Hockey is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as bandy, field hockey, and ice hockey.
The first recorded use of the word hockey is 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 (Pseud. Master Michel Angelo), whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, which was originally 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"; this may have referred to either an early form of hockey or a game more similar to golf or croquet.
The word hockey itself is of unknown origin. One supposition is that it is a derivative of hoquet, a Middle French word for a shepherd's stave. The curved, or "hooked" ends of the sticks used for hockey would indeed have resembled these staves. Another supposition derives from the known use of cork bungs, (stoppers) in place of wooden balls to play the game. The stoppers came from barrels containing "hock" ale, also called "hocky".
Games played with curved sticks and a ball can be found in the histories of many cultures. In Egypt, 4000-year-old carvings feature teams with sticks and a projectile, hurling dates to before 1272 BC in Ireland, and there is a depiction from approximately 600 BC in Ancient Greece, where the game may have been called kerētízein or (κερητίζειν) because it was played with a horn or horn-like stick (kéras, κέρας). In Inner Mongolia, the Daur people have been playing beikou, a game similar to modern field hockey, for about 1,000 years.
Most evidence of hockey-like games during the Middle Ages is found in legislation concerning sports and games. The Galway Statute enacted in Ireland in 1527 banned certain types of ball games, including games using "hooked" (written "hockie", similar to "hooky") sticks.
...at no tyme to use ne occupye the horlinge of the litill balle with hockie stickes or staves, nor use no hande ball to play withoute walles, but only greate foote balle
By the 19th century, the various forms and divisions of historic games began to differentiate and coalesce into the individual sports defined today. Organizations dedicated to the codification of rules and regulations began to form, and national and international bodies sprang up to manage domestic and international competition.
Bandy is played with a ball on a football pitch-sized ice arena (bandy rink), typically outdoors, and with many rules similar to association football. It is played professionally in Russia and Sweden and is considered a national sport in Russia. The sport is recognized by the IOC; its international governing body is the Federation of International Bandy.
Bandy has its roots in England in the 19th century, was originally called "hockey on the ice", and spread from England to other European countries around 1900; a similar Russian sport can also be seen as a predecessor and in Russia, bandy is sometimes called "Russian hockey". Bandy World Championships have been played since 1957 and Women's Bandy World Championships since 2004. There are national club championships in many countries and the top clubs in the world play in the Bandy World Cup every year.
Field hockey is played on gravel, natural grass, or sand-based or water-based artificial turf, with a small, hard ball approximately 73 mm (2.9 in) in diameter. The game is popular among both males and females in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina. In most countries, the game is played between single-sex sides, although they can be mixed-sex.
The governing body is the 126-member International Hockey Federation (FIH). Men's field hockey has been played at each Summer Olympic Games since 1908 except for 1912 and 1924, while women's field hockey has been played at the Summer Olympic Games since 1980.
Modern field hockey sticks are constructed of a composite of wood, glass fibre or carbon fibre (sometimes both) and are J-shaped, with a curved hook at the playing end, a flat surface on the playing side and a curved surface on the rear side. All sticks are right-handed – left-handed sticks are not permitted.
While field hockey in its current form appeared in mid-18th century England, primarily in schools, it was not until the first half of the 19th century that it became firmly established. The first club was created in 1849 at Blackheath in south-east London. Field hockey is the national sport of Pakistan. It was the national sport of India until the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports declared in August 2012 that India has no national sport.
Ice hockey is played between two teams of skaters on a large flat area of ice, using a three-inch-diameter (76.2 mm) vulcanized rubber disc called a puck. This puck is often frozen before high-level games to decrease the amount of bouncing and friction on the ice. The game is played all over North America, Europe and to varying extents in many other countries around the world. It is the most popular sport in Canada, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Ice hockey is the national sport of Latvia and the national winter sport of Canada. Ice hockey is played at a number of levels, by all ages.
The governing body of international play is the 77-member International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Men's ice hockey has been played at the Winter Olympics since 1924, and was in the 1920 Summer Olympics. Women's ice hockey was added to the Winter Olympics in 1998. North America's National Hockey League (NHL) is the strongest professional ice hockey league, drawing top ice hockey players from around the globe. The NHL rules are slightly different from those used in Olympic ice hockey over many categories. International ice hockey rules were adopted from Canadian rules in the early 1900s.
The contemporary sport developed in Canada from European and native influences. These included various stick and ball games similar to field hockey, bandy and other games where two teams push a ball or object back and forth with sticks. These were played outdoors on ice under the name "hockey" in England throughout the 19th century, and even earlier under various other names. In Canada, there are 24 reports of hockey-like games in the 19th century before 1875 (five of them using the name "hockey"). The first organized and recorded game of ice hockey was played indoors in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on March 3, 1875, and featured several McGill University students.
Ice hockey sticks are long L-shaped sticks made of wood, graphite, or composites with a blade at the bottom that can lie flat on the playing surface when the stick is held upright and can legally curve either way, for left- or right-handed players.
Ice sledge hockey or para ice hockey is a form of ice hockey designed for players with physical disabilities affecting their lower bodies. Players sit on double-bladed sledges and use two sticks; each stick has a blade at one end and small picks at the other. Players use the sticks to pass, stickhandle and shoot the puck, and to propel their sledges. The rules are very similar to IIHF ice hockey rules.
Canada is a recognized international leader in the development of sledge hockey, and much of the equipment for the sport was first developed there, such as sledge hockey sticks laminated with fiberglass, as well as aluminum shafts with hand-carved insert blades and special aluminum sledges with regulation skate blades.
Based on ice sledge hockey, inline sledge hockey is played to the same rules as inline puck hockey (essentially ice hockey played off-ice using inline skates). There is no classification point system dictating who can play inline sledge hockey, unlike the situation with other team sports such as wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. Inline sledge hockey is being developed to allow everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or not, to complete up to world championship level based solely on talent and ability. The first game of inline sledge hockey was played at Bisley, England, on 19 December 2009 between the Hull Stingrays and the Grimsby Redwings. Matt Lloyd is credited with inventing inline sledge hockey, and Great Britain is seen as the international leader in the game's development.
Inline hockey is a variation of roller hockey very similar to ice hockey, from which it is derived. Inline hockey is played by two teams, consisting of four skaters and one goalie, on a dry rink divided into two halves by a center line, with one net at each end of the rink. The game is played in three 15-minute periods with a variation of the ice hockey off-side rule. Icings are also called, but are usually referred to as illegal clearing. The governing body is the IIHF, as for ice hockey, but some leagues and competitions do not follow the IIHF regulations, in particular USA Inline and Canada Inline.
Roller hockey, also known as quad hockey, international-style ball hockey, and Hoquei em Patins, is an overarching name for a roller sport that has existed since long before inline skates were invented. This sport is played in over sixty countries and has a worldwide following. Roller hockey was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.
Also known as road hockey, this is a dry-land variant of ice and roller hockey played year-round on a hard surface (usually asphalt). A ball is usually used instead of a puck, and protective equipment is not usually worn.
Other games derived from hockey or its predecessors include the following:
Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin (Russian: Александр Михайлович Овечкин, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɐˈvʲetɕkʲɪn]; born 17 September 1985), often referred to as "the Great Eight" or "Ovi", is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). Prior to entering the league, Ovechkin played for Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague for four seasons, from 2001 until 2005, and returned to play for them briefly during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. A highly touted prospect, Ovechkin was selected by the Capitals first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. With the 2004–05 NHL lockout cancelling the season, Ovechkin remained in Russia until 2005, joining the Capitals for the 2005–06 season. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year, scoring 52 goals and 54 assists to lead all rookies with 106 points and finishing third overall in league scoring.
Ovechkin has led the NHL in goal scoring (for which the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy is awarded) eight times, which is the most times by a player in NHL history. He first did so in the 2007–08 season, when he recorded 65 goals and 112 points. That year he also led the league in points, winning the Art Ross Trophy, and also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player and Lester B. Pearson Award as the best player as voted on by the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA). Ovechkin would again win the Hart Trophy and Pearson Award in 2009, along with the Richard Trophy, and won the Ted Lindsay Award (the renamed Pearson Award) for a third consecutive year in 2010; it also marked the fifth straight year that he was named to the First All-Star Team.
After a couple years of decreased scoring, Ovechkin again led the league in goals in 2013, earning the Richard Trophy and his third Hart Trophy. He would repeat as the Richard Trophy winner from 2014 to 2016, scoring at least 50 goals each season and in doing so becoming only the third player to score 50 goals in a season seven times. He marked 500 career NHL goals in the 2015–16 season and also led the league in goals for four straight seasons from 2012–13 to 2015–16; as such, Ovechkin is considered by many to be one of the greatest goal scorers in the history of the NHL. In 2017, Ovechkin was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players of all-time. After ten playoff runs with the Washington Capitals, Ovechkin won his first Stanley Cup with them in 2018, and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 2018 playoffs.
Internationally, Ovechkin has represented Russia in multiple tournaments. His first IIHF tournament was the 2002 World U18 Championship. The following year he made his debut at the World Junior Championship, helping Russia win the gold medal. He played two more years at the World Juniors, as well as once more at the World U18 Championships. Ovechkin's first senior tournament was the 2004 World Championship, and he also played in the World Cup that year. Ovechkin has also played for Russia at the Winter Olympics in 2006, 2010, and 2014. Overall, Ovechkin has represented Russia at 11 World Championships and 3 Olympics in his career, winning the World Championship three times.American Hockey League
The American Hockey League (AHL) is a professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League (NHL). Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team. When NHL teams do not have an AHL affiliate, players are assigned to AHL teams affiliated with other NHL teams. Twenty-seven AHL teams are located in the United States and the remaining four are in Canada. The league offices are located in Springfield, Massachusetts, and its current president is David Andrews.
In general, a player must be at least 18 years of age to play in the AHL or not currently be beholden to a junior ice hockey team. The league limits the number of experienced professional players on a team's active roster during any given game; only five skaters can have accumulated four full seasons of play or more at the professional level (goaltenders are exempt from this rule and can stay in the AHL indefinitely without being subject to this cap). The AHL allows for practice squad contracts.The annual playoff champion is awarded the Calder Cup, named for Frank Calder, the first President (1917–1943) of the NHL. The reigning champions are the Toronto Marlies.Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Calgary Tigers (1921–1927) and Calgary Cowboys (1975–1977). The Flames are one of two NHL franchises in Alberta; the other is the Edmonton Oilers. The cities' proximity has led to a rivalry known as the "Battle of Alberta".
The team was founded in 1972 in Atlanta as the Atlanta Flames until relocating to Calgary in 1980. The Flames played their first three seasons in Calgary at the Stampede Corral before moving into their current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome (originally known as the Olympic Saddledome), in 1983. In 1985–86, the Flames became the first Calgary team since the 1923–24 Tigers to compete for the Stanley Cup. In 1988–89, the Flames won their first and only championship. The Flames' unexpected run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals gave rise to the Red Mile, and in 2011 the team hosted and won the second Heritage Classic outdoor game.
The Flames have won two Presidents' Trophies as the NHL's top regular season team, and have claimed seven division championships. Individually, Jarome Iginla is the franchise leader in games played, goals and points and is a two-time winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal scorer. Miikka Kiprusoff has the most wins by a goaltender in a Calgary Flames uniform. Nine people associated with the Flames have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Off the ice, Calgary Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Flames, also own a Western Hockey League franchise (the Calgary Hitmen), a National Lacrosse League franchise (the Calgary Roughnecks) and a Canadian Football League franchise (the Calgary Stampeders). Through the Flames Foundation, the team has donated more than CA$32 million to charity throughout southern Alberta since the franchise arrived.Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Avalanche are the only team in their division not based in the Central Time Zone; the team is situated in the Mountain Time Zone. Their home arena is Pepsi Center. Their general manager is Joe Sakic.
The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques and were one of the charter franchises of the World Hockey Association. The franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as a result of the NHL–WHA merger. Following the 1994–95 season, they were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group and relocated to Denver.
In the club's first season in Denver, the Avalanche won the Pacific Division and went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in the season following a relocation. Among teams in the major North American professional sports leagues, only the National Football League (NFL)'s Washington Redskins have also accomplished the feat. This was the first major professional sports championship a Denver-based team would bring to the city.
In the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, the Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 4–3 to win their second and most recent championship. As a result, they are the only active NHL team that has won all of its Stanley Cup Final appearances.
The Avalanche have won nine division titles (including their first eight in a row in Denver, the longest such streak in NHL history) and qualified for the playoffs in each of their first ten seasons in Denver; this streak ended in 2007.Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Blue Jackets were founded as an expansion team in 2000. In their initial years, the Blue Jackets struggled, failing to win 30 games in a season until the 2005–06 season. The team qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 2009, but were swept. Columbus ultimately notched their first playoff game victory in the 2014 playoffs and five years later won their first playoff series in the 2019 playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep a Presidents' Trophy winner in the first round.
The Blue Jackets' name and logos are inspired by Ohio's Civil War history. The Blue Jackets play their home games at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which opened in 2000. They are affiliated with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL.Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit. They are members of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL) and are one of the Original Six teams of the league. Founded in 1926, the team was known as the Detroit Cougars from then until 1930. For the 1930–31 and 1931–32 seasons the team was called the Detroit Falcons, and in 1932 changed their name to the Red Wings.As of 2019, the Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cup championships of any NHL franchise based in the United States (11) and are third overall in total Stanley Cup championships, behind the Montreal Canadiens (24) and Toronto Maple Leafs (13). The Wings played their home games at Joe Louis Arena from 1979 until 2017, after playing for 52 years in Olympia Stadium. They moved into the new Little Caesars Arena beginning with the 2017–18 season. The Red Wings are one of the most popular and successful franchises in the NHL; fans and sports commentators refer to the Detroit area as "Hockeytown", which has been a registered trademark owned by the franchise since 1996.Between the 1931–32 and 1965–66 seasons, the Red Wings missed the playoffs only four times. Between the 1966–67 and 1982–83 seasons, the Red Wings made the playoffs only two times. However, thereafter, from 1983–84 to 2015–16, they made the playoffs 30 times in 32 seasons, including 25-straight from 1990–91 to 2015–16 (not counting the cancelled 2004–05 season), at the time the longest streak of postseason appearances in all of North American professional sports. Since 1983–84, the Red Wings have tallied six regular season first-place finishes and have won the Stanley Cup four times (1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008).Field hockey
Field hockey is a team game of the hockey family. The earliest origins of the game date back to the Middle Ages in Pakistan. The game can be played on grass, water turf, artificial turf or synthetic field as well as an indoor board surface. Each team plays with eleven players, including the goalie. Players use sticks made out of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass or a combination of carbon fibre and fibre glass in different quantities (with the higher carbon fibre stick being more expensive and less likely to break) to hit a round, hard, plastic ball. The length of the stick depends on the player's individual height. Only one face of the stick is allowed to be used. Goalies often have a different kind of stick, however they can also use an ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at the end of the stick, this is to give them more surface area to save the ball. The uniform consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts, a mouth guard and a jersey.
Today, the game is played globally, mainly in parts of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States (primarily New England and the Mid-Atlantic states).
Known simply as "hockey" in many territories, the term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice hockey is more popular. In Sweden, the term "landhockey" is used and to some degree also in Norway where it is governed by Norway's Bandy Association.During play, goal keepers are the only players who are allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body (the player's hand is considered part of the stick if on the stick), while field players play the ball with the flat side of their stick. If the ball is touched with the rounded part of the stick, it will result in a penalty. Goal keepers also cannot play the ball with the back of their stick. Whoever scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout, depending on the competition's format. There are many variations to overtime play that depend on the league and tournament play. In college play, a seven-aside overtime period consists of a 10-minute golden goal period with seven players for each team. If a tie still remains, the game enters a one-on-one competition where each team chooses 5 players to dribble from the 25-yard line down to the circle against the opposing goalie. The player has 8 seconds to score on the goalie keeping it in bounds. The play ends after a goal is scored, the ball goes out of bounds, a foul is committed (ending in either a penalty stroke or flick or the end of the one on one) or time expires. If the tie still persists extra rounds thereafter until one team has scored.
The governing body of field hockey is the International Hockey Federation (FIH, in French), with men and women being represented internationally in competitions including the Olympic Games, World Cup, World League, Champions Trophy and Junior World Cup, with many countries running extensive junior, senior, and masters club competitions. The FIH is also responsible for organizing the Hockey Rules Board and developing the rules for the game.
A popular variant of field hockey is indoor field hockey, which differs in a number of respects while embodying the primary principles of hockey. Indoor hockey is a 5-a-side variant, with a field which is reduced to approximately 40 m × 20 m (131 ft × 66 ft). With many of the rules remaining the same, including obstruction and feet, there are several key variations: Players may not raise the ball unless shooting on goal, players may not hit the ball (instead using pushes to transfer the ball), and the sidelines are replaced with solid barriers which the ball will rebound off. In addition, the regulation guidelines for the indoor field hockey stick require a slightly thinner, lighter stick than an outdoor stick.Ice Hockey World Championships
The Ice Hockey World Championships are an annual international men's ice hockey tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). First officially held at the 1920 Summer Olympics, it is the sport's highest profile annual international tournament.
The IIHF was created in 1908 while the European Championships, the precursor to the World Championships, were first held in 1910. The tournament held at the 1920 Summer Olympics is recognized as the first Ice Hockey World Championship. Between 1920 and 1968, the Olympic hockey tournament was also considered the World Championship for that year.
The first World Championship that was held as an individual event was in 1930 in which twelve nations participated. In 1931, ten teams played a series of round-robin format qualifying rounds to determine which nations participated in the medal round. Medals were awarded based on the final standings of the teams in the medal round. In 1951, thirteen nations took part and were split into two groups. The top seven teams (Pool A) played for the World Championship. The other six (Pool B) played for ranking purposes. This basic format would be used until 1992 (although small variations were made). During a congress in 1990, the IIHF introduced a playoff system. As the IIHF grew, more teams began to participate at the World Championships, so more pools (later renamed divisions) were introduced.
The modern format for the World Championship features 16 teams in the championship group, 12 teams in Division I and 12 teams in Division II. If there are more than 40 teams, the rest compete in Division III. The teams in the championship play a preliminary round, then the top eight teams play in the playoff medal round and the winning team is crowned World Champion. Over the years, the tournament has gone through several rule changes. In 1969 body-checking in all three zones in a rink was allowed, helmets and goaltender masks became mandatory in the early 1970s and in 1992 the IIHF began using the shootout. The current IIHF rules differ slightly from the rules used in the NHL. From the 1920 Olympics until the 1976 World Championships, only athletes designated as "amateur" were allowed to compete in the tournament. Because of this, players from the National Hockey League and its senior minor-league teams were not allowed to compete, while the Soviet Union was allowed to use permanent full-time players who were positioned as regular workers of an aircraft industry or tractor industry employer that sponsored what would be presented as an after-hours amateur social sports society team for their workers. In 1970, after an agreement to allow just a small number of its professionals to participate was rescinded by the IIHF, Canada withdrew from the tournament. Starting in 1977, professional athletes were allowed to compete in the tournament and Canada re-entered. The IIHF requires that players are citizens of the country they represent and allow players to switch national teams provided that they play in their new nation for a certain period of time.
Canada was the tournament's first dominant team, winning the tournament 12 times between 1930 and 1952. The United States, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Great Britain and Switzerland were also competitive during this period. The Soviet Union first participated in 1954 and soon became rivals with Canada. From 1963 until the nation's breakup in 1991, the Soviet Union was the dominant team, winning 20 championships. During that period, only three other nations won medals: Canada, Czechoslovakia and Sweden. Russia first participated in 1992 and the Czech Republic and Slovakia began competing in 1993. In the 2000s, the competition became more open as the "Big Six" teams – Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States – as well as Slovakia and Switzerland have become more evenly matched.
As this tournament takes place during the same period as the later stages of the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs, many of that league's top players are not available to participate for their national teams or have only become available after their NHL teams have been eliminated, after playing 90+ games. North American teams, and especially the United States, have been criticized for not taking this tournament seriously. For example, USA Hockey often sent teams made up of younger NHL players alongside college players, not using top level stars even when they are available.
The 2015 World Championship, held in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, was the most successful to date in terms of overall attendance; it was visited by 741,690 people and average attendance was at 11,589.Ice hockey
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually 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 usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and 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, central and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries, Russia 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, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world. The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is the highest league in Russia and much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) 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, and some other European countries the sport is known simply as hockey; the name "ice hockey" is used in places where "hockey" more often refers to the more popular field hockey, such as countries in South America, Asia, Africa, Australasia, and some European countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands.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, and 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 later 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 (the "Big Six") predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden 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 (or two of their precursors, the Soviet Union for Russia, and Czechoslovakia for the Czech Republic). 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 (NHLPA), 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, and 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.Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens (French: Les Canadiens de Montréal) are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The club's official name is le Club de hockey Canadien. The team is frequently referred to in English and French as the Habs. French nicknames for the team include Les Canadiens (or Le Canadien), Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, La Sainte-Flanelle, Le Tricolore, Les Glorieux (or Nos Glorieux), Le CH, Le Grand Club and Les Habitants (from which "Habs" is derived).
Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide, and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL. One of the oldest North American professional sports franchises, the Canadiens' history predates that of every other Canadian franchise outside football as well as every American franchise outside baseball and the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals. The franchise is one of the "Original Six" teams, a description used for the teams that made up the NHL from 1942 until the 1967 expansion. The team's championship season in 1992–93 was the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more times than any other franchise. They have won 24 Stanley Cups, 23 of them since the founding of the NHL and 22 of them since 1927, when NHL teams became the only ones to compete for the Stanley Cup. On a percentage basis, as of 2014, the franchise has won 25.3% of all Stanley Cup championships contested after the Challenge Cup era, making it the second most successful professional sports team of the traditional four major sports of Canada and the United States, behind only the Boston Celtics. The Canadiens also had the most championships by a team of any of the four major North American sports until the New York Yankees won their 25th World Series title in 1999.
Since 1996, the Canadiens have played their home games at Bell Centre, originally known as Molson Centre. The team previously played at the Montreal Forum which housed the team for seven decades and all but their first two Stanley Cup championships.National Hockey League
The National Hockey League (NHL; French: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently 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, and 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 (NHA), which had been founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario. The NHL immediately 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, and has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively (if not contemporaneously) nicknamed the "Original Six". The NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league then 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, attendance, and television audiences.The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The NHL draws many highly skilled players from all over the world and currently has players from approximately 20 countries. Canadians have historically 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.New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in the New York metropolitan area. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team splits its home games between Barclays Center in the borough of Brooklyn and Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders are one of three NHL franchises in the New York metropolitan area, along with the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, and their fan base resides primarily on Long Island.
The team was founded in 1972 as part of the NHL's maneuvers to keep a team from rival league World Hockey Association (WHA) out of the newly built Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in suburban Uniondale, New York. After two years of building up the team's roster, they found almost instant success by securing fourteen straight playoff berths starting with their third season. The Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships between 1980 and 1983, the seventh of eight dynasties recognized by the NHL in its history. Their 19 consecutive playoff series wins between 1980 and 1984 is a feat that remains unparalleled in the history of professional sports. They are the last team in any major professional North American sport to win four consecutive championships.
Following the team's dynasty era, the franchise ran into problems with money, ownership and management, an aging arena, and low attendance. Their woes were reflected on the ice, as the team has not won a division title since 1987–88, and went 22 seasons without winning a playoff series prior to the 2016 playoffs. After years of failed attempts to rebuild or replace Nassau Coliseum in suburban Long Island, the Islanders relocated to Barclays Center following the 2014–15 season. In the 2018–19 season the Islanders started splitting their home games between the Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum until their new arena near Belmont Park is opened in 2021.
Eight former members of the Islanders have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, seven of whom—Al Arbour, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin, Billy Smith, Bill Torrey, and Bryan Trottier—were members of all four Cup-winning teams. Pat LaFontaine is the most recent inductee, having been honored in 2003.Overtime (ice hockey)
Overtime is a method of determining a winner in an ice hockey game when the score is tied after regulation. The main methods of determining a winner in a tied game are the overtime period (commonly referred to as overtime), the shootout, or a combination of both. If league rules dictate a finite time in which overtime may be played, with no penalty shoot-out to follow, the game's winning team may or may not be necessarily determined.St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Blues play their home games at the 19,150-seat Enterprise Center in downtown St. Louis. Enterprise Center is the second home arena of the Blues, with the team first playing at St. Louis Arena from 1967 to 1994.
The team is named after the famous W. C. Handy song "Saint Louis Blues". The franchise was founded in 1967 as an expansion team during the league's 1967 NHL Expansion, which expanded the NHL from 6 teams to 12. The Blues are the oldest active NHL team never to have won the Stanley Cup, although they played in the Stanley Cup Finals three times, in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
The Blues share a rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks, contesting the same division since 1970. The team has two minor league affiliates: the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL.Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup (French: La Coupe Stanley) is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers it to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The trophy was commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada who donated it as an award to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. The entire Stanley family supported the sport, the sons and daughters all playing and promoting the game. The first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal Hockey Club, and winners from 1893 to 1914 were determined by challenge games and league play. Professional teams first became eligible to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1906. In 1915, professional ice hockey organizations National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) reached a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other annually for the Stanley Cup. It was established as the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926 and then the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947.
There are actually three Stanley Cups: the original bowl of the "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup", the authenticated "Presentation Cup", and the spelling-corrected "Permanent Cup" on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The NHL has maintained control over the trophy itself and its associated trademarks; the NHL does not actually own the trophy but uses it by agreement with the two Canadian trustees of the cup. The NHL has registered trademarks associated with the name and likeness of the Stanley Cup, although there has been dispute as to whether the league has the right to own trademarks associated with a trophy that it does not own.The original bowl was made of silver and is 18.5 centimetres (7.28 inches) high and 29 centimetres (11.42 inches) wide. The current Stanley Cup is topped with a copy of the original bowl, made of a silver and nickel alloy. It has a height of 89.54 centimetres (35.25 inches) and weighs 15.5 kilograms (34.5 lb). A new Stanley Cup is not made each year, unlike the trophies awarded by the other major professional sports leagues of North America. The winners originally kept it until a new champion was crowned, but winning teams currently get the Stanley Cup during the summer and a limited number of days during the season. Every year since 1924, a select portion of the winning players, coaches, management, and club staff names are engraved on its bands, which is unusual among trophies. However, there is not enough room to include all the players and non-players, so some names must be omitted. Between 1924 and 1940, a new band was added almost every year that the trophy was awarded, earning the nickname "Stovepipe Cup" due to the unnatural height of all the bands. In 1947, the cup size was reduced, but not all the large rings were the same size. In 1958, the modern one-piece Cup was designed with a five-band barrel which could contain 13 winning teams per band. The oldest band is removed when the bottom band is full and preserved in the Hockey Hall of Fame in order to prevent the Stanley Cup from growing, and a new blank band added to the bottom. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug. The Stanley Cup is surrounded by numerous legends and traditions, the oldest of which is the winning team drinking champagne from it.
Since the 1914–15 season, the Cup has been won a combined 101 times by 18 current NHL teams and 5 defunct teams. It was not awarded in 1919 because of a Spanish flu epidemic or in 2005 because of the 2004–05 NHL lockout. It was held by nine different teams between 1893 and 1914. The Montreal Canadiens have won it a record 24 times and are the most recent Canadian-based team to win it, doing so in 1993; while the Detroit Red Wings have won it 11 times, the most of any United States-based NHL team, most recently in 2008.Steve Yzerman
Stephen Gregory Yzerman (; born May 9, 1965) is a Canadian professional ice hockey executive and former player who spent his entire National Hockey League (NHL) playing career with the Detroit Red Wings and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. After his retirement as a player, he served in the front office of the Red Wings, and then as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, while also being executive director for Team Canada in two Olympics. He currently serves as the executive vice president and general manager of the Red Wings.
Prior to the 1986–87 season, at age 21, Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings and continuously served for the next two decades (dressing as captain for over 1,300 games), retiring as the longest-serving captain of any team in North American major league sports history. Once voted to be the most popular athlete in Detroit sports history, locals often simply refer to Yzerman as "The Captain". Yzerman led the Wings to five first-place regular season finishes and three Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998 and 2002).
Yzerman won numerous awards during his career, including the Lester B. Pearson Award (Most outstanding player) in the 1988–89 season, the Conn Smythe Trophy (Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup playoffs) in 1998, the Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward in 2000 and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance in 2003. He was a ten-time NHL All-Star, a First Team All-Star in 2000 and a member of the All-Rookie Team in 1984.
On July 3, 2006, Yzerman officially retired from professional hockey, finishing his career ranked as the seventh all-time leading scorer in NHL history, having scored a career-high 155 points (65 goals and 90 assists) in 1988–89, which has been bettered only by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Yzerman's #19 jersey was retired on January 2, 2007, during a pre-game ceremony at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. On November 4, 2008, he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. He also became an honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility, inducted alongside 2001–02 Red Wing teammates Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille. In 2017, Yzerman was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players" in history. He is a Detroit sports icon, widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time.
On September 25, 2006, Yzerman was named as a vice president and alternate governor of the Red Wings, winning a fourth Stanley Cup championship as an executive in 2007–08. In May 2010, he left the Red Wings organization to become general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, serving in that capacity until September 2018. On April 19, 2019, Yzerman was named the general manager of the Red Wings.
Yzerman has represented his country in several international tournaments as a member of Canada's national hockey team (Team Canada). In 2002, Yzerman won an Olympic gold medal, making him one of few players to win an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup in the same year. Yzerman was the general manager of Team Canada for the 2007 IIHF World Championship, which they won. Yzerman was appointed executive director of Team Canada on October 7, 2008, for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Team Canada went on to win the gold medal by defeating the United States. Yzerman was again appointed executive director of Team Canada on March 5, 2012, for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Canada went on to win their second-straight gold medal after defeating Sweden.Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs (officially the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club and often simply referred to as the Leafs) are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Ltd. and are represented by Chairman Larry Tanenbaum. With an estimated value of US $1.45 billion in 2018 according to Forbes, the Maple Leafs are the second most valuable franchise in the NHL, after the New York Rangers. The Maple Leafs' broadcasting rights are split between BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications. For their first 14 seasons, the club played their home games at the Mutual Street Arena, before moving to Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931. The Maple Leafs moved to their present home, Scotiabank Arena (originally named the Air Canada Centre) in February 1999.
The club was founded in 1917, operating simply as Toronto and known then as the Toronto Arenas. Under new ownership, the club was renamed the Toronto St. Patricks in 1919. In 1927 the club was purchased by Conn Smythe and renamed the Maple Leafs. A member of the "Original Six", the club was one of six NHL teams to have endured through the period of League retrenchment during the Great Depression. The club has won thirteen Stanley Cup championships, second only to the 24 championships of the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs history includes two recognized dynasties, from 1947 to 1951; and from 1962 to 1967. Winning their last championship in 1967, the Maple Leafs' 50-season drought between championships is the longest current drought in the NHL. The Maple Leafs have developed rivalries with three NHL franchises: the Detroit Red Wings, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Ottawa Senators.
The Maple Leafs have retired the use of thirteen numbers in honour of nineteen players. In addition, a number of individuals who hold an association with the club have been inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Maple Leafs are presently affiliated with two minor league teams, the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, and the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL.Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional ice hockey team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area that began play in the 2017–18 NHL season. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team is owned by Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, a consortium led by Bill Foley and the Maloof family. The team plays its home games at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Douglas Gretzky (; born January 26, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed "The Great One", he has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and the league itself. Gretzky is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any other player. He garnered more assists than any other player scored total points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, Gretzky tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999 and persisting through 2017, he holds 61 NHL records: 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records.Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, Gretzky honed his skills at a backyard rink and regularly played minor hockey at a level far above his peers. Despite his unimpressive stature, strength and speed, Gretzky's intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled. He was adept at dodging checks from opposing players, and consistently anticipated where the puck was going to be and executed the right move at the right time. Gretzky became known for setting up behind his opponent's net, an area that was nicknamed "Gretzky's office".In 1978, Gretzky signed with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association (WHA), where he briefly played before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers. When the WHA folded, the Oilers joined the NHL, where he established many scoring records and led his team to four Stanley Cup championships. Gretzky's trade to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9, 1988, had an immediate impact on the team's performance, eventually leading them to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, and he is credited with popularizing hockey in California. Gretzky played briefly for the St. Louis Blues before finishing his career with the New York Rangers. Gretzky captured nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player, 10 Art Ross Trophies for most points in a season, two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP and five Lester B. Pearson Awards (now called the Ted Lindsay Award) for most outstanding player as judged by his peers. He won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and performance five times, and often spoke out against fighting in hockey.After his retirement in 1999, Gretzky was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, making him the most recent player to have the waiting period waived. The NHL retired his jersey number 99 league-wide, making him the only player to receive such an honour. Gretzky was one of six players voted to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team. Gretzky became executive director for the Canadian national men's hockey team during the 2002 Winter Olympics, in which the team won a gold medal. In 2000, he became part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, and following the 2004–05 NHL lockout, he became the team's head coach. In 2004, Gretzky was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. In September 2009, following the Phoenix Coyotes' bankruptcy, Gretzky resigned as head coach and relinquished his ownership share. In October 2016, he became partner and vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group.
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