Hurricanes, Red Wings postponed after ice melting debacle

Getty Images
Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes’ game against the Detroit Red Wings was postponed on Monday night after a compressor in the PNC Arena’s ice-freezing machine blew out.

It was eventually repaired but the playing surface couldn’t get to the necessary temperature and ice solidity for the game to commence.

The problem? There was a ticking clock on the game. The Red Wings play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday. Per NHL rules, the game against the Hurricanes could start no later than 9:30 p.m. ET since the Red Wings play the following night.

No makeup date has been scheduled yet.

The timeline:

1:30 p.m. ET – The Red Wings and Hurricanes hold practices. Injuries and starting goalies are announced. Detroit players tell Helene St. James of the Freep that the ice is terrible.

6:30 p.m. – The players prepare in the locker room before the 7 p.m. puck drop for the game, which by the way was the free streaming game on on Monday night.

6:44 p.m. – The Hurricanes announce that they are “experiencing a delay due to an issue with the cooling system that just arose.” The team announced that the warm-up will be delayed until the issue is resolved. Canes writer Chip Alexander says it’s a “compressor problem.”

Here’s a look at the ice at that moment of the evening:


6:54 p.m. – Canes defenseman Ron Hainsey tells the crowd on a Jumbotron interview that the delay could be up to an hour.

7:21 p.m. – Hurricanes president Don Waddell “said the cooling system is fixed and they are working to get the ice back to the right temperature.” Huzzah!

He says the surface temperature is about 25 degrees. That’s not freezing enough. “It’s disappointing, but in 18 years in the building, this is the first time this part has ever gone out,” he said.

8:07 p.m. – The Hurricanes say an update will arrive at 8:30 p.m. Their social media teams fields dozens of questions from fans inside the building about whether or not they can get refunds on their tickets. The Hurricanes respond like this, over and over and over:

Some fans wanted to know if the Hurricanes’ broken ice machine meant the Red Wings got a free win:

8:40 p.m. – The Hurricanes say another update will arrive at 8:55 p.m. Don’t leave yet, they’re still hope!!!

8:47 p.m. – All hope is lost and the game is cancelled. Alas, the only usable ice was in the sodas we hope they’re refunding for the fans. (Ticket and parking refund details were forthcoming on the team’s website.)

9:15 p.m. – The Hurricanes send out an official release:

“We apologize to our fans who made the trip to PNC Arena tonight hoping to see the Hurricanes extend their nine-game home point streak,” said Hurricanes Team President Don Waddell. “A mechanical problem arose early this evening with the cooling system that keeps the ice solidified. We hope to announce a make-up date for our game against Detroit, as well as an exchange policy for the fans who had tickets to this game, in the near future.”

Meanwhile, GM Ron Francis said finding a suitable makeup date will be “difficult” given the season’s “compressed schedule.”

Well, that stunk for the fans that were in the building, foregoing Cam Newton against the Redskins on Monday Night Football to watch this game. Hopefully the Canes kick a little something extra to the fans beyond the refunds they’ll be receiving.

(Like an official team logo ice mold, which would be hilarious.)

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.