Hockey History

ice hockey history

Hockey is an extremely historic game that has been played for hundreds of years. Originally from Windsor Canada, hockey developed as a northern game that has since spread all over the world. Hockey began as a sport that was played with nine vs nine on a team, a wooden puck that was to be scored in a net, and minimal personal protection equipment for players. The game originated as a variation of the similar stickball game known as Hurley, evolving into Ice Hurley when it was moved onto the ice. The sport eventually stuck with its more formal name of Ice Hockey.

Timeline of Hockey

  • 1700-1800: The first hockey game is played in the British Isles and in Nova Scotia, Canada. It spreads west via British soldiers stationed in the Great Lakes.
  • 1875: James Creighton creates organized hockey in Montreal, Canada.
  • 1917: The National Hockey League (NHL) is formed.
  • 1917-1942: The NHL creates the Original Six teams.
  • 1958: Willie O'Ree became the first African American player in the NHL.
  • 1967: The NHL expands to 12 teams.
  • 1970-1974: The NHL expands to 18 teams.
  • 1979: The NHL merges with the World Hockey Association (WHA) expanding to 22 teams.
  • 2004-2005: NHL lockout lasts the entire season resulting in major rules changes for the salary cap, and revenue sharing.

Creator of Hockey

The creator of modern hockey was James Creighton, who was the captain of the first regular hockey club to be formed in Canada.

Creighton was key in organizing and putting on the annual matches against other semi-organized clubs in the Quebec area.

Creighton was first introduced to hockey after seeing it played in his native Halifax, and participated in nearly every recorded game in the first years of organized hockey being played in Montreal.

Creighton was a coach for the first people that started playing the game, and helped implement the introduction of the offsides rule in hockey also.

Creighton played the game until he turned 40, though he continued to enjoy ice skating as a hobby after he stopped playing hockey.

Moreover, Creighton was also very accomplished besides what he did for hockey as he earned a law degree and worked numerous jobs from railway surveyor to author.


When was hockey first played?

Ice hockey's official origins according to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is that the first official ice hockey game was played in Montreal, Canada in 1875.

The modern game of hockey was first played on ice ponds in Windsor, Nova Scotia in the early 1800s. This then spread west in Canada through the help of British soldiers who brought the game with them to the Great Lakes region where they would play it.

When were the first rules established for hockey?

With many also considering modern ice hockey's first rules being published in the Montreal Gazette in 1877.

Where did hockey come from?

Hockey itself has a long history and many consider it having originated from many ball and stick games in the British Isles including hurling from Ireland, shinty from Scotland, and bandy in England. Although there was a lot of influence from these games in the British Isles, ice hockey had its key developments of the modern day game come from Canada, as the "Canadian rules" dominate international ice hockey today.

When did hockey become an Olympic sport?

hockey started becoming more popular, as in 1924 was when ice hockey officially became a sport in the Winter Olympics.

What year was the NHL formed?

The National Hockey League was formed in November 1917. The NHL went from the original six teams in 1942 to now being up to 31 NHL teams in 2020.

What are the Original Six teams in hockey?

The Original Six was formed in 1942. The teams in the original six included the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

What were the first hockey teams in the NHL?

The Canadiens, Wanderers, Ottawa and Quebec Hockey Clubs became the first official teams in the National Hockey League.