A common sight in ice hockey occurs in between the three periods of play when the zamboni will come out to smooth the ice. The zamboni in ice hockey smooths the ice so that when the players come back onto the ice at the start of the next period the players have a smoother and easier surface to skate on. This prevents any "chattering," "skipping," or gritty feeling that players may have on non smoothed ice. Zamboni's have a driver on top of it controlling the different functions and driving across all the ice.
Additionally, Zamboni is actually only one brand of ice resurfacers, but it has become such a name brand though that all ice resurfacers are commonly referred to as zambonis.
There are four different functions/steps in what a zamboni does in order to resurface the ice. The first step is shaving the ice as the zamboni cuts the top 1/16th of the inch of ice using a sharp blade. Then, the zamboni washes the ice using a water tank which feeds into a conditioner that washes the dirt, debris, and occasional blood from the top of the ice. This dirty water is then sucked back into a separate water tank for dirty water. After this a mop deposits clean water onto the ice which is usually hot to melt the remaining top layer of the ice. Gaskets at the back of the machine then makes sure the water spreads evenly across the ice.
In hockey the ice resurfacer machine is typically called a zamboni. The reason for this is that the most common type of ice resurfacer is the Zamboni. This is named after the man who invented the ice resurfacer Frank Zamboni. In 1949 Zamboni invented the ice resurfacer in California and soon his zamboni became the most popular of all the ice resurfacers and continues to be the most used brand of ice resurfacers today.
A zamboni driver in hockey is someone who typically is a hockey enthusiast and works on a part time basis at games on entry level wages. For most zamboni drivers there is no real certification needed to drive the zamboni, and the new zamboni driver is trained by the old one. However, if someone wants to become a full time zamboni driver for pro teams at large rinks they usually get a Certified Ice Technician (CIT) professional designation.
Hockey zambonis are very large machines that have very complicated mechanical parts. Because of this zambonis are actually quite expensive and according to zamboni's website small zambonis go for ten thousand dollars or more. If you are looking to buy a large zamboni which would be used by professional hockey teams in their arena, the cost is close to one hundred thousand dollars.