Hey, That Poisonous "Zamboni" Wasn't AĀ ZamboniĀ®, I Guess

A "Zamboni" machine that smooths out hockey ice poisoned a bunch of people last weekend. We wrote about it, and the ZamboniĀ® people emailed to say that they didn't poison anyone (that we know of). Here's the email:

From: Paula <REDACTED>

Date: Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Subject: ZAMBONI Trademarks

To: "craggs@deadspin.com" <craggs@deadspin.com>

We must ask for your prompt assistance with the correction of content which appears online at:


The machines used in the building were not manufactured by the Zamboni Company and should not be referenced as Zamboni machines. The machines were manufactured by the Resurfice Company and their brand name is "Olympia". The proper reference would be "ice resurfacing machine" or "ice resurfacer". The writer appears to have used our brand name in error throughout the entire article.

I am certain you can understand the importance of using the proper brand name in connection with reporting any sort of story connected to a product, but particularly when used improperly in connection with an unfortunate incident such as the one you've cited.

We're doing the best we can to notify the news outlets which improperly referenced our brand name. Many of the groups used "ice resurfacers" or the proper brand name of the manufacturer, but we've invested quite a bit of time over the past couple of days reaching out to those that did not. Please make the corrections to the improper references in the headline and article and contact me directly should you require additional information.



You can read the original report below. Consider this an update about the accuracy of ZamboniĀ® usage.


Image via Getty

A Poisonous Zamboni Machine Hospitalized 81 People This Weekend

This Saturday during a Minnesota Junior Hockey League game in Wisconsin, a Zamboni machine malfunctioned, leaking enough carbon monoxide from a propane tank to hospitalize 81 people.

The game between the Dells Ducks and Rochester Ice Hawks was halted when one Ducks player fainted and several dozen had to be taken to local hospitals, including the Ducks' coach, who is named Bill Zaniboni.

The leak occurred because Zamboni wasn't properly combusting the propane, the local fire chief told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The building ventilation system didn't clear the gas, and because Wisconsin state law doesn't require the rink to have carbon monoxide detectors the only thing stopping a building with 400-odd hockey players and spectators from lethal doses of the gas was getting sick at the same time:

"The good thing about this is a lot of people got sick all at once, so it was recognized quickly and the exposure was pretty limited," Matt Lazio, director of St. Clare's emergency department, told WISC. "But this is a potentially fatal kind of poisoning."

Not exactly comforting. Nor is the fact that this is apparently an ongoing problem at this rink:

After the game, Fatis continued, "one of our players from last year pulled me aside and said, 'You know, I got really sick here last year.' " The player added that his father raised the prospect of carbon monoxide as the culprit.

Every player who skated Saturday fell ill, Fatis said, along with himself.

Some of them were "on the floor in the [Super 8] lobby vomiting," Fatis said. "I triaged them to get the guys out [to a hospital], and then I kind of lost it."

Zaniboni said "we started questioning things after the game" when the player now in a Milwaukee hospital "hit the ground, out cold."


Zamboni poisonings aren't unheard ofā€”just a few weeks ago, 16 people were hospitalized in Ottawa in a similar incident. But a rink that gets players sick every year and sends a couple dozen vomiting people to the hospital is probably a good enough argument for a law for mandatory carbon monoxide detection.

[Star Tribune]

Image via Shutterstock