The Canadian Press’ John Wawrow on a scheme to make ice hockey surfaces resemble the Atlantic Ocean.
If the ice is coloured a soft shade of blue, what does that make hockey’s blue lines? Orange of course.
Don’t adjust your TV sets – the Buffalo Sabres are using Rochester, their AHL farm club, to try out a new coloured ice surface that could become the standard once the NHL resumes playing.
The first test comes Sunday, when Rochester plays Cleveland at Buffalo.
“It’s an experiment, let’s leave it at that,” Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn said Tuesday while watching Rochester practise.
Quinn said the test came after NHL officials discussed whether changing the ice colour from white would enhance how the game is viewed by fans in arenas and on television.
The Sabres offered to try it and, after some experimentation, settled on painting the sheet in what they call “electric powder blue.” To offset the new coloured surface, arena officials decided to make the blue lines fluorescent orange, which is also the colour used for the faceoff circles.
The centre line, normally red, is now dark blue.
NHL officials will attend the game to study the changes and how the new colours might affect the play or change the viewing experience. The Sabres will also produce a game video that will be sent to the league offices for review.
There’s only one question left if the new colours ever came into effect: what would you call a defenceman?
“Guess, I’d become an orange-liner,” Jeff Jillson said.