No other sport is as dependent on such a mercurial surface, and because of that, no other sport has been so dependent on technology for its evolution.Now while hockey is the most important sport in the world, it isn't the only sport in the world. It isn't even the only ice-based sport in the world. The finest, fastest, most perfect, fresh-from-the-zamboni sheet of hockey ice isn't suitable for a rec league curling game.
You want an ice fetish? Hang out at a curling rink. Throw a few thousand rocks yourself and you'll look at ice in a totally different way; after losing an important stone to a hair, crease, or bubble you'll see that NHL-caliber ice isn't suitable for mixed drinks.
Them NHL fellers play a fine game, but they don't know ice.