50 Interesting Facts About Ice Hockey

Last updated on July 20th, 2021

45. Similarly, to a player being taken down in a clear goal scoring opportunity in soccer, penalty shots are awarded in hockey when a player is taken down during a break away. When a penalty is awarded by a referee, the player gets the opportunity to go up 1-on-1 against the opposing team’s goalie for a clear shot on goal.

46. Slapshot Pete is a real live penguin mascot. Yes, the Pittsburgh Penguins at one point, had a live penguin as their mascot. The penguin was named Slapshot Pete.

47. Speaking of animals, the Buffalo Sabres killed on during a game. Yes, in 1974, the team killed a bat during the game and became the only team to do so.

48. During each game, teams only get one 30-second timeout. Coaches and teams must use this timeout wisely as it is the only time they get to huddle and make decisions during the game. Otherwise, they will have to wait on intermission and other involuntary timeouts like commercial breaks.

49. Shootouts are legal in ice hockey! Whenever two teams have played a total of 65-minuted and the score is tied, a shootout is used as the tie-breaker. This is similar to a penalty shootout in soccer. In the NHL, coaches pre-select 3 players from their teams who will go up against the opposing goalie in a penalty-styled goal scoring opportunity. Should all three players from both teams be successful, the shootout will continue until one team misses and the other does not.

50. NHL playoffs have more in common with the NBA playoffs than with NFL playoffs. That is, NHL playoffs use the best of 7 games series model similar to the NBA, as opposed to the NFL where teams only have one opportunity to win or lose.

Interesting facts about Ice hockey players.

Mika Zibanejad. interesting facts about ice hockey
Mika Zibanejad. Image credit – Lisa Gansky

1. Mika Zibanejad

Ottawa Senators’ player, 27-year-old Mika Zibanejad has one hand in the music industry as a DJ/Producer when he is not on the ice scoring anywhere from 37 to 56 points. He’s also originally from Stockholm, Sweden. In 2020, Mika scored 5 goals in one game and he’s the latest player to do so.

2. Artemi Panarin

The New York Ranger’s Left Wing began his career working in his country of birth, Russia as an ice hockey ringer. Panarin’s mother’s father was an amateur hockey player who taught his grandson how to play. In 2015-2016, Panarin won the Rookie of the year award, the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Wayne Gretzky , one of the best ice hockey players
Wayne Gretzky. Image credit – kris krüg

3. Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky widely considered the best hockey player ever, retired his jersey No. 99 league wide in 1999. He is the only player to do this. His accomplishments were so appreciated, he didn’t have to observe the waiting period to be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame also in 1999. He once said I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.

4. Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins is the oldest player in the league at age 43. He’ll turn 44 in March before the end of Hockey season. Big Z is also the tallest hockey player ever at 6 feet, 9 inches. He’s also only the second European-born player to win the Stanley Cup (in 2011). He was born in Trenoin, Slovakia behind the iron curtain.

5. P.K. Subban

It’s expected that most hockey players originate from areas where ice on the ground is commonplace, but P.K. Subban’s father immigrated from Jamaica, although P.K. was born in Canada. P.K. is the first Black player to win the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2013 as the league’s best defenseman. He is among the top 15 of 30 black players in the NHL today.

Marc-André Fleury, the Stanley Cup, and Sidney Crosby. facts about ice hockey
Marc-André Fleury, the Stanley Cup, and Sidney Crosby. Image credit – Michael Righi

6. Sidney Crosby

The average pay for a professional hockey player is $2.7 million. Sidney Crosby is the highest paid hockey player in the league with $12,000,000 base salary. His contract guarantees an income of $104,400,000 with an average salary of $8,700,000 which is also his salary cap. This Pittsburgh Premium Player also earns another $4.5 million off the ice in endorsements and advertising. You’ll see him as spokesperson for Gatorade, Rogers Communication and Adidas.

7. Alexander Ovechkin 

Alexander Ovechkin is Russian-born player whose position as winger has resulted in him surpassing the NHL high score mark of 60. To date, he is the greatest goal-scorer in the NHL. He is an exceptional sportsman coming from a family of excellent sportsmen and sportswomen. His mother was a two-time Olympic Gold medalist in basketball and his father played football.

8. Matt Moulson

Matt Moulson was selected forty-seventh in the National Lacrosse league draft. When he was drafted by the AHL Penguins in 2003, he was the 263rd pick. This Hershey Bears’ left wing is now in his 17th year as an exceptional hockey player. To think, he could have chosen to play professional Lacrosse instead.

9. Mario Lemieux and Patrick Roy

Mario Lemieux and Patrick Roy were born on the same day only miles apart. Who would have thought it possible that two NHL legends would come into the world at the same time? They were both born on October 05, 1955. Lemieux was born in Montreal, Canada and Roy made his debut in Quebec City, Canada. Roy is one of the greatest goaltenders ever and Lemieux spent 12 years with the Pittsburgh Penguins earning the title of “The Magnificent One”. Roy was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 and Lemieux was inducted in 1997 immediately after his retirement.

10. Bobby Orr

In 1971, Bobby Orr was signed to the Boston Bruins. His five-year deal yielded $200,000 per season. He became the first hockey player to earn $1 million in the NHL.

11. Bryan Hextall, Sr.

Bryan Hextall, Sr. has seen his progeny play as he did professional hockey. His two sons, Bryan, Jr., and Dennis played, as did his grandson, Ron. Each Hextall made a mark on the game as they followed in Bryan Hextall’s footsteps. Hextall, Sr. played in the 1930’s and 1940’s for the New York Rangers and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969.

12. Kaapo Kakko

Kaapo Kakko is 19 years old and the youngest player in hockey’s long history to win gold in all the IIHF world championship tournaments: The World U18 Championships, the World Junior Championships, and the World Championships. He must be incredibly careful with his health as he is a type 1 diabetic with celiac disease.

13. Daniel and Henrik Sedin

Daniel and Henrik Sedin are one of the five sets of twins that played in the NHL. They both played for the Vancouver Canucks. They were the second and third draft picks for Vancouver in 1999. After 18 years in the league, their numbers were retired.

14. Nicklas Backstrom, Henrik Sedin and Teemu Selanne

Nicklas Backstrom, Henrik Sedin and Teemu Selanne are among the richest former NHL players with net worth’s of approximately $40 million each.

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