This post is written by Mr. P.
Greetings and welcome to this pretty cool site! I will be a frequent contributor and offer a ton of insightful information about this remarkable sport called Ice Hockey. The basis of my information will come from a life long association with hockey starting for me at age 5. FYI, I’m old enough to be your grandfather, or at least to many of you! My point is that I have been a player, coach, on-ice official, and hockey parent virtually my entire life and the thrill of the sport has never waned! So just imagine how many “behind the scenes” anecdotes I’ll be able to share with you. I will attempt to gear my threads to both novices to the sport all the way up to those who can match experience and knowledge with me or beyond…I’ve seen and heard it all! :) I would encourage dialogue and questions and love to “chirp” as well.
The first organized game was played in Montreal, Canada in March of 1875 but it’s origins trace back to pre-Christian days in places scattered around Europe where the inhabitants took advantage of the cold, icy winters. Interesting enough, the first “official” game featured a “puck”, which is the flat disk that is still used today and the goals are still the same width, 6 feet. The original game had 9 players per side but was truly a descendent of a slew of games that featured balls and sticks of every type of material available then. The evolution of hockey has kept pace with the rest of the world and advances in training and equipment have made hockey the fastest sport in the world that doesn’t use motors or animals. Wait, that sounds weird, huh? LOL But the good skaters can go end to end in a rink from a dead start, a distance of 200 feet, in less than 7 seconds. Players are routinely firing shots that exceed 100 mph with Zdeno Chara, a 6’9” defenseman for the Boston Bruins, being clocked at 108.8 mph as the “official” record holder for the hardest shot today. There was a guy in Russia who was recently measured at 114.4 mph, but his shot is not recognized as “official” due to “sketchy testing techniques.”
What’s scary is that probably half the shots taken in a game never reach the net because they are being blocked by opposing players using their feet, legs, and torsos as targets. I can assure you that you feel the impact and by the end of a season one’s body is a serious collection of bruises and bumps. But geez, hockey players do not even consider those an injury, tending to shrug off all but the worst bumps. A perfect example of this was where last season, another Boston Bruin named Greg Campbell, took a brutal shot to his leg and had it broken. What’s insane was that Campbell stayed on the ice and finished up his shift until there was a whistle for play stoppage!!!!
So yes, hockey players are tough! They are incredible athletes who train 365 days a year. They push themselves beyond the limits of most athletes and have not only awesome strength, but off-the-chart endurance. Possibly the best thing about the sport is the integrity and character of those who play it. They police themselves of those who stray beyond the limits of “socially acceptable” things in the sport (using their sticks to hurt others or deliberately trying to hurt someone) and fighting is allowed, although they are penalized for doing so….and it is rare when you read or hear of a hockey player getting in trouble with the law. And for the women who read this, you’ll find that they are ruggedly good looking bunch that really do have all their own teeth! Well, most of them.
I’ll wrap it up now but in summary say I hope to offer everyone a view of hockey from the inside that will be fun, informative, and even a little provoking at times. It is a tight community and one can make lifetime friends within…I hope you enjoy my little contributions and I will come out “firing” (hockey term for starting a game or period very fast applying great pressure using hustle and speed) on a topic/incident next time!