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AHL Western Expansion Concepts

With the announcement of the 5 re-locations set to take place in the 2015/16 AHL season, speculation began immediately regarding names, logos and venues for the new teams. Of course for us, this means 5 brand new center ice designs will be coming this fall. This post will contain concept designs for the 5 teams. First up are the San Diego Gulls and Ontario Reign. More will be posted as logos and details are released.





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Graphics Upgrade In Progress


2015 has already been a year of improving for this site. We started out the year with a new full rink template and now it is time for another change that is long overdue.

For several years we have posted center ice graphics with the most realistic looking ice textures we could create. They have worked well for us but after much thought, there will be some changes. This site has always been primarily focused on the center ice designs throughout the history of NHL teams. In an effort to improve this focus, we will be slowly rolling out new graphics to replace the existing ones. They will still have an ice texture, but now that texture will not distort the images as much, or distract from the overall design. Below are some before (left) and after (right) examples of the changes. Special thanks to CF92 for helping me out with this project!




You can also check back on this post for updates so you know when your favorite team's graphics are enhanced!

Work In Progress
Florida Panthers
Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers
Saint Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning

Completed Teams
Arizona/Phoenix Coyotes
Boston Bruins
Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Rockies
Kansas City Scouts
San Jose Sharks
Winnipeg Jets (current team)
Winter Classic


NHL History Of Rinks

Every player is well aware of the rink he is playing on. They know the length of the ice and the amount of room they have to play in the neutral zone. Although every rink in the NHL is now virtually the same with the exception of logos and ice quality, it wasn't always that way. In this feature, we will take a look at how the rink has been adapted over the years. You may be surprised at all of the changes, both large and small. Please keep in mind, that the following information is based on a majority of rinks during each time frame. There have been variances all along the way.

Prior to the 1950's:  While the pictures of rinks in this era are rare and hard to see, its safe to say that rinks varied a great deal at this time. Can you imagine a time where they didn't even paint the ice white? It is tough to say whether any rinks had lines painted on the ice. I have seen photos that suggested that some may have but its tough to say. Needless to say, if they were there, they were tough to see.


1950-1960:  This was a time of only a handful of teams. A few had center ice logos, but that had not yet become a necessity. The red line started out solid red, but as black and white televisions began to air hockey games, patterns of white paint began to appear on the center line to help decipher which line was which.

1961-1973:  During this period, most ices would have a center ice logo of some sort. The neutral zones were 58 feet white on a standard rink. Small vertical hash marks were added to the four faceoff spots at the ends of the rink.

1974-1982:  The rink would remain largely the same for many years with only small changes like the modified hash marks in the face-off circles beginning in 1974.

1983-1985: We can look back upon the early eighties as the time that led to advertisements popping up everywhere around the rink. Dasher board advertisements were introduced. At the time there was no set layout or restrictions on the placement of the ads. Also during this time, the hash-marks disappeared but the face-off dots outside of the neutral zone where changed a bit. 

1986-1991:  The mid-eighties brought a couple changes to the rink. Along with advertisers lining the boards all the way around the rink, the goal creases got a makeover. 


1992-1993:  Once again the crease would be modified as the light blue paint returned in front of the nets. On ice advertisements also started to pop up in the neutral zone in the early nineties. By this time there seemed to be a uniform system in place for board advertisement placement league wide..



1994-1995: Some slight modification to the board ad placement was the only major change during this time.

1996:  The blue paint inside the nets was removed and small NHL branding began showing up near all four corners of the rink. 




1997: The hash marks made their comeback in a style which remains on the ice today. Also this was the last year before the NHL shortened the width of the neutral zone.
1998:  The neutral zone was shortened from 58 feet wide to 54 feet wide. 

1999-2002:  The goal crease was changed to what is now the standard crease among Pro North American rinks. The old style is still used in most other countries and many minor leagues. 

2003-2004:  The last change to the rink prior to the lost 04/05 season was to the neutral zone face off dots which were changed to match the rest of the face off dots. 

2006-2007:  When players returned to the ice following the lockout, two major changes had occurred. The neutral zone was shortened once again, from 54 feet to 50 feet. Also two lines were painted behind the goal lines to create the "Trapezoid" which is designed to keep goalies from playing the puck from the corners. I still do not understand the need for the trapezoid but it seems to be here to stay. One small detail also popped up on the boards at this time. Reebok struck a deal with the NHL to supply the league with jerseys, and they got their logo up on the red and blue lines up the sides of the boards. 


2008:  It seems like perhaps the league decided that the boards surrounding the rinks had become a bit too distracting. Around this time all of the board ads started having no background color so that the boards would regain their white faces. Unlike the trapezoid, I was very pleased to see this change!





2009-2014:  A logo change by Reebok led to a quick subtle change to their logo on the boards as well.



2015: The hash marks outside the end zone circles were moved from 3 feet to 5 feet 7 inches separation. Finally, the trapezoid grew by two feet from each goal post to create what is now the current rink layout for all 30 NHL teams.







*if you find any errors or see something I missed, please comment below.

Did you know?

  • Edmonton's center ice logo faces the players rather than the penalty box because their TV cameras are on the opposite side of the rink from all 29 other arenas today.
  • The New York Islanders have used the same red line design since they entered the league. This could change once they move to Brooklyn. 
  • Some arenas used to have off-centered penalty boxes which led to the referee's circle to be painted in alternate locations as well.
  • Some older, smaller arenas in the past have had shorter rink dimensions.
    • Buffalo Memorial Auditorium  - 196' x 85' (Neutral Zone smaller then regulation)
    • Boston Garden                     - 191' x 83' (One offensive zone smaller)
    • Chicago Stadium                  - 188' x 85' (Smallest Neutral Zone in the league)
    • Detroit Olympia                    - 200' x 83' (2 feet shorter in width)
    • Maple Leaf Gardens             - 200' x 85' (Uneven corners, unconfirmed
I want to thank CF92 and Cory Gibson who were responsible for much of the research that made this possible!

Update On The Oiler's New Digs

While this is a season that the Oilers would probably love to forget, fans can at least look forward to their new arena. The Rexall Place has not treated the Oilers very well in the last few seasons. Though some fans will miss its historic values, its not likely that they will miss the poor lighting, poor ice conditions, or the poor performances that have taken place there. The new arena will be a great opportunity for everyone to get excited again and hopefully that excitement will help power the team back to its former glory. So just how far along is the Rogers Place construction site? Check out a live webcam anytime you wish by clicking here.
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Team Rink Wallpaper: CHI Added

Check out our new team ice rink desktop wallpaper. We will be uploading more teams every couple of days but here are a few to get you started. As this feature grows in the future, we will give it a special spot within the site for easy navigation of the downloadable content. Please keep in mind that this set of rinks is meant to be for fun. The board ads are not authentic and some may even be humorous at times. Hope you enjoy!



















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Winter Classic 2015 Graphics



Happy New Year from Frozen Faceoff and what better way to ring in the new year than some new Winter Classic graphics. Here is the center ice design as well as the full rink design!


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Blues Continue To Ignore Their Fans And Tradition

UPDATE:  I have had several people asking for an update on the Blues' organist situation and on ways that we might be able to spread the word.

At this time, Jeremy Boyer has played at only two games since mid-November. The word going around twitter seems to indicate that he will only play a few more games. Please keep tweeting your support for @JABSMusic and include @StLouisBlues and the hashtag #savetheorganist.

Also after checking out the Blues website, it appears that the directer of game entertainment is Lamont Buford. He may or may not be the one dictating these changes but under his watch, in one season alone the Blues have tried to get rid of the organ goal song, and now the organist himself. If you would like to contract him you can do so via his twitter handle @puckhead_hb.  Keep it civil please! That is the only way anything will get accomplished.

Original Story: #savetheorganIST: Many of you know that I am a die-hard Blues fan and have probably gotten used to the fact that I am not always good at hiding my favoritism. Unfortunately I dislike the game entertainment management as much as I love the team. Recently their decision making has left me wondering if they even care about their fans at all. Worse yet, my emails and tweets to the team have been completely ignored as they have been in the past. That doesn't say much for their public relations department either. Many Blues fans are aware that the organ music at Scottrade Center for the last month has been less than stellar to say the least. In fact, the energy that the organ has always provided even in the worst of games has now vanished.

Back around 2008 the Blues decided it was time to bring back live organ music. For several years the music had simply been pre-programed/recorded music from the organ itself. They hired Jeremy Boyer, a Southeast Missouri State graduate who had experience playing the organ for their basketball games as well as the Saint Louis Cardinals' AAA affiliate Memphis Redbirds.

Jeremy took this role very serious and even studied with the great long time organist Ernie Hayes. He understood how important the team's history and traditions were to it's fans and worked very hard to respect and honor those traditions. He played our goal song very similar to the way it was played back when the Blues played in the old arena.

Fast forward to this season: The Blues' management surprised us all in the preseason by changing up our goal song. This is not the first time in recent years that they have tried to do this. Each time the change is met with outrage from Blues fans and this time was no different. Apparently the 'suits' do not have a very good memory, or perhaps they just don't care what fans think.

 The preseason drama hit twitter in the form of a hashtag "#SaveTheOrgan." It seemed to work as the Blues would soon release a statement assuring its fans that the traditions they cared about so deeply, including the organ, would be sticking around. At that point we thought the drama was over and had the Blues management stopped there, we would all be happy campers.

Sadly this was not the end of the story. While we don't really know what is going on with our beloved organist at this time, we do know a few things.

  1. Jeremy never missed a game in his time with the Blues.
  2. Blues management have already proven that they want change for the sake of change.
  3. Jeremy has not played in over a month as of the posting of this article. 
  4. Another person or persons has been filling in on the organ. 
I have not heard anything about whether our organist has been replaced, quit or is simply taking some time out for himself. Given the amount of time he has been gone, I would now highly doubt that he is taking time off. Someone who never misses a game is not likely to take off too much time all of the sudden. 

Given the poor judgement that the manger(s) overseeing game presentation seem to make, I would now guess that they are up to their old tricks. Even more convincingly, they do not seem to be responding to any fan's questions or complaints regarding the issue. 

Its time to show the Blues management that 18,000 plus fans packing the arena every game are the one's whose opinions really matter. Not some suit and tie who might be wanting to make a name for himself. I ask everyone to go to twitter and voice your concerns using the hashtag # AND send your concerns by email to customerservice@stlblues.com or call (314) 622-2500. 

Also there is a survey on the Blues site where you can leave feedback: Guest Experience Survey. Together we can get him back behind the organ at Scottrade Center in no time!

Finally, here is a clip of our wonderful organist playing the old St Louis Arena organ a couple years ago at Scottrade Center.