The history of hockey dates back to the times of early civilizations. Studies have found hints of this sport’s origins as much as four thousand years ago. This sport common referred to as “ball and stick” has been played in the ancient civilizations of Rome, Egypt, and Scotland under various names. The general play of the game was similar between each civilization. Irish people called the game “Hockie.” This term has made its way into present day and is now the common name for this historical game. Back in these times it was not played on ice but rather a field. Modern day hockey rules and game play originated in Canada with the help of JG Creighton. His particular game play rules were used in the first ice hockey game which was played in 1875. Two stones frozen into each end of the ice were used in the early days of hockey as goals. In 1879, the official rules were drafted for the game. It was not until 1893 that hockey became a known and played sport in the United States. In the 1900’s the sport grew in popularity throughout Europe.
Most extensive hockey playing resided in Canada and other countries until the early 1900’s. Montreal, Canada is the true parent of modern day ice hockey. This is where the first organized play began in the history of hockey. The first official season of the NHL took place between 1917 and 1918 in Montreal. Only five teams were part of the league in the beginning. One had to quit due to their ice rink getting burned down. Obstacles were many in the early development phase of the NHL and slowed down the advancement of this sport so many people love today. The O’Brien trophy was the original league championship trophy awarded for the championship game. As the games popularity increased so did the number of teams in the league.
Professional hockey originated in the early twentieth century. The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League began paying players openly for the sport. This particular league joined with Michigan and Ontario teams to form the first professional international league in the year of 1904. Many players were openly paid by this league which later disbanded in 1907. By this time, many major hockey leagues were running in Canada. The National Hockey Association or NHA was formed in the year of 1910 in Montreal, Canada and was followed by a 1917 re-organization that created the National Hockey League (NHL). Expansion of the league into the United States began in 1924. Many rules were instilled throughout this time including twenty minute periods and various penalties.
Presently, professional hockey is played in various countries around the world. It is the defining sport of Canada and a renowned game in the United States and other countries. Fans love the ruggedness of the game. They gather in the stands every season to watch their favorite team battle for the ultimate win and the ever so famous Stanley Cup. This championship trophy has been a symbol of hard work and perseverance for years and is the desired end result of every team.