Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



East Grand Forks officials look to Denmark for rink fix

A broken compressor at VFW Arena in East Grand Forks has city officials searching worldwide for replacement parts to ensure ice can be made all summer long.


A broken compressor at VFW Arena in East Grand Forks has city officials searching worldwide for replacement parts to ensure ice can be made all summer long.

In early April, maintenance workers at the VFW Arena discovered the oil release valve in one of its two ice compressors needed to be replaced. There was initial concern the problem would affect the Blue Line Club's Summer Hockey Clinic in June, but officials believe they'll be able to keep ice with one compressor.

Jim Enright has been organizing the Summer Hockey Clinic for 15 years. He said he's not worried about keeping ice during the summer with only one compressor.

East Grand Forks has been using the current compressor system for about 20 years. It was installed after the flood of 1997.

The new parts needed to get the broken compressor up and running will cost $10,347 in addition to taxes and shipping costs. Huttunen said the machine is now "obsolete" here and the new parts will have to be shipped from Denmark as it is not available in the U.S. and Canada.


The City Council voiced support for buying a new oil release valve at its workshop meeting. The official decision will be made at the May 2 meeting.

Huttunen said the rink's other compressor is having similar problems, but is not yet shot, and that it might be possible to use that compressor to keep ice in the rink while awaiting repairs.

"We're hopeful we'll be able to run the current compressor in the state it's in to be able to follow through with the camps in June," Huttunen said. "Best case scenario is that they can expedite the shipping of these parts and we'd be able to get the first compressor overhauled and be ready for them at that time."

Enright joked that if it came down to it, he'd be willing to fly to Denmark to get the parts in time.

East Grand Forks has held its summer hockey clinic since the 1980s, Enright said.

"It's a very important camp to the youth in our community who play hockey," Huttunen said.

He said there are figure skating camps run at the rink during the summertime, too.

Enright said the camp typically attracts about 500 skaters and former UND players as coaches. This year, former UND goaltender and current Boston Bruin Zane McIntyre is scheduled to coach an advanced goaltending camp during the clinic.


In 2006, former UND stars Matt Greene and Michael Commodore were supposed to coach at the camp, but were preoccupied facing off in the Stanley Cup Finals, Enright said. Commodore won the Cup that year with the Carolina Hurricanes. Greene would go on to win two championships with the Los Angeles Kings, where he still plays.

What To Read Next
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Josh Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.