I’ll be the first to admit that ice hockey isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and certainly does not enjoy the same level of popularity as the other three major U.S. sports (football, baseball and basketball). That may have something to do with ice hockey being invented north of the border, (although it should be noted that the “American game” of basketball was invented by the Canadian, Dr. James Naismith). Moreover, the tradition of ice hockey in the United States evolved where the game could be played – in far northern states with frozen ponds and lakes.
Of the four major professional sports in the United States, ice hockey is the most unique insofar as it merges the skills of several endeavors, including the finesse of figure skating; the eye-hand coordination of golfing; and the rough & tumble world of professional football. And starting the week of April 10th, hockey fans will get to see the greatest (multi-talented) hockey players in the world battle it out for Lord Stanley’s Cup in the 91st annual National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs.
The Centennial NHL Hockey Season
The 2016-17 National Hockey League season promises to be a special one if for no other reason than this is the league’s 100th season of play. And a lot of “play” there will be as 30 teams will grind through an 82-game schedule over the course of six months from the middle of fall through the middle of spring. If my math is right, that comes to 1,230 regular season NHL games played over six months by the greatest hockey players in the world.