Made from vulcanized rubber, the hockey puck is to the sport of hockey as to what the baseball is to the sport that shares its name. Sometimes referred to as a biscuit, the first hockey pucks that were made in the middle of the 19th century were made from either wood or lower forms of rubber. Before the flat puck, balls were often used instead. The first modern hockey puck to be used in competitive play and its invention is credited to the Victoria Hockey Club of Montreal.
Because the hockey puck can easily reach speeds of 100 miles per hour when shot, there are several other inventions that were created to help make hockey a safer sport. Here is a look at some inventions that have taken off… and others that haven’t become so popular.
1. Spring Loaded Hockey Skates
Ice skates are an essential component to the game of hockey. Played on ice, players must wear hockey skates in order to compete. Sometimes this requires the player to jump on the ice, not to attack a player, but to avoid collisions, stop pucks, or other needs. In 2012, spring loaded hockey skates were invented that could give players a boost of height with their jump and to increase their speed. They haven’t really been accepted as of today, however, but change does sometimes take time.
2. The Hockey Mask
Can you imagine being a hockey goalie without wearing a mask to protect your face? For several decades, this was actually how the game was played. The goalie would be in full gear, but their face wouldn’t be protected from a shot. The player himself was responsible for protecting his face and needless to say, there were several broken noses and lost teeth suffered over the years from a miss or two. Thankfully the “Jason” mask has been replaced with a modern, helmet-like design.
3. Fur Hockey Gloves
Once upon a time, there was an idea that floated about that said some hockey players were getting too cold while they were playing the game. This was more for the outdoor player than the indoor player, but even they, some people thought, could find improvement in their overall warmth with some new tools. From this idea came the fur lined hockey gloves. It was supposed to be a higher class version that all players would want to wear, but it didn’t come to be. Neither were the neon gloves that came afterward.
These hockey pants, which were created by Cooper Canada, basically looked like you were wearing sweatpants out on the ice. The idea was to create more movement and comfort for the hockey player and they contained padding from the waist down, and they were full length hockey pants that went down to the ankles. They issue was that they were slippery and made falls very dangerous. They were banned in the NHL by the 1982-83 season.
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