ANN ARBOR, MICH. - As the Leafs’ resident voice of experience for NHL outdoor games, James van Riemsdyk said the Michigan Stadium ice surface surpasses what he played on in two previous experiences.
But that was nothing compared to teammate Cody Franson’s ringing endorsement of the rink they tested out during an hour-long practice on Tuesday.
“It was the best ice I think I’ve ever skated on,” Franson said.
Wait a minute.
“To be honest with you, yes,” Franson said. “It was fast, it didn’t break down. It didn’t get slushy toward the end and was quick the whole time we were out there. It was really good.
“It will make it fast. When the puck isn’t jumping around on you and you’re not skating around slush, everything picks up speed a little bit.”
Van Riemsdyk, who twice played in the Winter Classic while with the Flyers, said the ice here is definitely better than the other two.