Now that the senseless Deflategate is in it’s 6th month and there is no end in sight it got me thinking, what the equivalent would be in the NHL? The equivalent would have to have something to do with pucks and how they are handled before games and during games.
So I did a little research and I ended up on the NHL Officials website. The site has a copy of the NHL Rule Book and I found Rule 13. To summarize, Rule 13 states that the puck must be made out of vulcanized rubber, 1″ thick, 3″ in diameter, and weigh between 5.5 and 6 ounces. The home team has to supply the pucks for the game and they must be frozen.
Each penalty box is equipped with a freezer. The freezer must be between 14 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In the home team’s Dressing Room their is another Freezer, which needs to have at least 80 pucks in it at 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Before the game 15 pucks are delivered to the Off-Ice Supervisor in a hard plastic cooler. Also, before the 2nd and 3rd periods another 15 pucks are delivered to the Off-Ice Supervisor. Once a puck has been in a game for over two minutes it gets replaced. Also at every TV timeout the puck gets replaced.
Now back to the potential of a Deflategate type scandal. Does the NHL check the temperature of the freezers? Could a team in a warmer climate, such as Florida, want the pucks to be colder than 14 degrees Fahrenheit since the ice surface is softer, or maybe they want them to be a little warmer? Does someone from the NHL weigh the pucks to make sure they are within the weight requirements? Or could an NHL team push the boundaries a little with the puck manufacturer to get the puck closer to the 5.5 ounces? These are questions I do not know. Is there “gamesmanship” done to the pucks by the home team to met their preferences just like Tom Brady likes the footballs to have a certain amount of air in them? I would be interested to hear some comments regarding this.