Canada's Ice Man
Known as the world’s first Professional Ice Technician, Doug Moore was the coolest man behind the scenes in hockey – hands down.
His journey into ice making history began in 1974 when Harold Ballard, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, promoted him to Chief Engineer, making him responsible for ice conditions at Maple Leaf Gardens. The NHL had tripled to 18 teams by then, bringing a longer schedule and warm weather hockey. Ownership added a centre-hung scoreboard and increased seating for hockey to 17,000. With an antiquated refrigeration plant and a concrete floor nearly 50 years old, Doug realized providing a high quality ice surface for the Leafs would require changes in how artificial ice is created and maintained.
Doug started experimenting with the Gardens’ surface, determined to improve “all things ice.” He applied science to freezing water and discovered purity was the key. Mineral free water froze faster and using hot water floods produced a smooth, shiny ice sheet. He focused on ice paint, developing a specific formula for ice sports and bright enough for television broadcasts. Inspired by messages painted freehand on the ice by the Gardens’ paint shop, Doug created pounce patterns for sponsorship logos, adding a new revenue stream for ice facilities.
The Gardens’ ice surface was now denser, harder and faster and able to withstand razor-sharp skate blades and the heat of glaring television lights. Accolades poured in and Doug’s reputation as an authority on ice making was the talk of the National Hockey League. His talents were recruited by skating icons like Toller Cranston and Elvis Stojko. He rocked the world of curling, sharing his formulas with the best ice makers in the country.
No one enjoyed a challenge more than Doug Moore. His expertise was front and center on CBC’s “Venture” show when he was contracted by the Florida Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg to supervise an off-site game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings. With minimal refrigeration capacity and outside temperatures exceeding 95°F, a portable ice mat was installed on the baseball field. Using 50,000 lbs of ice cubes, Doug pre-cooled the hot concrete slab and chilled the warm southern flood water for making ice. Promoted as “Fire on Ice”, this 1990 event featuring Gretzky vs. Lemieux attracted 26,000 fans – setting an NHL attendance record.
Innovators change things and Doug Moore was an innovator. He dedicated his life and earned his livelihood educating and training rink managers. He was a pioneer and a visionary, transforming ice making into a craft and changing the future of the ice making industry.
Due to one man’s passion and drive to understand and improve artificial ice, every figure skater that glides on ice, curler who draws to the button and speed skater who has gone faster than ever before are unknowingly part of Doug Moore’s legacy.
His proven principles, concepts and theories remain best practice in the ice making industry today.
Doug Moore was Canada’s Ice Man.
Career timeline of Canada’s “Ice Man”
Doug wrote and recorded “The Leaf Fans Dream” for RCA Victor and donated the entire proceeds to the Ontario Society for Crippled Children. The theories, practices and ice making concepts developed by Doug Moore are now accepted as standard practice by the industry today.
While at Maple Leaf Gardens, Doug developed the technique of purifying municipal tap water for ice making and introduced ice re-surfacer additives to improve the ice look and finish. He continued to experiment with ice paints for countless hours to create the right formula specifically designed for reliable use in the ice making industry and sharp enough for television broadcasts.
Doug Moore founded Jet Ice Limited where he continued to experiment with other ice paint products and water treatment systems. Jet Ice would eventually become the official supplier of products to the National Hockey League.
He used the ice surface at Maple Leaf Gardens to introduce the concept of large format custom logo stencils for in-ice advertising. Today this vehicle allows small arenas and professional venues to have an important source of revenue.
Doug was instrumental in forming the first association of the National Hockey League Facilities, opening the lines of communication between the League and the Building Operations Departments, to discuss and address improving ice quality in each venue.
Doug was responsible for introducing the “ice report” into the NHL. This report was to be used as an internal tool for the referee to communicate the ice conditions, goal frame/gate concerns to the Building Operations Department after each game.
In his willingness to share information, he saw the creation of the Ice Making Technology course; a course attended by 75-100 students annually at the University of Guelph as part of the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association annual professional development program. This course today still serves as one of three that leads to an NHL recognized Certificate Ice Technician’s professional designation. His chapter in the ORFA “Icemakers Bible” is now in its sixth printing.
Jet Ice starts their supplier contract for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta.
Doug became the first Ice Consultant hired by the National Hockey League.
Doug also worked with John D’Amico on a number of Easter Seals projects.
In addition to his involvement with the NHL, Doug’s expertise was also renowned in the Figure Skating World. Doug’s services were in demand to oversee numerous events and television spectacles. His most challenging was the creation of a 360,000 square foot maple leaf on Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada for “Skating Free,” starring Brian Orser.
Doug’s ice making expertise was featured on CBC’s “Venture” show, when he was contracted by the Florida Suncoast Dome to supervise the offsite exhibition game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings. This event was attended by 25,581 fans, the largest to ever see an NHL game.
Doug founded the Maritimes Arena Operators Institute.
Jet Ice begins to sponsor National and World Curling championships.
Doug is Ice Consultant for Elvis Stojko’s CBC television special, “Elvis in Cognito”.
The Ontario Recreation Facilities Association creates the Doug Moore Ambassador Award in his memory, to recognize significant time and energy spent in promoting the association.
Doug nominated into the Ice Skating Institute Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Doug Moore Scholarship Fund was created in his honor based on his belief that any individual can achieve their goals with a little nudge of confidence and encouragement along the way. This Canadian scholarship is dedicated to providing opportunities within the ice making forum for those candidates who are in true need and may not otherwise be able to afford the associated academic costs.
Doug inducted into the Richmond Hill, Ontario Hall of Fame.
The following are just some of the many testimonials in regards to Doug’s outstanding work in advancing ice making technology:
I have been struck by the tireless behind the scenes work your father contributed with passion and dedication to the game whether a neutral site game in Sacramento, a regular season game at Madison Square Garden, a Stanley Cup game in Montreal, or at the World Cup of Hockey in Ottawa, your father was there to lend his expertise.
Gary B. Bettman
National Hockey League
In many places in North America they simply called him the “Ice Man”. For he was a genius at making pure water freeze into perfect ice, the ice used by hockey players, skaters and curlers.
One of hockey’s best known and most respected historians, broadcaster of Hockey Night in Canada and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Advanced Ice Making Technology course developed by Doug Moore, today serves as one of the three that leads to an NHL recognized Certified Ice Technician’s professional designation
ED, Ontario Recreation Facilities Association
Doug Moore spent more days without sleep, finding ways to improve all aspects of ice for everyone and in every area. There wasn’t a time, a day or night, that you couldn’t get Doug and have him help solve your problem.
VP, Operations, Washington Sports
Doug, thanks for the great ice over the years at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Former Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Mr. Moore’s greatest contribution to the lives he touched was getting the facility operators to think for themselves. He was our safety net and reference point when we had a problem. His expertise was outstanding in every aspect of ice usage, including hockey, curling and figure skating.
Fred Corsi Jr.
St. Louis Blues
As a professional ice skater, we need ice that is fast, and also soft enough to control our edges and our landings.”…..”I first met Doug Moore and used Jet Ice back in the Calgary Olympics and I was excited. The ice was consistent every time.
Olympic Figure Skating Champion
Doug’s purified water process assists icemakers in creating “keen” ice with consistent pebble from end to end.
Ice Technician, Canadian Curling Hall of Fame 2001