Best Ice Hockey Leagues (Part 2)

NCAA

Over the last decade, NCAA hockey has become a top choice development path for hockey players to take to the NHL. 

A record of over 300 former college players skated in the NHL in 2016-17, accounted for 32% of the league increased from just 20% at the turn of the century.

This significant growth represents a change in how both players and teams are perceived and utilizing the NCAA as a pathway to get to the NHL. For teams, they can grant a promise but somewhat each player who is wishing to head to the NCAA receiving up to four years of essentially free growth. For players, they can learn to got degree and master their game before reaching the AHL or NHL with a physical and maturity level of advantages over their counterparts. Given its advantages, it’s no surprise that so many players from all over the global prefer utilizing the NCAA as their route to become professional hockey players.

NCAA Frozen Four

The Frozen Four is not only the NCAA championship game, but also the stage for many future NHL players to show off their excellent skills. 

There are countless number of former NCAA players currently in the NHL, but here are a few honorable mention just to give you an idea of how impactful the league has been over the last few years. They are Jack Eichel, Jonathan Toews, Nick Bjugstad, Johnny Gaudreau and Duncan Keith. This impressive list of alumni is growing, proving that the future of hockey in the NCAA is bright than ever, with both players and the NHL loving the results.

American Hockey League (AHL)

The American Hockey League is considered as the last stop for a developing talent before being call-up by an NHL.

Oftentimes, NHL teams will make the decision whether or not a prospect is ready for the big leagues after they have competed in a certain amount of international play or within a North American league. This allows many AHL teams to become host to some of the most talented young players of the world who are dreaming of breaking into the NHL.

Best Ice Hockey Leagues (Part 1)

Do you know if there are hockey leagues that dominated the NHL in terms of talent, viewership, and fan-base? Well, if you do, then this sport should be just for you.

It is commonly known that players from around the world gather to the NHL for a chance to get the Lord Stanley’s Cup and play to shine on the biggest possibly hockey leagues around North America. However, hockey is not a single event that is exclusive solely to North America as there are many European leagues such as the SEL, KHL, and SM-liiga proves that they are quite advanced at developing talented hockey players that can play successfully at any level.

In this post, you might find a breakdown of the top best hockey leagues around the world:

Ontario Hockey League (OHL)

The Ontario Hockey League is popular, much like the QL and WHL, for nurturing some amazing talent that has a enormous impact at the NHL level. Players such as Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, and John Tavares have all played in the OHL stage and made their reputations in the NHL.

Robert Thomas played for the Hamilton Bulldogs as he got the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as the MVP of the OHL playoffs. While the OHL has 68 games scheduled for 20 teams, the league has done a wonderful job of scheduling games that compete mostly from Thursday till weekend. Since the majority of hockey players taking part in the OHL are aged 15-20, there are possibilities of some scheduling conflicts with ones are in school. However, don’t even think that some of these teenage players still have to attend school, they have clear schedule to make room to constantly improve their hockey game.

The OHL consistently nurtures players that are all-around skilled and level players. While leagues such as the QMJHL is well-known for producing offensive superstars, the OHL seems to produce players that are completely well-rounded. Even though the three major junior hockey leagues is not similar in terms of their respective styles, each has consistently nurtured a plethora of talent for NHL teams around North America.

Types of Hockey Players (Part 2)

6. The Competitor

This player is greatly competitive and is not shy of giving their opinion especially in the moment when they might get a lot of cards. Sometimes they get high temper and frustration coming out on the field and even occasionally shout at their own teammates. However, all comes out from the passion of winning.

7. The Trickster

This player will be the first one that spend hours practicing a new skill. No matter it’s spinning around in a circle, some fancy legs skill, freestyle tricks or scoring from an impossible angle, they are the first to know.

8. The Speedster 

Those players that puts on their roller skates and as soon as they change gears, everyone else is following.  They are wingers (or attacking mids) who can be very dangerous being the number 1 at defending short corners.

9. The Hockey Nerd

These players live for playing hockey, holding notepad in team talks, taking note of everything the coach says, always comes early for training and always know all the right answers. 

10. The Injured One

This person always has some kind of injury, from nasty ones like broken fingers, ankle injuries from stepping on the ball, to sprains, strains, bad back, sore knees, muscle cramps, and the like.

11. The Headless player

This type of player runs all over the field without having a clue about what they should do and often end up with unnecessary running. It’s just tiring.

12. The Rock

This is the super tough player, who is physically or mentally strong and difficult to get past. They are often a defender, goalkeeper or post player who performs unbelievable tackles or saves on corners.

13. The Leader

This is usually the captain who inspires others by encouraging talk in the huddle as well as the way they puts their body on the line for their team on the field. The leader plays with 100% energy, leaving nothing left in the tank.

Types of Hockey Players (Part 1)

In every field hockey team, there always seems to be similar types of hockey players, no matter what country or what level they are. 

In this article, we will attempt to breakdown different hockey player personalities in every team.

1. The Nutter

It can be the goalkeeper who is a bit crazy or it could also be the player that dives for everything, proud of their battle wounds such as bruises, grazes, scars and has the tendency to fly into tackles from every side, never afraid of being hurt. 

2. The Dribbler

This player has really excellent skills and is good at dribbling but tends to hold on to the ball too long because either they don’t trust their team mates or because they want to show off how good they can do with the ball.

3. The Joker 

In school they are the “class clown” which doesn’t change even they are off the hockey field. They like to joking around, playing pranks, doing silly dancing or tricks and making everyone laugh. Although they like messing around, using laughter as their way of focussing and staying relaxed, they can be good at the game.

4. The Poacher

This player is the one who always there to make the final touch and get credited with a goal even though others have done all the hard work. It’s good on them but with those understand that hockey was a team game, they are not fan of all attacking minded players who just want their name on the sheet for scoring.

5. Fitness Freak 

That player can run nonstop and always wants to do extra fitness and running. They tend to play in midfield because they get to do the most… RUNNING! Their legs keep running right to the end even when they haven’t been substituted!

Facts about Hockey (part 2)

The greatest hockey player of all time is Wayne Gretzky with 61 NHL records. Until now, nobody else even comes close to reach this many records.

The record for most points in a single game is achieved by Darryl Sittler with 10 points in a match  in 1976 between his team named the Leafs, and the Bruins. The final winning came to the Leafs. Before Darryl Sittler, Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard set the record with eight points.

Joe Malone holds the record for most scored goals in a game with seven goals in a game in 1920. 

The modern goalie mask was invented by the goaltender Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens in 1959.

Manon Rheaume was the first woman to play in the NHL as the goalie for Tampa Bay Lightning.

The first NHL million dollar contract belonged to Bobby Orr in 1971 which was worth $200,000 for five year term contract.

The first goalie to hit a goal in the other team’s net was Ron Hextall playing for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Zamboni is the machine used on to keep the ice properly maintained which was named after Frank Zamboni – the inventor in 1949.

The names of twelve women appear on the Stanley Cup were either team executives or owners.

Each member of a Stanley Cup winning team will have a personal day with the Cup; in which, many of the champs have followed the tradition of filling the Cup with food such as: cereal, meatballs, soup, vegetable, milkshakes, fruits, chicken wings, poutine, and ice cream.

During a game, the goalies are not allowed to cross the centre-ice red line with or without the puck and in case, the goalies are injured during a game, anyone can fill the position — even a fan from inside the arena!

Interesting Facts about Hockey

Hockey has been popular around 1363, when King Edward III of England banned the sport in a royal proclamation; however the histories of the game playing with curved sticks, could date as far back as 4,000 years ago to ancient Egyptian times. People believed that the word hockey was taken from the Middle French word ‘hoquet’, which means shepherd’s stave. Nowadays, there are many new types of hockey, including ice hockey, field hockey, roller hockey, sledge hockey, and even street hockey which is children’s favorite.
In this post, let’s look at some interesting facts of hockey.

  • The first indoor hockey game was played in 1875, in Montreal, Canada before the NHL (National Hockey League) was even founded in 1917.
  • At its early days, hockey sticks were straight until Stan Mikita, a Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer introduced the curve stick in the 60s.
  • Ice Hockey pucks have three-inch diameters which must be frozen before each game so that they don’t bounce during the game.
  • The first outdoor puck used on outdoor ice hockey in the 1800s was made of frozen cow dung.
  • The fastest puck recorded in history, at 118 miles per hour was hit by Bobby Hull.
  • The Stanley Cup was created in 1893 after the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, a Canadian Governor General which originally was only seven inches tall while It is more than 35 inches tall today.
  • The Stanley Cup has been organized and awarded annually since 1914 with the only exceptions in 1919 when there was a Spanish flu epidemic, and in 2005 due to a strike.
  • The Stanley Cup was once used as a cereal bowl being left on the side of the road by mistake, and was even once lost on a flight.
  • The measurement of competition rinks in North America is 85 feet wide by 200 feet long.
  • Montreal Canadiens is the team to win the most Stanley Cups in the league’s history.

Best Hockey Players of All Time (part 2)

Terry Sawchuk

Many people believed that Terry Sawchuk is the greatest goalie in hockey. During a 21-year playing in the field, he won four Stanley Cups – three with the Red Wings (1952, 1954, 1955) and one with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1967); four Vezina Trophies and 447 career wins, which included an unprecedented 103 shutouts, a record that stood until 2009. He left his mark on hockey, and received 400 stitches before finally donning a face mask. All his facial injuries were recreated in 1966 Time magazine by a makeup artist. Unfortunately, Sawchuk died in 1970 at the age of 40 after a long time suffering from depression and alcoholism which caused him in a drunken fight with a teammate resulted in fatal internal injuries.

Jean Béliveau

Jean Béliveau is considered one of the game’s best centers with 10 Stanley Cups (1956–60, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1971) with the Montreal Canadiens and scored a record of 507 goals. In fact, Béliveau was so awesome that he didn’t even have to wait the customary three years after retiring to get into the Hockey Hall of Fame (1972).

Maurice Richard

Maurice Richard used to called “The Rocket” who rewrote the record books being the first right winger to score 500 goals, the first to light up the lamp 50 times in a single season and won eight Stanley Cups (1944, 1946, 1953, 1956–60) during his 18 years playing with the Montreal Canadiens. Maurice Richard is an idol among French Canadians, that’s why his suspension (for fighting) in 1955 caused fans to riot in Montreal.

Mario Lemieux

The 6 feet 4 inches (1.9 meters) tall Mario Lemieux has great speed and agility which help him won two Stanley Cups (1991–92) during his 17 years as a player with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored an impressive 690 career goals although he missed a number of seasons after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. In 1997 “The Magnificent One” retired, but then returned as a player for several seasons before his last retirement in 2006. Three years later Pittsburgh won another Stanley Cup in 2009, making Lemieux the first person to win the cup as both a player and an owner.

Best Hockey Players of All time

Hi hockey fan, you might wonder who are the best hockey players of all time. Each of you might have your own answers. Let’s cross check with our list to see if they match. The list is subjectively built to ensure fair and fun. 

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin is not only a great hockey player but also “the world’s greatest human being.”After making his National Hockey League (NHL) debut in 2005 with the Washington Capitals, Ovechkin led the league in scoring, winning the Maurice Richard Trophy five times (2008–09, 2013–15) while he also won the Hart Memorial Trophy three times (2008–09, 2013) as the most valuable player in the NHL. Besides, he has an amazing personality, entertaining fans with amusing quotes “Russian machine never breaks” and stunts. 

Jacques Plante

The man literally changed the face of hockey in general and Canadian in particular. The Montreal Canadien goalie is credited with popularizing face masks after an incident in 1959 when he was hit by a slap shot and needed 21 facial stitches. Despite the injury, he returned to the game after getting sewn up, refused to take the ice unless he could wear a face mask. Plante was also a stellar goaltender, helping Montreal win five consecutive Stanley Cups (1956–60) while he was a seven-time winner of the Vezina Trophy (1956–60, 1962, 1969), as the league’s best goalie and the league’s most valuable player in 1962.

Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman helped transform the Dead Wings into one of the most-dominating successful teams, restoring Detroit as Hockeytown. He was one of the longest-serving captain in NHL history, brought three Stanley Cups (1997–98, 2002) to the city of Detroit. Additionally, he is one of the all-around players who could score and play defense, he earned respect for his class and talented leadership style.

From hockey to football: The history of pressing

Everyone talks about pressing, from embarrassing commentators on television to bastards at pubs. But what is pressing, how does it work and who is the first to use it?

In 1934, a hockey coach named Thomas Patrick Gorman – or more briefly Tommy Gorman – came up with an idea. Until that time, hockey teams were playing with their instincts when there was no ball: backing down to defend the goal from an opponent’s attack. Gorman wondered what would happen if he did it the opposite way, when they put up and put pressure on the opponent to deploy attacks from the first steps?

coach named Thomas Patrick Gorman – or more briefly Tommy Gorman – came up with an idea. Until that time, hockey teams were playing with their instincts when there was no ball: backing down to defend the goal from an opponent’s attack. Gorman wondered what would happen if he did it the opposite way, when they put up and put pressure on the opponent to deploy attacks from the first steps?

Klopp Pochettino - Squawka

Gorman directs the strikers to put maximum pressure on the opposing players who are deploying the ball. One approaches the player who holds the ball near the opponent’s goal, others block the pass. Gorman also asked the defenders to block in the middle to cut the pass quickly or block the opponent if the puck crosses the striker.

Gorman’s students puzzledly scratched their heads, because it was like suicide. If one of them failed to complete the task, the opponent would have a large gap in front of them. And even when everyone is good at their duties, a group of wise and technical defenders can completely get out of the noose with a series of quick passes.

We have no idea how Gorman has convinced his team. Perhaps he told them that wise and technical players don’t want to be defenders. It took some time for his hockey team to get used to the new tactic. They lost four of the first five matches. But then what must have come. Gorman’s team turned into a machine.

Eight decades later, Gorman’s reform in hockey in North America was mentioned by all English football, although not by the name of “forechecking”. What people talk about today is called “pressing.”

The reason this tactic is so prevalent: Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp are using it to make a big impact at Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, and they both love talking about it.

Seattle paid 650 million dollars to join NHL

The national hockey tournament will feature Seattle. NHL management has unanimously approved Seattle to become the 32nd franchise of the tournament on Tuesday. Accordingly, the first match they officially play is in 2021 to give the city enough time to renovate the competition area.

“Today is an exciting history day for the tournament as we expand (the league) in one of the fastest growing, beautiful and most modern cities in North America,” NHL board member Gary Bettman said. “And we are delighted that Seattle, a city with a proud history of hockey, in which they were the home team for the first US team to win the Stanley Cup, has finally joined NHL. ”

The decision was widely expected after the Seattle Hockey Partners team impressed the association’s executive committee in October with a plan containing all the elements that NHL was looking for. Ownership will be headed by billionaire David Bonderman and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. A downtown that prepares the NHL to add another team after three years of approving a franchise in Las Vegas.

Seattle is a city with a thriving economy. Therefore, the hockey franchise will help new players form teams. The same thing happened to Majorers Soccer’s Sounders team in 2009. First, SuperSonics joined the NBA in 1967, followed by the arrival of the Seahawks in the NFL in 1976, and the Mariners in MLB in 1977. Following This, SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, with the current name is Thunder City Oklahoma.

While news of the Seattle team is rife, it is unclear whether NHL will be happy with the number of 32 teams after the new teams join, helping to create a balance between the East and West. NHL Vice President Bill Daly said there were no perfect numbers, although no North American sports federation currently exceeds 32 teams. He also thinks the expansion is appropriate as it helps to increase the value of the tournament. Both Houston, Quebec City and Toronto can be a separate squad someday.