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1910-11 - Game changed from two 30-minute periods to three 20-minute periods.
1911-12 - National Hockey Association (forerunner of the NHL) originated six-man hockey, replacing seven- man game.
1917-18 - Goalies permitted to fall to the ice to make saves. Previously a goaltender was penalized for dropping to the ice.
1918-19 - Penalty rules amended. For minor fouls, substitutes not allowed until penalized player had sewed three minutes. For major fouls, no substitutes for five minutes. For match fouls, no substitutes allowed for the remainder of the game. With the addition of two lines painted on the ice twenty feet from center, three playing zones were created, producing a forty-foot neutral center ice area in which forward passing was permitted. Kicking the puck was permitted in this neutral zone. Tabulation of assists began.
1921-22 - Goaltenders allowed to pass the puck forward up to their own blue line. Overtime limited to twenty minutes. Minor penalties changed from three minutes to two minutes.
1923-24 - Match foul defined as anions deliberately injuring or disabling an opponent. For such anions, a player was fined not less than $50 and ruled off the ice for the balance of the game. A player assessed a match penalty may be replaced by a substitute at the end of 20 minutes. Match penalty recipients must meet with the League president who can assess additional punishment.
1925-26 - Delayed penalty rules introduced. Each team must have a minimum of four players on the ice at all times. Two rules were amended to encourage offense: No more than two defensemen permitted to remain inside a team's own blue line when the puck has led the defensive zone. A faceoff to be called for ragging the puck unless short-handed. Team captains only players allowed to talk to referees Goaltender's leg pads limited to l 2-inch width. Timekeeper's gong to mark end of periods rather than referee's whistle. Teams to dress a maximum of 12 players for each game from a roster of no more than 14 players.
1926-27 - Blue lines repositioned to sixty feet from each goal-line, thereby enlarging the neutral zone and standardizing distance from blueline to goal. Uniform goal nets adopted throughout NHL with goal posts securely fastened to the ice.
1927-28 - To further encourage offense, forward passes allowed in defending and neutral zones and goaltenders pads reduced In width from 12 to 10 inches Game standardized at three twenty-minute periods of stop-time separated by ten-minute intermissions. Teams to change ends at the each period. Ten minutes of sudden-death overtime to be played if the score is tied after regulation time. Minor penalty to be assessed to any player other than a goaltender for deliberately picking up the puck while it is In play. Minor penalty to be assessed for deliberately shooting the puck out of play.
The Art Ross goal net adopted as the official net of the Maximum length of hockey sticks limited to 53 inches measured from heel of blade to end of handle. No minimum length stipulated. Home teams given choice of goals to defend at start of game.
1928-29 - forward passing permitted in defensive and neutral zones and into attacking zone if pass receiver is in neutral zone when pass is made. No forward passing allowed inside attacking zone.
Minor penalty to be assessed to any player who delays the game by passing the puck back into his defensive zone. Ten-minute overtime without sudden-death provision to be played in games tied after regulation time. Games tied after this overtime period declared a draw. Exclusive of goaltenders, team to dress at least 8 and no more than 12 skaters.
1929-30 - Forward passing permitted inside all three zones but not permitted across either blue line. Kicking the puck allowed, but a goal cannot be scored by kicking the puck in the goal.
No more than three players including the goaltender may remain in their defensive zone when the puck has gone up ice. Minor penalties to be assessed for the first two violations of this rule in a game; major penalties thereafter.
Goaltenders forbidden to hold the puck. Pucks caught must be cleared immediately. For infringement of this rule, a faceoff to be taken ten feet in front of the goal with no player except the goaltender standing between the faceoff spot and the goal-line. Highsticking penalties Introduced Maximum number of players in uniform increased from 12 to 15.
December 21,1929 - Forward passing rules instituted at the beginning of the 1929-30 season more than doubled number of goals scored. Partway through the season, these rules were further amended to read, "No attacking player allowed to precede the play when entering the opposing defensive zone." This is similar to modern offside rule.
1930-31 - A player without a complete stick ruled out of play and forbidden from taking part in further action until a new stick is obtained. A player who has broken hi suck must obtain a replacement at his bench.
A further refinement of the offside rule stated that the puck must first be propelled into the attacking zone before any player of the attacking side can enter that zone; for infringement of this rule a faceoff to take place at the spot where the infraction took place.
1931-32 - Though there is no record of a team attempting to play with two goaltenders on the ice, a rule was instituted which stated that each team was allowed only one goaltender on the ice at one time.
Attacking players forbidden to impede the movement or obstruct the vision of opposing goaltenders. Defending players with the exception of the goaltender forbidden from falling on the puck within 10 feet of the net.
1951-52 - Home teams to wear basic white uniforms; visiting teams basic colored uniforms. Goal crease enlarged from 3 x 7 feet to 4 x 8 feet. Number of players in uniform reduced to 15 plus goaltenders. Faceoff circles enlarged from 1 0-foot to 15-foot radius.
1952-53 - Teams permitted to dress 15 skaters on the road and 16 at home.
1953-54 - Number of players in uniform set at 16 plus goaltenders.
1954-55 - Number of players in uniform set at 18 plus goaltenders up to December 1 and 16 plus goaltenders thereafter.
1956-57 - Player serving a minor penalty allowed to return to Ice when a goal is scored by opposing team.
Part 3: The Richard Riot to the Oakland Seals.
Maurice "Rocket" Richard is suspended for the remainder of the season and the playoffs after punching a linesman during a fight. The suspension sparks the "Richard Riot" in Montreal.
NHL officials wear striped sweaters for the first time.
The Zamboni makes its NHL debut when Montreal hosts Toronto.
Jean Beliveau is the first hockey player to appear on the cover of "Sports Illustrated."
The USSR enters Olympic ice hockey for the first time, winning the gold medal.
The first NHL Player's Association is formed with Detroit's Ted Lindsay as president. The owners soon crush the organization and the Red Wings trade Lindsay to the last place Chicago Black Hawks.
CBS is the first U.S. television network to carry NHL games.
Willie O'Ree of the Boston Bruins is the first black player in the NHL.
The Hockey Hall of Fame opens in Toronto.
The first NHL amateur draft is held in Montreal, with 21 players selected.
Ulf Sterner plays four games with the New York Rangers, becoming the first Swedish-born player in the NHL.
The NHL doubles in size, adding franchises in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Oakland, St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Part 4: The WHA rebellion to the New Jersey Devils.
The Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks join the NHL.
The World Hockey Association begins play, outbidding NHL teams for several star players. Bobby Hull becomes hockey's first million-dollar man when he leaves the Chicago Black Hawks and signs a 10-year, $2.75 million contract with the WHA's Winnipeg Jets.
The Atlanta Flames and New York Islanders join the NHL.
The Summit Series pits the best Canadian professionals against the best from the Soviet Union for the first time. Canadian players who have jumped from the NHL to the WHA are not invited to play. Canada wins the last three games to finish with four wins, three losses and a tie, clinching the series on a dramatic goal by Paul Henderson in the final game.
The Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals join the NHL.
The USSR wins the first World Junior Hockey Championship.
A second Canada-Soviet exhibition series takes place, featuring Canadians from the WHA against the Soviet nationals.
Soviet club teams play in North America for the first time when Central Red Army and Soviet Wings play a series of exhibition games against NHL teams.
Two franchises move: The California Seals become the Cleveland Barons and the Kansas City Scouts become the Colorado Rockies.
Canada defeats Czechoslovakia in the final to win the first Canada Cup tournament.
The Cleveland Barons merge with the Minnesota North Stars.
The World Hockey Associaton folds, with the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers and Winnipeg Jets joining the NHL.
The United States defeats the USSR in the semifinal and Finland in the final to win the Olympic gold medal. The "Miracle on Ice" will be enshrined as one of the greatest moments in American sports history.
The Atlanta Flames move to Calgary.
The Colorado Rockies move to New Jersey and become the Devils.
Part 5: The Soviets arrive, Canada's Salt Lake triumph.
Sergei Priakin plays for the Calgary Flames, becoming the first Soviet player permitted to join an NHL club.
Canada wins the first Women's World Hockey Championship.
The San Jose Sharks join the NHL.
The NHL introduces video review.
The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning join the NHL.
The Florida Panthers and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim begin play.
The Minnesota North Stars move to Dallas and become the Stars.
One of the NHL's most famous futility streaks comes to an end as the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1940. Rangers' defenseman Brian Leetch is the first American-born player to win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.
In the league's first major labour dispute, NHL players are locked out for 103 days at the beginning of the 1993-94 season. The regular season, which begins January 20, 1995, is the shortest in 53 years.
Jaromir Jagr becomes the first European to lead the NHL in scoring.
The Quebec Nordiques move to Denver and become the Colorado Avalanche.
The Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix, where they are re-named the Coyotes.
The Hartford Whalers become the Carolina Hurricanes.
Craig Mactavish, the last remaining helmetless player in the NHL, retires.
NHL players compete at the Olympics for the first time, with the Czech Republic winning the gold medal.
The United States defeats Canada to win the first Olympic gold medal in women's hockey.
The Atlanta Thrashers join the NHL.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild bring the total number of NHL teams to 30.
NHL players return to the Winter Olympics, with Canada winning the gold medal. The victory comes 50 years to the day after the last Canadian gold medal in men's hockey.
Canada defeats the United States to win the second Olympic gold medal in women's hockey.
The Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup, with Swedish-born defenseman Niklas Lidstrom claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Lidstrom is the first European to win the award.
Part 1: Origins of the game.
Early to mid-1800s:
Ice hockey as we know it is first played in either Windsor, Nova Scotia, Kingston, Ontario or Montreal, Quebec, depending on who you believe and how you read the evidence.
The first known rules are published by the Montreal Gazette.
The Amateur Hockey Association of Canada is formed, with four teams in Montreal, one in Ottawa and one in Quebec City.
1889 or 1892:
The first women's hockey game is played in Ottawa or Barrie, Ontario.
Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston and Governor-General of Canada, donates a trophy to be called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. It will be known more commonly as the Stanley Cup. The first winning team is from the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, champions of the AHAC.
The first artificial ice rink is opened in Baltimore.
College athletes from the United States and Canada play the first international series of matches, with the Canadians winning all four games. College and club teams in the Eastern U.S. soon take up the game.
The Winnipeg Victorias become the first team from Western Canada to win the Stanley Cup.
Late 1800s and early 1900s:
North American ice hockey appears in European countries, taking its place alongside similar games such as bandy.
The goal net is introduced.
The Montreal Canadiens play their first game after joining a new league called the National Hockey Association.
Teams in Western Canada form the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The league introduces several innovations: Blue lines are added to divide the ice into three zones, goaltenders are permitted to fall to the ice to make saves and forward passing is allowed in the neutral zone.
The 60 minute game is divided into three 20 minute periods.
The number of players allowed on the ice is reduced from seven to six per team.
Four NHA teams reorganize to form the National Hockey League. A new Toronto franchise, the Arenas, is added. The Arenas will become the Maple Leafs in 1927.
The Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA become the first American-based team to win the Stanley Cup, after the Cup's trustees rule that teams outside Canada can compete for the trophy.
Part 2: The Olympics to Hockey Night in Canada.
An ice hockey tournament is played at the Summer Olympics. It will later be declared the first World Ice Hockey Championship. Canada wins.
Foster Hewitt calls the first hockey broadcast for radio, an intermediate game between teams from Kitchener and Toronto.
The Boston Bruins defeat the Montreal Maroons 2-1 in the first NHL game played in the United States.
The NHL increases the regular season schedule from 24 to 30 games. Players on the first place Hamilton Tigers refuse to compete in the 1925 playoffs unless they are paid for the extra games played. The players are suspended and the team is subsequently sold to become the New York Americans.
Ice hockey debuts at the Winter Olympics, with Canada winning the gold medal.
The New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars (later renamed the Red Wings) join the NHL.
The Western Hockey League disbands and sells most of its players to the new NHL teams, leaving the NHL as the undisputed top hockey league in North America.
The first offside rule is introduced.
Ralph Bowman of the St. Louis Eagles scores the first penalty shot goal.
The New York Americans defeat Toronto 3-2 in the first game to be broadcast coast-to-coast in Canada.
Great Britain wins the Olympic gold medal, marking Canada's first significant loss in international ice hockey.
The first rule to deal with icing is introduced.
The Brooklyn Americans withdraw from the NHL. For the next 25 years the league will be comprised of the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers and Black Hawks, now known as "the Original Six."
The NHL season begins in October for the first time.
Babe Pratt becomes the first NHL player suspended for betting on games.
Referees begin using hand signals to indicate penalties and other rulings.
Billy Reay of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first NHL player to raise his arms and stick in celebration after scoring a goal.
The center red line first appears on the ice.
Hockey Night in Canada makes its television debut.
The game of hockey wasn't invented; it evolved and grew slowly and as a result, pinpointing exactly where the game was "born" is impossible. It's very difficult to ascertain at what point the game that started as an on-ice version of European hurley or bandy became a uniquely Canadian game. The earliest claim of "hockey" being played coming from the town of Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Thomas Chandler Haliburton was born in Windsor in 1796 and attended King's College School. He would become a judge and a writer in his later years, and it was one of his writings that provided Windsor with its self-proclaimed title as the "birthplace of hockey." Haliburton wrote an article in 1844 about his childhood memories and in his musings he spoke of his time at King's College shortly after the turn of the century and of boys "(playing) hurley on the Long Pond on the ice." However, the version known as "hockey" wouldn't surface for another fifty years.
Kingstonian James Thomas Sutherland claimed the first hockey game ever contested took place in his hometown and featured two teams made up of the Royal Canadian Rifles, who were stationed at the British Garrison in Kingston as well as Halifax. The game was said to have been played in the frozen harbour of Kingston in 1855. However, the game featured as many as fifty men to a side, and this large deviation from traditional hockey rules has often been cited as a reason to refute this claim.
James Creighton was born in Halifax in 1850. As a youngster he learned the game of hockey and played often. By 1873, he had relocated to Montreal, and soon after introduced the game there. On March 3rd, 1875, Creighton, and many friends played the first game of organized hockey contested inside a rink. This game featured nine skaters a side and followed "Halifax Rules" written by Creighton himself. Hockey's Montreal debut was very successful and the game quickly grew in popularity.
Another version of the "origin" came from W.F. Robertson, a student at McGill University in Montreal who, after seeing a field hockey game in England, decided to adapt the sport to ice hoping to keep the McGill football club in shape during the winter months. His version of the game had fifteen men a side, and used a lacrosse ball with the edges cut off as the puck. The fact that his "creation" of the game came four years after James Creighton's exhibition of "Halifax Rules" hockey makes it difficult to accept Robertson's game as the origin of hockey.
Many variations of the game were played and experimented with before the definitive version of the game evolved and was enthusiastically embraced by Canadians from coast to coast. From the games played in the early 1800's in Windsor, hockey spread to Quebec by 1875, then into Kingston, Ontario in 1886, and south to Toronto in 1888. By 1890, the game had arrived in Winnipeg and extended to Victoria, British Columbia becoming a coast-to-coast, truly Canadian game. Hockey was born
Origins of the Game
At the turn of the century, frozen lakes, ponds and rivers were the exclusive hosts for the earliest hockey matches, featuring men and women.
When the sport now known as hockey began to emerge in Canada, it had no official name. It was being referred to variously as Hurley, Wicket, Ricket and Break-Shins. Much like the birth of the game itself, the origin of the word "hockey" is controversial. There is one school of thought that claims the word is derivative of the French word "hoquet" which means a shepherd's crook. However, in the town of Windsor, Nova Scotia, considered one of the birthplaces of the game, a story has long circulated regarding a Colonel Hockey, stationed at the garrison on Fort Edward. The Colonel used the game to keep his troops conditioned, and the game soon adopted his name, as many referred to these workouts as "Hockey's Game." Though there is no official documentation backing either claim, timing lends credence to the Colonel's story. The British Army list, housed in the Library of Nova Scotia's General Assembly in Halifax, lists a John Hockey serving in the mid-1800s when the name of the game was adopted.
1959-60 - Players prevented from leaving their benches to enter into an altercation. Substitutions permitted providing substitutes do not enter into altercation.
1960-61 - Number of players in uniform set at 16 plus goaltenders.
1961-62 - Penalty shots to be taken by the player against whom the foul was committed. In the event of a penalty shot called in a situation where a particular player hasn't been fouled, the penalty shot to be taken by any player on the ice when the foul was committed.
1964-65 - No bodily contact on faceoffs. In playoff games, each team to have its substitute goaltender dressed in his regular uniform except for leg pads and body protector. An previous rules governing standby goaltenders terminated.
1965- 66 - Teams required to dress two goaltenders for each regular-season game.
1966-67 - Substitution allowed on coincidental major penalties.
Between-periods intermissions fixed at 15 minutes.
1967-68 - If a penalty incurred by a goaltender is a co-incident major, the penalty to be sensed by a player of the goaltender's team on the ice at the time the penalty was called. Limit of curvature of hockey stick blade set at 1-1/2 inches.
1969-70 - Limit of curvature of hockey stick blade set at 1 inch.
1970-71 - Home teams to wear basic white uniforms visiting teams basic colored uniforms. Limit of curvature of hockey stick blade set at '/2 inch. Minor penalty for deliberately shooting the puck out of the playing area.
1971-72 - Number of players in uniform set at 17 plus 2 Goaltenders. Third man to enter an altercation assessed an automatic game misconduct penalty
1972-73 - Minimum width of stick blade reduced to 2 inches from 2-'/2 inches.
1974-75 - Bench minor Penalty imposed if a penalized player does not proceed directly and immediately to the penalty box.
1976-77 - Rule dealing with fighting amended to provide a major and -tame misconduct penalty for any player who is clearly the instigator of a fight.
1977-78 - Teams requesting a stick measurement to be assessed a minor penalty in the event that the measured stick does not violate the rules.
1981-82 - If both of a team's listed goaltenders are incapacitated, the team can dress and play any eligible goaltender who is available.
1982-83 - Number of players in uniform set at 18 plus 2 goaltenders.
1983-84 - Five-minute sudden-death overtime to be played In regular-season games that are tied at the end of regulation time.
1985-86 - Substitutions allowed in the event of co-incidental minor penalties.
1986-87 - Delayed off-side is no longer in effect once the players of the offending team have cleared the opponents' defensive zone.
1991-92 - Video replays employed to assist referees in goal/no goal situations. Size of goal crease increased. Crease changed to semi-circular configuration. Time clock to record tenths of a second in last minute of each period and overtime. Major and -tame misconduct penalty for checking from behind into boards. Penalties added for crease infrinement and unnecessary contact with goaltender. Goal disallowed if puck enters net while a player of the attacking team is standing on the goal crease line, is in the goal crease or places his stick In the goal crease.
1992-93 - No substitutions allowed in the event of coincidental minor penalties called when both teams are at full strength. Wearing of helmets made optional for forwards and defensemen. Minor penalty for attempting to draw a penalty ("diving"). Major and game misconduct penalty for checking from behind into coal frame. Game misconduct penalty for instigating a fight. H'ghsticking redefined to include any use of the stick above waist-height. Previous rule stipulated shoulder-height
1993-94 - High sticking redefined to allow goals scored with a high stick below the height of the crossbar of the goal frame.
1996-97 - Maximum stick length increased to 63 inches.
1998-98 - The league instituted a two-referee system with each team to play 20 regular-season games with two referees and a pair of linesmen. Also, the goal lines, blue lines, defensive zone face-off circles and markings all moved two feet closer to center, creating 13 feet of room behind the nets and cutting the neutral zone from 58 to 54 feet. The goal crease was altered so that it extends only one foot beyond each goal post. (eight feet across in total) and has square sides for the first 4'6". Only the top of the crease remains rounded.
1999-2000 - Each team to play 25 home and 25 road games using the two referee system. Crease rule revised to implement a "no harm, no foul, no video review" standard. An attacking players position, whether inside or outside the crease, does not in inself, determine whether a goal; should be allowed or disallowed. The on-ice judgment of the referee(s) - instead of video review - will determine whether a goal is good or not. Also regular season games tied at the end of three periods, will result in each team being awarded one point in the standings. As before there will be a five minute sudden death overtime when the score is tied after three periods, but each team will play "four on four", with four skaters and a goaltender. In the vent that penalties dictate that one team has a two man advantage, the penalized team plays with three skaters, while the team with the two man advantage adds a fifth skater. A team scoring in overtime will receive one additional point in the standings.
2000-2001 - All games to be played using the two- referee system.
2002-03 - Hurry-up face off and line change rules implemented.
2003-04 - Home teams to wear basic colored uniforms, visiting teams to wear basic white uniforms. Maximum length of goaltenders pads set at 38 inches.
Hockey was a strictly amateur affair until 1904, when the first professional league was created - oddly enough in the United States. Known as the International Pro Hockey League, it was based in the iron-mining region of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That folded in 1907, but then an even bigger league emerged three years later, the National Hockey Association (NHA). And shortly after that came the Pacific Coast League (PCL). In 1914, a transcontinental championship series was arranged between the two, with the winner getting the coveted cup of Lord Stanley. World War I threw the entire hockey establishment into disarray, and the men running the NHA decided to suspend operations.
But after the war, the hockey powers that be decided to start a whole new organization that would be known as the National Hockey League (NHL). At its inception, the NHL boasted five franchises- the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, the Ottawa Senators, the Quebec Bulldogs, and the Toronto Arenas. The league's first game was held Dec. 19, 1917