Preds Ice Man Goes Outdoors

Monday, 03.03.2014 / 9:00 AM / Features
By Alexis Witman  - Nashville Predators

On March 1st, the eyes of the hockey world will turn to Chicago as the second half of the NHL’s Stadium Series takes place at Soldier Field between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Right in the middle of it will be Nashville’s Ice Manager Steven “Scooter” Fruik, who is already in The Windy City to begin work as a member of the NHL’s “ice guru,” Dan Craig’s crew.

Fruik, who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., began playing hockey at the age of nine, about the same time his interest in ice began. Kaine’s Rink, the first place Fruik ever played, was originally a street car bar that had been converted in its later years to house a hockey rink. The rink used natural ice from mid-December to early April and following each game, the young hockey players were tasked with cleaning the ice.

This cleaning consisted of players of all ages pushing around large steel shovels to clear off the snow that would next be shoveled off by the coaches. The ice, beat up after a day’s use, would then be flooded by the city’s water department each night, prepping it for the next day.

The playoffs for Fruik’s hockey team took place at Pullar Stadium, the former summer and training camp home of the Detroit Red Wings. It was here that Fruik saw a Zamboni for the first time. Immediately interested in the process by which the Zamboni would make a brand new sheet of ice, Fruik set out to find a way that he could get a job doing that.

Fruik’s first opportunity to work on an ice crew came in 1996, when he began work as a sports utility attendant at Lake Superior State University. Here, Fruik learned the ropes of driving a Zamboni and maintaining the ice.

After moving to Green Bay, Wis., in 2002, Fruik began working at the Reasch Center, a job that would give him the opportunity to work on the ice crew for the 2005 Frozen Tundra game between Wisconsin and Ohio State at Lambeau Field. To this day, Fruik can say that he is the only person to have ever driven a Zamboni in the home of the Green Bay Packers.

In 2009, Fruik moved to Nashville to become the ice manager at Bridgestone Arena. he During his first five years as ice manager, a position that he says is the “pinnacle of his career,” Fruik has had the opportunity to meet many of the heroes of his youth that have visited Bridgestone Arena, from both hockey and the entertainment world.

“Working here has been one of the best things that could happen to a guy from a small-town way up in northern Michigan,” Fruik said.

As he braves the elements for the Blackhawks and Penguins game on March 1, be sure to check back on as Fruik will send updates about his experiences while working one of the coolest games in the NHL.

Click here to watch a time-lapse video of the Soldier Field Build.

Photo Gallery

Feb. 24, 2014:

Here's are some photos of "Scooter's" first days on the job at Solider Field:


Feb. 25, 2014:

On Tuesday, Scooter was part of a team that helped paint the rink ice white (seen here rolling the hose into place). The rink ice is currently more than one-inch in thickness. Later today, the lines and logos will go into place, making the ice look more and more like an NHL rink.


Feb. 26, 2014:

Despite temperatures in Chicago that began this morning at one degree and rose only to the low teens, work continued at Soldier Field on Wednesday as normal as the crew, including Scooter, went to work putting in the lines and logos on the ice.  As they would in any NHL rink, the team carefully measured the locations of each dot, circle and line. As of late this afternoon, the main logo at center ice was finally put in place. The crew will work to build additional layers of ice atop the logos into the night and during the day tomorrow.


Feb. 28, 2014:

On Friday, both the Blackhawks and the Penguins took to the ice for practice, but not until Scooter had jumped on one of the ice resurfacing machines to put the final touches on Soldier Field’s new rink. The players from both teams were unanimous in their praise of the conditions of the ice.

Scooter's brother, Patrick, in town visiting, saw first-hand the results of the team’s hard work preparing for the Stadium Series.


March 1, 2014:

Scooter and the Stadium Series ice crew had help from the Blackhawks’ Ice Crew in keeping the falling snow off the ice during Saturday night’s game between the Hawks and Pens, a 5-1 Chicago victory. As Scooter returns to Nashville, he’ll see a few similar faces on Bridgestone Arena ice, the Preds take on the Penguins on Tuesday, March 4.

In order to view this page you need JavaScript and Flash Player 9+ support!




1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67


S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

NHL Ticket Exchange | Bridgestone Arena | Contact Us | Employment | Terms of Use | Site Map | AdChoices