Hockey 101: The Puck

Hockey-101

Each week we will be taking a look at the rules and regulations of this great game that we call hockey.

The Puck

Sure, everyone knows the puck is the disc players try to put into the opposing net. However, today we’d like to dig a little deeper.

The puck is made of vulcanized rubber and is three inches in diameter and one inch thick. The puck weighs between five and a half and six ounces and is frozen before the games to limit it from bouncing.

Here are some other fun facts about the hockey puck:

  • In the earliest hockey games, frozen cow dung was used instead of pucks
  • The first rubber hockey pucks were lacrosse balls sliced into thirds with the middle portion being used as the playing disc.
  • The word “puck” was first recorded in the February 7, 1876 edition of the Montreal Gazette, so the NHL regards this date as the hockey puck’s birthday.
  • The current NHL speed record for a puck belongs to Zdeno Chára, whose slapshot clocked in at 108.8 miles per hour during the 2012 NHL All-Star Game Super-Skills competition.
  • On average, 12 pucks are used during per game. The last NHL game to use only one puck for the whole game was in 1979 (the puck is currently in the Hall of Fame).
  • Remember Fox Trax?!! The system debuted with much publicity in the All-Star game at the Boston Fleet Center on January 20, 1996. The puck had integrated electronics to track its position on screen; a blue streak traced the path of the puck across the ice. The streak would turn red if the puck was shot especially hard. This was an experiment in broadcasting intended to help viewers unfamiliar with hockey to better follow the game by making the puck more visible.

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