Ask an NHL player which arena has the worst ice and the answers nearly always center around the Florida teams, Dallas and San Jose. The searing heat combined with extreme humidity make life very difficult for the ice crews in these towns.
In fact, in 1996, as the Florida Panthers worked their way to the Stanley Cup Finals, multiple opponents called the ice in Miami Arena the worst they'd ever seen.
Though a bit slushy, it was at the very least solid enough to play hockey (and clean up pests).
If you thought that was bad though, the Panthers and their rats have nothing on some conditions in Romania.
Two weeks ago, Steaua Bucureşti was scheduled to play a game against Budapest-based Ferencvaros TC Orangeways in a MOL Liga game. The MOL Liga is a joint league made up of six Hungarian and three Romanian teams, and games played in the MOL Liga count towards the OB I bajnokság Hungarian championship, but not the Liga Nationala de hochei Romanian championship.
Steaua Bucureşti could be considered the Montreal Canadiens of the Liga Nationala de hochei, and even then using the Habs as a comparison doesn't do justice to Steaua Bucureşti's dominance. The Liga Nationala de hochei has been contested 82 times in the last 86 years. Steaua Bucureşti has won 40 of those titles.
On this night in Bucharest, however, there would be no hockey. One of the compressors at Steaua Bucureşti's home arena Pationarul Mihai Flamaropol failed, and they were forced to forfeit the match against due to poor ice conditions. Steaua Bucureşti did not appeal the decision and the governing body awarded the victory to Ferencvaros TC Orangeways with a final score of 5-0.
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