Hockey History

Exploring the origins and historical events of hockey.

In the long history of the NHL there have been many moments that the league wished never happened. Some on my list are of course made tongue-in-cheek, and I only restricted myself to 100. Do you have any other examples of incidents in the NHL that led to bad publicity or was just embarrassing to the league in general, sad stuff, or stuff that happened behind closed doors that the league tried to put a lid on? 1918 – “Montreal Arena in flames” – Montreal Wanderers 1919 – “Spanish...
NHL season officially canceled Can't believe 15 years have passed. I remember getting the bad news when I got home from school and ESPN was showing Gary Bettman announcing that the season would be cancelled followed by a video shown below.What was interesting about the whole thing was I remember the previous day ESPN was talking to someone (not Melrose) who was monitoring the situation and he said he expected the deal to get done that night and they would begin play within a week or two...
This was a very interesting crossroads series- a young up and coming Penguins against a veteran Flyer team that, contrary to what I once though, did not have a ton of old guys (only 6 players on this roster were 30 or older), but had a lot of playoff experience and postseason mileage.
As of August 28th (which it nearly is now in Japan), it's been 32 years since Canada Cup 1987. What a great tournament and some great memories. I was a kid of 11 then, and Rendezvous '87 and this tournament were my first exposure to international hockey. I thought it'd be fun to re-view the final series between Canada and the Soviet Union, as it's remembered as one of the highlights of hockey history. Tonight, I'm re-watching game one. I haven't seen the game, in full, since 1987, so it's...
Various family constellations have been part of the ice hockey world throughout the history of organized competition, most often made from a set of brothers. The Montreal Hockey Club (AAA), for instance, the first club to capture the Stanley Cup in 1893, had the Hodgson brothers, Billy and Archie, on the roster during the 1888 AHAC season, and the MacKerrow twins, Clarence and Andy, during the 1895–96 season, just to mention two early examples from the late 19th century. During the 1900s...
Book Feature. Andrew Holman: A Hotly Contested Affair – Hockey in Canada A Hotly Contested Affair: Hockey in Canada is a collection of documents that trace the history of Canada’s national winter game from its “founding” in Montreal in the mid-1870s into the early twenty-first century. Composed of 157 edited and annotated sources, the volume is organized into ten chapters based on the sport’s central themes. An Evolutionary Game explores hockey’s incremental changes in rules and rhythm over...
This book reveals for the first time the remarkable story of how Canadian players came to Sussex on the south coast of England in the mid-1930s - in the midst of the Depression in Canada - and formed the Brighton Tigers, one of the founder members of the English National League, the country's first pro hockey circuit. The Tigers drew packed crowds to the 3,000-capacity Sports Stadium on West Street, Brighton, about an hour south of London, and started a 30-year love affair between the sport...
The goal of this project is pretty simple. I set out to create a complete map of the aftershocks of the epic 1992 trade of Eric Lindros from Quebec to Philadelphia. That trade set off a domino effect of transactions which has greatly impacted all 31 franchises over the past 26 years. While it’s true that there have been other trades which have created a chain of other moves around the league, I’m quite convinced at this point that the Lindros trade is unique in its breadth and depth of...
Ranking the performances of the recipients of the Conn Smythe since 1980.
Daniel Mahoney: The Most Wonderful Times: Memories of New York Rangers Alumni About the Book: This book contains ten interviews the author conducted with New York Rangers Alumni in the mid-1980s. Always interested in the history of the Rangers, the author actively sought out some of the original Rangers from the 1926-27 team to get their memories of playing during the early days of the NHL and New York hockey. In most cases, the interviews were conducted over the telephone for purposes...
Lion in Winter - Great Britain at the Olympic, World and European Championships 1910-1981. A 652 page comprehensive volume that took seven years of research and writing, describing in detail the exploits and game-by-game action, with statistics, by the players who donned the GB strip over more than 70 years. Also included is the first complete GB Player Register (1910-2019) to be published. A definitive work of record compiled by David S Gordon and Martin C Harris who have previously...
Eduard Georgievich Ivanov (1938-2013) was a staple on the defence of the Soviet national team from 1962/3 until 1966/67. A curious episode from the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, however, has led some to falsely assume he played as a forward in that tournament. The confusion was caused by no-one else but the Soviet coaching staff. As Bryan Lawrence writes in a 2014 SIHR Blog Entry: One unusual postscript is that the Best Forward of the tournament was awarded to Soviet defenseman Eduard Ivanov....
I thought it would be neat thing to take a look at the early European players who got attention from North Americans. Players that were put on negotiaion lists of NHL clubs, were invited to training camps or just generally were commented on that they could play in the NHL. When time permits I will look at each and everyone of them, how they did at the training camps, or just comment on their chances to make it over in North America. Of course, the criteria is that they spent their...
According to Wikipedia (if I counted them up correctly!), there have been 299 sets of brothers who’ve played in the NHL from the league’s beginning in 1917 through 2019–20. Of that group, 47 sets of brothers have played together on the same team, but only 10 have won the Stanley Cup together. The numbers are slightly larger if we expand the time frame beyond the birth of the NHL and back to the start of the Stanley Cup in 1893. Still, in all that time, there are only two instances when a...
You’d think something as simple as who was the first goalie in hockey history to wear a mask would be an easy question to answer. It’s not. In fact, it’s been surprisingly difficult to nail down. Jacques Plante — though he popularized the concept for modern goalies — was certainly not the first to wear one. Clint Benedict (who I’ve argued in the past was was a better goalie than Georges Vezina, the NHL’s goaltending trophy namesake) was probably the first NHL goaltender to wear a mask when...
About the book: Having captured five Stanley Cup championships since 1991 – more than any other team since then – it’s easy to forget that the Pittsburgh Penguins were once one of hockey’s most laughable organizations. Born in 1967 as a National Hockey League expansion team, the Penguins proceeded to waddle their way through years of heavy losses both on and off the ice. There were bad trades, horrible draft picks, a revolving door or owners, general managers and coaches, and even a...
Hi everyone, With international hockey on our minds and the World Juniors tournament underway, I've been asked to present about Father Bauer and the Great Experiment: The Genesis of Canadian Olympic Hockey, which came out in April 2017. Thanks for the opportunity. Here's the synopsis that I came up with ECW Press: Father David Bauer changed lives — at the rink, in the classroom, and at the pulpit. Bauer’s dream created the first truly national Canadian hockey team. In 1963, that unique...
The first penalty shot in history: The major rule change for the 1921 season involved the awarding of a penalty shot if a player were fouled while he had a clear goal-scoring chance. Three dots were painted on each end of the rink, 35 feet from the net. The player could choose from which he would shoot on the goaltender. The first penalty shot goal in history was scored by Tommy Dunderdale on December 12, 1921.
Since it's being referenced a lot lately as a comparable to the current situation, a rundown of what happened in 1919: By the time the Stanley Cup finals were played in March, the Spanish flu pandemic was actually on its 3rd wave. The worst of the pandemic took place in late 1918; it was the second wave that killed Ottawa defenseman Hamby Shore in October. This flu was unusual in that it mainly targeted young adults. Bear in mind that this took place during the height of mobilization for...
It has taken a few years from the idea to the realization, but finally we're able to get this project off the ground: In association with the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR), HFBoards presents the History of Hockey book feature. The SIHR will offer their writing members the opportunity to introduce new publications of theirs directly to our board and answer questions by our community. Thus, we will always be up to date on interesting new books and we will also be able to...
About the book: Distinguished sportswriter Elmer Ferguson called him the “greatest defensive” defenseman of his day. The NHL’s revered chief referee Cooper Smeaton ranked him ahead of his defense partner, Eddie Shore. Legendary manager of the Boston Bruins, Art Ross, wouldn’t sell him “at any price.” And yet he goes unrecognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Lionel Hitchman, or “Hitch,” played 12 seasons in the NHL—first with the 1923 Stanley Cup and World Champion Ottawa Senators, and then...
We all know that Al Iafrate does not like empty net goals. The story goes that Iafrate was in clear but elected to shoot the puck in the corner rather than into the open net and when asked about it afterwards was quoted as saying: "empty net goals are for [sissies/pansies/wussies/losers/and some other terms that are more likely to be the actual quote but I will refrain from posting so I don't get banned]" (does anyone have the actual video of this game and the interview?) In any case I...
Just wanted to put some finer points on the "Yzerman sacrificed offense for defense" narrative.
About the book: Whether you're a die-hard booster from the early days of Conn Smythe or a new supporter of Randy Carlyle, these are the 100 things all Maple Leaf fans need to know and do in their lifetime. Authors Michael Leonetti and Paul Patskou have collected every essential piece of Maple Leafs knowledge and trivia, as well as must-do activities, and ranked them, providing an entertaining and easy-to-follow checklist as you progress on your way to fan superstardom. From trivia on...
Hello, fellow hockey geeks! The 1979 Challenge Cup between the NHL All-Stars (=the best of Canada plus three Swedes) and the Soviet National Team is one of my favorite cold war era hockey series ever. For starters, look at the rosters; Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Bobby Clarke, Gilbert Perreault, Bryan Trottier, Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden… Valeri Kharlamov, Boris Mikhailov, Vladimir Petrov, Sergei Makarov, Helmut Balderis, Valeri Vasiliev, Vladislav Tretiak etc. For example, the 1972 Summit...
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