NHL Legends: Lasting Impact on the League
When you think NHL, some names immediately come to mind. Whether it’s Wayne Gretzky’s record-breaking career with the Oilers or Bobby Orr’s iconic dive, a few league legends have left an indelible mark on the NHL.
These legends have shaped and reshaped the NHL over the decades. Gretzky, for example, revolutionized the way the game was played, setting records in points scored and inspiring a generation of playmakers and passers. Orr transformed defense by leading his Boston Bruins teams to success, bringing a sense of offensive dynamism to previously staid positions.
Many of these legendary players also helped make hockey one of the most popular sports in North America. Gretzky was named “The Great One” not only for his stats but also for his ability to bring attention to hockey. He was an ambassador of sorts whose enthusiasm brought more fans into arenas across North America and around the world.
So if you’re just starting to appreciate this fast-paced sport. Then remember that its fundamentals are rooted in admirable figures like Gretzky and Orr: true legends who have made a lasting impact on this beloved sport.
Top Current Players to Watch Out For
If you’re looking for a good place to start getting to know the NHL. Then you’ve come to the right place! The NHL may be an overwhelming realm of teams, players and stats, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Get familiar with some of the top players currently dominating the ice and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a fan.
Here are just some of the best current players in the NHL today:
- Alex Ovechkin – one of the greatest goal-scorers in modern hockey history. Ovechkin is currently captaining the Washington Capitals and has been with them since 2005. In 2016 he led his team to their first ever Stanley Cup championship victory.
- Sidney Crosby – an MVP of both regular season and playoffs. Crosby is one of only two active NHL players who have led their respective teams to three Stanley Cup championships each. He currently plays for Pittsburgh Penguins as captain.
- Patrick Kane – this three-time Stanley Cup champion plays right wing for Chicago Blackhawks and made history in 2016 by winning both Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP and Conn Smythe as playoff MVP in only one season.
Catch these superstars live or on TV this season – you won’t regret it!
Role of an NHL Coach
An NHL coach’s job is probably one of the hardest in sports. They run practices, give speeches, analyze games, and make decisions on who to put on the ice — all while managing the other personalities on their team.
When it comes to making lineup changes for their team during the game, coaches must make decisions based on various factors such as current player performance, strategic match-ups against opponents or special situations. It’s not just about deciding who plays and who sits. Coaches are expected to have a thorough knowledge of each player’s strengths and weaknesses. So they can choose the best players for different situations.
Keeping morale up
It’s also up to an NHL coach to provide positive reinforcement and feedback to the players when they’re off the ice. A big part of a successful season is based on morale. So it’s important for a coach to foster effective teamwork within his or her team.
Most importantly, an NHL coach is a mentor for young players as they embark on professional careers in hockey. Coaches need to provide them with tips and guidance about how to adjust their playing style as needed and become more resilient during tough times. By providing support and expertise from season-to-season, NHL coaches can be instrumental in helping their teams reach success
Youth Hockey in Canada and the US
If you’re curious about the roots of the NHL, you’ll be interested to know that youth hockey is an important part of Canada and the US’ sports culture. According to the National Hockey League (NHL) website, there are currently over 500,000 youth hockey players in North America.
Canadian Grassroots Hockey
Canada has a long history of grassroots hockey and many of the NHL’s current players got their start in small towns across the country. It’s no wonder then, that Canada is consistently amongst the top countries at major international competitions like the World Junior Championships and Olympic Games.
US Grassroots Hockey
In comparison to Canada, US youth hockey has only been around since 1970 but it’s quickly making a name for itself. Currently, there are over 150,000 registered youth hockey players in the US and all signs point to growth in years to come.
The future of NHL will depend partly on these grassroots programs, which have already produced some stars! So keep an eye out for some up-and-coming talent from North American youth programs—you never know who’s next up!
Equipment Needed to Play NHL
Playing NHL requires some specialized gear, and here’s the breakdown of what you need:
Hockey skates have three main characteristics that differentiate them from figure skates. They are shorter in height, have a more angled heel, and feature thicker blades. Special hockey skates also have extra padding in the ankle area to provide extra protection and support.
Hockey sticks come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. But it’s important to find a stick that fits your body and playing style. Hockey sticks are usually made from wood, fiberglass, graphite or Kevlar and have curved blades for shooting and passing.
Helmets are an absolute must for playing hockey, so make sure you get the right fit. Hockey helmets must come with a chin cup or shield to protect your face. Helmets must also meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). So look for CSA-approved models when shopping around.
Protective pads are essential when it comes to playing hockey safely. They absorb impact during falls and collisions between players — so make sure you invest in quality pads. The most common type of protective pads are shin guards (to protect your lower legs), shoulder pads (to protect your upper torso) and hip/tailbone/thigh pads (to protect your hips and bum).
Besides these four pieces of equipment, you may also want gloves, elbow pads or protective cups for extra protection (especially if you’re a goalie). With the right gear, you’ll be fully prepared to hit the frozen pond this winter!
Best Practices for Staying in Shape
Staying in shape is essential for all hockey players, no matter their age or experience level. The best practices for staying fit include:
- Developing an individualized workout program that fits around your practice and game schedules and focuses on strengthening core muscles as well as working on flexibility and agility.
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats (like avocados and nuts).
- Doing extra work away from the rink to build strength for greater power out on the ice. This could include weight training or using exercise machines to increase muscle mass.
- Giving your body the rest it needs by taking adequate recover days after intense workouts or games. So that your body can recuperate and prepare you to perform your best again.
- Stretching before and after games or practices to help prevent injuries, improve performance, and reduce recovery time afterward.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes commitment and discipline. But it’s essential if you want to stay at the top of your game!