National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada; the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season. The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association, founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario; the NHL took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and folds left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926. At its inception, the NHL had four teams—all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name.
The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively nicknamed the "Original Six"; the NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league increased to 18 teams by 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. Between 1991 and 2000, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams, it added its 31st team in 2017 and has approved the addition of a 32nd team in 2021. The league's headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal. After a labour-management dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play in 2005–06 under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships and television audiences; the International Ice Hockey Federation considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport".
The NHL draws many skilled players from all over the world and has players from 20 countries. Canadians have constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons; the current NHL Champions are the Washington Capitals, who defeated the Vegas Golden Knights four games to one in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. The National Hockey League was established in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association. Founded in 1909, the NHA began play one year with seven teams in Ontario and Quebec, was one of the first major leagues in professional ice hockey, but by the NHA's eighth season, a series of disputes with Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone led team owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs to hold a meeting to discuss the league's future. Realizing the NHA constitution left them unable to force Livingstone out, the four teams voted instead to suspend the NHA, on November 26, 1917, formed the National Hockey League.
Frank Calder was chosen as its first president, serving until his death in 1943. The Bulldogs were unable to play, the remaining owners created a new team in Toronto, the Arenas, to compete with the Canadiens and Senators; the first games were played on December 19, 1917. The Montreal Arena burned down in January 1918, causing the Wanderers to cease operations, the NHL continued on as a three-team league until the Bulldogs returned in 1919; the NHL replaced the NHA as one of the leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup, an interleague competition back then. Toronto won the first NHL title, defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association for the 1918 Stanley Cup; the Canadiens won the league title in 1919. Montreal in 1924 won their first Stanley Cup as a member of the NHL; the Hamilton Tigers, won the regular season title in 1924–25 but refused to play in the championship series unless they were given a C$200 bonus. The league refused and declared the Canadiens the league champion after they defeated the Toronto St. Patricks in the semi-final.
Montreal was defeated by the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League for the 1925 Stanley Cup. It was the last time a non-NHL team won the trophy, as the Stanley Cup became the de facto NHL championship in 1926 after the WCHL ceased operation; the National Hockey League embarked on rapid expansion in the 1920s, adding the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins in 1924. The Bruins were the first American team in the league; the New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, were joined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Rangers were added in 1926; the Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars were added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. A group purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927 and renamed them the Maple Leafs; the first NHL All-Star Game was held in 1934 to benefit Ace Bailey, whose career ended on a vicious hit by Eddie Shore. The second was held in 1937 in support of Howie Morenz's family when he died of a coronary embolism after breaking his leg during a game.
The Great Depression and the onset of World War II took a toll on the league. The Pirates became the Philadelphia Quakers in 1930 folded one year later; the Senators became the St. Louis Eagles in 1934 lasting only one
Blocker (ice hockey)
The goalie blocker is a rectangular piece of equipment worn by ice and roller hockey goaltenders. It is worn on the dominant hand; the blocker is a close-fitting glove augmented on the back of the hand and part of the forearm by a rectangular "block" of padding and fabric. Goaltenders hold their stick in that hand and use the padded rectangle to block shots -- bouncing them away from the net, as opposed to holding them in the catching glove. Experienced goalies can "steer" the shot by angling the blocker as the puck strikes; the padding serves to protect the hand and lower forearm of the goaltender. ^1 A blocker may be referred to as a'waffle' or'waffle-board' stemming from the visual appearance of the blocker in pre-modern ice hockey equipment era. ^ 2 Typically a right-handed person would wear the blocker glove on the right hand. For left-handed persons, the blocker would be worn on left-hand. Blockers are manufactured for right-handed players, this is referred to as a standard setup. To avoid confusion, a left-handed player's equipment setup may sometimes be referred to as'full-right' setup.
Trapper (ice hockey)
A trapper referred to as catch glove or glove, is a piece of equipment that an ice hockey goaltender wears on the non-dominant hand to assist in catching and stopping the puck. The trapper had the same shape as a baseball glove, but evolved into a specific piece of equipment, designed for catching the puck. Changes made over time include the addition of a "string mesh" in the pocket of the trapper and more palm and wrist protection; the "cheater" portion of the glove covers the wrist, which evolved from gauntlet-like gloves from the 1920s. The pocket is the area of the trapper between the thumb and first finger of the glove, is where most goaltenders try to catch the puck, as it reduces the discomfort the goaltender experiences and minimizes the chance of the puck falling out of the glove, creating the possibility of a rebound. Worn on the non-dominant hand, the trapper can be held in a variety of positions depending upon, individual style and preference. Younger goaltenders tend to hold the glove with the palm facing towards the shooter, instead of in the traditional "shake hands" position.
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
A hockey puck is a disk made of vulcanized rubber that serves the same functions in various games as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in a major international sport. Ice hockey and its various precursor games utilized balls until the late 19th century. By the 1870s, flat pucks were made of wood as well as rubber. At first, pucks were square; the first recorded organized game of ice hockey used a wooden puck, to prevent it from leaving the rink of play. Rubber pucks were first made by slicing a rubber ball trimming the disc square; the Victoria Hockey Club of Montreal is credited with making and using the first round pucks, in the 1880s. Many indigenous persons throughout North America played a version of field hockey which involved some type of "puck" or ball, curved wooden sticks, it was first observed by Europeans being played by Mi'kmaqs in Nova Scotia in the late 17th century. It was called "ricket" by the Mi'kmaqs, they began to carve pucks from cherrywood, the puck of preference until late in the century when rubber imported by Euro-Americans replaced the wood.
The origin of the word puck is obscure. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests the name is related to the verb to puck used in the game of hurling for striking or pushing the ball, from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc, meaning "to poke, punch or deliver a blow":It is possible that settlers of Halifax, Nova Scotia, many of whom were Irish and played hurling, may have introduced the word to Canada; the first known printed reference was in Montreal, in 1876, just a year after the first indoor game was played there. A hockey puck is referred to colloquially as a "biscuit". To put the "biscuit in the basket" is to score a goal. Ice hockey requires a hard disk of vulcanized rubber. A standard ice hockey puck is black, 1 inch thick, 3 inches in diameter, weighs between 5.5 and 6 ounces. Pucks are marked with silkscreened team or league logos on one or both faces. Pucks are frozen before the game to reduce bouncing during play. There are several variations on the standard 6-ounce hockey puck. One of the most common is a blue, 4-ounce puck, used for training younger players who are not yet able to use a standard puck.
Heavier 10-ounce training pucks reddish pink or reddish orange in colour, are available for players looking to develop the strength of their shots or improve their stick handling skills. Players looking to increase wrist strength practice with steel pucks that weigh 2 pounds. White pucks are used for goaltender practice; these are weight, but made from white rubber. A hollow, light-weight fluorescent orange puck is available for floor hockey. Other variants, some with plastic ball-bearings or glides, are available for use for road or roller hockey. Two major developments have been devised to create better puck visibility on television broadcasts, but both were short-lived: The use of a "Firepuck" in the early 1990s was the first attempt to improve the visibility of hockey pucks as seen on television; this invention incorporated coloured retro reflective materials of either embedded lens elements or prismatic reflectors laminated into recesses on the flat surfaces and the vertical edge of a standard hockey puck.
Yellow was the preferred reflected colour. A spotlight was required to be positioned on the TV camera and focused at the centre of the viewing area. A short demonstration tape of the Minnesota North Stars skating with the Firepuck was shown during the period break at the 1993 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal; the International Hockey League pursued testing the Firepuck with Donald Klassen. The next television viewing was the IHL All-Star Game in Fort Wayne, January 1994, where the Firepuck was used for the entire game; the IHL tested the Firepuck in two more games, the East Coast Hockey League used it January 17, 1997, for their all-star game. The use of the Firepuck was discontinued because of these reasons: The slight structural change increased the tendency for the puck to bounce on the ice; this resulted in increased scoring. The skaters objected to the use of camera spotlights; the television viewing contrast of the Firepuck was not noticeably enhanced when the camera view was of the entire rink, this being the most common camera shot.
The Firepuck name has since been discontinued. The FoxTrax "smart puck" was developed by the Fox television network when it held National Hockey League broadcasting rights for the United States; the puck had integrated electronics to track its position on screen. The streak would turn red if the puck was shot hard; this was an experiment in broadcasting intended to help viewers unfamiliar with hockey to better follow the game by making the puck more visible. It was ill-received by many traditional hockey fans, but appreciated by many of the more casual viewers; the system debuted with much publicity in the NHL All-Star game at the Boston Fleet Center on January 20, 1996, but the system was shelved when Fox Sports lost the NHL broadcast rights three years later. During a game, pucks can reach speeds of 100 miles per more when struck. Zdeno Chára, whose slapshot clocked 108.8 miles per hour in the 2013 NHL All-Star Game SuperSkills competition, broke his own earlier record. The current world re
Ice hockey stick
An ice hockey stick is a piece of equipment used in ice hockey to shoot and carry the puck across the ice. Ice hockey sticks are 150–200 cm long, composed of a long, slender shaft with a flat extension at one end called the blade; the blade is the part of the stick used to contact the puck, is 25 to 40 cm long. Stick dimensions can vary as they are built to suit a particular player's size and preference; the blade is positioned at a 135° angle from the axis of the shaft, giving the stick a partly'L-shaped' appearance. The shaft of the stick is rigid, but it has some flexibility to benefit some shots; the blade is curved in one direction, either way, to aid in retaining or lifting the puck off the playing surface. This can be depending on the player's shooting orientation; the goaltender has a modified stick. The lower part of the stick is wider, the angle is smaller, the blade is curved towards the direction of the play. New goaltender sticks are made of the same composite technology as used in regular sticks.
The oldest known hockey stick dates to the mid-1830s. In 2006, a stick made in the 1850s, at the time the oldest known, was sold at auction for $2.2 million. The Moffatt stick may have been made by Mi'kmaqs. Starting in the 18th century, there are numerous references to the Mi'kmaq people of Nova Scotia playing ice hockey, starting in the 19th century, there are claims that they invented the ice hockey stick. In the mid-19th century, the Starr Manufacturing Company began to sell Mic-Mac hockey sticks nationally and internationally. Through the first decade of the 20th century, it was the best-selling hockey stick in Canada. By 1903, apart from farming, producing them was the primary occupation of the Mi'kmaq on reserves throughout Nova Scotia Shubenacadie, Indian Brook and Millbrook. In 1927 the department of Indian Affairs for Nova Scotia identified that the Mi'kmaq remained the "experts" at making hockey sticks. Mi'kmaq continued to make hockey sticks until the 1930s. Hockey sticks were made from the maple or willow trees, a common choice for golf club shafts and wooden tools.
However, as hornbeam supplies diminished, it became more cost effective to use other hardwoods, such as yellow birch and ash. Ash became the preferred medium, by the 1920s an ash hockey stick crafted from a single piece of wood was the type most used; these early sticks were heavy and not forgiving, although they were durable. There were only a handful of major developments in hockey stick technology between the 1920s and the 2000s. Foremost among these was creation of the laminated stick in the 1940s, where layers of wood were glued together and sandwiched to create a more flexible and durable design. In the 1960s, companies began adding another lamination of fiberglass or other such synthetic compound as a coating, which further added to the durability and usability of the stick. In the 1960s, players began curving the blade of the stick, which changed the physics affecting players' shots. In the 1970s, cricket and baseball bat manufacturers began experimenting with lightweight steel alloys as a replacement for the traditional willow or ash bat.
Hockey stick designers followed suit in the early 1980s, introducing first a single piece all-aluminium stick. This design was not popular, as the stiff aluminium did not have the proper "feel", so a design featuring an aluminium shaft and a removable, replaceable wooden blade was tried; this became popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s, challenging the prevalence of the traditional wooden stick for the first time. In recent years, the aluminium stick, as well as its wooden counterpart, have been replaced by more advanced composite designs. Common building materials include fiberglass and carbon fiber, some manufacturers have explored using materials such as kevlar. Composite sticks weigh less than their aluminum forebears, they can be manufactured with more consistent physical properties than their wooden counterparts, they are, however more expensive than wooden sticks, are not nearly as durable as the older aluminum sticks. Over the last two decades, there have been tremendous advances in the material technology used to create hockey sticks.
The vast majority of sticks are made with one of the following materials: Wood Aluminium Fiberglass Graphite Kevlar Iron and Carbon Carbon blades Wooden sticks are constructed by laminating multiple types of wood into a high quality plywood coating the stick and blade with thin plastic or fiberglass. Some manufacturers use fiberglass as a laminate between wood layers. Today in the NHL, only a handful of players still use wooden sticks; the main advantage that wooden sticks enjoy today is their low cost and strong base. Few wooden sticks cost more than $40 per copy, compared to $200+ for some composite varieties; this makes them a popular choice by amateur players. Wooden sticks enjoy a reputation of having a good "feel" compared to aluminium or titanium; the main disadvantage that wooden sticks suffer from is their relative irregularity and poor durability. Wood has a tendency to warp, over time its flex and stiffness properties will change. Additionally, being a natural material, wood creates variations in production (even be
A baseball glove or mitt is a large leather glove worn by baseball players of the defending team, which assists players in catching and fielding balls hit by a batter or thrown by a teammate. By convention, the glove is described by the handedness of the intended wearer, rather than the hand on which the glove is worn: a glove that fits on the left hand—used by a right-handed thrower—is called a right-handed or "right-hand throw" glove. Conversely, a left-handed glove is worn on the right hand, allowing the player to throw the ball with the left hand. Early baseball was a game played without gloves. During the slow transition to gloves, a player who continued to play without one was called a barehanded catcher; the earliest glove was not webbed and not well suited for catching but was used more to swat a ball to the ground so that it could be picked up. One of the first players believed to use a baseball glove was Doug Allison, a catcher for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, in 1870, due to an injured left hand.
The first confirmed glove use was by Charlie Waitt, a St. Louis outfielder and first baseman who, in 1875, donned a pair of flesh-colored gloves. Glove use caught on as more and more players began using different forms of gloves. Many early baseball gloves were simple leather gloves with the fingertips cut off to allow for the same control of a bare hand but with extra padding. First baseman Albert Spalding skeptical of glove use, influenced more infielders to begin using gloves. Spalding founded the sporting goods company Spalding, which still manufactures baseball gloves along with other sports equipment. By the mid-1890s, it was normal for players to wear gloves in the field. In 1920, Bill Doak, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, suggested that a web be placed between the first finger and the thumb in order to create a pocket; this design soon became the standard for baseball gloves. Doak sold it to Rawlings, his design became the precursor to modern gloves, enabled Rawlings to become the preferred glove of professional players.
For many years it was customary for fielders to leave their gloves on the field when their team went in to bat. This practice was prohibited by the major leagues in 1954. Baseball gloves have grown progressively larger since their inception. While catching in baseball had always been two handed gloves grew to a size that made it easier to catch the ball in the webbing of the glove, use the off-hand to keep it from falling out. A glove is worn on the non-dominant hand, leaving the dominant hand for throwing the ball; the shape and size of the baseball glove is governed by official baseball rules. Section 3.00 - EQUIPMENT AND UNIFORMS specifies glove dimensions and materials in parts 3.04 through 3.07. The structure and quality of the baseball glove has developed over the past century. Today, the production of baseball gloves is efficient; this has increased the usefulness and accessibility of baseball gloves to the general population. Easton is "experimenting with combining leather and Kevlar in a new ultra-light weight glove line".
Manufacturers have designed new, non-traditional types of gloves to suit non-traditional players. Manufacturers are personalizing gloves for high caliber players to help increase their exposure on national television. Though there have been many advancements in the design and creation of the baseball glove, the greatest came in the invention of the catcher's mitt. However, as a Wake Forest University study demonstrated through 39 minor-league players though today's catcher's mitts are state-of-the-art, they still do not offer enough protection from long-term injury to the hand and wrist; the highest-quality baseball gloves are made of heavy leather. These heavy leather gloves take more time for the player to break in; these gloves provide a tighter, more personalized fit for the player. This is an improvement from youth and recreational gloves, which tend to feature palm pads and/or adjustable velcro wrist straps; these gloves take less time to break in or they are pre-broken in, they less personal and more "one size fits all".
Baseball gloves are measured by starting at the top of the index finger of the glove and measuring down the finger, along the inside of the pocket and out to the heel of the glove. Gloves range in size from 9 inches to 12.75 inches for adult outfield play. Catcher's mitts, unlike those of other gloves, are measured around the circumference, they have 32- to 34-inch patterns; the shape and size of a glove is described by its pattern. Modern gloves have become quite specialized, with position-specific patterns: Catcher's mitts are called "mitts" because they lack individual fingers, like mittens, they have extra padding and a hinged, claw-like shape that helps them funnel fastballs into the pocket and provide a good target for pitchers. Some catchers use mitts with phosphorescent paint around the ridges to provide a clearer target for the pitcher. In addition, catcher's mitts come in single hinge and dual hinge varieties. If required to catch a knuckleball, a catcher will use an larger mitt; some knuckleball catchers have experimented with using first baseman's mitts, as described below.
First baseman's mitts lack individual fingers. They are very long and wide to help them pick or scoop badly thrown balls from infielders; these mitts have 12.5- to 12.75-inch patterns, measured from wrist t