By Roger Mooney
Published: January 26, 2018
Updated: January 27, 2018 at 12:02 AMTAMPA – The puck was dropped by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman just after 3 p.m. Friday, officially opening the area's newest hockey rink.
This one is made for ball hockey and sits at the Jeff and Penny Vinik Family Boys & Girls Club at Winston Park in Tampa.
The facility was quickly christened with a hockey game watched over by three of the Lightning's five all-stars — right wing Nikita Kucherov, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and center Brayden Point.
"This isn't about creating new fans," Bettman said. "This is about life lessons, hard work, team work, leadership, diligence, getting along with people and getting physically fit, and this rink can accomplish all those things for the young people who will play here."
The rink is the NHL's legacy program, a philanthropic venture where the league and the team that hosts the all-star game combine to support a community organization.
The NHL All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday at Amalie Arena, with the skills competition scheduled for tonight.
The Viniks donated $2.5 million to the club, which is undergoing extensive renovations while being rebuilt after being destroyed by a fire in December 2016.
Vinik said the new hockey rink was built with funds donated by he and his wife, the NHL and the 50/50 raffles held during Lightning home games.
"Our return on this is the smile on the kids' faces," Vinik said. "They're having such a good time, this rink's going to be occupied 12 hours a day, every day for years to come. We're so glad we could provide this community with a location where young people can get together in a positive setting and building up teamwork and respect for each other, and learn to lose, all great life skills. That's what we provide here."
Bettman and Vinik attended the Declaration of Principles summit Friday morning. The DOC is a program that includes eight values Bettman wants his league to embrace and follow to help grow the sport.
"This is a demonstration of us as a league and the local franchise and the owners and the Vinik's living the Declaration of Principles, what we want hockey to mean in people's lives," Bettman said.
Chris Letsos, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, said hockey is the No. 2 sport among those who attend the clubs.
"And it's all because of the Lightning," he said.
The hockey rink is just another vehicle that helps create positives bond between those who attend the club and deputies who work there and volunteer their time, said Hillsborough sheriff Chad Chronister.
"This is something that only makes our community stronger," Chronister said. "Imagine what this means to the children in this neighborhood that would never have an opportunity for anything like this, and now they do. You see the smiles on the children's faces, you see the joy that it brings them. I don't think there's any stronger bond than the bond of sharing joy."
Its widely known that the NHL has been trying to continuously grow the game of Hockey in the US marketplace for decades now. Placing NHL franchises in non traditional hockey markets like their newest expansion team in Las Vegas Who is totally "killing it" in their first season. (My inner hockey fanboy is secretly cheering for them...VEGAS vs TORONTO Stanley Cup Finals! Whoo Hoo!)
What is not widely known is some of the smaller unnoticed things that the NHL and its teams are doing to grow the passion that unites us. Bringing awareness through charity work and many other programs that helps develop and find the newest hockey stars in the making, and its working. (Hello...Auston Matthews....Arizona? A hockey phenom from the desert!?)
If you have read some of my previous blog postings, you might have read about some of the partnerships Riley has developed with some of these teams. Building indoor and outdoor community hockey rinks for all to enjoy. Well this weekend marks the 2018 NHL All Star Break, with lots of festivities leading up to the skills competition on Saturday and the 3 on 3 games on Sunday!
We are pleased to share with you Riley's newest addition in TAMPA BAY to the NHL's community rink program! Just in time for the all star break! Complete with a roof enclosure and extra crease markings for tyke age cross ice games!
Here are the Pics!
As part of our initiative to feature and bring attention to some of the amazing facilities that are available out there, here is a phenomenal video of the First Line Training Facility in Rockville, Maryland!
Dasher boards with Seamless Glass by Riley! Check out this Video!
***Warning...This article may contain the rants and biased opinion of a true, bleed blue, hometown leaf fan. The contents & opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions and team preferences of Riley & all its employees. (But honestly...it doesn't matter...its a blog...lighten up....Go LEAFS GO!)***
Well it has come that time of the season where us Canadians hold out as long as possible before grabbing a sweater & putting away the summer shorts, while at the same time reaching for the hockey gear and hitting the rink!
For those of you in the know, and even for those of you who don't care to know...The NHL Hockey Pre-Season begins tonight, with a game between The Toronto Maple Leafs & The Ottawa Senators! Yes i know it is only the Pre-Season, it doesn't count towards anything...but for us long suffering fans of the buds...its the first time we have seen the boys hit the ice since the taking the Presidents Trophy winners, and highly favored Capitals to task in the 1st round of last years playoffs.
This is an especially exciting time for Toronto fans, as it marks the first time in decades that the performance expectations of the team, actually match reality. Last year marked the 100 year anniversary of the franchise, and it also gave us another year without a Championship. Toronto now ranks in the top 10 longest active droughts in North American Pro Sports History. However these days, with the crop of young players (The Big Three...you know who they are); who combined for a total of 201 points IN THEIR ROOKIE YEAR...you can see why there is plenty of reason to be optimistic! Heck even some of the 4th line guys were putting up 20 goals. Regardless if you are a Leaf fan or not, you have to admit...this could very well be history in the making, and those kids sure make things interesting!
Even though I may be a leaf fan, Riley is a proud supporter of all things hockey & a supplier to many different levels of the sport. We have been working tirelessly with all of our clients and suppliers to make sure everyone's facility is up and running as the hockey season approaches. (Including the Senators, Capitals & Defending Stanley Cup Champs Pittsburgh Penguins). So if you are managing a facility and notice that there are some repairs or replacements needed, then we want to hear from you! You can also visit our Online Store to purchase directly from there!
Well to be more specific, we are not running away...we are shipping to...and its not the circus...but the Cirque Du Soleil!!
Now you might ask yourself....what or how on earth could Riley ever be associated with the world renowned acrobatic phenomenon that is Cirque? If your confused, you are not alone...I scratched my head for quite some time on this one as well. A unique request for a Complete Dressed and Padded set of Goal Frames...but painted completely WHITE!
After some rather intense investigative reporting (Really it was just me and google...but its sounds so much cooler the other way) I managed to find a press release giving us some insight. Although the production has been kept somewhat secretive, we were able to gather some information on what will be the newest, latest and greatest Cirque Du Soleil production.
Now this is something I would go and see! Word to the wise to all you "D****Y on Ice" type shows...Watch out because...the Cirque is coming!
Here is the original Press release
Cirque du Soleil Fuses Excitement, Breathtaking Artistry
and Unique Creativity with Ice in
A Breakthrough Ice Experience
WILL TOUR ARENAS STARTING OCTOBER 2017
Tickets on pre-sale in 7 North American cities
exclusively to Cirque Club members today
General on-sale begins June 2nd
Montreal, May 24, 2017 – Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to venture into uncharted territory with its brand new creation, Cirque du Soleil Crystal, exploring the artistic attributes of ice for the very first time. The state-of-the-art production will create a fresh innovative experience, pushing the boundaries once again by combining outstanding skating and sliding, remarkable aesthetics and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination.
Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to venture into uncharted territory with its brand new creation, , exploring the artistic attributes of ice for the very first time. The state-of-the-art production will create a fresh innovative experience, pushing the boundaries once again by combining outstanding skating and sliding, remarkable aesthetics and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination.“We are excited to create a unique entertainment experience on ice for all spectators to enjoy. It's a wonderful opportunity for Cirque du Soleil as ice provides us with an entirely new field of play which also comes with a set of creative challenges. Our goal is to continuously surprise audiences by showcasing all the incredible possibilities on ice” explained Yasmine Khalil, Executive Producer of Crystal.
Crystal will follow a young woman who shatters through reality to reach a surreal world filled with possibility. Beneath the surface, she pursues the life that has been glistening within. Sometimes, we must first leave solid ground to find our true footing.
Specifically created for arenas, Crystal will tour the world starting in Lafayette, Louisiana on October 5, 2017. The show will be presented in a few cities in the United States before visiting Quebec City and Montreal later this year.
Cirque du Soleil invites the audience to discover Crystal – A Breakthrough Ice Experience – and find out what it means to skate on the edge of reality.
Cirque du Soleil Crystal will have a soft opening on October 5, 2017, in Lafayette, Louisiana. Tickets for performances in cities listed below are on exclusive pre-sale online for Cirque Club members as of
today at General on-sale begins June 2nd.
San Antonio, TX
North Little Rock, AR
Cirque du Soleil
Crystal is Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd original production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in more than 450 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from 50 different countries.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 3, 2018
ARLINGTON, VA - The Washington Capitals announced today the completion of four street hockey rink refurbishments in Virginia and Maryland.
Throughout the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, the Capitals used funding from the National Hockey League’s Industry Growth Fund (IGF) to renovate the rinks. $600,000 was awarded to initiatives focusing the growth and ball and street hockey. Another $250,000 was focused on diversity, which the Capitals utilized to launch a district-wide street hockey curriculum across DC Public Schools in 2016. The Capitals contributed an additional $284,000 toward the growth of youth hockey in support of the project.
The Capitals refurbished each rink to make them safer and usable year-round by adding durable Sportcourt flooring branded with the Washington Capitals logo. In addition, the Capitals replaced or repaired other features like flooring, boards, benches, scoreboards and fencing as needed with the help of Riley Manufacturing out of Ontario, Canada.
To further encourage the growth of the game, surrounding schools will be receiving full sets of street hockey equipment in conjunction with the refurbishment.
The Capitals are working with local counties and municipalities to refurbish another 5-7 rinks in Maryland and Virginia during the upcoming 2017-2018 season.
Courtesy of: www.capstoday/monumentalsportsnetwork.com
Before and After Video
Over the last little while, we have been inundated with requests from municipalities, facilities and Minor Hockey organizations regarding rink dividers. Since Hockey Canada's announcement (June 2017) and implementation of smaller playing surfaces for youth/tyke hockey players, there has been so many questions asked regarding suitable and economical rink divider systems.
Being a hard-fast traditionalist when it comes to my sport, I admit, I took a very opinionated, conspiracy theory, stance against the cross ice concept. "I learned on full ice...my son learned on full ice...the system is not broken...this is just another cash grab by splitting two hours of ice time into one!......grumble, grumble, grumble"
Well I will admit it now...I believe I was wrong. I have researched, read studies & articles, that have changed the opinion of even this Stubborn Old School Hockey Guy. (I still say no to the Blue Puck though...that's just stupid!) I Wont bore you with these details that changed my stubborn mind here, but I suggest you look for yourself...see if you still feel the same way
The Fact is "Cross Ice" programs are not a new concept. As a matter of fact USA Hockey beat Hockey Canada to the punch by...oh...about 8 years! Yes...you read that right...OUR GAME!....Hockey Canada!..has adapted and is following the lead of USA Hockey!
"When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey."
So now begs the question....Um...hello?..What do we do now?
Well this means you will have to invest in some rink dividers for your facilities...and Yes...someone is gonna have to pry open some budgets and wallets. This undertaking has also spurred on some debate as to which type of divider system to purchase. Traditional Dasher Board Dividers or Foam Rink Divider Partitions?
The purpose of this is to show you some the benefits of a Traditional Dasher Board Divider over their foamy counterparts. Foam Rink Dividers come in many different heights, and this is where the cost difference is.
12" (1 Foot High from Ice Surface)
24" (1.8 Foot High from Ice Surface)
42" (3.5 Foot High from Ice Surface) (Standard Board Height)
For the Purpose of this comparison we will concentrate on the 42" High Boards.
Foam Dividers are lighter in weight and therefore easier to set up and dismantle.
(Imagine carrying a queen size mattress by yourself. Heavy enough to be a nuisance, and just the wrong amount of awkward to handle)
Foam dividers come in sections measuring approximately 120"(L) x 42"(H) x 18"(W). This is about 52.5 Cubit feet of of high density impact foam. They are far from light weight. Fact of the matter is because of the size and that foam is more pliable, it makes it more difficult to manage position. This in turn will mean that they will be dragged into position, and will likely tear or rip over time .
Traditional Aluminum dividers are harder and heavier to set up.
Aluminum Dividers do sound like they are heavy, but in reality the weight difference is inconsequential. Also since the dividers are durable, hard, strait sections, that click into place it makes it easier to maneuver and install. No more wet Velcro or worn straps. With our twin slide connectors, it is basically a quick plug and play system.
Repair & maintenance costs are less expensive with foam dividers
There are about 2 main concerns about repairs when it comes to foam dividers.
Aluminum Dividers are more expensive to purchase
Actually no! They are less expensive. If you are shopping 42" Aluminum vs. 42" foam, the Aluminum is actually cheaper. The only time it works out to be more expensive is when you compare a smaller size like a 12" or 22" divider. Even then when you review the capabilities, durability and over all quality, even the 22" may seem like a poor value for the price difference.
Here is a more Comprehensive comparison. Contact your friends at Riley for more information.
Aluminum rink dividers vs. foam rink dividers
'Proud Partnerships, Build Strong Communities"...I can feel your collective eye rolls now! This sentence is typically reserved and normally heard during an election campaign...seen on a boardroom motivational poster...or part of some hyped up "Buzz Speech" given by some CEO on a corporate retreat!
However, when you really think about it...this statement is, or should be the cornerstone of everything we as a society should strive to accomplish everyday. Whatever happened to the age old saying that starts with.... "It Takes a village....". We have all been guilty of shopping at big box stores for their convenience and lower prices over a local farmers market or small independent bodega. Why is this now the norm? Well that is a discussion for another time and platform.
Instead I would like to highlight some of the proud partnerships, we at Riley; have developed and grown with over the years.
Each one of these organizations have committed to building Rinks to grow the sport of hockey, increase physical fitness among youth and give kids opportunities that they may not have ever had. Riley has been a partner on many of these projects over the years and are looking forward to building more community facilities going forward with these great organizations.
For More Info on these great foundations and how the give back, click on the links below.
The Pittsburgh Penguins - Project PowerPlay
The Ottawa Senators Foundation - Sens Rink
The Washington Capitals - Caps Cares Programs
The Washington Capitals strive for success both on and off the ice. As a professional sports franchise with deep roots in and around the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the Capitals are committed to making a difference in the local community. It is our goal not only to build an excellent team with positive role models for young people, but also to create and maintain community programs that encourage participation in hockey, serve to educate today's youth and assist those in need
Today we are preparing to ship our next custom build Dasher Board System! What makes this particular system more interesting is, these boards are travelling over 15,000 kms to get to its final destination. Farther than any system we have built before, and will be part of a massive, over a HALF MILLION Square Foot sports, entertainment & community complex!
Singapore's first integrated community hub, in Tampines, will have a performing arts theater and sports and recreation facilities including a 5,000-seat stadium with a Fifa- approved football pitch.
The Tampines Hub began opening in stages in November 2016. The 5.3 hectare project, which is the size of about seven football fields, sits on the site of the former Tampines Stadium and Sports Hall. The People's Association-led project will offer residents a range of services and facilities under one roof, such as a five-story regional library, community club programs and more than 100 shops.
By November, residents can expect a one-stop public service center to access government agency services, an 800-seat hawker center and a Home Team NS Club with sports programs at the hub.
It will also house a communal kitchen by November for seniors to socialise while preparing, cooking and having meals together.
The initiative by the Community Chest, the fund-raising and engagement arm of the National Council of Social Service, aims to strengthen bonds between older people living alone, and help them share their skills and knowledge.
"It's a good idea to have a hub which centralizes so many services so that we don't need to run all over the place".
MADAM PAULINE NG, 50, an engineer who has lived in Tampines for more than 20 years. She is looking forward to using the sports facilities and and the library.
From January 2017, the gym, karaoke and bowling facilities will be ready. And by August next year, amenities such as the swimming complex, performance arts theater and library will open.
All of us at Riley are thrilled to be small part of this community project and amazed by the design and co-operation of every body involved!!
Karaoke @ The Tampines Hub has now been added to my Bucket List!
Flashback...July 1985....2 Major events occur....Marty McFly immortalizes a time travelling Delorian & Riley Manufacturing designs and patents a revolutionary new magnetic baseball base system.
Fast forward 30 years later, while we all can recall our favorite part of the original trilogy (Hello...Hoverboards...like duh?!) ....we never anticipated that the Riley MagBase would become the industry standard it is today. Often imitated the Riley MagBase is the original Magnetic Breakaway Safe Base System!
Surprisingly enough there are still many organizations and leagues that still use the traditional "spike in the ground" bases, instead of the safer magnetic base systems available out there. Well, its 2017....30 years later, we have experienced the largest spike in demand for the Riley Magbase ever. (I wonder if Marty & Doc would have predicted this ?)
If you are a part of a Baseball organization, association, parent group, or even beer league and you are still using old bases that are due for an upgrade for next season....then get your baseball diamond on track and back to the future of baseball safety.
Call Riley.....The Original, the best!
(BTW....We are still working on those hoverboard designs)
For a limited Time Only Save with online purchases with this coupon code "BTTFbaseball"
Well to be more accurate...Vancouver!
Although the movie is being shot under the production title of "Love Machine", those in the know will quickly realize that this misnomer is only to throw off 'Fanboys' as to its real title..."DEADPOOL 2". Starring everyone's favorite "Merc with a Mouth" and smart-ass Canadian Ryan Reynolds.
That's right! Last week, Riley supplied the production company with a set of professional hockey goal frames, in what we hope will be part of some sort of huge epic battle scene, in the upcoming film! If you remember the first film, where Mr. Pool chased a bad guy, albeit slowly, to his death with a Zamboni!
Be sure to check out the movie, slated for release sometime in March 2018, and make sure you keep a keen eye out for what Deadpool has planned for our Hockey Nets!
Everyone has their own use for that bottom floor of the house. Whether it is a Family Room, Home Office, Man Cave, Craft Corner or just the creepy unfinished area you store all the stuff you haven't used for the past 5 years. Lets not forget that treadmill and home gym you thought was a good idea a few New Years resolution's ago!
Have you ever seen that video of Sidney Crosby as a kid, in the basement of his Cole Harbor home? There he is lighting up his mothers washer and dryer like its game 7 of the Stanley Cup final! Well there is a growing trend that takes the family basement to a whole new level. Especially for the hockey enthusiast! No longer will you have to worry about damaged walls, or shell shocked appliances, because personal shooting pads with synthetic ice surfaces are now a common thing!
You might have seen in our previous blog post, that Sid the Kid himself has upgraded from the washer and dryer to his own personally customized shooting pad, built by Riley!
This isn't only reserved for the rich and famous....You too can have your own basement rink, shooting pad or mini stick arena! It is very economical, and practical way to use that unused space to help your hockey kid become the next great one! (or at the very least save your appliances and fragile boxed knick knacks!)
Here is a few photos from our most recent basement rink. Built in Kleinburg, Ontario!
Contact Riley for more details on how
Last week Riley Manufacturing completed the installation of a custom indoor shooting pad for Pittsburgh Penguins’ Captain, Sidney Crosby. Being selected as the dasher board manufacturer for this project is testament to the reputation Riley has for making quality products. It is an honor for the Company to play a huge part in the continued development of one of the best players in the NHL.
The shooting pad, situated in the basement of Crosby’s newly built home, is a custom design by Riley which features a 10 foot “Zamboni” gate and clear vision panels. The pad is a prime example of the versatility that Riley can provide in the customization of dasher board systems.
Considering a custom indoor or outdoor rink for your home? Talk to Riley Manufacturing today
The renovation to the Rich Korpi Ice Rink in Bayonne, NJ is now completed. The new boards have been installed and the ice was painted this past weekend. The renovation was completed in time as the Bayonne Bees open their 2015-16 season today at home.
A $6.5 Million dollar facility, with indoor sport courts built by Riley
This artificial turf facility was designed for lacrosse, volleyball, and indoor soccer and is equipped with portable batting cages for our softball players. Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes is capable to host regulation indoor box lacrosse game, an indoor soccer games or a volley tournament with 4 simultaneous courts with seating for approximately 300 people. Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes is also very versatile as the dasher boards can be removed to create a large field house. The bleachers are also portable to allow for a variety of seating arrangements.
Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes gained instant notoriety when it was a host site of the 2105 World Indoor Championship held at the Onondaga Nation. Countries from all over the world marveled at our new facility.
The installation of the temporary rink for the Hockeytown Winter Festival is completed and games are already underway at Comerica Park.
Be Sure to Check out the Time Lapse Installation video below!