06-17-2016

A Few Surprising Facts In The History Of Hockey

Examining the early years of hockey allows one to discover some surprising and fun facts about Hockey history.

Fact #1: Hockey is considered one of the most dangerous activities when it comes to sports, and one of the most common injuries a hockey player endures is the loss of teeth.

Hockey has always been a dangerous sport; field hockey started out with villages playing games against one another for a period of several weeks. These teams had hundreds of players on them and the games were truly chaotic; people were injured and some even died from their injuries. Today, when playing ice hockey players get hurt when they fall on the ice, when they are struck by the hockey puck; when they get hit by the metal or wooden hockey stick, and when they get into physical combat with other players. The most common injury that hockey players endure involves the loss of one or more teeth; this is sometimes called “spittin’ Chiclets,” by hockey players since small, square pieces of Chiclet gum look like teeth.

Fact #2: The Stanley Cup is a rather large hockey trophy but it has not always been that large.

The first Stanley Cup is said to be based on a tea pot or cup/bowl decorative prize. It was only seven inches high. Today, the Stanley Cup is far larger and measures all of 35 inches in height; it also sports the name of every single team member on the winning team. This award has been offered every year except 1919; during the latter year an influenza outbreak prevented the championship game from being played in Seattle. The team to have won the most Stanley Cups to date is the Montreal Canadiens having won twenty-three of these trophies. In second place for the most trophy wins is the Maple Leafs having won thirteen Stanley Cups in all. For more information visit http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Sports/Ice-Hockey-Rules-6003.html.

Fact #3: Protective gear was not always required in hockey games.

As mentioned earlier, the first field stick and ball games were played among villagers. No protective equipment was required. Protective gear was not required until new rules were implemented for field and ice hockey variants, and even then sometimes these rules were not adhered to; as an example, it was not until the year 1959 when a goaltender began to wear a face mask to protect himself during the game. This happened only after Jacques Plante got his nose broken from a flying hockey puck to the face. Interestingly, players mocked Plante for deciding to wear a mask every game after that, but today you will not see a goalkeeper without one.

Fact #4: The sport of modern hockey has its origins in Canada, but the game has roots even older than that.

Hockey, in the ice playing variation, began in Canada, but earlier versions of the game were played by the Arabs, Romans, Persians, and Greeks. The Irish used to play a game called Hurling, which is very much like field hockey. During the fifth to the fifteenth century, hockey like stick and ball games were played all throughout Europe. Just before the sixteenth century, Native Americans also played a game that was like hockey. It is believed that the term hockey is derived either from the Irish “Hockie” or the French “Hoquet” meaning a shepherd’s crook. The word was applied to the game during the eighteenth century but came into common use a century after that.

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