It may not be as high-tech as the Zamboni that cleans the ice between periods at Bell MTS Place, but a Winnipeg father/son team has been shining the ice on the Seine River with a DIY ice resurfacer made out of a discarded washing machine.
Anthony Theriault told 680 CJOB the project started when his dad Ron came home from work one day and asked him for some help.
“He said, ‘Anthony, you’ve got to help me do something.'”
“I went downstairs and I looked in his truck and there were these skis, there were curling brooms, there were metal pieces, and all sorts of bits and bobs.
“At first I was, ‘What the heck is he going to do with all this stuff?'”
Ron, who owns an appliance repair shop, said once he explained his idea, the project began in earnest.
“The big part was getting the plumbing to work underneath,” he said.
“I had to just totally simplify the design, and it works quite well. To get 200 pounds of water down to the ice is not easy when you do it by bucket… but a washing machine on skis? It works very well.”
The machine — which has yet to be named — requires no gas, no electronics (other than six AAA batteries) and can be comfortably pushed by a single person.
Anthony decided to post a video of the machine in operation on the river on Reddit after it was decorated to resemble the ice resurfaced seen at Winnipeg Jets games. The video took off on social media.
“It was actually a really good response,” he said. “They loved the design, they loved the logos, they loved everything.”
Although Ron said he intends to make further modifications, including adding a pair of skates so it will glide better. For the machine to work even more efficiently, one day he’d love to test his creation on NHL ice — though maybe only a small patch of it.
“We’d like to do centre ice at MTS Centre and show them how it’s done,” he said.
“If they want us to do the whole thing … it’s probably going to take five machines to do it.”