On September 27, 1991, the Rangers and Kings played a preseason game on a rink built in a Las Vegas parking lot. Despite the novelty of the outdoor game being dulled somewhat by the various Winter Classics and Heritage Classics and Stadium Series, and despite the '91 game occasionally feeling like a big ad for Caesar's Palace, that Vegas game still stands up.

Some highlights of this video:

0:33 The temperature at puck drop was 85 degrees, and over the course of the night would rise to 95 degrees. But because it was dry and wasn't windy, the ice held up fairly well. Credit to the crew that built the rink, which required 22 miles of refrigeration tubing.

For a normal indoor rink, May will use 100 tons of refrigeration equipment. For this project, he has used 300 tons.


0:50 Because they were unsure of how the ice would hold up, organizers chose not to paint the lines onto the ice. Instead, they laid down fabric strips just under the frozen surface. It was a mistake—even before the game started, the top layer had melted enough that the lines were emerging from the ice. Constant reapplication of ice and pressurized nitrogen kept things playable.

2:17 Kings netminder Kelly Hrudey was wearing a special helmet with an embedded camera, giving some low-res, but really illuminating goalie's-eye-view angles of the action. Why isn't goaliecam a regular thing by now?

3:18 Crowd shots! 1991 fashions!

4:37 John Vanbiesbrouck stones Wayne Gretzky on a breakaway. I was also really excited for appearances by Jari Kurri, Doug Weight, Tony Granato, and a freakishly young-looking Rob Blake. Early '90s hockey was the best hockey—or maybe it's just the NHL '94 roster I'm thinking of.