Jun
29

The Stanley Cup

Posted in Hockey History |

The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup 2012 beating Devils. Awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff winner, the Stanley Cup pretty much closes the ice hockey season. The Stanley Cup is also known as The Holy Grail among other names.

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Traditions are abounds with the Cup. The winning team drinks champagne out of the Cup. Unlike other cups where the winning team keeps the trophy, the Stanley Cup is kept by the winner until a new winner is crowned and the winning team players names, managers and others names are engraved on the Cup.

The original bowl was made out of silver, 7.8 inches in height and 11.42 inches in diameter. The current cup is topped with a copy of the original, made of silver and nickel, and 35.25 inches in height.

The original cup named Dominium Challenge Hockey Cup donated in 1892 by the then Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston and for the first time awarded in 1893 to Montreal HC. According to an agreement between two hockey organizations, NHA and PCHA, the Cup was awarded to the winner in 1915. The NHL took over the Cup in 1947 after an agreement with the trustees.

Apr
19

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)

Posted in Hockey History |

Many of us are very familiar with the NHL (National Hockey League) that is playing its 2012 Stanley Cup Championship at this time. It is mainly a non-profit organization consisting of 30 hockey leagues that covers Canada and the United States. However, the IIHF is the governing body of ice hockey and in-line hockey worldwide. Founded in 1908 and head quartered in Zurich, Switzerland this body consist of 70 members (51 full members, 16 associate members and three affiliate members). Its main responsibility is to manage international ice hockey tournaments. Only full members have the voting rights. Associates members may not have a national body that deals with ice hockey issues in the country and affiliate members only participate in in-line hockey.

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IIHF presides over the ice hockey games at the Olympics and conducts World Championship games. Additionally, it also organizes the European club championship.

Despite its worldwide responsibility, IIHF has minimal control over the NHL which is the more prominent control authority in ice hockey in North America. However, IIHF has more power over ice hockey in the Europe.

Even with a powerful NHL organization, the IIHF continues to function as the international coordination agency for the sport.

Mar
31

NHL postseason picture is getting clear

Posted in Hockey Tips |

With approximately four games to be played in the regular season, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) playoff picture is somewhat clear. Still there will be a log jam for the eight place with a week before the postseason start.

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In the Eastern Conference there seems to be a heated contest for the seventh and eighth places to get into the postseason. Buffalo, Washington and Ottawa are battling it out. It appears that 90 points may be the magic number to qualify.

In the Western Conference, the minimum required point to qualify seems 94. San Jose Sharks may be out of the playoffs but four games remaining they are controlling their destiny. They need to win three out of the remaining four to secure their postseason berth. Dallas Stars have two games with Sharks and their chances are same as San Jose. Even if Los Angeles Kings wins their game with Minnesota, they still need another win out of three remaining games. The Coyotes still needs a win to reach 94 to keep their postseason dream alive. The strong St. Louis Blues are hoping for a boost from other battles, but pushing for a win may give them a place in the postseason.

Dec
16

Success of Winter Classic helps NHL

Posted in Hockey History |

Began in 2008 in Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic is an annual event that is held outdoors in a football or baseball stadium. Since the first game, a total of six games have been played except during the conflict between owners and players. The 2015 Winter Classic game is scheduled between Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals.

The outdoor game came into being due to the success of the Canada’s 2003 Heritage Classic. Now it is an annual tradition for the NHL and held only in the United States. The other premier event for NHL is its All Star Game. The Winter Classic generates higher attendance and its TV coverage is also generates higher audience than for regular NHL games. It has been a rating success for the NBC that broadcast the Winter Classic on TV. Over the years ratings and attendance of the Winter Classic only rivaled the Stanley Cup. The Winter Classic is also helping the game to be popularized among college and university levels. Ratings for the Winter Classic in Canada are no way near its success in the US. Canadians prefer their Hockey Night in Canada over the Winter Classic.

Nov
25

Insider to head the NHL Player Safety Department

Posted in Hockey History |

Hiring of Stephane Quintal to the senior vice president of the NHL’s Player Safety Department made headlines in late September 2014. He will be taking over the job vacated by Shanahan who in April 2014 left the organization to take over the Toronto Maple Leafs after three years at the job. As a matter of fact, Quintal was acting at this position since Shanahan’s departure. Quintal is an insider and therefore, expected to continue business as usual. He will continue to maintain open communications with players and teams, provide explanations of suspensions, correct old mistakes made while adopting the Rule 48, and continue conducting hearings.

The Department of Player Safety was created just prior to the 2011-12 season and Quintal worked in the department since its inception. Player Safety Department is the most intensely scrutinized and competitive department in the organization. Its functions become more critical during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. On the other hand player discipline and disciplinary actions are always hot button issues for the NHL. Whether it is Quintal or anybody else on the job, it is always important to get it right at the first time when it comes to player safety and discipline.

Oct
29

Why is it called hockey puck?

Posted in Hockey Tips |

Hockey puck is a disc made of vulcanized rubber and serves equal to a ball in many games. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in Scottish Gaelic “puc” means punch or deliver a blow and the word is used in game of hurling where the ball is pushed or strike. Scottish emigrants in Canada played the game and early hockey resembles hurling on ice. It is safe to assume that the name puck in ice hockey may have come from the game of hurling. By 1891 hockey game was well established in Canada along with the name “puck.” It appears that first hockey pucks were made of rubber from sliced-up Lacrosse balls. The work “puck” was first introduced in the Montreal Gazette on February 7, 1876 and therefore, the NHL considers that date as the birthday of the hockey puck regardless that the puck was used many decades before. During an NHL game, approximately 12 pucks are being used. In some instances more 22 pucks have been used during a game.

In ice hockey, the modern standard puck is black, one inch thick, three inches in diameter and weighs between 5.5 and six ounces.

Sep
25

The Conn Smythe Trophy

Posted in Hockey History |

Annually awarded to a player considered to be the most valuable to his team, the Conn Smythe Trophy was established in 1964. Since the initiation, the Trophy has been awarded 48 times so far to 42 players of the National Hockey League (NHL). During the final games of the Stanley Cup finals, the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association members vote to elect the winner of the trophy. In contrast to other trophy nominations, the Conn Smythe Trophy only announces the name of the winner just prior to the award of much coveted the Stanley Cup.

Here are some interesting facts about the trophy. Only player who won the trophy three times is Patrick Roy of Colorado Avalanche in 1986, 1993 and 2001. Bobby Orr won the trophy twice in 1970 and 1972; Bernie Parent won it two tears in row in 1974 and 1975; Wayne Gretzky in 1985 and 1988; and Mario Lemieux in 1991 and 1992. Canadian players won the trophy every time except for seven times when American players won it. The Montreal Canadiens players won the trophy nine times and the Detroit Red Wings is in the second place with five wins. The latest, 2014 award went to right wing player Justin Williams of the Los Angeles Kings.

Aug
28

Overused cliché in ice hockey

Posted in Hockey Tips |

If you have watched all 82 regular season games and playoffs, you may have heard certain phrases used by many broadcasters over and over again. Whether you are a player, spectator or writer many clichés are familiar to you the most valuable spectator.

Unlike baseball, hockey doesn’t have double headers. But many still say “we are going to take one game at a time.” Obviously they play only one game at a time, so why they use this cliché?

Payoff season is more memorable than regular season games with some exceptions. During playoffs have you heard everyone say “fourth game is the hardest?” Well, losers are going to fight no matter what after they lose three games in row. Obvious it is the hardest game.

When a team is leading two goals to none, you hear them say “it is the hardest one to hold.” When a team leads with a score of two, they tend to relax a bit making them vulnerable for attacks. But to many hockey enthusiasts, one goal lead is the hardest to hold not two goal lead. One goal lead indicates more equal teams than lop sided matchup in a two goal lead. Whatever it is enjoy the game.