A view of the curved glass at the end of the visitors bench at the Bell Centre. A similar piece is at the end of the Canadiens bench.
Only 90 games until the playoffs!
Fans headed to the Bell Centre, or watching on television, will experience and/or see a few major safety changes in the building, in part related to the frightening injury suffered by Habs forward Max Pacioretty last March 8, in part because the NHL wants to standardize safety in all 30 league rinks.
You’ll see a pane of curved glass at the end of the Canadiens bench and that of the visiting team, aimed to basically deflect a player who is bodychecked there rather than have him stop abruptly. The infamous stanchion into which Pacioretty was ridden by Boston Zdeno Chara is now about 18 inches or so moved back from the boards along the rink, so there’s no chance anyone will hit that similarly again.
This stanchion relocation has removed the glass pane that shielded the Habs’ backup goalie and the RDS broadcaster at ice level, so heads-up for them from this moment forward.
And the hard-as-steel tempered glass around the rink has been replaced with a new flexible, seamless acrylic glass. I’ve just been for a walk and leaned into it, and can tell you it doesn’t take much force for the glass to yield to pressure. When a player is checked into it, the panel itself and those adjacent to it will wobble dramatically, dissipating the force of the impact. A hard check will be loud. Very loud.
Last thing: look for little CH logos appearing in the red line that spans the 85-foot ice surface.
Feature to come on these changes, which players I spoke with on the Canadiens are delighted to see.
The glass is gone facing the ice at the Habs bench. Note the CH logos in the red line.