Leafs going with new look for their ice crew

A member of the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew cleans the ice during the team's preseason game against...

A member of the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew cleans the ice during the team's preseason game against the Colorado Avalanche at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:24 AM ET

Don’t be surprised if hockey timeouts suddenly become must-see viewing at the Air Canada Centre, especially with the dominant male audience.

The club has made the move to an eye-catching ice-cleaning team of young women to shovel excess snow and clear any hazards during regular stoppages. After a series of ‘tryouts’, 10 hockey enthusiasts were picked for the inaugural Maple Leafs Ice Crew, which started back with Monday’s game against Columbus.

Their assignment is the same as the men, clean the entire ice three times a period in 90 seconds or less, avoiding players and referees.

“We always want to try new things for game operations,” said Shannon Hosford, vice-president of marketing and communications for MLSE. “This is something our fans said they wanted. We had used a female group for a couple of games (borrowing the popular Marlies squad during the recent ACC labour dispute). It has been successful with other NHL clubs.”


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