NHL makes lasting memories at Lake Tahoe, donates special gift
STATELINE, Nev. — The National Hockey League is leaving behind many memories from its time at Lake Tahoe, including a special gift that could be used for future games, just probably not future NHL events.
While the NHL said it couldn’t be more thrilled to be at Tahoe, the commissioner thinks the outdoor games this past weekend at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline are probably one-time events, and that their games belong in front of fans.
“The setting and the weather, other than a hockey game standpoint, couldn’t be more magnificent and we’re grateful to be here,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “Our game is about our fans and part of the allure to the outdoor games is having massive crowds. I think these events are enhanced by having fans. We’re in a unique year in a unique season, but we belong in front of our fans.”
The NHL is leaving behind what it calls a legacy gift, a zamboni that could be used for future games at the Stateline event center that broke ground last fall.
“When we bring a major event to a community, we like to leave behind a legacy gift that will last long after we’re gone,” Bettman said. “There is a community events center being built adjacent to Montbleu and we are donating one of our zambonis that will be refurbished before they receive it.”
Bettman went on to say he is thankful to Tahoe South, Edgewood, the business community and many others for helping to make the weekend possible.
He also praised his ice making group and said they had the challenge of their lives.
Round 2 of NHL games at Edgewood on Sunday went a lot more smoothly than Saturday when play was suspended for about eight hours after starting about noon. The sun wreaked havoc causing the ice to deteriorate, creating hazardous conditions for the players from the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights. After the long delay, the game resumed at 9 p.m. under the lights and switched from prime viewing on NBC to NBCSN.
“We had to make a lot of decisions and in hindsight there can always be second guessing,” Bettman said.
The Avalanche, maybe more used to the altitude, were a step quicker than the Knights in winning 3-2.
Sunday’s game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers was pushed back to the early evening, about 5 p.m., to avoid the direct sunlight and was also only viewed on NBCSN and and not the main network as originally planned.
Fans got to see Tahoe Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter deliver the game puck to officials and also the Bruins score a record-tying seven goals, in a 7-3 victory. Star David Pastrnak notched the second hat trick in NHL outdoor game history. The combined 10 goals also tied the record for most goals in a game.
The two dozen kayakers who showed for Saturday’s game were back for Sunday. Some hauled in 6- to 8-foot ladders and placed them just off the beach in an attempt to better view the action. There were also about a half dozen boats on the water, including the M.S. Dixie II, Safari Rose and a Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District rescue boat.
Bill Rozak is the editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of The Union.
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According to the National Weather Service, the gradually increasing temperatures of Nevada County’s spring 2021 may palliate this weekend.