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Crazy Hockey Facts You Likely Never Knew

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John Tammaro

6 crazy hockey facts you probably never knew

With millions of hockey fans around the world, just how many are aware of some of these crazy hockey facts about the sport they love? These interesting tidbits will dazzle, entertain and no doubt inform you.

The Origins of the Stanley Cup

Lord Stanley’s Cup, aka the Stanley Cup, is the holy grail when it comes to ice hockey—if not in all of sports. Hoisting the Cup is the stuff of every kid’s dream. And it’s what every player sets their sights on after battling through a brutal 16 games in the postseason.

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The Stanley Cup was named after the then-governor general of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston. We’re not sure how many of you would know that the original height of the Cup was only 7 inches tall. However, fast forward to the modern era and you could see it’s a much more formidable trophy to raise up as it’s grown considerably in size. The Stanley Cup is now 35 inches high and worthy of its title as the best and most prestigious prize awarded in the sport.

The First Million-Dollar Player

Sports of all kinds are awash with money, especially in these crazy times era. But if you look back in hockey’s history, you will find that players have been well paid for a while in terms of the contracts they signed. You might think that earning loads of cash is something that happens with CEOs or some lucky stiff playing any of the popular online slots games at a casino. But that’s not always the case.

As far back as 1971 was the year the first million-dollar player came to be. Bobby Orr joined the Boston Bruins, penning a lucrative five-year deal worth $200,000 per annum. Of course, such an agreement was worth $1,000,000 across the whole term of the contract, making Orr the seven-figure player. Since he racked up 181 goals, the Bruins definitely got their money’s worth.

The One-Dollar Man

This is one crazy hockey fact: From a player inking a five-year deal worth $1 million, let’s look at another who became known as the One-Dollar Man. In 1993, Kris Draper made the move to the Detroit Red Wings for the paltry sum of just $1 and as a result, from then on he was known as the One-Dollar Man.

No one should think that Draper was worth just a dollar because that was never the case. He stayed with the Wings for a stunning 17 seasons, and in that time he played 1,137 games and scored on 158 occasions. He also helped the team win four Stanley Cups. Not bad for a hockey player that signed for a buck!

Goalies Score Goals Too!

They’re not the kind of players you would expect to score goals on the ice, but it does happen. This rarity has occurred in the past, and it will happen again in the future. Michel Plasse of the St. Louis Blues was the first goalie to score, back in 1971. And since then, former goalies Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers; Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils; Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings; and Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes (among others) have notched points.

Slapshots That Exceed 100 mph

When hockey players connect right, they can fire the puck at an extremely high rate of speed. Interestingly, the current record holder for the fastest slapshot ever recorded is Bobby Hull. His clapper was clocked at a stunning 118 mph, although the technology used to record shots back then wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today. If you want to talk about fast shots in the modern era, look no further than Defenseman Zdeno Chara. His shot had a recorded speed of 108.8 mph.

Size Doesn’t Necessarily Matter in Hockey

In many sports, there are times when you could say that a player’s size—or more specifically their height—matters. Basketball is a prime example. But in hockey things work slightly differently; the game has always been known for being a sport where players of all shapes and sizes can not only find their place, but they can succeed too.

At present, the record books show that the smallest player to play hockey at a high level was Roy Worters, a goaltender who stood at just 5-foot-3. Zdeno Chara was the tallest player to grace the ice thus far, and he’s a towering 6-foot-9. Both had success in their own right, proving that size doesn’t actually matter, not in hockey anyway.

As you can see, there’s certainly a lot more to hockey than you thought. The game and its players have interesting histories, to say the least. It’s always worth remembering that crazy hockey facts like these have not only helped form the foundation of the sport over the years, it has given it plenty of character too. All of which is important when many professional sports become arguably too commercialized in the modern era.

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