The story of hockey goes back to the times of early civilizations. Studies have found clues of the sport’s origins as far back as 4,000 years ago. This sport commonly known as “ball and stick” that continues today was played in the ancient societies of Rome, Egypt, and Scotland under various names. The general play of the game was similar within each civilization. Irish people called the game “Hockie.” This term made its way into the present day and it is now the most common name given to this historical game. In this period it wasn’t played on ice but instead in an area. Modern day hockey rules and game play originated from Canada with the help of JG Creighton. His particular game play rules were employed in the very first ice hockey game that was played in 1875. Two stones frozen into both ends of the ice were used in the first days of hockey as goals. In 1879, the official rules were drafted for the game. It wasn’t until 1893 that hockey became a well known and played sport in the United States. In the 1900’s hockey grew in popularity all throughout Europe.
The most extensive hockey playing resided in Canada and other countries until the early 1900’s. Montreal, Canada is the true parent of modern day ice hockey. This is when the very first actual organized play began in the history of hockey. The first official season in the NHL took place between 1917 and 1918 in Montreal. Just five teams were in the league at first. One had to quit due to their ice rink burning down. The obstacles were many in the early development phase of the NHL and slowed down the advancement of this great sport that many people love today. The O’Brien trophy was the original league championship trophy awarded for the championship game. When the game’s popularity increased so did the number of teams within the league.
Professional hockey originated in in the early twentieth century. The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League began paying players openly for the sport. This specific league joined with Michigan and Ontario teams to create the very first professional international hockey league in the year 1904. Many players were openly paid from this league which actually disbanded in 1907. By now, numerous major hockey leagues were running in Canada. The National Hockey Association or NHA was formed in the year of 1910 in Montreal, Canada and was then followed by a 1917 re-organization that created the National Hockey League (NHL). Expansion of the league into the United States began in 1924. Many rules were initiated during this time including twenty minute periods and various penalties.
Today, professional hockey is played in various countries all over the world. It is the defining sport of Canada as well as a renowned game in the United States and other countries. Fans love the ruggedness of the game. They gather within the stands every season to watch their home team battle for that ultimate win and the ever so famous Stanley Cup. This championship trophy has been a symbol of strength and perseverance for years and is the ultimate end result of each and every season.
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