For anyone who has been paying attention to the New York Islanders since they moved from Nassau Coliseum on Long Island to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, you know the move has not gone well. Chief among the complaints is the horrible condition of the ice.
That situation now appears to coming to a head.
As reported by @DarrenDreger, NHL sending experts this week to investigate the brutal Barclays ice.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) November 2, 2016
Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck called the conditions at Barclays “the worst ice I’ve ever seen in my nine years [in the league].”
That’s not from a visiting player, that’s someone who calls Barclays his “home” ice.
The issue is that the PVC piping under the floor is not up to NHL standards. Because the arena was not built with the expectation of hosting a hockey team, the builders did not use steel pipes that meet the standard NHL requirements to maintain a sheet of ice over the course of a full season.
And there’s no easy solution to the problem.
1. NHL source: Floor piping system at Barclays Center in Brooklyn does not meet NHL standard requirements for ice-making.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) October 22, 2016
2. Barclays has PVC piping. All other NHL rinks have steel pipes. PVC cannot maintain ideal temp of 21 degrees for NHL play.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) October 22, 2016
3. Only solution is to tear up Barclays Center floor and install proper piping.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) October 22, 2016
Not easy, but should have been done in offseason.
Whether the NHL experts will be able to come up with any solutions other than to replace the piping remains to be seen.
The good news is that when the temperature outside drops, the ice conditions inside will improve. Should the Islanders make the playoffs in the spring, however, the longer they go, the worse the ice will likely become.