How to Begin Playing Hockey

Cheers! You’re about to start playing the most exciting sport on earth. This will be a hard, demanding and fulfilling path for you. This article is to make your passage to hockey as straightforward and simple as possible. This article will be a guide for you to go from naive rookie to proper novice. I will have tips for parents beginning their children in hockey and adults learning hockey for the first time. Let’s get going on how to begin playing hockey

How to Begin a Child in Hockey

Beginning a child in hockey is really easy. Most areas have a minor hockey association that splits children first by age level and next by skill level. A kid at any skill level and approximately any age can play house league hockey. They have to own the right equipment and pay their registration fee on time.

Look up your town name and then put “minor hockey” in the search box. You should see your city’s minor hockey association.

Is Your Child Ready For Hockey?

House league hockey is very accepting. They allow any skill level of player. The more skilled players usually play rep/travel hockey. If you would like to get your child some exposure before beginning them in hockey, you can sign them up for a number of various programs.

Learn to skate – Programs started by local skating associations and hockey arenas

Power Skating – Typically set up via minor hockey groups

Stick and Puck sessions – Typically set up through the local various arenas

Mom and Tots – Started by local hockey arenas

Public Skating – Allows anybody who wants to show up and skate

Outdoor rinks – If you live in an area where it gets cold enough outside to have one

Road Hockey – Buy some sticks and a net so your children can play hockey in the driveway

The Best Hockey Skates

When it comes to picking a pair of hockey skates, there is no “best hockey skate.” It all comes down to what’s the best skate for YOU. The best skate hinge on your playing style, your skill level, your ability and weight, and your foot size.

In this article, we are going to go into detail on how you can decide which skate will be best suited contingent on your playing ability and personal preferences.

If you’re going to play hockey, you should be ready to spend at least $200 on a pair of skates. Nearly every pair of skates that costs under $200 isn’t appropriate for an adult playing hockey. If you get a good sale price, that’s a different story. Take a look at some of the online websites for some great places to check out top name brand clearance skates.

If you just need a recreational pair of skates to go to the public skating rink and skate laps then the cheapest skates will be okay, but for the demands that hockey puts on skates (stops, starts, crossovers, sticks, sharp turns, pucks, etc.) you want a high-quality skate.

If you just want to learn how to skate at the moment, but your intention is to start playing hockey at some point and time, I still suggest getting the more expensive skates. This way you don’t have to purchase new skates down the road. Some stores will have sales on last year’s styles. This is a good way to get the higher end skates for a lower price. If you get this chance and the skates fit you correctly, then go for it.

When you are at the store, be sure you get a good fitting for your hockey skates. Try on different styles and brands to find the one that works for you.

Hispanics in Pro Hockey

I see that I haven’t fully done my work today at the Color of Hockey when a co-worker of mine praised me about an article, appreciated the number of black players in pro hockey and the influence they’re having, and wondered if there are any Hispanic players in the NHL.

Not only are there Hispanic players in the NHL, many are flourishing. Some have their names on the Stanley Cup. Some have played for their countries in the Winter Olympics. Some have had bumpy careers.

Like the increasing number of black pro hockey players, more Hispanic players are going to pro hockey which is a testimony to hockey’s attractiveness and to minority-oriented youth hockey programs across North America.

And hockey isn’t abnormal to Spanish-speaking nations. Spain is in at 31 in the world in men’s hockey and 26th in women’s hockey. The European nation has over 500 junior players, over 195 male players, over 200 female players and over 15 indoor ice skating rinks.

Mexico’s men’s team is 32nd in IIHF’s rankings and its female’s squad comes in at 35th in the world. The US’s neighbor to the south claims to have over 2,000 players, over 1,400 juniors, over 200 men, and over 300 girls and women. The country possesses more than 20 indoor ice skating rinks. That’s more than some American cities.

For example, Scott Gomez, Ottawa Senators center, brings a double dose of honor. He’s proud of his Mexican-Colombian heritage and just as proud of being an Alaskan native.

Defenseman Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings has his name on the Stanley Cup. He received the honor when the Kings won the Cup after the 2011-12 season. A Spanish background, Martinez was born in Michigan but spent most of his childhood playing hockey in Northern California.

 

Jayna Hefford

Jayna Hefford

Jayna Hefford’s international hockey career is over. The Hockey Hall of Fame will be contacting her soon.

The Kingston, Ontario native had been with the Canadian National Women’s Team since the 1997 World Championships. She retires as 2nd all-time in Team Canada history in games played, goals, and points.

Hefford is an Olympic gold medalist (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014). She earned a silver medal in 1998. In 2002, Hefford famously scored the game-winning goal with two seconds remaining in Canada’s victory over the US in Salt Lake City.

Hefford is a world champion (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2012) and a world champion silver medalist (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013).

There’s more. She is a 12-time gold medalist at the 3 Nations/4 Nations Cup and she also won five silver medals there too.

“Jayna’s accomplishments on the ice speak for themselves. However, it’s her off-ice contributions to the game and leadership that I admire,” said Melody Davidson, a general manager at Hockey Canada. “I want to thank Jayna for the leadership she has displayed as a mentor and veteran to our younger players and to the hockey community in Canada and around the globe.”

She was always an incredible skater, both in terms of balance and speed. But it was her wish to be better that made her a star.

“Sometime before Vancouver, I was questioning if I was going to stick to it into my 30s. I saw I had to get better,” said Hefford, only one of five athletes in the world to win gold at four consecutive Olympics. “It wasn’t good enough to just be there just because I had gotten that far already. I perhaps had some of my most prosperous years in the last part of my career which is something I’m proud of. I saw the outcomes of that hard work.”

Women in the NHL

There are several famous female ice hockey players. There are lists that name the most well-known and top females recognized for being ice hockey players. There are thousands of women working as ice hockey players in the world, but the information below focuses only the most prominent ones. Ice hockey players have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you’re a female seeking to be an ice hockey player, then the women listed should bring you encouragement.

People include everyone from Anqi Tan to Stefanie Marty.

While this isn’t a full list of all women ice hockey players, it does answer the question “Who are the most well-known female ice hockey players?” and “Who are the top women ice hockey players?”

Manon Rheaume broke the ice for females playing hockey at the NHL level.

In 1992, Rheaume was the first woman to play in an NHL game when she played goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the St. Louis Blues in an exhibition game. She permitted two goals on nine shots. She was in one more exhibition game against the Boston Bruins in 1993.

Since that time, no female has played in an NHL game, exhibition or otherwise.

Hayley Wickenheiser, the first female to score a goal while playing for a men’s

Hayley Wickenheiser

professional hockey team, doesn’t think it will happen again.

“No, I don’t think it’s realistic,” Wickenheiser said. “To be in an 82-game season at the NHL level, with the size of the male players and the speed, it would be very, very hard for a female to do so. Being on the European hockey rink, the larger ice surface, made it a slight easier. It was less physical. It would be pretty hard for a female to play at the NHL level.”

 

Legends of Team Canada: Gord Hynes

 Defenseman Gord Hynes was born in Verdun and raised in Pierrefonds, playing his minor hockey in the North Shore hockey league. He moved to Calgary when his father, a bank manager, was reassigned.

Hynes played junior in Medicine Hat and was Boston’s 5th choice in 1985. But it took the 6-foot-1, 170 pounder another 7 years to make it to the NHL. In between, he spent two seasons in the minors. He even shared a home with Brett Hull. He spent one in Italy and three full years with the Canadian national team coached by Dave King. Hynes said this is where he learned to play the game.

“When I was drafted I had huge eyes. My goal was set on the NHL,” he said. “But I wasn’t huge enough or good enough. I wasn’t that great. I didn’t know how to play and I wasn’t that smart and I didn’t know how to play. I matured.”

He scored 12 goals and 30 assists in 57 games with the national team, bringing another 12 goals and 22 assists in over 48 pre-Olympic games. In seven games at Albertville, Hynes made three goals and three assists.

After the Olympics and a free agent, Hynes went home to think about his future. He was contemplating returning to Europe, and even going to school and retiring from hockey. That’s when Bruins assistant general manager Mike Milbury got in touch with him.

I thought I had the talent and knew I’d get better,” he said. “And I made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs.”

He scored his first NHL goal at the Montreal Forum.

“It was very exciting scoring there,” he said. “I was born there. I was and am a Montreal fan. I dreamed of scoring a goal as part of the Montreal Canadiens. To get a goal in the Forum is the best thing.”

 

Hockey is No Longer Ruled by Canada

Canada is no doubt the team to conquer at the World Cup. But hockey has gone global, as seen by the breakdown of the first round of the draft.

Canadian Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks stated that “Canada didn’t just invent hockey, hockey invented Canada.” That may be true Jonathan, but hockey no longer belongs to Canada, sorry.

The truth is hockey is a worldwide sport, and that’s a good thing. It could be argued that, even in North America, hockey is a niche sport, trailing behind baseball, basketball, and football. But attention in it is increasing, in spite of the snag the NHL finds itself in. There is way too much focus on uninteresting defensive play. A kid who grew up in Arizona became the most sought-after prospect on earth and the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL draft. Auston Matthews opposed Patrick Kane to be the face of hockey in the US.

There was one NHL draft when it was implied a Canadian might not be selected until sixth. That wasn’t correct since Pierre-Luc Dubois was picked 3rd by the Columbus Blue Jackets. At the end, 12 Canadians, 12 Americans, one Swede, three Finns, and two Russians made up the first round.

There was a time when Canadians ruled the 1st round, Not anymore. It is just another example of Canada’s stranglehold on the sport creeping away, one that most folks are very comfortable with. Nurturing the game around the world is a good thing.

It was a solid happening in the sport in 1972 when the Soviet Union shocked the hockey world by whipping the great Canadian NHL stars in the opening game of the Summit Series and moved Canada to the limit in a series the Canadians barely won.

 

Concussions and the NHL

There was nothing very surprising to be found in those internal NHL e-mails on concussion that were published by a Minnesota court. A fragment of denial, a bit of concession. And, plenty of confusion about the short and long-term consequences of head trauma.

I didn’t even mind that Kris King took at “the Charles Tators of the world.” That goes with the territory if you’re going to talk on serious issues.

However, what pleased me was the mention that the league had been operating with two corporate sponsors on a concussion-education video for young hockey players and their coaches. That would have to be the video made at the Parachute Canada National Injury Prevention Program that was done with the financial support of CCM Reebok and Scotiabank. You can find it at parachutecanada.org.

What is well-defined in reading through those reports from TSN and the New York Times is that the NHL was knowledgeable of the problem. It is very clear that it has chosen to deal with it only somewhat. You might certainly take painkillers for a broken arm, but painkillers can’t set the bone.

The league has clearly been aware of the growing fears over head injuries, mainly repetitive trauma to the head. The proof is in the pudding that it did some partial injury protection. There has evidently been less fighting in the NHL. That’s a good thing. If the concussion problem had not come along, then I think fighting may even have increased, as the trend to have assigned “thugs” in the lineup had become a given.

So it’s proper and right to say that some good has come from this continuing discussion. There has been some attention given to the issue by the league. We “Charles Tators of the world” would just like to see a little more.

 

Top US Colleges for Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is fervently followed and played around the world. The International Ice Hockey Federation examined 62 nations and found the number of hockey players had increased by 2.5% to over 1.8 million. All over the world, players can find a place at the professional and semi-professional levels of hockey. The IIHF also recorded a growth in the number of officials by 5.5% and the number of ice rinks by over 4%. This details a raise in jobs in coaching, refereeing, and facilitating.

If your post-collegiate future doesn’t involve a career on the ice, you’ll need to be sure to exit college with a good education. Jobs around the sport will necessitate degrees in sports management, kinesiology, business and more.

This ranking of the top 10 men’s college hockey teams takes into consideration the academic success of the players and the athletic success of the team. Some of the aspects in this ranking are the overall quality of the school, the win/loss record of the team, and the academic progress rate as outlined by the NCAA. The athletic resources and aid available to the student athletes is factored in too.

  1. Boston College
  2. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  3. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  4. Boston University
  5. Quinnipiac University
  6. College of the Holy Cross
  7. Harvard University
  8. Clarkson University
  9. Ohio State University
  10. University of North Dakota

There are some that most folks feel should be on this list. But remember, this list isn’t just about being a good hockey player. It isn’t just about being an athlete. It is the list of schools that produced the best student athletes. Like other collegiate sports, like football, basketball, and baseball, not all athletes make it into the pros. This is where getting a solid college education comes in.

 

The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time

The best hockey coaches of all time are the ones who’ve controlled their NHL, college, or Olympic hockey teams and done it well. While several aspire to be a top professional hockey coach, only a privileged few will be known for being the elite. Much to the resentment of the worst hockey coaches of all time, these are the top men ever to coach hockey.

Few specialists or fans will oppose that the best hockey coach of all time is Scotty Bowman.

With the most games coached and won, as well as the most Stanley Cup Playoff victories Stanley Cup Championships while he coached in the NHL for 30 years, Scotty Bowman’s numbers are purely leaps and bounds above any other coach.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any other remarkable hockey coaches. Coaches in the NHL who stand out include Al Arbour, Toe Blake, Glen Sather, Jack Adams, and Dick Irvin. The NHL Coach of the Year Award is named after Jack Adams. In college hockey, Red Berenson, who has coached at the U of Michigan, is easily among the best in the NCAA ranks. Herb Brooks too, who created a miracle with the 1980 US Men’s Olympic Hockey Team.

Just saying, these are the best males to ever work behind the bench at a hockey game and if they are not presently, they’re all praiseworthy of having a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

 

  1. Toe Black
  2. Darryl Sutter
  3. Joel Quenneville
  4. Pat Quinn
  5. Mike Babcock
  6. Scotty Bowman
  7. Pat Burns
  8. Jack Adams
  9. Sid Abel
  10. Glen Sather
  11. Fred Shero
  12. Herb Brooks
  13. Dick Irvin
  14. Claude Julien
  15. Art Ross
  16. Roger Neilson
  17. Bob Johnson
  18. Lindy Ruff
  19. Barry Trotz
  20. Ken Hitchcock