USA Hockey Magazine

October 2015

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40 OCTOBER. 2015 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM ILLUSTRATIONS BY Michael Jacobsen BY HARRY THOMPSON Things Done Inside A Rink Can Make Blood Pressures And Ice Prices Rise I f there's one thing Eric Guzdek can't stand it's "snot rockets," those slimy projectiles shot out of each nostril that affix themselves to the boards and black mats on the benches at the Northtown Center in Amherst, N.Y., where Guzdek is the general manager. Only slightly less disgusting are those crumpled up pieces of tissue left behind by figure skaters after an early morning practice. "It's funny because the figure skaters complain about the hockey players and the hockey players complain about the figure skaters. At the end of the day they all learn to get along and deal with each other's little issues," Guzdek says. "It's just one more of those things that in a perfect world we wouldn't have to deal with. But somebody has to clean it up, and unfortunately it's our staff." For rink managers around the country, life's little nuisances not only add up, they take away from time working on more important things, such as creating a good sheet of ice. According to a list of complaints compiled from rink managers across the country, the job stretches beyond controlling the ice and the facility. There's the constant monitoring of unsupervised youngsters who run amok under bleachers, through the lobby and in other places where they can not only cause damage, they can also hurt themselves or other customers. When rink operators are spending time removing tape balls from clogged toilets or replacing broken windows after a kid shoots a rock through it, it takes away from the time that could be spent ensuring that the quality of ice is as good as it can be. It's cases like this that perpetuate the image of the grumpy rink manager. "One of the things that my team does every morning is building walkthroughs," says Alec Hines, who runs the 80,000-square foot Edge Ice Arena in Littleton, Colo. "Something might not have been broken yesterday, but today it could be different. I came in today and our sound system wasn't working because somebody decided to rip out all the cords. That stuff is costly." WHAT MAKES RINK MANAGERS GRUMPY?

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