The 100 MPH slap of a puck, the bone crushing check, or the fancy eye popping moves of one of the world's greatest skaters, there is something for everyone to enjoy in today's NHL. In order to enjoy hockey in the way that millions of people do, the players, skaters and goalies alike, must be kept safe first and foremost. This has been a long and winding road for the NHL to get to where we are today in terms of safety, rules, equipment, and injury protocol. The NHL as we know it today was formed in 1917 and consists of 30 teams 24 of which are from America and the remainder in Canada. The bulk of the players come from Canada, Europe and America. The sport has grown a lot from twigs and balls to a major international activity that produces billions in revenue each year and has some of the most amazing athletes on the planet, but in a world where concussions are a rapidly growing concern, is the sport in jeopardy?
-Stick Shards and Nose Guards(1917-1959)
When the NHL was founded in 1917 there were only six teams, and not only did the skaters not wear helmets, neither did the goalies! No one even considered putting on a goalie mask at the time because play moved at a slower pace due to equipment technology and shots were lower because sticks were more basic did not yet have curved blades. With flatter blades of the stick, shots were not as high off the ice and since no one was used to practicing on a goalie with a mask, they played like they practiced. It wasn't until 1930 when we saw the first step in the evolution of head safety, when goaltender Clint Benedict donned a nose guard to protect a broken nose that he received from a piece of a hockey stick that broke and flew up and hit him in the face.. This was not a long term solution however as he stopped wearing it after his nose healed, but it got people thinking about safety and was an integral part of the history of the game.
-No One Cared Who I Was Til I Put On The Mask (1959-1972)
What was the...
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