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Where is Canada's safest NHL arena?

PAUL RIVARD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:46 PM ET

The incident that resulted in a serious injury to Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty on March 8 has raised many questions regarding the level of violence perpetrated by NHL players themselves, as well as the level of safety inside the league's arenas.

QMI Agency conducted a survey, March 14-15, quizzing 40 players from the NHL's six Canadian teams on how safe they think our country's hockey rinks are. Aside from the obvious advantages of playing at home, the players appeared to have a very clear idea of the safest NHL rinks in Canada, as well as which of them could use some work.

Apparently, the players surveyed are all too aware of the solid boards and glass at the Bell Centre, considered to have the least give of all NHL rinks, a fact that was even acknowledged publicly by Habs' forward Michael Cammalleri.

ARENA

Toronto's Air Canada Centre beat out the home rinks of both Ottawa and Edmonton for safest arena. On the flip side, players may want to consider taking out a better insurance policy before stepping foot in Montreal's Bell Centre.

STANCHIONS

The players were very hesitant and said they saw no difference between the different rinks. Toronto appeared to fare positively, while Montreal being viewed less favourably.

The Canadiens have already changed the stanchion padding in favour of something thicker. A new survey would likely see different results.

ICE

However, many players agree that the best ice in the world can become the worst over a 24-hour period, should a basketball game or concert be held at the arena the day before.

There was no doubt that the best ice conditions are found in Edmonton, while the worst ice in Canada was voted to be in Toronto.

BOARDS

"Vancouver has the worst boards," said one NHL player. "Very stiff. When you get hit there, it's like a cement wall."


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