The Zamboni Revolution

The Zamboni Revolution

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Frustrated with the time spent cleaning his ice rink, Frank Zamboni did what any good inventor would do, and went to the drawing board.

Where’s the Zamboni? Review

Hockey games have been at a standstill for the last few years. Every hockey game
that comes out looks like every other hockey game that comes out with only minor
differences in the graphics, realism, difficulty, or control. Basically, however,
the play is the same. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing. Hockey games
have found a system that works now it’s just a matter of refinement. While NHL
does offer a good amount of new eye candy, it just isn’t that much different
than it’s predecessors.

2K and NBA
2K, Visual Concepts was not the developer of NHL 2K. Instead, Sega
Sports put Black Box games in the developer seat, and unfortunately, it shows.
Though NHL 2K is a really good hockey game, it just doesn’t feel as polished
as the other games in the 2K line.

Graphically, it’s hard to complain about NHL 2K. With over 1,000 motion-captured
moves and reflections off the ice, this game looks better than any hockey game
has ever looked. Then again, it is on the Dreamcast, and right now there are
no legitimate contenders. However, the players themselves don’t look quite as
detailed as the ones in the other 2K sports games, and one is left to
wonder why.

On the flip side, there are many little details that weren’t overlooked. If
you use the camera to zoom in on the puck, you’ll notice that it actually has
the home team’s logo on it. The puck! Also, the fact that the players skates
cut up the ice while you play is a nice touch, but where’s the Zamboni to smooth
things out in-between periods?

Ever wanted to see what your favorite hockey arena looks like from ice level?
Well, all 27 pro arenas are in NHL 2K with elaborate detail. From the
fireworks during player introductions to the size and shape of the scoreboard,
the designers didn’t overlook anything. With multiple camera angles, as well
as a good instant replay option, you can watch the action from anywhere. You
can even watch the action from the nosebleeder seats, but this time, that’s
a good thing.

gameplay, as I said earlier, is almost identical to any hockey game you’ve ever
played. Wrist shots, Slap Shots, One Timers . . . it’s all here. The fighting
is in there too, complete with dodging and grabbing your opponent. One cool
feature is that you can opt not to fight. If a fight starts and your opponent
removes his gloves, but you choose not to fight, only your opponent gets penalized.
I’m a lover, not a fighter.

The AI in NHL 2K is better than any that I’ve encountered up to this point
in a hockey game. After winning games 17 to 3 in NHL
2000, I was happy that NHL 2K actually offered up a serious challenge.
Though no one gets between me and the Stanley Cup for long . . .

One of the other things that separates NHL 2K from other hockey games
is the control. The three basics are there: shoot, pass, and speedburst/body
check. One drawback is that the shoot button is really sensitive. If you’re
looking to do a wrist shot, you really have to be gentle and only tap the button,
otherwise you’ll wind up for a slap shot. Needless to say, it can be frustrating
when you’re on a fast break and by mistake wind up for a slap shot, giving everyone
a chance to catch up. There’s also no deke button. If you want to fake out the
goalie, you have to do it yourself with the analog stick. Thankfully, these
problems can be overcome by just taking some time to get used to the control

The biggest problem with the game lies not with the gameplay, but with the
commentary. Unlike NFL 2K, where it is rare to hear the announcers repeat
themselves, the commentators in NHL 2K repeat themselves all the time.
It just gets annoying. Even though the commentary is done by Bob Cole and Harry
Neale, it just gets tedious. All hail the person who invented the mute button!

In the end, NHL 2K is a good hockey game, just not a great one. Even
with the few flaws that it has, hockey still has never looked better. Sega Sports
is now three for three as far as their sports titles . . . No wonder EA Sports
won’t design games for the Dreamcast when they’ve got this kind of competition.

See Also

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By Gigi Antonelle, Sarah Peck, Rob Romano, Brett Weiser-Schlesinger

Chancellor Kent Syverud and Dr. Ruth Chen open the doors to their historic residence as part of the One University initiative.

While the residence of Syracuse University’s Chancellor at 300 Comstock Ave. may seem off limits or even mysterious to many students, Chancellor Kent Syverud has been on a mission to change that. Since being inaugurated as Syracuse University’s chancellor in January 2014, Syverud and his wife, Dr. Ruth Chen, have opened up their home to thousands of Syracuse University students and staff as part of the school’s “One University” events. The purpose of these events is to gather members of the university together to talk and get to know people from different aspects of campus.

“We started with the goal of having every student be here before they graduate,” Syverud said.

As part of the One University program, Syverud invites leaders of student organizations to receptions at the residence as a way to better know the student population. These receptions are steeped in the house’s history.

The University acquired the chancellor’s 20-room home in 1915 from William and Eloise Holden Nottingham. The house, which was built in 1901, cost about $125,000 at the time it was bought in exchange for the previous chancellor’s home at 604 University Ave. and a cash donation from John Archbold. In the 1930s, it was home to an annual freshman reception, where Chancellor William Pratt Graham and his wife welcomed the approximately 2,000 new students to an event that was “as gay as a fraternity ball.”

Television, radio & film junior Erin Skelly recently attended a 2016 One University reception on behalf of Syracuse University’s sketch comedy group, Float Your Boat. Based on her experience, the home tour allows the chancellor to show off his comedic side.

“He brought us into this room in the house and he closed the doors and turned off the lights and was like, ‘isn’t this spooky?’” she said. “He was just really funny.”

Beyond the jokes, Syverud impressed Skelly by knowing the best spots for photos.

“We asked to take a picture with him, and he was like ‘Oh, let’s use this lighting,’” Skelly said.

Math education junior Julie Harnett said she was amazed by the Chancellor’s House during the first of two One University visits.

“The first time I was there I was amazed by it,” Harnett said. “The house also feels very comfortable and very welcoming. I think it was the chancellor who made the remark that it was a campus building, so he had mentioned that he wanted students to have the experience to be in there.”

“I think that him saying that helped create the welcoming environment that I felt.”

Along with Syverud, Chen attends most of the receptions and interacts with students, often telling them about lesser-known facts of the house. For example, the house has a third floor party room that is no longer used for events because of fire code regulations. Additionally, a pool was removed from the property because students threw things into it, and there is a “secret door” that was once used by the butler.

Despite the university’s efforts to get more people inside the residence, an informal survey conducted in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the Einhorn Family Walk, Schine Student Center and the Life Science Complex, showed that of 100 students polled, less than a dozen had been inside the chancellor’s house.

Syverud wants these receptions to bring the Syracuse community together. At the Nov. 28, 2016 One University reception, Syverud advised the crowd of student leaders to find another student organization that they didn’t know existed, mingle and take advantage of the free food.

“Find an organization that you can be synergistic with,” he said.

Harnett recalled a story the chancellor likes to tell about Zamboni drivers and a student organization known as Zamboni Revolution. Syverud is proud of the way he brought people together in this way, Harnett said.

“The Zamboni drivers let Zamboni Revolution promote one of their performances via the Zamboni, the actual Zamboni in the hockey rink,” Harnett said. “I know he was very proud of that and laughing about it because I think he recognized that it was kind of silly.

“That’s something he is very passionate about, making the connections across campus between very different groups and finding something in common.”

When it comes to connecting different parts of the Syracuse campus as one university, the chancellor’s mansion may be considered a place that accomplishes this. Sitting on the edge of the Syracuse University campus, the house is a symbol of orange pride.

Mrs. Eggers, the wife of Chancellor Melvin Eggers, once said: “This house belongs to the University, so it belongs to you as well as me.”

Ice is Nice for the Ancestry Researcher: the Zamboni

When an ancestry researcher looks into the U.S. Patent Office files, one might find a famous machine. For our professional genealogist, research went smoothly and she found interesting information on the ever-present ice machine: the Zamboni.

This RecordClick ancestry researcher finds that today is one of THOSE days in Nebraska – snow, wind, and ice. I view these days as good for the imagination because this genealogist can’t do much else.

So I look out my window at a parking lot across the street covered with snow and think of Frank Zamboni. The name Zamboni is, more or less, synonymous with ice events–hockey and figure skating. After a period of time, when ice gets a good deal of use, the surface needs to be cleaned up and smoothed. Out comes this big machine–often generically referred to as a Zamboni –that puts a new surface down in almost no time at all.

So, this ancestry researcher wanted to know who was Frank Zamboni and how could he help a genealogist?

First of all, Frank Zamboni is a good example of how immigrants have made our lives easier. His father, Frank Zamboni Sr., born in Austria in 1862, came to the United States in 1885 and became a naturalized citizen. He and Carmelinna Masoero, born in Italy in 1871, were married in about 1888 and had four children. Then comes a turn of events that makes things for the ancestry researcher interesting.

While many family history researchers think of Italians living in larger cities along the eastern seaboard, Frank and Carmelinna Zamboni don’t exactly fit that image. The couple first settled in Colorado. In about 1890, the Zambonis moved to Utah. In the 1900 U.S. Census, Frank Sr. is listed as Frances and was working as a saloon keeper in Eureka Precinct, Juab County. In the late 1800s, mining was a major source of revenue in the county. While living in Utah, the couple became the parents of two sons, George A. and Frank Jr. In the early 1900s, the family relocated to Bannock County, Idaho in the southeastern part of that state. Frank Sr. took up farming and the family remained in the area about 20 years.

How does a family get from farming in Idaho to ice in California? The ancestry researcher needs to be able to ask good questions. The Zambonis had a mechanical talent and figured out how to apply it.

George A. Zamboni, the oldest son of Frank Sr. and Carmelinna, is listed in the 1910 Census as a blacksmith. With the advent of automobiles, it was a dying occupation. However, many blacksmiths adapted their skills and became auto mechanics. In the 1920 U.S. Census, the family had moved back to Iron County, Utah. Frank Sr. was a carpenter and George A. and Frank Jr. were mechanics.

Between 1920 and 1930, the Zambonis moved to Los Angeles County, California. One way to add value to skills is to provide unique goods and services. Warm Los Angeles needed ice and the Zambonis wanted to satisfy the need. By 1940, Frank Sr. had died and George A. had become a salesman in the oil refining industry. Frank Jr. and his younger brother, Lawrence, saw the value of ice.

As refrigerators improved, the need for ice diminished and Frank turned his attention to how already owned machinery could be used. The idea for a skating rink was formulated followed by the need for a machine to keep the ice in good condition.The Zamboni Patent

In the U.S., patents were developed so inventors could benefit from their creations. Frank took advantage of patents and obtained 15 for different ideas, including one for the ice resurfacing machine now known as a Zamboni.

The benefit for research the ancestry researcher is that information on patents is available online through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Frank Zamboni’s Ice Resurfacer received Patent No. 2643679 on June 23, 1953.

All types of information of interest to the ancestry researcher may be found online.

While the National Archives or the Library of Congress are good places to look initially, other government offices are in the process of making documents available. Knowing what is available and where it can be found can be difficult.

When you hire a genealogist from RecordClick, your search will be done with knowledge and experience.

Zamboni Patents

Between 1928 and 1978, Frank Zamboni was awarded a total of 15 patents ranging from refrigeration innovation to ice resurfacing machines as well as patents for his non-resurfacing machines. Here are just a few patent drawings and stories about Frank’s patent history over those 50 years, including a list of all of his patents.

Patenting the First Machine

After about a decade of experimentation, Frank Zamboni was almost ready to introduce his machine to the world. The Model A ice resurfacing machine, built and used at the Paramount Iceland Skating Rink, had four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering on a hand-built chassis using a war surplus engine and axles. The four-wheel steering feature was dismantled after usage showed that it created a “jamming” effect when trying to steer away from the boards. A cover was added at the front over the conveyor chain to keep snow from falling onto the fresh ice surface. Its wooden side was hinged so snow could be shoveled out or melted by overhead sprayers. The Model A introduced the “wash water” system, which washed the ice with recirculating water before applying the final coat of water.

In 1949, Frank applied for a patent on the machine and in 1953, Patent Application No. 93,478 was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patent No. 2,642,679 was Frank’s basic and broadest patent, although it was not his first. This resurfacer was used at Iceland for about four years before it was replaced by a newer, more efficient model, as Frank’s innovative spirit resulted in continued improvements to the products he was building.

Astro-Zamboni Patent

In 1924 Frank invented an adjustable electrical resister and obtained U.S. Patent No. 1,655,034 on January 3, 1928. During the next three years he obtained two more U.S. patents. On May 16, 1949, he applied for a U.S. patent for the world’s first self propelled ice resurfacing machine, the Model A. Later in the year, he established Frank J. Zamboni & Co. as a family partnership to manufacture his machine starting with an improved Model B.

Frank was approached by the Monsanto Chemical Co. As the manufacturer of AstroTurf®, the company had a problem with their product: rain tended to stay on top of the artificial grass and would not soak through into the ground underneath.

Wheelchair Kamikaze

It's now been about 16 months since the first Multiple Sclerosis patients outside of Italy underwent the venoplasty treatment known as The Liberation Procedure to address the then little heard of vascular condition termed "Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency", or CCSVI for short. Discovered earlier in the decade by the Italian vascular physician Dr. Paolo Zamboni, whose published papers reported success rates previously unheard of in the treatment of MS, knowledge of the condition and its potential relationship to MS was at that time scant, with few people in the MS community having ever heard of CCSVI. Those that were aware of the vascular hypothesis were confined, for the most part, to a small group of patients actively debating the relative merits and deficiencies of the hypothesis on one somewhat obscure MS Internet forum.

Well, what a difference 16 months make. The small trickle of patients undergoing treatment has now become, if not quite a flood, then at the very least an ever-increasing cascade, and word of CCSVI has spread like a kerosene fueled inferno throughout the MS population. Indeed, the very landscape of the Multiple Sclerosis world has shifted, as seismic waves of hope, promise, and controversy have swept over the horizon. In some cases, battle lines have been drawn, and in others, alliances formed. Fairly or not, in the eyes of many MS patients, mainstream neurology and the MS societies have become the enemy, mired in an outdated medical dogma and held in the sway of Big Pharma, and interventional radiologists following in Zamboni's footsteps have been hailed as conquering heroes.

Some of the first US doctors to start performing the Liberation Procedure were soon stopped by wary hospital administrators, but a handful of interventional radiologists in the United States are still openly doing the work, and a network of physicians operating "under the radar" has formed, their names being furtively passed from patient to patient via e-mail and social networking internet sites. Internationally, clinics offering the procedure are popping up from Costa Rica to Bulgaria, and the business of CCSVI medical tourism is booming. YouTube is bursting with videos of patients displaying their post-liberation gains, and web forums are abuzz with CCSVI chatter. Nonprofit CCSVI advocacy groups have formed, and patients, after years of being dictated to, are finally enjoying the self empowerment of having their say.

Put in its simplest terms, the CCSVI hypothesis states that blockages in the jugular and azygous veins, which drain the brain and spinal cord respectively, cause a long-term disruption in the flow of blood through the central nervous system, thus causing, over a period of many years, the damage to nervous system tissues that has come to be called Multiple Sclerosis. This relatively straightforward but radical notion flies in the face of accepted Multiple Sclerosis doctrine, which states that MS is an autoimmune disease caused by an immune system gone awry, and for reasons still unknown goes on a cannibalistic attack of a patient's own tissues. Though at first glance appearing to be at odds, in some ways the two theories actually complement each other, as CCSVI offers an explanation as to how and why immune system cells, which normally are stopped from infiltrating the central nervous system, can find their way through the blood brain barrier to wreak havoc on the nervous system beyond.

So, the CCSVI revolution rockets onward, an irreconcilable force destined to redefine, at a very basic level, medical science’s understanding of one of its greatest mysteries, the mechanism behind MS and maybe even some other autoimmune diseases, right?

Well, not so fast. Despite the boundless optimism expressed by many MS patients, there are still many very legitimate questions that need to be answered about the CCSVI hypothesis and the Liberation Procedure, questions impacting both near and long-term implications for the Multiple Sclerosis universe.

On a pathophysiological level, while CCSVI does seem to answer many of the perplexing questions surrounding MS, in some very important areas the hypothesis fails to reconcile with some firmly established facts about the disease. Among the most glaring examples of these are:

  • The geographic distribution of the disease, which shows that the prevalence of MS increases indisputably the further away one gets from the equator. Additionally, migrant studies show that when people move from an area where MS is common to an area where it is rarer they show a decrease in the rate of the disease, whereas migrants moving in the opposite direction tend to retain their resistance to the disease. There is also evidence that susceptibility to the disease might also be linked to the age at which migration occurs. (Click here)
  • The female to male ratios of people with MS, which appears to be growing farther apart. In 1940, the ratio of women to men with MS in the US was about 2 to 1. By 2000, that ratio had grown to nearly 4 to 1. (Click here)
  • The genetic factors that have been identified as being related to susceptibility to MS, though few, are all associated with genes that play a role in regulating the immune system. (Click here)
  • The association of MS with Epstein-Barr virus. Although over 90% of the population is infected with EBV, recent research has shown that people who don't have EBV do not get MS. (Click here)
  • According to CCSVI theory, which states that blood refluxing back into the CNS causes the inflammation that is a hallmark of MS, it would seem that the amount of inflammation would continue to increase with the age of the patient. Instead, the inflammation seen in MS typically reaches its apex in the early relapsing remitting stage of the disease, but falls off dramatically when the disease enters the later, progressive stage. Patients who start out with progressive disease (PPMS), though generally older at the time of diagnosis, typically show very little evidence of CNS inflammation. (Click here)

Although it is difficult to understand the above factors in terms of CCSVI, they do not invalidate the theory. MS is an extremely heterogeneous disease, suggesting that multiple factors are likely at work, and that these factors very likely change from individual to individual. In fact, what we call MS may not be one disease, but rather a collection of diseases that share some common elements. A research effort called The Lesion Project (click here, page down to "Heterogeneity of the disease") has identified four distinct lesion types through the postmortem examination of MS nervous system tissues. The project has further found that each patient only exhibits one type of lesion, and that some of the lesion types surround blood vessels while others do not.. This evidence suggests that different disease processes may be at work, and it could very well be that CCSVI plays a major role in some forms of what we call MS, but a lesser role, or no role at all, in others.

This also helps explain the variance in the effectiveness of the liberation treatment from patient to patient. Some patients see dramatic improvements in their condition, sometimes almost immediately after having their veins unblocked. Other patients exhibit no benefit from the procedure, and some even get worse. Dr. Gary Siskin, an interventional radiologist doing the Liberation Procedure in Albany, New York, has publicly stated that one third of his patients see dramatic improvements, one third minor improvements, and a final third no improvements at all.

Dr. Siskin also stresses the importance of doctors managing patient expectations, as the vast majority of materials on the internet (YouTube videos, patient testimonials, etc.) paint an overly positive picture of the results of liberation. This isn't due to any kind of deception on the part of MS forum members or YouTube posters, but is simply a function of human nature. Patients who exhibit dramatic improvements are far more likely to publicize the outcome of their procedures than those who experience disappointing results. It's very important that patients go into venoplasty with reasonable expectations.

The tools and methodology for both the detection and treatment of CCSVI have so far demonstrated sometimes serious deficiencies. On the detection side of things, the most common noninvasive imaging techniques, MRV and Doppler sonogram, have both proven to be less than reliable in identifying the venous defects associated with CCSVI, returning both false-positives and false negatives. Doctors and patients alike have noted that their preprocedure imaging very often does not match up with what is actually found during the catheter venogram procedure, which is the gold standard for imaging venous abnormalities.

The handful of imaging studies done have produced widely varying results, some detecting nearly universal evidence of CCSVI in MS patients, and others finding scant evidence of CCSVI at all. While some of these discrepancies can be attributed to variances in methodology and operator competence, I believe the overall reason for these vastly different findings falls on the failings of technology. So far, the only reasonably reliable noninvasive imaging method appears to be Doppler sonography done according to very specific protocols designed by Dr. Zamboni, but even the results of testing done to these exacting standards at times proves to be unreliable, and, according to the doctor who performed my recent sonogram using the Zamboni protocols, are still somewhat subjective. The physical abnormalities being attributed to CCSVI are hardly subtle, and one would think, given the advanced state of medical technologies, that a variety of instruments and methodologies would be able to pick them up. Apparently, this is not the case, and it is imperative that better imaging techniques be developed, as it is simply not feasible to perform invasive catheter venograms on every patient suspected of having CCSVI.

At a recent CCSVI symposium attended by many of the interventional radiologists most experienced with the Liberation Procedure (click here for report), it was apparent that the Liberation Procedure itself is still in its early infancy and is a very much a work in progress. Many of the presenting radiologists commented on the steep learning curve involved with doing the procedure, and the opinions of these very accomplished physicians varied widely on subjects as fundamental as the proper size of balloons to be used during venoplasty, whether or not stents should be used to prop open blocked veins, and even what constitutes a treatable stenosis. Dr. Sclafani, who performed my attempted liberation (blockages were found but were unable to be addressed, click here for more info) has in no uncertain terms called this an age of discovery. If CCSVI is indeed shown to be a causative factor in Multiple Sclerosis, it's very likely that veins other than the jugular and azygos (such as the lumbar and vertebral veins) play a role in the disease, and presently there is no way to address blockages in these vessels. It's very important that patients be cognizant of these factors when making the decision whether or not to undergo liberation.

Many patients who opt for venoplasty alone (without the use of stents) experience restenosis of their treated veins, necessitating a repeat procedure. If the initial procedure was done locally, and was covered by insurance, this might not pose much of a problem. On the other hand, if the patient traveled thousands of miles, and spent the $10,000-$20,000 often required for travel and treatment, such a repeat performance may prove to be impossible, turning their initial procedure into a financial disaster.

Patients who have stents implanted in their blocked jugular or azygos veins are entering the realm of the unknown, as all of the stents currently in use were designed to be implanted in arteries, which anatomically are extremely different from veins. The only other patient population that regularly has stents implanted in their veins are end-stage hemodialysis patients, who suffer from extremely serious kidney disease. Studies done on the failure rates of these stents are not encouraging, often finding a 50% failure rate after one year (click here for an extensive study, or here for a chart summarizing its results ). I'm certain that the stresses placed on stents during the dialysis process are much different than those placed on stents implanted in CCSVI patients, so the validity of the comparison may questionable. Still, all of the currently available stents were designed primarily for use within the chest cavity, where they are not subject to the constant bending, twisting, and torque that they experience when implanted in the extremely flexible human neck. For patients determined to improve their hemodynamic blood flow and stand a better chance at avoiding restenosis, or whose veins simply don't respond to repeated attempts at ballooning, stents do offer a viable alternative to balloon venoplasty. Clearly, if CCSVI does prove to be an important piece of the MS puzzle (and I believe it will), stents specifically designed for use in the jugulars will be sorely needed.

In conclusion, it has certainly been an interesting 16 months. While much has been learned in regards to CCSVI, there is much more that has yet to be learned. Although some questions have been answered, many more have been raised. A robust treatment trial of the Liberation Procedure that includes sham procedures would be the quickest and most effective way to answer most of these questions. Researchers at the University at Buffalo are currently conducting such a trial, albeit a small one, limited to 30 subjects . Unfortunately, as of today, no other such trials have yet been funded.

CCSVI offers MS patients tangible hope, a commodity in perilously short supply before news of the hypothesis made its way through the Multiple Sclerosis community. Quite literally sick of, and from, taking the drugs that many MSers know are doing nothing to address the underlying cause of their disease, CCSVI has been embraced by patients with a fervor rarely seen in modern medicine. In some cases, I fear that the strength of these convictions has at times overwhelmed reason. I fully understand the desperation felt by those afflicted with this damned disease, as I am subject to it myself. Still, it should be at the forefront of every patient's mind that while the past year has been very encouraging, CCSVI and its role in MS has by no means been proven.

I personally made the choice to attempt liberation because of the severity and aggressiveness of my disease. Each patient must assess their own risk/reward ratio, keeping in mind that many of the questions surrounding CCSVI will likely be answered sooner rather than later, and the techniques used to address blocked veins will mature at a rapid pace, as physicians gain experience and work their way up the learning curve. Quite likely, Liberation Procedures done 12 months from now will be significantly different from those done today, and patients who can afford to wait before embarking on liberation will surely benefit from the accrual of knowledge and the perfection of technique that can only come with time.

Plante revolutionized hockey by donning mask

For decades goaltenders never would think of donning a mask. But then again, why would they?

In the years leading up to World War I and the formation of the NHL in 1917, shots on goal were rarely as dangerous, and certainly not nearly as hard, as blasts from today's players. But by the end of World War II the NHL had become faster and more furious than ever, and so were the shots on goal.

Maurice "Rocket" Richard, with his backhand drive alone, could propel a puck at speeds of more than a mile a minute. When his teammate, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, developed a slap shot at even faster speeds, goalies were in big trouble.

Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Glenn Hall once told me in no uncertain terms, "Goaltending is sixty minutes of hell." Hall's teammates had no doubts about his statement they watched him vomit before every game. Yet Hall, who starred on the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning team in 1961, played 502 consecutive regular-season games without facial protection.

As it happened, one of Hall's contemporaries, Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens, began getting the notion that being playing goal without a mask was a bad idea. Ever creative, even as a junior player, Plante began experimenting with the idea of a face protector.

At first he did it surreptitiously, and for good reason: He knew that Montreal coach Toe Blake would dismiss the idea of a goalie mask out of hand.

But Plante was as determined as Blake was stubborn. What's more, he found a craftsman who could mold a plastic face protector with eye and mouth slits that Plante eventually would use for practice. By this time Plante had summoned enough courage to confront his coach and demand that Blake at least allow him to don his mask during scrimmages. Plante reasoned with that the Canadiens had some of the NHL's hardest shooters, including Richard, Geoffrion, Jean Beliveau and Dickie Moore. Why get hurt in practice?

Blake began thinking along the same lines. He realized he had one goalie and certainly did not want him unnecessarily injured in a workout. Blake finally agreed, reluctantly, that practice shots by Richard, Geoffrion, Moore, Beliveau and their teammates could present a hazard, so he allowed Plante to give his revolutionary plastic mask a try.

Also, Plante's goaltending had spearheaded the Canadiens to four straight Stanley Cup championships. In a sense, Blake figured he owed his goalie a favor. Ergo, Plante could wear his mask at practice.

That said, absolutely no one believed that Blake would allow a masked goalie during regular-season games. Nobody disagreed with Blake, and yet Plante eventually would win the argument in the most ironic way.

This is how it slowly evolved:

Plante had developed a nasty habit of occasionally fouling his opponents. One of those opponents happened to be New York Rangers star right wing Andy Bathgate, who never liked gratuitous slashes to his knees. In previous games between the teams Plante had enraged Bathgate with some whacks that clearly were illegal.

Bathgate refrained from retaliation until the Canadiens came to Madison Square Garden on Nov. 1, 1959. Early in that game Plante tripped Bathgate and nearly injured him.

"I felt that I had enough of that stuff from Plante," Bathgate said decades later when he returned to the Garden for an interview. "I had decided I would get even."

And he did. Shortly thereafter, Bathgate raced down the right side and unleashed a shot that Plante was ill-prepared to stop.

"I was aiming for his head," Bathgate said. "And it was a backhand shot, not a snap shot the way others later reported."

To this day goaltenders will tell you that the backhander is the most challenging of shots because it resembles a knuckleball in baseball. Sure enough, before Plante could duck, the puck struck him squarely in the nose and sent him crashing to the ice. His face looked like a mashed potato covered with ketchup.

Stunned and bloodied, Plante was helped to the dressing room where he needed seven stitches in his nose. For several minutes nobody could be sure that he would be fit to play again. And presuming that he had to be hospitalized, then what?

In those days NHL teams didn't carry a backup goalie. However all six arenas had to provide what was known as a "house goalie," usually an amateur who played in a local beer league. During the 1959-60 season, New York employed two house goalies. One was Joe Schaefer, who played in the Metropolitan League for the Sands Point Tigers. The other was a well-known television director, Arnee Nocks. The Brooklyn native doubled as the Rangers' practice goalie, though he was better known for his work on a popular 1950s kids TV show called "Captain Video and His Video Rangers."

On this night, Nocks was in the Garden watching when Bathgate's shot smashed into Plante's face. As the Montreal goaltender was carried off the ice, Nocks dashed to the visitors' dressing room, knowing that Plante might not return and a replacement would be needed.

Unbeknownst to Nocks, while Plante was having his face rearranged he also warned Blake that he absolutely would not return to the ice unless he was allowed to wear his new mask. While the two argued, Nocks proceeded to attach his goalie pads and assorted other equipment before putting on the bleu, blanc et rouge Canadiens jersey.

During his shouting match with Plante, Blake occasionally peered over at Nocks and realized that the talented Rangers just might beat his Canadiens. He wanted no part of that. Losing two points because he had to use a beer-league goalie? Never!

Blake finally turned to his Vezina Trophy-winning goalie and said, "OK. Do it." Moments later, Plante left triumphantly trundled out of the dressing room, clomping along the yards of rubber matting before climbing the dozen stairs that led to the ice.

I was at the Garden for this unusual Manhattan melodrama. Along with 15,000-plus spectators, I was in a state of disbelief when the masked goalie skated to the Montreal net. Like others in the crowd I was shocked not only by Plante's grotesque mask, but furthermore that a goaltender actually was wearing one as a regular piece of equipment.

Now another question emerged in the press box overhanging the mezzanine at the Garden: Could Plante make his masked experiment work? The answer was yes. He and the Canadiens defeated the Rangers 3-1 that night, the beginning of a 10-0-1 unbeaten streak. Plante was in goal for all 11 games.

Still unconvinced, Blake pleaded with Plante to try playing another game without a mask, and finally the goalie agreed. The result was a bad loss for the Canadiens, and Plante never played without a mask again.

Better still, he won another Vezina Trophy and backstopped the Canadiens to an unprecedented fifth consecutive Stanley Cup.

The legacy of Plante's decision is evident in today's game. Not only are all goaltenders required to wear a mask, but teams must dress two goalies for every game. And when a goalie's mask comes off during a game, the whistle is blown and play is stopped.

"Plante changed the game forever," author Andrew Podnieks wrote in his 2003 book, "Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL."

And to think that the goalie revolution all began with an Andy Bathgate revenge backhand!

Celebrating the Birthday of the late Frank Zamboni

Anyone who has frequented an ice rink has no doubt watched with envy as the driver of the Zamboni machine resurfaces the ice. Behind the famous machines there is a man – Frank Zamboni – who would have turned 119 on January 16 th . The innovator, inventor and entrepreneur never came across an obstacle he could not tinker his way through.

Frank J. Zamboni was born in Eureka, Utah. Frank’s parents moved their family (with one year old Frank in tow) from Eureka to a farm in Idaho, where Frank developed his mechanical skills. In 1920, Frank moved to southern California with his brother Lawrence to join their older brother George in his auto repair business. After a short time working on cars, the two younger Zambonis decided to open an electrical service business catering to the local dairy industry. There the brothers installed many refrigerated units dairies used to keep their milk cool.

When the demand for cooling expanded into the produce industry, they moved their business forward with a new vision. They built an ice-making plant and sold large blocks of ice to nearby produce packing plants. But as refrigeration technology improved, demand for block ice began to shrink and Frank and Lawrence started looking for other ways to capitalize on their expertise with the frozen water.

That opportunity came as the popularity of the sport of ice skating grew. There were few rinks in southern California, so in 1939, Frank, Lawrence and a cousin built Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount. Iceland opened in 1940 as one of the largest rinks in the country, with 20,000 square feet of iced surface – enough room for 800 skaters. The original rink was an open-air facility, but was soon covered with a domed roof. Their next challenge was how to best maintain the indoor surface of the rink.

At the time, resurfacing the ice meant pulling a scraper behind a tractor and shaving the surface. Three or four workers would scoop away the shavings, spray the surface with water and then wait for it to freeze – a process that took more than an hour. For Frank it was a puzzle to be solved – how could he make a good sheet of ice in a short period of time? It was not long before he attempted to develop a machine that would make the task of ice-resurfacing fast and efficient.

In March of 1942, Frank bought a tractor and started experimenting. His first attempt was a machine built into a sled towed behind a tractor that neither smoothed the surface nor picked up the “snow” adequately. He repeated experiments for years and went through many designs until the summer of 1949, when he created the “Model A Zamboni Ice Resurfacer.” Frank applied for and was granted a patent in 1953. The first Zamboni ice-resurfacing machine, Model A, was built, tested, modified and re-tested at Paramount Iceland. In fact, Frank Zamboni wanted to call his company The Paramount Engineering Company after the city that was so dear to his heart, but that name had already been taken. So he named the company after himself, knowing there could be no disputing a name that belonged to him.

Renowned Attorney Frank Vecchione Retires After 50 Years

Although he had nearly perfected his machine, Frank never stopped experimenting with new innovations and enhancements. In 1954, Zamboni introduced the Model E which became the first standardized design for his machine. Between 1954 and 1955, twenty of these models were manufactured and sold. Among the purchasers was the NHL team the Boston Bruins. They used the Model E for over 30 years and in the late 1980s, they requested that the vintage machine be fully restored by the Zamboni Company. When the restored machine was delivered and ceremoniously turned over at the Boston Garden, it was announced that the Zamboni would be delivered to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a part of its historic collection.

Frank Zamboni passed away in 1988, but his machine and his memory live on. Nearly 20 years after his death, Frank was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his revolutionary machine. Two years later, he was given the ultimate honor by the sport with which he is most closely associated in 2009, Zamboni was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, one of the few inductees who never played the game competitively.

The Zamboni Company remains in operation today and in April 2012, Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. delivered its 10,000th production machine. From the 1949 Model A to the 650 Series of electric resurfacer today, Frank Zamboni’s desire to develop the best possible product for his customers remains as strong in his successors over 70 years later. As Frank often pointed out to rink owners, a comment indicative of his own lifelong mission, “The principal product you have to sell is the ice itself.”

The Zamboni Revolution - HISTORY

1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1988th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 988th year of the 2nd millennium, the 88th year of the 20th century, and the 9th year of the 1980s decade.

1988 was a crucial year in the early history of the Internet—it was the year of the first well-known computer virus, the 1988 Internet worm. The first permanent intercontinental Internet link was made between the United States (NSFNET) and Europe (Nordunet) as well as the first Internet-based chat protocol, Internet Relay Chat. [1] The concept of the World Wide Web was first discussed at CERN in 1988. [2]

The Soviet Union began its major deconstructing towards a mixed economy at the beginning of 1988 and began its gradual dissolution. The Iron Curtain began to disintegrate in 1988 as Hungary began allowing freer travel to the West. [3] The first extrasolar planet, Gamma Cephei Ab (confirmed in 2002) was detected this year and the World Health Organization began its mission to eradicate polio.

In the 20th century, the year 1988 has the most Roman numeral digits (11).

Watch the video: Get a Life with Zamboni Revolution