Stanley Cup winner’s son scores the ‘Spamboni’

Published 10:12 am Friday, August 15, 2014

By Nick Ferraro

Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

The old “Spamboni” ice resurfacer has sold for the $2,000 asking price — and it’s going to a family with deep Minnesota hockey roots.

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Dave Langevin, whose dad grew up in St. Paul and won four Stanley Cups as a defenseman with the New York Islanders in the early 1980s, is now the owner of the Hormel-sponsored Zamboni that once wheeled around the St. Paul Civic Center while promoting the Austin, Minnesota-based company’s canned meat.

The 1972 HDB Zamboni (Serial No. 1566) was the Civic Center’s original machine.

Langevin, a 36-year-old attorney from Plymouth, said he could not help but buy the slice of local hockey history Thursday from Visit St. Paul and Xcel Energy Center, which put the machine up for sale last week. He heard about it through Twitter posts.

“It’s not every day you get an opportunity to buy a Zamboni, especially one that was around for so many years,” said Langevin, whose dad has the same first name. “I figured I better seize the moment.”

Hockey fans might recall watching the yellow and blue Zamboni in between periods of Minnesota Fighting Saints games during the 1970s and at high-school hockey state tournaments and Minnesota Moose games.

For the past decade, the 42-year-old relic has been relegated to clearing the ice at the Wells Fargo Winter Skate outdoor rink at the Landmark Plaza.

Langevin, who played hockey at St. Thomas Academy and the University of St. Thomas, plans to use the machine at his family’s backyard rink, which will have to be made larger. He has three kids — a 7-year-old daughter and sons ages 5 and 2 — and his wife is pregnant.

“I never really thought there was need for (a Zamboni),” he said. “But now that my kids are getting bigger, the rink seems to be getting smaller.”

The sale proceeds will be split in half between Visit St. Paul, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, and the Minnesota Wild Foundation, which will earmark its money to help community rinks that will need to convert their cooling systems from R22 Freon, said Ellen McNair, digital, public and media relations coordinator for Xcel Energy Center.