Though it is still having some issues, Detroit Red Wings players say that the quality of the ice at Little Caesars Arena is starting to improve.
The Red Wings played their first NHL regular season game at the new downtown Detroit venue earlier this month, and began playing preseason games there in September. In the short time the team has occupied Little Caesars Arena, there have been complaints over the ice being too soft.
For its part, the team has shared its concerns about the ice with arena officials, who have been looking for ways to improve the quality. In terms of how it is used, Little Caesars Arena is different from the Red Wings’ former home, Joe Louis Arena–a venue where the ice was consistently considered to be among the best in the NHL. The new arena is intended to host multiple types of events, including the NBA’s Pistons and concerts. Players believe that the number of events at the arena could be a factor, but say that the condition of the ice has started to improve. More from MLive.com:
“It’s a big difference from the Joe,” said [captain Henrik] Zetterberg, who noted that other multi-event venues in the NHL have ice issues. “More activities in this arena than there was at the Joe, so it has gotten better than the start. From the start it was bad but I think it’s getting better each day.
“We haven’t been here for two years or three years. We’ve been here for two months, so have to have a little patience and we believe we can get it better. Hopefully, we can be the first to have great ice at a multi-sport arena.”
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall said one of the problems presented by the ice so far is that the puck tends to bounce more when it’s soft.
“The conditions in general, it’s getting better,” Kronwall said. “The ice is getting better but it’s still not great. A little soft. Let’s be honest, (it’s) the same thing for both teams so that is no excuse whatsoever. I don’t think anybody’s going to use that as an excuse.
Thus far, the Red Wings have played four preseason and four regular season games at Little Caesars Arena.