I don’t have a particularly sensitive nose, but even I am not immune to that foul of foul smells that hockey equipment brings. By just opening the door to many an arena, that underlying smell quickly surrounds you, circling your ankles and working its way up to your nose. In many arenas, the hockey stink is always there. Stale. Lingering. Nauseating.
Team locker rooms are much, much worse. Or, at least, they can be.
The first team locker room I was ever in was at the Scottrade Center for the St. Louis Blues, during hockey season. It was part of a group tour arranged for the Southern Illinois Ice Hawks as the club became tenants of the NHL facility until the beginning of this year because mine subsidence closed their arena.
The team room, with the Bluenote logo in the middle of the floor, was furnished with individual wardrobes made of wood and painted Blues’ blue.
It was clean.
It was spacious.
There was absolutely no hockey stink there. It was, after all, the place where these professional hockey players hang their bespoke Saville Row or Brimble & Clark suits as they play before their home crowd in St. Louis, Mo.
That, unfortunately, is not the case for many team rooms. I’ve walked by team locker rooms — even with the door closed — where the stink was so bad I had to hold my nose as I scurried past.
Worse yet, I’ve been in team rooms where the hockey stink is so overwhelming, your instincts are to stop breathing.
…Until you can’t hold your breath any longer. And then, with that next inhale, you wish you hadn’t taken that next breath.
When I was recently at the Membertou Sports & Wellness Centre in Membertou, Nova Scotia, Jason Doyle, the Arena Manager there, kindly took me on an all-encompassing tour of his arena. That included a look at the dedicated dressing room for their main hockey tenant, the Kameron Jr. Miners Hockey Club. The Jr. Miners are a Junior “B” team who have called Membertou “home” since the First-Nation arena opened its doors last August.
The team was yet to be picked when I made my visit, but there was absolutely no lingering hockey smell assaulting my nose.
Where’s the Hockey Stink? I wondered
“Where’s the hockey stink?” I asked Jason.
He pointed to a giant amoeba-like green oval sticking to the wall.
“That’s our saving grace,” he says. “We change them every 30 days and they work like a charm.”
Their saving grace is an air freshener called “The Curve”. Manufactured by Fresh Products of Perrysburgh, OH, a company that specializes in odor control, this antidote to hockey stink comes in seven different scents. The green one you see, above, is Cucumber Melon, but you could opt for Citrus, Cotton Blossom, Fabulous, Kiwi Grapefruit, Mango or Spiced Apple instead. And so you know when it’s time to swap them out for another Curve, they have convenient pull-off tabs to let you show your installation date based on which week (1-4) of which month (J-F-M-A-M-J-J-A-S-O-N-D).
This isn’t the only freshening product from Fresh products that arena managers might want to have in their arsenal, either. They have a 60-day heavy duty urinal splash pad called the Dome Urinal Screen — and both are environmentally friendly. Here’s what they say about their products:
• Our products are formulated using biodegradable and/or recycled raw materials and manufactured using substantially less energy, yet provide best in class performance.
• Meets ‘The Purchase of Sustainable Products and Materials’ criteria under the LEED point management system.
• Easily recycled using the industry’s first closed loop recycling program, Eco-ReFresh.
Have you tried The Curve, or The Dome — or have you found other products that work for you that we should know about? Drop me an email or leave a comment below.