It is fair to say that hockey has evolved over the years. Gear has changed and so have the players. The game has become faster and stronger and a lot more off ice training and hard work is necessary to go pro unlike it used to be in the 19th century.
It is believed that hockey was first played in Windsor Nova Scotia, Kingston Ontario or Montreal Quebec. Many people believed it evolved from the Irish game Hurley. Beginning around 1860, wooden pucks were used. On March 3rd 1875 the first game of hockey played indoors occurred in Montreal. The first hockey club was formed in 1877 at McGill University for the up and coming game of hockey. In the same year the first set of rules were published in the Montreal Gazette. In the next year periods changed from two thirty minute periods to three twenty minute periods. In the Beginning, Hockey was strictly an amateur sport until the first pro league was assembled in 1904, the start of a very popular and inspirational sport. Evidence of that is the oldest hockey stick known was priced at four million US dollars.
Modern day hockey is a very high paced high action game. The NHL is comprised of 30 different teams from Canada and the USA. In the NHL there are 6 Canadian and 24 American Teams. The 30 teams get split into two conferences of 15 teams; each conference is split into three divisions of five teams. Each team has an 82 regular season schedule. The top 8 teams from each conference move on to the playoffs also known as the “post-season”. In the playoffs there are best of seven series, your opponent is matched from your regular season standings. In the playoffs there are three twenty minute periods and a five on five twenty minute overtime session if the two teams are still tied after regulation. That differs from the regular season because a tie is broken with a five minute overtime period with four players a side. If the tie is not broken after the five minutes the game moves into a shootout where the team with the most goals after three shooters wins the game. If the winner is still not decided the shootout moves into sudden death. The goals, assists and points leader of all time is held by likely the most inspiring hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky.
Wayne is also known as his well deserved nickname “The Great One”. Wayne’s number 99 was retired by the NHL so no other player can ever use it again which is an honour for sure. The NHL franchise with the most Stanley Cup wins is the Montreal Canadians, one of the teams from the original six. In Olympic hockey, Canada holds the record for most Gold and medals. After the NHL season is over there are Trophy presentations awarded for numerous achievements throughout that Campaign. The Art Ross is awarded for the most points in the regular season which Henrik Sedin won this year. Art Ross was a Canadian ice hockey executive and a defenseman in the national hockey league. The Rocket Richard trophy is awarded to the player(s) with the most goals in the regular season. The Rocket Richard trophy was split this year with Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. Maurice “the rocket” Richard was a forward for the Montreal Canadians that was a proven goal scorer and lead the “habs” to eight Stanley Cup victories. The Vezina trophy is awarded to the leagues top goaltender, the Norris is awarded to the leagues top defenseman and the Jack Adams is awarded to the leagues top coach. Jack was a coach for the Detroit Red Wings.
The game of hockey has evolved from the previous game with the players getting bigger and stronger. The game has become more high paced and action but without the effort from the previous generations to grow and expand this sport it would not be the highly loved and adored sport for all ages.