Hockey


Hockey, fast paced, hard hitting, exciting game of skill and talent. Since the beginning of the 1800\'s to today’s game, hockey has evolved and went through many dramatic changes. Those changes make hockey what it is today. The changes were from the equipment and rules, to the gender and color of many people.


There are many conflicting stories behind the beginning. Some say the first game played on ice was in either Windson or Nova Scotia, or even Montreal or Québec depending on who you believe and how you read the evidence. Most believe it all began in Ireland and evolved from the game of Hurley. Hurley was played on the green fields in the summer and when winter came they would play on the frozen over ponds. It was not until the late 1800\'s that Hurley became Hockey. A royal Canadian officer, who was stationed near Nova Scotia, had the men under him playing Hurley for many years. After passing away in 1864, it was decided that the game would be named after him, Hockey. It wasn\'t until 1870 when the first organized game was played. An engineer named James Creighton taught his friends at Mc Gill University and eventually wrote up the "Halifax Rules." This was published in 1877. By 1892, the game was known in almost all of Canada and the U.S. So Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston and the Governor-General of Canada, donated a trophy, called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, Later to become known as the Stanley cup. This was the first winning team to be known as the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association. The year 1895 brought in the first college and club teams and by 1900, the game appeared in European countries. Many professional teams were formed and by 1917, the professional hockey league and the Pacific Coast League merged to become the National Hockey League, on the N.H.L. five teams made up the N.H.L, Montreal Canadians, Montreal Wanders Toronto Arenas, Quebec Bulldogs and the Ottawa Senators. The Toronto Arenas were the first team to win the Stanley Cup. In 1967, six more teams were formed and added, the Minnesota North Stars, Pittsburg Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, California Seals, St. Louis Blues, and the LA Kings. The N.H.L continued to expand in 1972 and 1974 bringing in two more teams each year. The 1990\'s saw nine new teams added, which have now brought the N.H.L to thirty teams. Many expansion teams were also formed in the 1990\'s


Hockey history and how it began is interesting but was also dangerous. For the first fifty years of Hockey, Skates were merely blades strapped on to or screwed in to boots. They were very unstable and hard to skate in. It wasn\'t until the beginning of the 20th century when the first tube skates were seen, which would eventually become the skates of today. Light shin pads, shirts and socks made of wool did not give much protection to either the game or the weather. Unfortunately, Jacques Plate, Goalie for the Montreal Royals took a puck to the face in 1959 inspiring him to wear a facemask the following year. At first, the mask was ridiculed and now it is a mandatory and well known for saving many goalies teeth. In the beginning, hockey was played with a puck and solid wood heavy straight stick. In 1950, the great Bobby Hull and Stan Makita created the first curved stick and now sticks are made of aluminum and lightwood. Not only is the equipment important but the ice was also important. It would take many men and long hours to keep the ice in shape. Prompting fifty-three years old Fran Zamboni to invent the machine we now no as the Zamboni in 1954. Cutting hours in to minutes and needing only one man to operate. The rules have also changed. In 1877, the Montreal Gazette published the first known rules, the rules of hockey are known as "The Halifax Rules." The Halifax rules contained nine players and the puck had to go between two poles. The rules stated that the goalie was not allowed to sit or squat on the ice. The net was finally introduced in 1900 and the number of players went from nine to seven,