Many fans were surprised when Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog decided to go to Slovakia to join Team Sweden at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. After a tough playoff run, many expected the veteran forward to take some time to heal his body – especially given that he looked like he hadn’t fully healed from the injury he suffered back in March. Now, not only is Landeskog helping out his national team – he finished the preliminary round with five points in four games – but it looks like he’s picking up a new skill while he’s at it.
During some of his down time, Landeskog – with the help of a Swedish television crew – took the time to get behind the wheel of a Zamboni and it looks like it was a bit of a humbling experience. During a segment called “Inside Tre Kroner” Gabe gave hockey fans a glimpse into just how difficult resurfacing an ice rink can be.
The video is mostly in Swedish (thanks to Patrik Bexell - @Zeb_Habs - for the help with some of the translating) but you don’t need to speak the language to get the gist of the video. You can tell Gabe is confident, excited, frightened, and having a blast all at the same time.
Early in the video, Landeskog was asked straight up:
Vet du hur en ismaskin funkar? (Do you know how a Zamboni works?)
The forever honest Avalanche captain responded bluntly: “I haven’t got a clue.”
Judging by the look on Gabe’s face you can tell he’s quite perplexed but lucky for him, like any good driving class, he’s got to take lesson before getting behind the wheel.
(Gabe’s Ice Machine School)
Landeskog is quizzed on everything from the towel on the back of the Zamboni to he history of the man it was named after, and you can tell he passes with flying colors (kinda).
When Gabe gets behind the wheel of the 11,000 lbs ice cleaning vehicle he looks poised, confident, and even a little cocky. That all goes out the window very quickly - I don’t need a translator for “Wow! Oh Boy.” They only make it a few feet down the ice before the second most handsome man on the Swedish national team flashes the camera a look that screams “what have I got myself into?”
He ends up getting the hang of things and is able to successfully drive the Zamboni around the ice – even maneuvering the giant machine behind the net. That said, they never actually let Gabe try to clean the ice and it was probably a wise decision. He struggles enough trying to figure out how the brakes work.
For me, the best part of the entire video is the very obvious disdain Slavo the Zamboni driver has for hockey players. It become clear when he tells Landeskog about the “idiot” player who got hit while he was stretching on the ice.
In a world of professional sports where all too often we see athletes taking themselves too seriously, Gabriel Landeskog shows us that some still know how to have a little fun. It had only been a week since his Colorado Avalanche team was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs and here he is having fun at the rink.
Losing sucks. Doing it the way the Avs did in Game 7 stinks even more but silly things like this should help fans move on. It’s important to remember that this is a game and even those who make a living off of it don’t let a bad loss or a playoff elimination linger for too long.
To that end, even after watching this video, I’m still not entirely certain what “Inside Tre Kroner” is but judging from the intro graphic, I’m going to need a whole lot more of it in my life.