Catch a ride on the Zamboni

Players need clean ice.

So Zamboni drivers do their job between periods.

It’s an important relationship at ice hockey rinks around the world.

Yet I had a feeling last Saturday night that there was a more important bond for the guy guiding one of the two big machines at the Onondaga County War Memorial, where the Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comets were tussling in an American Hockey League affair.

What's on that thing?

What’s on that thing?

My dear wife Karen, of course, noticed the valuable cargo before I did.

No, who's on that thing?

No, who’s on that thing?

See the kid on the Zamboni? Oh! Why, yes! Yes, I do.

How about that. That’s not something you see every day, I must say.

Have you ever driven a Zamboni? Have you ever ridden on a Zamboni? Have you ever heard of a Zamboni?

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31 thoughts on “Catch a ride on the Zamboni

  1. the ride of a lifetime. we have a guy, al, who has been the wings’ zamboni driver for many years. he is a local legend and part of his job is to scoop up the octopi as needed )

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  2. Mark, my cousin is married to one of the Zambonis. The plant is in Paramount, California, as is the original rink, Iceland. I have been there a few times and to the Zamboni family picnic which is held every two years in Dana Point. They are an enormous family and it all started when they emigrated from the Italian Alps and wanted to recreate a bit of home here in the hot Southland. I am always happy to see the name in print. I will have to tell her about this blog. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • That’s fantastic, Beth. I love watching their machines smooth the ice. When I was a kid, I thought it was some sort of Zamboni magic, a perfect name for that sort of sparkling job. ๐Ÿ™‚ Pass along my congratulations for a job well done all these decades to your cousin now in the family, please.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My son has played at the Paramount rink, and I believe the original Zamboni is on display inside (though my memories from those 7am games may be a bit murky)

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      • Pretty cool, Bill! I hope you at least-one eyed that original Zamboni on display. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Back east and upstate, I have the foggy but fun recollection of bringing my daughter to the 6 a.m. Sunday learn-to-skate at the Hamilton, N.Y., rink and watching her push the folding chair around the ice with all the other 4-year-olds. She loved it, and is an avid hockey fan to this day.

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  3. Is he sucking his thumb? There’s no thumb-sucking on the Zamboni! And what do you mean have you ever driven a Zamboni? How many people could possibly answer that in the affirmative? Might just as well ask how many have cut a diamond.

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    • He’s one level above the mouth and with the index finger, I do believe, my friend. I guess there is nose-exploring done on the Zamboni!

      And don’t you wish you could drive a Zamboni? I do. But only if they’re automatic, not stick shift. I think I’ll leave the diamond cutting to the guys down there whose families have done it for generations.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Super cute! I have briefly ridden a Zamboni, before being told that it’s against the rules, and dangerous, and threatening to the rink’s liability and blah blah blah lol — I was young then. So I had to get down and mope across the ice and wait like everyone else. Poor me.
    (I knew the operator. I don’t regularly hi-jack Zambonis or anythin crazy like that.)
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • I had a feeling you didn’t just jump right up and say “Take me to the 7-Eleven, buster, or else!” ๐Ÿ™‚ I always wanted to see a Zamboni driving down an icy street, myself. Wouldn’t that be fun? But, yeah, the rules are the rules. This Zamboni operator sure went far to make sure the little guy was safe back there.

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  5. I’ve ridden on a lot of things bro Mark, and not all of them by choice, but I can assure you a zamboni is not and will never be one of them. Those machines travel on ICE, ya know? That slippery, cold stuff? I don’t need any help when it comes to slipping and falling down, so I think we can rule out anything related to ice rinks. That was a cute kid though.

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