The same way the ball is important in soccer that is how the puck is important to hockey.
In today’s guide, we are going to look at the hockey puck, how it is made, what it is made from and so much more.
Let’s dive in:
What Are Hockey Pucks?
A hockey puck which is also known as a flat ball is a disk which is gotten from vulcanized rubber and has the same function in hockey
Hockey pucks are known to be best used in Ice hockey.
Before the late 19th century, balls were used in ice hockey and its earlier forms.
During the 1870s, wood and also rubber became the forming materials for the flat pucks.
Pucks in their earlier form had a square shape.
A wooden puck was used in the initial recorded and organized game of ice hockey to stop it from leaving the field of play (hockey rink)
The first-round hockey pucks were made and used by the Victoria Hockey Club during the 1880s
Variation of Hockey Pucks
There are multiple versions on the standard black six-ounce (170 grams) hockey puck.
One of the most popular pucks is a 4-ounce (110 grams) which is blue. This model is commonly used in training young players who can’t use the standard puck
Players who are trying to develop their strength or enhance their stick handling skills mostly use the heavier pucks of about 280 grams when training.
These pucks usually have a color of reddish-orange or reddish-pink.
Steel pucks of about 910g are used when practicing by players who are trying to improve their wrist strength.
These kinds of pucks can’t be used for shooting because they can injure the other players.
Modifications Of Hockey Pucks
There have been two major modifications to the hockey puck to help improve his visibility on television
The Firepuck was introduced in the early 1990s to help viewers at home get a clearer view of the hockey pucks.
A colored retro-reflective material was embedded on the vertical edges and surface of the hockey puck.
Donald Klassen was the inventor of the firepuck.
The use of Firepuck had to be stopped because of the following reason:
- The small change in the structure of the puck, made it bounce off more quickly. This was very hard for the goaltenders to cope with leading to an increase in scoring.
- For the Firepuck to be effective, the camera spotlights had to be used. But this spotlights reflected off the ice and the skaters objected to it.
Using the normal camera view on the entire rink made no much difference to the viewers at home so the firepuck was discontinued
The smart puck is also known as Foxtrax was developed by FOX when it had the broadcasting rights for NHL in the United States.
The hockey pucks had an electronic device that helped viewers know its position on the screen.
The path of the hockey puck on the ice was indicated by blue which will turn red if the puck was hit hard.
This experiment hoped to help people who were not familiar with the sport get a better understanding and follow the puck better.
The traditional hockey fan didn’t like this but it was well-received by the casual viewers.
The smart puck was first used on January 20, 1996, at the NHL All start game.
The smart puck was discontinued when Fox lost the broadcasting rights for the NHL.
Other Uses Of Hockey Puck
Outside of hockey, the pucks can be used in other situations.
For example, it can be used in air conditioning units, trolley jacks, and even automobiles.
The Michigan faculty of Oakland University received pucks to use as a last resort against shootings.
As you can see the humble hockey puck has had a couple of variations throughout it’s NHL journey.
Ultimately a puck may just be a small circle that get’s bashed around an ice rink, but hockey would certainly be a much more boring game without it.