Fun Facts About Hockey

In a National Hockey League rink, about how thick is the ice?

And the answer: one inch.    

According to the NHL, "Ice is approximately 3/4 of an inch thick, and is usually chilled at 16 degrees Fahrenheit. The thicker the ice, the softer and slower it becomes," and hockey players prefer to go fast.

Photo credit: Getty Images. 

Though the ice might seem thin, there's certainly an art to the logistics of this long-practiced sport. One example is the plexiglass that surrounds all NHL ice rinks – the intentionally high plexiglass walls are to keep players and overly enthusiastic hockey fans separate for gameplay. Another is the hockey pucks: the pucks are actually chilled in an icebox during and before games to reduce bounce. Need more fun facts about this invigorating sport? We've got you covered:

  1. Until 1914, referees would place the puck down on the ice instead of dropping it. However, this proved to be too dangerous for the refs, who (likely after acquiring some bruises) thought it better to drop the puck in instead.
  2. The last time a goaltender played without a mask was just in 1974. As you might imagine, it didn't go great. Naturally, NHL rules have required face masks for goalies ever since.
  3. Octopus throwing? You bet! Two American brothers started the tradition of “octopus throwing” during the 1952 playoff games. At that time, it took eight wins to claim the Stanley Cup, so the brothers thought it fitting to bring an octopus (with its eight tentacles) to the Detroit arena and toss it onto the ice. The Detroit Red Wings won the Cup, and the octopus has been a good luck charm in Detroit ever since.
  4. Fans can be goalies too, you know. If a team’s two goalies are injured during a game, the rules state that anybody can play the position — including a fan from inside the arena!

Learn more fun facts about ice hockey here.

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