How Old Are Hockey Players? [Answered!]

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Hockey has been around for more than 100 years, but it was only in the last decade or so that the sport really started to take off.

It all started when the Winter Olympics were held in Canada in 2010, and the country’s national sport became a bit more popular. In fact, the International Olympic Committee ranked hockey as the third-most popular sport in the games after tennis and basketball.

While the Winter Olympics are always held in Canada, the popularity of the game there extends well into the summer. Between June 28 and July 12, 2011, for example, more than 15,000 people attended a Montreal Canadiens game, making it the best-selling Sport in North America during that period.

The Evolution Of Hockey Jerseys

While the game and its players have changed a lot through the years, the fashion world has also played a big role in the sport’s development. Like other professional sports, hockey players have gotten bigger, stronger, and faster as time went on. These days, it’s not unusual to see players wearing multiple sweaters, multiple pairs of gloves, and even multiple hats to keep the frigid winter wind out of their scalp!

How Old Are The Greatest Hockey Players?

To put it simply: very. There have been many talented athletes who played hockey in its various forms throughout the years, but very few have been able to compare to the greats of today. That is especially true when you consider how much the game has changed in the last 100 years.

In fact, let’s take a trip back in time a little bit…

Early Beginnings

Hockey was first organized and played in the Winter Olympics in Canada back in 1906. It was considered the country’s national sport and was one of the first sports played at the Olympics (it was even being featured on the Canada Cup trophy at the time).

The game itself wasn’t widely accepted in the United States until later on. The first professional ice hockey league, the National Hockey League, was formed in 1926. It took a while for the sport to make its way across the pond, but in the last decade or so, interest in hockey has increased significantly.

The Great Depression

During the Great Depression, people were looking for ways to escape the misery of the world financial crisis. So they turned to sports, and in particular, to hockey. In fact, several Canadian newspapers at the time reported that the game was “soothing the nerves and distracting the players, while giving the impoverished masses a chance to cheer for their favorite team.”

Hockey certainly didn’t hurt during that time period, and in some ways, it helped. The games at the time were often followed by barbeques inside rink arenas, which helped to make hockey even more popular. Families would get together, cheer on their favorite player, and have a good time. It was a great way to bring people together during a difficult time. And what could be more difficult than the Great Depression?

World War II

During World War II, hockey flourished as an indoor sport. The game was seen as a way for the country to keep its physical fitness and stay warm. Many rinks were turned into military hospitals, veterans’ centers, and concentration camps.

That being said, the game still managed to maintain its popularity, and it even became an option for soldiers to play during their downtime. There is even a rumor that the German military organized their own hockey league to help keep their spirits up!

After the war, the game gradually started to be played outdoors again. But not all rinks were equipped for it, and indoor hockey continued to grow in popularity. In 1956, the Montreal Canadiens played their first outdoor game (the predecessor to the modern Winter Classic). It was a hit, and more and more people started to attend games outside. Since then, the practice of playing hockey in the winter has become popular, and a lot of indoor rinks have been turned into outdoor ones.

Modernization

After the Second World War, hockey quickly made the transition from an indoor sport to an outdoor one. However, the game itself was still based on how it was played in the 19th century: with skates and sticks. It wasn’t until the 1960s that new rules and equipment started to change the game forever.

In the ‘70s, the shooting motion began to be implemented. It wasn’t initially designed for goaltenders, but it was in the ‘70s that the position became popular. Nowadays, every team has a goalie, even if they don’t play the position professionally. Additionally, the position of forward began to evolve. While the original concept was just to score as many goals as possible, the modern day forward usually initiates contact with the opposition. Finally, in the ‘70s and beyond, helmets started to become a common sight on the ice, and gloves became part of the standard equipment in the locker room. It wasn’t just for show either: wearing protective gear has actually decreased the number of injuries sustained by players from 10.8 per 1000 hours of play in the ‘70s to 6.1 per 1000 hours in 2009-2010.

The Growth Of Hockey

Overall, the game saw a huge increase in popularity in the last century. While Canada mainly played host to the greats of hockey in the first half of the century, the game gradually became more popular throughout the world, especially in the United States. In fact, the country now has more professional hockey teams than any other country. The Nashville Predators, for example, began playing in the NHL in 1998 and now have one of the most passionate followings in all of sports.

That passion is what led to the creation of this website, HockeyRank.com. We aim to become the definitive source for stats, rankings, and information about hockey. Our goal is to make sure everyone from the most seasoned hockey fan to the fanatical newbie knows everything they need to know about the sport.

Thanks for reading! We hope this article gave you some information about hockey and how it has evolved over the years. If you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to leave us a note! And don’t forget – follow us on Twitter @HockeyRank to get all the latest news about #HockeyRank and #NHL17!

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