If you've been reading this site since it launched then you must be pretty happy right about now. The quest to make it seven has worked as the Winnipeg Jets are officially back in the NHL! Maybe we might just have to change the name of this site to make it eight and see if we can get another team in the NHL! We can only dream, can't we?
What better way to celebrate the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg than by writing a hockey related article? If you've ever stepped foot in a hockey arena or watched a hockey game on television, which pretty much every Canadian citizen has, then you've likely seen the machine that rides around the ice during intermissions. Or what we like to call the Zamboni.
What is a Zamboni is a question a lot of people have asked who've never watched hockey before. It might be a question your international friend asked you on the way home after a Maple Leafs game. If that's you then the next time you hear that question asked you'll be better equipped to answer it after you've read the rest of this article. The simplest way of answering 'What is a Zamboni?' is to answer that question by saying that a Zamboni is an ice resurface machine.
A Zamboni resurfacing ice in an arena.
Before hockey games start and during each intermission the Zamboni machine comes out onto the ice to smooth the surface of the ice rink and clean it up of any ice shavings that have occurred during the course of the game. Unlike team exercises in which a group of people are involved, there's only one person driving the Zamboni.
Zambonis are powered by a device called a conditioner, and no they're nothing like air conditioning units for your home (seen here). These conditioners are sharp large blades that drag behind the Zamboni that shaves off the ice's surface. The front of a Zamboni is equipped with an auger that sweeps up the leftover shavings. After that a layer of water is spilled onto the ice to make it as smooth as it was before the game started.