The Origin of Ice Hockey, Skates and Rink Maintenance

Ice hockey evolved and developed from the concept of field hockey that was played in Europe for many years. A McGill University student named J.G.A Creighton, as most of us know took the modern day version of ice hockey from its roots in Canada. He was the dubbed the ‘grandfather’ of China Ice Hockey ice hockey regulations since his rules were used in the first game of ice hockey played in Montreal in 1875. Around the 18th century the first rink or playing area for ice hockey was used in a game common right at that moment in Scotland called ‘curling’. The original team line up consisted of 30 people on each side and their reply to a goal was frozen stones on both ends of this line of business which is known to us as goal lines.

The rules of ice hockey were drafted at McGill University in Montreal in 1879 and by 1893 the sport of hockey had made its technique to the US and by the turn of the century in the 1900s hockey had slowly made its method to various parts of Europe and England. This also brought the birth of the first ice rink (mechanically-refrigerated) was inbuilt 1876 called the Glaciarium, this place was built about 30 years before hockey had really implemented itself as a fashionable sport in England.

Ice hockey in its infancy needed maintenance because the ice would be rough and hard to skate on and they didn’t have a zamboni machine, which was later invented in 1939 by Eureka, Utah native Frank Zamboni and later brought out, for commercial use in 1942 and since then more than 8,000 Zamboni resurfacing machines are utilized by professional, college, university, and recreational ice facilities to have their rinks maintained. This was quite some distance from the birth of the automatic refrigerated rink, which required people to hand scrape the rink, which was long-drawn-out. Until the Zamboni machine cut that time down drastically by being in a position to drive the length of a rink and have it smoothed out in virtually 15-20 minutes before and after use. The University of Minnesota was the recipient of the 8,000th Zamboni machine in 2005.

It wasn’t until 1867 when a factory foreman called John Forbes developed the first steel bladed skate at the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based factory Starr Manufacturing Company and the prototype was a clip on design, but 13 years earlier James A. Whelpley had came out with the first “official” ice skate that was designed for long distance skating called the “Long Reach Skate”.

This skate got its name after a region along the St. John River in New Brunswick where James Whelpley and his family owned a factory that manufactured the skates. The skate beside Forbes’ later modification of the skate had steel blades on them with the exception of Forbes’ design that was changed to make the blade shorter for rink skating. Over the years more changes followed to what we’ve as the modern skate currently that’s manufactured by firms like CCM (Canadian Cycle and Motor Company-established in 1889 out of Weston, Ontario, Canada)- the primary supplier of hockey gear for numerous college, university, semi and pro hockey teams for their skates, and other Canadian-U.S. based businesses like Bauer Sports to make the skates that are bought by hockey enthusiasts everywhere the world right now. Many hockey buffs are usually very selective in their skates because they want the best and top of the line skates since an essential hockey player will paid good money for skates.

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