Professional Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a kind of team sports which is played on ice. It is a game that is played between two teams, while 5 skaters and 1 goalie are allowed on the ice at a time. In this game, skaters used sticks to direct a puck into the opposing team’s goal. It is basically a fast paced and physical sport. In National Hockey league, the periods are 2o minutes long. Ice hockey sport is very popular in Canada, the northern United States, the Nordic countries, Russia, the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Moreover, Ice hockey is one of the four major North American professional sports.

Professional ice hockey merged in early 1900s. The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League was the first to employ professionals in this sport. Later, the League with teams in Michigan in United States and Ontario and established the first professional International Professional League (IPHL) in the year 1904. It quickly grew into Canada and many other countries, as diverse as Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom or Austria. The IPHL hired many players from Canada and Canadian leagues in response started to openly pay players, who played alongside amateurs. The IPHL, cut off from its biggest source of players, disbanded in 1907.

The National hockey Association was founded in the year 1910 in Montreal. This association further defines the professional sports ice hockey rules, which includes descending the rover position, dividing the game into 20 minute periods and introduced the minor and major penalties. After re-organizing as the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1917, the league expanded into the United States in 1924. It continues to grow in the NHL until the present day where 24 of the 30 teams are based in the US. There are many other pro leagues in the US which include the AHL, ECHL, CHL and IHL.

Later on Professional ice hockey league developed in Europe. In the year 1916, Swiss National League A was formed and it was the one of the first national championship of ice hockey. Today, most of the European countries have introduced the professional sports ice hockey leagues. The Kontinental Hockey League, the Czech Extraliga, the finnish SM-liiga and the Swedish Elitserian are the top ice hockey leagues in Europe today.