surprising if you have been watching the Stars at all this season. [NHL]
- Manny Malholtra is being put on long term injured reserve thanks to his nagging eye injury. It's possible that he may even have to retire because of it. [Globe And Mail]
- Speaking of devastating injuries, players are considering cut proof equipment after Erik Karlsson's injury a couple of days ago. It's a good move, if you ask me, since the NHL is the only league that sharpens their mobility equipment. [Globe And Mail]
- Down Goes Brown has his own rundown of the NHL injury report, and it's quite enjoyable. Ray Whitney even gets a special mention. [Down Goes Brown]
- Phoenix has an interesting way to sell tickets now -- and the prices are based on goals against. A "GOALden Ticket" is good until opponents score a total of 5 goals against the Coyotes. [Sports Illustrated]
- I couldn't decide between a couple of videos, so here they both are. The first you may have heard of already, with a bunch of Jagr lookalikes going to the game in Calgary. The second is a child scoring an Ovechkin-like goal from the ice. Both are awesome for completely different reasons.