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The History of Ice Hockey and the NHL


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hockey, ice hockey, hockey figures, hockey action figures


Skates and Ice: Brain-freeze anyone?

hockey, ice hockey, hockey figures, hockey action figures

Ice hockey is a game played on ice where two opposing teams of stick wielding skaters try to smash the puck (small, hard rubber disk) through the other team’s goalpost.

Think of soccer but with sticks and full protective body armor and you get the picture.

Its origins derived from field hockey, a popular summer sport in northern Europe. But when winter came around, someone else’s lightbulb lit up (out of boredom) and decided to play the game on ice just for the heck of it.

Although the actual date of the games “invention” is still unclear, it is believed to have originated in Holland circa the 17th century.

To cut a long story short, the game crossed over to North America, Canada in particular, introduced by bored British soldiers stationed in Nova Scotia in the mid 1870’s. There the soldiers organized contests on frozen ponds and shortly thereafter the game caught on with the locals and became an instant hit. It was reported that the first hockey league was organized and launched around 1885 in Kingston, Ontario.

The game eventually caught the attention of the English Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston and was so impressed by it that in 1892 he brought with him his favorite silver bowl with a gold interior finish (sans cereals) and declared that it be given annually to the best amateur hockey team in Canada.

The trophy has become known as the famous Stanley Cup that we all know today.

Fast forward to 1904 and to the land of milk and honey, the United States of America. It was here that the first professional hockey league was created and came to be known as the International Pro Hockey League.

hockey, ice hockey, hockey figures, hockey action figures

Based in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the pro league folded in just three years’ time but was replaced by an even bigger (ambitious to be exact) league named the National Hockey Association in 1910.

Not to be outdone, the west coast also put up its own league called the Pacific Coast League shortly thereafter and a rivalry was born in 1914.

Then, a transcontinental championship series was formed between the competing leagues with the winner getting the coveted Stanley Cup trophy. When World War I erupted, both leagues were thrown out of proportion and operations skidded to a halt.

It was time for the bunkers then, not tending the goalpost. Shortly after the war, the bigwigs in the hockey world decided to start anew and create an entirely different organization, one that would replace the troubled NHA.

Several club owners convened at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal in 1917 to come up with a solution and from there, the National Hockey League was born.

hockey, ice hockey, hockey figures, hockey action figures

Consisting of no more than five clubs in its inception, the NHL expanded to ten teams in less than ten years with a little help from the of the PCL which folded due to instability.

Moving on to the present and the world has witnessed the progression of the game and the league which is now made up of 30 teams and three divisions all slugging it out for the prestigious Stanley Cup.

From its humble beginnings in a frosty far away land, ice hockey has now become a popular major international sport with professional franchises battling it out for the services of the best of the more than 300,000 players available in North America alone.

For a sport that is played on ice, it has somehow weathered the test of time.




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McFarlanes 2010 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

IN STORES JANUARY 2010

NHL SERIES 23

  • Marc-Andre Fleury -- Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Alexander Ovechkin -- Washington Capitals
  • Gordie Howe -- Hartford Whalers
  • Teemu Selanne -- Anaheim Ducks
  • Bobby Orr -- Boston Bruins
  • Luke Schenn -- Toronto Maple Leafs

IN STORES MARCH 2010

NHL SERIES 24

  • Michael Cammalleri -- Montreal Canadiens
  • Jonathan Toews - Chicago Blackhawks
  • Tim Thomas -- Boston Bruins
  • John Tavares -- New York Islanders
  • Jonas Gustavsson -- Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Robyn Regehr -- Calgary Flames


McFarlanes 2009 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 8

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 22

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 21

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 20

CAREY PRICE

SIDNEY CROSBY

MAURICE RICHARD

ROBERTO LUONGO

MONTREAL CANADIENS CENTENNIAL 2-PACK: GUY LAFLEUR & STEVE SHUTT

MONTREAL CANADIENS CENTENNIAL 2-PACK: ALEX KOVALEV & SAKU KOIVU

NHL ALL-STAR GAME 2009: SAKU KOIVU


McFarlanes 2008 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 7

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 19

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 18

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 17

NHL 2-PACK: WAL-MART CANADA EXCLUSIVE: GORDIE HOWE VS. JOHNNY BOWER

TREVOR LINDEN (VANCOUVER CANUCKS EXCLUSIVE)

GROSNOR NHL SPORTS PICKS: SAM GAGNER

GROSNOR NHL SPORTS PICKS: HENRIK SEDIN 2

GROSNOR NHL SPORTS PICKS: JAROME IGINLA 2

GROSNOR NHL SPORTS PICKS: SAKU KOIVU

GROSNOR NHL SPORTS PICKS: ROBERTO LUONGO 2

GROSNOR NHL SPORTS PICKS: MATS SUNDIN 2

GROSNOR NHL SPORTS PICKS: DANIEL ALFREDSSON 2

NHL ALL-STAR GAME 2008: MARIAN HOSSA

3-INCH BOBBY HULL


McFarlanes 2007 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 6

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 16

3-INCH NHL HOCKEY SERIES 5

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 5

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 15

Darcy Tucker

Dion Phanuef

Eric Staal

Roberto Luongo

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 14

NHL 2-PACK: LOBLAW EXCLUSIVE: JAROME IGINLA 2 & ROBERTO LUONGO 2

NHL 2-PACK: LOBLAW EXCLUSIVE: BRYAN MCCABE & JASON SPEZZA

NHL 2-PACK: LOBLAW EXCLUSIVE: MARTIN BRODEUR & SAKU KOIVU

12-INCH BOBBY ORR

3-INCH SHANE DOAN

NHL ALL-STAR GAME 2007: MIKE MODANO


McFarlanes 2006 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 4

3-INCH NHL HOCKEY SERIES 4

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 13

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 12

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 3

3-INCH JEREMY ROENICK

HOCKEY RINK

NHL 3-PACK: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

NHL 3-PACK: EDMONTON OILERS

NHL 3-PACK: MONTREAL CANADIENS

NHL 2-PACK: MATS SUNDIN 2 & DANIEL ALFREDSSON 2

NHL 2-PACK: RYAN SMYTH & MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF

NHL 2-PACK: MARKUS NASLUND & DAVID AEBISCHER 2


McFarlanes 2005 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

3-INCH NHL HOCKEY SERIES 3

TEAM CANADA

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 10

NHL 12-INCH HOCKEY SERIES 2

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 11

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 2

IN THE CREASE BOXED SET

NHL 2-PACK: HERITAGE CLASSIC: JASON SMITH & JOSE THEODORE


McFarlanes 2004 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 9

3-INCH NHL HOCKEY SERIES 2

NHL LEGENDS SERIES 1

12-INCH NHL LEGENDS SERIES 1

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 8

3-INCH NHL HOCKEY

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 7

12-INCH WAYNE GRETZKY 3

NHL 2-PACK: MARK MESSIER & MARTIN BRODEUR


McFarlanes 2003 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL 12-INCH HOCKEY SERIES 1

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 6

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 5

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 4

NHL 2-PACK: JEREMY ROENICK & MARTY TURCO

NHL 2-PACK: ROB BLAKE & BRENDAN SHANAHAN

NHL 3-PACK: DETROIT RED WINGS


McFarlanes 2002 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 3

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 2

NHL 2-PACK: TOMMY SALO & SAKU KOIVU

NHL 2-PACK: JOE THORNTON & JOSE THEODORE

NHL 3-PACK: THE MAPLE LEAFS TRIO

NHL 4-PACK: TEAM CANADA SET 1

NHL 4-PACK: TEAM CANADA SET 2

NHL HITZ: CHRIS PRONGER


McFarlanes 2001 NHL Hockey Sports Picks Release Schedule

NHL HOCKEY SERIES 1




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