When compared to the 1980s and 1990s, the game now appears to be stronger than ever. Our players are larger, quicker, and more skillful than more than 95 percent of the players from prior generations. Coaching tactics have changed, and year-round training is now required for all players. The number of teams has increased to 24, and franchise moves are common.
The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 as the United States Hockey Association. The USHA was organized by Harold "Pud" Ellerbeck, a Canadian hockey player who had played with Montreal Victorias in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). Ellerbeck also served as the league's first president. The USHA merged with other franchises to form the American Hockey Association in 1920, after which point it began to recruit European players. In 1924, the NHL absorbed the American Hockey Association; thus beginning its long relationship with Canada that continues today.
NHL expansion has been very important to the growth of the sport. Since 1979, when the New York Islanders joined the league, every subsequent team has been awarded through a formal bidding process. As a result, there is no longer a clear favorite to win the award. Each of the eight current franchise owners has put their own money into their team, with some of them investing heavily beyond what is reasonable or necessary for success in order to keep up with the others. This competitive nature has made the NHL one of the most attractive sports for investors worldwide.
Of course, as the game has evolved, so has the equipment that our guys wear. The goalie mask was originally made out of leather until plastic materials were invented. Now they're mostly plastic.
Goaltenders now use a variety of different types of masks to prevent their opponents from getting through their defense and going after the puck. They also use sticks to block shots and make plays in the crease while they're waiting for teammates to fill them in.
Defensemen usually wear helmets these days, but they still get hit hard enough to potentially cause injury.
Now that we've got the technical stuff out of the way, let's talk about how our sport has evolved into what it is today. The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 by several Canadian hockey players who wanted to have a league where they could play outside of Canada and America. At first, only Canadians were allowed to join the new league, but soon after it became clear that the best players in the world were coming from outside of its borders so the NHL opened its doors to foreign players.
Goalie pads are not only larger, but they also weigh like feathers in comparison to the leather they wore decades before. Goaltenders must be able to move quickly because shots now travel at higher speeds, which requires them to be able to react more quickly.
Defensemen need to be strong enough to fight for pucks in the corners and on the boards, and skilled enough to participate in the offense. They also need to be quick enough to avoid being hit by sticks and pucks when playing against high-speed forwards.
Forwards look different today than they did years ago. They're usually bigger and stronger, and they play with more intensity. The game is evolving every year: new rules are introduced to make it faster and more exciting to watch, and new types of players are coming into their own - like power forwards who score a lot of goals and center ice defenders who can throw their weight around.
Hockey has always been a competitive sport, but its evolution has made it much more intense. New types of players are needed to keep up with the faster games and the increased level of competition. There's still room for small quick players who can skate well and shoot accurately, but you also need big men who can contribute in other ways to win games.
Furthermore, in Canada, people's tastes for organized sports are shifting. Hockey has lagged behind soccer in terms of kid engagement. And in Toronto, where sports participation and popularity have shifted to mirror dramatic shifts in socioeconomic demographics over the last two decades, basketball is making great strides.
Coaching tactics have changed, and year-round training is now required for all players. Of course, as the game has evolved, so has the equipment that our guys wear. Goalie pads are not only larger, but they also weigh like feathers in comparison to the leather they wore decades before.
The way coaches have impacted the game of hockey has altered dramatically over the last 50 years, from Toe Blake to Pat Quinn. This article was written almost four years ago. Some of the information included within it may be out of date. However, many of the ideas and concepts it discusses are very much alive and well today.
Coaching has been a key factor in the evolution of the game of hockey. Before there were coaches, players would sometimes take matters into their own hands and start making changes to the way they thought the game should be played. For example, when checking became popular in the 1950s, some players started checking from outside the legal checking area called the "danger zone". They were doing this because they wanted to keep the puck on their side of the ice as long as possible by avoiding contact with the opposing team's players.
The first official coach of the Montreal Canadiens was Toe Blake. He took over after the previous coach, Charlie Querrie, died during the season. Under Blake, who had no prior experience as a coach, the Canadiens won the first of what would become many Stanley Cups. Since then, several other former players have taken on the role of coach, most notably Jack Adams who developed the famous "Adams Square" face-off technique used by many teams today.
Football has grown and altered since its inception more than a century ago. However, there have never been more changes in this time as in the last 20 years or so. Players must be fitter since they must traverse more than half the distance that players did in the late 1960s. Also, managers must use their brains more than just giving out kicks.
There are now far more opportunities for players as well as coaches to move around the world. This allows them to play at the highest level possible. In the early days there were no foreign players allowed in English football clubs; however, this rule was soon dropped. Now if a player is good enough he can go and play in Europe or America. This opportunity does not exist for coaches since there are only so many jobs and they need to go to those who are available. Sometimes these opportunities arise naturally but sometimes clubs will try to get themselves into trouble by trying to sign some big names who don't actually come from anywhere else.
The biggest change of all is with regard to money. Back in the old days teams would often spend whatever amount they could afford on players' wages. However, during World War II football was cancelled so when it came back there weren't enough fans to support any team that wanted to spend much. So the top clubs started doing business with each other: if one club didn't get enough interest from others, they would make a deal with another club so that both sides would benefit.