Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Skating Into the 'Feed' Bag

There have been rock concerts, recreational vehicle shows, a Pope's Mass, motorcycle races and boxing matches, but I never thought I would ever see an ice hockey game at Dodger Stadium. But that is what is going to take place Saturday night at Chavez Ravine when the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks play before an expected sell-out crowd. The game is part of the NHL's Stadium Series, which kicked off the New Year with a crowd of 105,000 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Yankee Stadium in the New York will also host an outdoor game later this season.


1st add Dodger Stadium: The team's late owner Walter O'Malley vowed after he built the ballpark in 1962 that there would be very little activity other than baseball at the venue. O'Malley allowed a boxing card to take place the following year where the ring was set up near second base. On that night in March of 1963, Davey Moore fought Sugar Ramos, and later died from his injuries suffered in the fight. O'Malley declared afterward that there would be no more boxing at Dodger Stadium.


2nd add Dodger Stadium: While the temperature for the outdoor game at the Big House on the campus of the University of Michigan was well-below freezing, it is expected to be a balmy 70 degrees when the Kings and Ducks face off under the palm trees in the early evening on Saturday night. According to the NHL's outdoor rink experts, the warm temperatures will have no effect on the hardness of the ice.
This wasn't always case, however, for L.A. hockey  There were times when players on  visiting teams from the East and Midwest would note that the ice at the Forum in Inglewood was soft, compared to the surface at arenas in such cities as Montreal, Boston and Toronto. Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur once said that he knew he and his Montreal Canadien teammates were in Los Angeles because the warm temperatures made the indoor ice nearly mushy.

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