Ins and outs of hockey

November 6, 2019

Hockey ranks sixth in popularity in America, according to The  Hockey News. And Michigan is ranked as the second best hockey state in the nation by the Bleacher Report, coming just under Minnesota.

Last year, there were 567,908 hockey players in the U.S.

The National Hockey League (NHL) was established in 1917, and the first indoor hockey game was played in 1875 in Montreal, Canada. 

“I like all of hockey,and especially the physicalness,” North Star left wing Hank Callison said. “And I get to be with my friends the whole time.” 

A lot of attention has been given to concussions in football and they can occur in hockey as well. The NHL does not track concussions but it’s estimated that between 2 percent and 14 percent of hockey injuries are concussions, according the The Journal of Canadian Chiropractors. 

“I think football is more dangerous than hockey because football has a lot more injuries to the brain than hockey,” Callison said. 

Northstar Center Luke Weaver thinks the risks of the game are worth it.

“I like the intensity and the physicalness of the game,” he said. “I’ve had a couple injuries but not any major ones like concussions or breaking anything.”

Until the 1960’s, most hockey sticks were straight. Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer Stan Mikita introduced the curved stick, which made shooting the puck easier.   

“Some of the best hockey sticks on the market are CCM Ribcor, Bauer Nexus, Warrior Covert QRE, and the CCM Jetspeed,” Callison said.

“Hockey is a great game, “ said Northstar defensemen Hunter Lord “it is a lot of fun.”

Lord thinks retired Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky is the best player to play the game. 

“But one of the best players currently in the NHL is Connor McDavid,” he said. McDavid plays for the Edmonton Oilers. In Lord’s opinion, the Oilers  and the Capitals are the two best teams in the NHL right now.

“I play hockey because my brothers played it and I picked up on it,” Weaver said. He fell in love with the game right away.

“I want to continue playing the game because the game gets more fun and faster as you get older,” he said. “If I do make it to the NHL one day, I would like to play for the Nashville Predators.”


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