If you’re a hockey fan who’s ever relied on an NHL.TV to catch a game, then you’re likely very, very, very familiar with some of the work that goes into preparing and maintaining a hockey rink courtesy of the infinitely looping clip of people doing things like laying down tape and spraying the ice that gets queued up whenever the stream cuts to commercial.
However, that only provides a tiny glimpse at the immense amount of effort that’s required to not only get the playing surface ready but make sure it remains in tiptop shape over the course of the season—a reality that many fans of the sport might not even be aware of thanks to the largely behind-the-scenes nature of those preparations.
As a result, I have a hard time imagining most hockey fans won’t be as fascinated as I was after coming across a video that the Detroit Red Wings recently posted on TikTok that documents the time, effort, and painstaking attention to detail required to turn the blank canvas that serves as the floor of Little Caesars Arena in the offseason into something slightly more recognizable.
Given the standardized nature of the NHL and the resources the league and its teams have at their disposal, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume the blue lines, faceoff circles, center ice logo, and all of a hockey rink’s other requisite features are prefabricated vinyl decals that are simply placed in the correct spot before being covered in enough water to embed them in a sheet of ice.
However, as you’ll soon see, that is decidedly not the case.
The video highlights the many people required to perform the many tasks that need to get checked off ahead of the season. That includes the coats of white paint that serve as a base for the various assets that are meticulously measured and traced out before being filled in—including the giant stencil that’s the basis for the handpainted logo that ties it all together.
Based on the oddly serene state I found myself in after watching a clip that had some very unexpected ASRM vibes, I’m going to need every other NHL team to copy the Red Wings and give me more of the kind of content I never knew I needed until now.
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