Ice hockey in the United States
Ice hockey, usually referred to in the U.S. simply as "hockey", is a popular sport in the United States. Hockey in the U.S. began in 1894 when the first artificial ice rink was built in Baltimore, Maryland. Now hockey is most popular in regions of the U.S. with cold winter climates, such as the northeast and the upper Midwest. However, since the 1990s, ice hockey has become increasingly popular in the Sun Belt due in large part to the expansion of the National Hockey League to the southeast and southwest U.S., coupled with the mass relocation of many residents from northern cities with strong hockey support to these Sun Belt locations.
|Ice hockey in the United States|
|Governing body||USA Hockey|
|National team(s)||Men's national team |
Women's national team
History of ice hockey in the United StatesEdit
The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, Quebec, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875. Some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. The game soon spread to United States. It was brought overseas from Canadian immigrants. They would play this stick and ball game on frozen ponds and lakes in the winters. The first known recorded game of ice hockey was played in the United States at Yale University and Johns Hopkins University in 1893.
In 1894, the first artificial ice rink was built in Maryland. The rink was called the North Avenue Ice Palace, which was located in Baltimore, Maryland. A few years later, in 1896, the first ice hockey league in the United States was formed called The U.S. Amateur Hockey League. It was founded in New York City around the same time as the second artificial ice rink was opened in New York, New York, called the St. Nicholas Arena. The U.S. Amateur Hockey League then became a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1904. There were five teams from the United States and Ontario that formed the International Ice Hockey Federation. This league only lasted three seasons but it was the first professional ice hockey league that the United States participated in.
Meanwhile, teams in western Canada formed the Pacific Coast Hockey Association in 1911. This league created new designs and rules that helped ice hockey evolve into the game it is today. Some of these new innovations that were created were blue lines that were painted under the ice which divided the ice into three sections, goaltenders are allowed to fall and slide on the ice to help prevent the other team from scoring a goal, forward passing is permitted in the neutral zone, and the game was split into three periods of 20 minutes. In 1912, the game changed again reducing the number of on-ice players to six players from the previous seven.
National Hockey LeagueEdit
The NHL is the major professional hockey league in North America, with 24 U.S.-based teams and 7 Canadian-based teams competing for the Stanley Cup. While NHL stars are still not as readily familiar to the general American public as are stars of the NFL, MLB, and the NBA, average attendance for NHL games in the U.S. has surpassed average NBA attendance in recent seasons, buoyed in part by the NHL Winter Classic being played in large outdoor stadiums.
In 1924, the Boston Bruins were the first American team to join the National Hockey League. During that season, the first NHL game was played in the United States where the Boston Bruins defeated the Montreal Maroons 2-1. That same season, the NHL increased the season schedule from 24 games to 30 games. Three more American teams the New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars, joined the NHL in the year 1926. That same year, the Western Hockey League fell apart and sold most of its players to the new NHL teams. This makes the NHL the top hockey league in North America. In 1942, the Brooklyn Americans withdrew from the NHL. This left the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers, and Black Hawks as the only teams left in the NHL for the next 25 years. Those six teams are now called "the Original Six."
New Brunswick-born skater Willie O'Ree became the first black ice hockey player in the NHL for the Boston Bruins. while Val James was the first African American player to compete in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy in North American sports. Lord Stanley of Preston was appointed by Queen Victoria to be the Governor General of Canada on June 11, 1888. While governor, Ice hockey was still just forming in Canada. He first got to see the game of hockey played at Montreal's 1889 Winter Carnival. During the carnival he watched the Montreal Victorias play the Montreal Hockey Club. Since then he and his family became very involved in the game of ice hockey. His two sons, Arthur and Algernon, convinced their father to donate a trophy that would be considered to be a visible sign of the ice hockey championship. This trophy was a silver bowl inlaid with gold. The trophy was first presented in 1893 and was called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. The name of the trophy was later changed to the famous name, The Stanley Cup.
In 1914 the Portland Rosebuds, an American-based team, joined the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. After that, the trustees of the Stanley Cup made a statement that the Stanley Cup was no longer for the best team in Canada, but now the best team in the whole world. The Rosebuds became the first American team to compete in the Stanley Cup Finals two years later. In the year 1917, the team Seattle Metropolitans was the first American team to win the Stanley Cup. Once that season was over, the National Hockey Association was changed into the NHL or the National Hockey League.
Minor league professional hockey leagues in the U.S. include the American Hockey League and the ECHL. Additionally, nine U.S.-based teams compete in the three member leagues of the Canadian Hockey League. USA Hockey is the official governing body for amateur hockey in the U.S. The United States Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Eveleth, Minnesota.
Ice hockey structureEdit
The United States ice hockey structure includes elements from traditional American scholastic high school and college athletics, affiliated and independent minor leagues, and the unique "Major Junior" leagues. The hierarchy of the ice hockey league system forms a pyramid with a large number of regional minor and development leagues making up the base of the pyramid and a linear progression through the professional minor leagues leading to the Nation Hockey League at the top of the pyramid.
Amateur ice hockeyEdit
College hockey has a regional following in the northeastern and upper midwestern United States. It is increasingly being used to develop players for the NHL and other professional leagues (the U.S. has junior leagues, the United States Hockey League and North American Hockey League, but they are more restricted to protect junior players' college eligibility). The Frozen Four is college hockey's national championship.
Summer senior ice hockey is increasing in popularity in the 21st century, with Edina, Minnesota's Da Beauty League and Buffalo, New York's Fattey Hockey League both drawing NHL players who use the leagues to stay in shape during the offseason. Da Beauty League, established in 2016, is considered the nation's premier summer ice hockey league and benefits from corporate sponsorship from the Minnesota business community.
A hockey tournament debuted in the summer Olympics in 1920. It would later be called the first World Ice Hockey Championship. Canada took the gold medal and the United States took the silver. Canada took the gold medal again in the 1924 winter Olympics. This was the first time hockey was considered an Olympic sport. In 1936, Great Britain gave Canada their first big loss in international hockey. Great Britain took the gold medal. The USSR finally joined in on Olympic ice hockey in 1956. They ended up winning the gold medal that year. (Fitzpatrick, 2012) In 1960 and 1980 the United States won the ice hockey Olympic Games. The 1980 ice hockey Olympics was known as "Miracle on Ice". This was when the United States upset the Soviet Union. (United States at the Olympics, 2005)
Before 1947 there was no nationally formally recognized national body for Ice hockey hence the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States or AHAUS which later became USA Hockey is the governing body of Ice hockey in the United States to enable the United States national team to be able to compete in the Winter Olympics.
One of the nation's greatest ever sporting moments was the "Miracle on Ice", which came during the 1980 Winter Olympics when the U.S. men's hockey team beat the Soviet Union. 4–3 in the first game of the medal round before going on to beat Finland to claim the gold medal.
In the Olympics, as of Fall 2018, the United States men's team has won two gold medals (1960, 1980), eight silver medals (1920, 1924, 1932, 1952, 1956, 1972, 2002, 2010 and one bronze medal (1936). The women's team has won two gold medals (1998),(2018) three silver medals (2002, 2010, 2014) and one bronze medal (2006).
Women's ice hockeyEdit
Women's ice hockey is less popular. The National Women's Hockey League, founded in 2015, is the first in the country to pay its players, and featured four teams from the Northeast. Through partnerships with NHL teams, the league survived and expanded to five teams for its fourth season in 2018, adding the Minnesota Whitecaps (a long-established independent team) that year. Four of the league's five teams are owned and operated by the league itself; the lone exception is the Whitecaps. In 2019, a player strike led to two of the NHL partnerships being severed and one of the teams, the Buffalo Beauts, being placed into legal limbo after Pegula Sports and Entertainment (which had purchased the team in 2017) surrendered the NWHL franchise back to the league but not the intellectual property or arena lease. The player strike was brought on by a disconnect between the demands of the NWHL's players to be paid and treated more professionally than they have been, and the NWHL's inability to enter into the agreements necessary for those demands to be met.
In 1957, CBS was the first U.S. television network to carry NHL games. Later, the television network NBC also started carrying some NHL games. Both television networks held rights to show NHL games at times, but neither television network showed a full NHL schedule. They only carried select games from the Stanley Cup Finals. From the year 1971 to the year 1995 no United States television network had exclusive coverage of the NHL games. The USA television network started carrying 35 regular-season games and played the full schedule of the playoff games from the year 1981 to 1985. ESPN replaced the USA network in 1985 and then Sports Channel replaced ESPN in 1989. ESPN came back and later took over the National Hockey Contract in 1993. The Fox network joined ESPN in the year 1995. NBC and sister network NBCSN have held exclusive national rights to the NHL since 2005.
Traditionally, ice hockey has been played predominantly by Caucasians in the United States and attended by white Americans and the fans are the most affluent of the 4 major team sports watched in the United States.
The NHL is trying to grow the sport of ice hockey by attempting to diversify the fanbase and expand from its traditional demographic. A notable example is the Chicago Blackhawks has seen a significant increase in attention from ethnic minorites groups since their Stanley cup successes in the 2010s, which has resulted in the team setting up outreach programs for urban youths and low income neighbourhoods. The Washington Capitals also have noteworthy outreach programs for to garner interest ice hockey.
As of the year 2015, there are over 2,000 ice rinks in the United States alone (United States, 2008). Also, the NHL still exists and there are now 31 teams participating in the league, with 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. As of spring 2014, United States has won 16 medals (gold, silver, and bronze) total.
The U.S. now has more youth hockey players than all other countries, excluding Canada, combined. The legacy of the Miracle on Ice is believed to be influential in popularizing the sport from a fringe sport to a mainstream sport.
- "USA Hockey encourages kids with NHL dreams to play other sports - ESPN The Magazine". Espn.co.uk. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- Maiman, Beth (22 March 2016). "NHL inner city youth hockey programs continue to grow". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Waldron, Travis (22 January 2016). "What A Mostly Black Hockey Club For Kids Tells Us About The Sport's Future". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
- Gillis, Charlie (20 February 2012). "Is hockey becoming America's game?". Maclean's. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Campbell, Ken (27 January 2014). "Hockey ranks 6th in popularity survey: Harris Poll". The Hockey News. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Wise, Aaron N.; Meyer, Bruce S. (1997). International Sports Law and Business. Volume 3. Kluwer Law International. p. 1983. ISBN 90-41106022. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
- Klein, Jeff Z.; Hackel, Stu (25 January 2014). "A Blow to the N.H.L.'s Positive Buzz". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Cooper, Josh (10 May 2015). "California puck love: Hockey popularity surging in the Golden State". Puck Daddy (Yahoo Sport). Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Elliott, Helene (2 May 2014). "The ice is greener in Southern California hockey". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Elliott, Helene (21 February 2015). "California has warmed to hockey, and vice versa; Kings, Ducks helped". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Steinberg, Leigh (8 June 2012). "Will Hockey Ever Be Popular in California?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Peters, Chris (3 December 2013). "Sharks, Ducks, Kings turning California into hockey central". CBS Sports. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Hays, Matthew (28 May 2014). "Ice hockey not invented in Canada? That's cold, man". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Nauright, John; Parrish, Charles, eds. (2012). Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice. ABC-CLIO. p. 271. ISBN 978-1-59884-300-2.
- Glave, Garry (2015). A Brief History Of International Ice Hockey. ShieldCrest Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-911090-10-6.
- Kirsch, George B.; Harris, Othello; Nolte, Claire Elaine (1 January 2000). "Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States". Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved 14 December 2016 – via Google Books.
- Cayton, Andrew R. L.; Sisson, Richard; Zache, Chris, eds. (2007). The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia. Indiana University Press. p. 912. ISBN 978-0-253-34886-9. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- Dunkak, Ashley (9 January 2014). "Why Is Hockey More Popular Than Basketball – In Detroit And Across The Country?". CBS Detroit. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Glasspiegel, Ryan (8 January 2014). "The NHL is Reportedly Selling Out More Markets Than the NBA This Season". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Berr, Jonathan (10 November 2014). "How the NHL got on a scoring streak". CBS News. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Burdetskiy, Igor (21 September 2015). "Hockey Continues to Grow in the United States". Hooked on Hockey Magazine. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Brough, Jason (22 April 2008). "NHL Popularity Rising – Here's the Proof". The Province. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Tom King. The Legendary Game - Ultimate Hockey Trivia. Books.google.co.uk. p. 29. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- Thompson, Harry (November 2013). "Equal Ice: Diversity in Hockey". USA Hockey Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Borzi, Pat (3 February 2015). "N.H.L. Trailblazer Finds Forgiveness in the Tip of a Pen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
- Scott Surgent. The Complete Historical and Statistical Reference to the World Hockey ... Books.google.co.uk. p. 2. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- "When Seattle was Hockeytown USA". SB Nation. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Gretz, Adam (5 August 2014). "Remembering America's first Stanley Cup champion". Seattle Times. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- "Boating Life". Retrieved 13 December 2016 – via Google Books.
- Mancuso, Jim (1 January 2006). "Hockey in Providence". Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved 13 December 2016 – via Google Books.
- Yerdon, Joe (August 10, 2018). "Here's how Dahlin, Mittelstadt ended up playing in Buffalo's Fattey Hockey League". The Athletic. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Blinn, Michael (July 12, 2018). "NHLer-Laden Da Beauty League Returns for Third Season of Summer Hockey". SI.com. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Kirsch, George B.; Harris, Othello; Nolte, Claire Elaine (1 January 2000). "Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States". Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved 14 December 2016 – via Google Books.
- "All living 'Miracle' members reunite". ESPN. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Mifflin, Lawrie (23 February 1980). "Miracle on Ice! Mike Eruzione's goal, Jim Craig's heroics lead U.S. to stunning upset over the Russians in Lake Placid, 4–3". New York Daily News. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Peters, Chris (24 February 2015). "American hockey has come a long way since 1980's miraculous gold". CBS Sports. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Shapiro, Leonard (23 February 1980). "U.S. Shocks Soviets in Ice Hockey, 4–3". The Washington Post. Washington Post. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Eskenazi, Gerald (23 February 1980). "U.S. Defeats Soviet Squad In Olympic Hockey by 4–3". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- Farrey, Tom (26 June 2013). "Miracle on ice". ESPN. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Gordon, Stefanie (23 February 2015). "Poignant reunion for the Miracle on Ice team at Lake Placid". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Berkman, Seth (4 March 2016). "Obstacles for Global Talent in National Women's Hockey League". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
- "Women's Hockey Takes Stage As New Pro Sports League". NPR. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
- Parker, Dan (October 28, 1957). "The Hockey Rebellion". Sports Illustrated.
- Taaffe, William (January 24, 1983). "Getting Down To Business". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "NHL Agrees on $155-Million Deal With Fox - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. 1994-09-10. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- Sandomir, Richard (1994-09-10). "HOCKEY - Fox Outbids CBS for N.H.L. Games". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- Dodds, Eric (9 June 2014). "Quack, Quack, Quack: An Oral History of the Mighty Ducks Trilogy". Time. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
- "Top 10 Hockey Movies". Watchmojo. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
- Judd, Wes (19 June 2015). "Why the Ice Is White". Pacific Standard. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Settimi, Christina (24 November 2015). "The NHL's Least Engaged Fans". Forbes. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- Thompson, Derek (10 February 2014). "Which Sports Have the Whitest/Richest/Oldest Fans?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- Wyshynski, Greg (27 January 2014). "NHL has least diverse, but most advertiser friendly, TV audience". Puck Daddy (Yahoo Sport). Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- Klein, Jeff Z. (20 February 2011). "Where Hockey is Growing, State by State". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Johnson, Erik (23 March 2011). "The State of Hockey: Ranking the Top 10 Hockey States in America". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- "NHL Looks to Inner-Cities for New Generation of Diverse Players". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "NHL Aims To Include More Minority Players To Expand Fan Base". NPR. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Bater, Martin (1 May 2016). "Hockey eyes Hispanic fans for growth". ESPN. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Yates, Clinton (2 March 2012). "I'm a black hockey fan. We do exist". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Ryan, Shannon (11 June 2015). "African-American fans have the highest growth rate among NHL fans". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- "How Chicago, Chicago Blackhawks are trying to diversify youth hockey". Espn.com. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Hockey interest among minorities gaining speed, NHL says". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
- Powers, Scott (19 June 2015). "Chicago Blackhawks see increase in minority hockey fans". ESPN. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- El, Tarik (8 February 2012). "Capitals' Alex Ovechkin has made ice hockey cool for Washington area's youth athletes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Marron, Brian (14 May 2015). "Hockey Growing in Maryland as Washington Capitals, Ovechkin Make Waves In NHL". Capital News Service. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Lewis, Angie. ""Hockey in The Hood": But Is The Hood in Hockey?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Reid, Jason (6 October 2011). "NHL diversity: An idea that needs to be heard". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Diamosnov, Jason (13 November 2005). "The NHL's Diversity Program is Beginning to Pay Dividends". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Dryden, Ken (February 20, 2014). "Miracle Off Ice". Grantland.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014.