Tue. Nov 30th, 2021

The game of hockey has evolved in a big way over time, and there are some things we’ll never see again. Here’ a look at five aspects of the sport we’ll never see return in the NHL.

Many things have changed about the game of hockey, but five prominent parts of it are either on the way out or that we’ll never see again in the game.

Players endorsing tobacco

Tobacco money used to be a major thing in all sports. Players used to smoke in dressing rooms and during intermissions, so endorsing such products was commonplace. Heck, New York Rangers star Cal Gardner prominently was in an advertisement for Camel back in the 1940s.

With cigarette ads being less and less prominent in mainstream media and the world population knowing even more about the dangers of smoking, this is something that we can safely say we’ll never see happen again.

Canadian-only rosters

The game of hockey continues to grow globally, with more and more countries being represented on the big stage every season. On average, each team has 7.4 players from outside of North America. The sport still may be most popular in Canada, but the makeup of who is on the roster of each team is continuing to evolve.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are the most nationally diverse team with players from 10 different countries on the roster this year.

Wooden Sticks at the highest levels

As the sport of hockey has evolved the equipment over the years has changed too, from helmets to pads, skates, and of course sticks. For most of the sport’s existence, wooden sticks were almost exclusively used. But by the late 1980s, aluminum sticks would soon enter the sport. Sticks would further change with the introduction of first composite blades and then composite sticks which became commonplace by the 2000s.

We’ve seen a few holdouts over the past decade, most notably Ryan Smyth, but it’s pretty much a thing of the past as the game gets quicker. Although, composite sticks don’t have the ability to last like their wooden counterparts, and the costs continue to rise.

Suits everywhere!

Take a look at an NHL crowd now. Everyone looks casual, wearing jerseys and hats that celebrate their favorite team. It’s a fun place to be.

But take a look at photos from the 1950s. It’s a completely different experience, with fans mostly in formal attire you’d expect at church or a business meeting. Suits and long dresses are everywhere. Now, you’d look silly showing up to a game like that.

Rink sizes below the current NHL standard

The current NHL standard for rink size is 200×85 feet, a standard mainly used across all major North American leagues. But that wasn’t always the case.

Back in the day at the Boston Garden – a time where there wasn’t a uniform standard for rink sizes – the building used a 191×83-foot sheet The Buffalo Sabres also played on a short rink at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. “The Aud” was 196×85 feet, while the Chicago Blackhawks played on a rink at Chicago Stadium that was 188×85 feet.

Now, everything is the same. And there’s no reason to change that.

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