The Birth of Ice Hockey


Ice Hockey pic

Ice Hockey

Media and entertainment attorney Steven C. Beer is a partner with New York City-based Franklin Weinrib Rudell and Vassallo. Outside of work, Steven C. Beer’s hobbies include ice hockey.

While ball-and-stick games are as old as civilization itself, the sport of ice hockey can trace its roots back to the Native Americans, who played a lacrosse-type game on the iced-over lakes, rivers, and ponds of what is now South Dakota. Field hockey was inspired by these games, and small-town Canadian youths began to fill their spare time during the winter playing field hockey on the ice.

However, it wasn’t until 1872 that a Halifax, Nova Scotia native named James Creighton landed in Montreal and introduced the game of “ice hockey” to the big city. Creighton brought both sticks and skates with him. The skates possessed rounded blades that were clamped onto boots and had been patented in 1866 by a company in Nova Scotia. Creighton began by teaching the sport to his friends. By 1875, they were practicing indoors at the Victoria Skating Rink.

The game could not be played indoors out of fear that the bouncing ball would cause damage. The ever-creative Creighton solved the problem by replacing the ball with a wooden disc, and in doing so, he created the first hockey puck.


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