New Bell Centre glass installation begins


The seamless corner glass at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Sunday morning. It will be changed once NHL rinks have the new product installed.
Stubbs photo

Word is that the installation of the Bell Centre’s new, flexible Plexiglass is being installed Sunday, and probably Monday, to be ready in time for Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Dallas Stars.

The new acrylic glass will feature more shock-absorption qualities than the seamless product in place since the Bell Centre opened in 1996. Fans sitting in the first few rows might notice a big difference – when players collide in the corners, the panes will bend back toward the crowd. Maybe a lot.

The glass won’t be scarred by pucks. By the sounds of things, there will be tear-off film strips that can be removed, much like they do with stock-car windshields and the visors on Formula One drivers.

The Canadiens’ Bell Sports Complex in Brossard was used as a test facility for the NHL last winter. The glass on the Habs’ practice rink will be replaced once all 30 NHL rinks have been outfitted with the league-standard Plexiglass.

Look, also, for a dramatically different look at the players’ benches at the Bell Centre. The stanchion that injured Habs’ forward Max Pacioretty last March when he was checked into it will be gone; apparently there will be no glass facing the ice between the teams, and a modified, smaller sheet of glass will separate the benches. The Canadiens’ backup goalie and the ice-level broadcaster will be sitting/standing ducks for flying pucks from here on in.

My story on Habs goalie Carey Price and his upcoming adjustment to the new glass, written at the team’s golf tournament last Wednesday, can be found here. Ignore reference to new boards; the ones currently at the Bell Centre, replaced two years ago, remain as is.


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  3. Ferg says:

    Wait till you see this new glass move. It has a tremendous amount of flex in it so that when the players bang into it, it will really absorb the impact. Hats off to this first-class organization for putting safety first.

  4. Habziefan09 says:

    Hey.. at least there is glass now.. Back in the day when the Flower and even before that, the Rocket screamed down the ice, all players and fans had to duck.. and there was no “End zone” nets.

    I am very thankful that the org finally got the new glass.. I have always hated the seamless. Sure it looks good on tv.. and the sight lines are great… but looks and sight lines do not do anything to the health of our players.

    Twitter: Habziefan09

    Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”

  5. Mike D says:

    Game over.

    – Honestly yours

  6. Mike D says:

    Enqvist scores to make it 5-4 for the Reds (team C). Game’s about over.

    – Honestly yours

  7. Mike D says:

    Gallagher for team C. Now 4-4 with 10 min. left in the scrimmage.

    – Honestly yours

  8. Mike D says:

    Avtsin for team A.

    Score is now 4-3 for A.

    – Honestly yours

  9. Mike D says:

    Darche for team C. Score is 3-3

    Darche seems to be on fire today. 2 goals, almost another when he rang one off the post, and he had a breakaway but was beat by the buzzer at the end of the 1st half.

    – Honestly yours

  10. Mike D says:

    Now 3-2 for team A. Cole deflection from a beauty Yemelin pass.

    – Honestly yours

  11. Mike D says:

    For anyone not following Stubbs on twitter, score is 2-2 after the first half.

    Goals for team White (A): Pleks, Berger
    Goals for team Red (C): Darche, Henry

    So far, no steamrolls for Yemelin.

    – Honestly yours

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Do not understand why the glass replacement is only happening now. Especially don’t understand why the practise rinks are not already done. If this NHL policy they really are slow, thought the new glass design was approved late last season with changes to occur in off season. As for the practise facility the more safety here the better, fans sight lines stc of a practise facility should have zero bearing.

  13. Bill J says:

    I somewhat agree with Trinifan… The backup goaltender for the Habs is a sitting duck, meanwhile the other teams backup is safe ? Surely the Habs backup can be repositioned for his own safety as well.

    As for the broadcaster, get them out of there as permanent fixtures, it will result in less Pierre Maguire anyways, so win/win.

    If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

    Go Habs Go!

  14. DavidKB says:

    With all the attention “official” and otherwise that Chara got last year, the least that can be done to show respect for Pacioretty is to make sure all changes/improvements are completed before the game on Tuesday.
    Frankly, I’d like to see the ice-level broadcasters in protective gear. I’d take the job as long as I had lots of room to get out of the way.

  15. ProHabs says:

    “The stanchion that injured Habs’ forward Max Pacioretty last March”
    Mr. Stubbs, did you hang around Bettman and Campbell over the summer. It wasn’t the beltbuckle that injured Max, it was Chara.

    • Dave Stubbs says:

      Chara rode Pacioretty into the stanchion. It was the impact with the stanchion that caused the injury. Pacioretty would tell you that.

      Dave Stubbs

      Hockey Inside/Out
      Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
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      • RandyKlemola says:

        Props to you Dave. You know how hard it is to convince Habs fans of that? Next to impossible…

      • Big Ted says:

        It’s semantics. I think everyone would agree that the stanchion is what physically caused the injury, but to phrase it that way almost implies what ProHabs is saying: that Chara was not the root cause of what happened. That would be like saying it wasn’t Person X who killed someone, it was the bullet that did it.

        Removing the stanchion will help with player safety, no doubt. But I hope people don’t make the mistake of thinking this alone will solve the problem of goons like Chara taking runs at people’s heads. He managed to concuss Grabovski last year using just his forearm and a regular pane of glass! The bigger issue is the NHL needing to crack down on players getting away with these types of headshots and the league trying to put all the focus on the role the stanchion played is almost absolving Chara of the actual hit and the NHL of its failure to police it. So yes, removing the stanchion helps, but there are plenty of other ways for guys to get head injuries still left in the game and unless the NHL starts giving players reason to start caring about the recklessness of some of these dangerous hits, taking out a stanchion is not going to stop a guy like Chara, Cooke, Marchand, or Torres from continuing to take runs at other players’ heads.

        • HardHabits says:

          I personally believe that all head shots whether intentional or not, blind side or not, should be penalized.

          Just like when a player shoots the puck over the glass. Intent is not the deciding factor. The action is.

          That is how it should be with head shots. No shoulders to heads. No elbows to heads. No pushing heads into the boards, glass or stanchions. Doing so should result in an immediate penalty.

          Now to decide which hits get 2 and which get 5 minutes.

          • savethepuck says:

            Would be an easy rule to enforce to. An unintentional high stick is a penalty because the player has to have control of his stick. Why not the same for an unintentional contact of the opponent’s head. If deemed unintentioal, penalty should be minimum 2 min ( 4 if opponent is injured or goes to the quite room). If deemed intentional, automatic 5 min major and game misconduvt with a suspension.

        • Sal says:

          Well said. The bush league called the NHL, sanctions these kind of hits with the way it handles them after they do their damage. I would argue we will see more, not less, of these kinds of hits, this season, since they have already decided, that is the way to sell the game, south of the boarder.

          Sal from the Hammer

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  16. habstrinifan says:

    “apparently there will be no glass facing the ice between the teams, and a modified, smaller sheet of glass will separate the benches. The Canadiens’ backup goalie and the ice-level broadcaster will be sitting/standing ducks for flying pucks from here on in.”

    Welcomed every change except the one about backup-goalie and ice-level broadcaster being sitting duck.

    Why add that element of concern to a player who may be called upon to enter the game at a moment’s notice…and therefor detract from his concentration and observations of game flow. Odd solution!!!

    And to endanger any broadcaster doing an assigned job is also foolish.

    Sounds like NHL needs to eliminate this potential danger.

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