The puck was introduced to Canada by natives of Halifax in the mid 1800’s. It was originally made of wood and they were square, not round. Next came the rubber pucks which were made by slicing a ball in half. The first round pucks were made in Montreal in the 1880’s.
The origin of the word “puck” is from the Scottish puc or the Irish poc which was used as a verb in the game of Hurley. It means to poke, punch or deliver a blow.
Now of course, the pucks are made of vulcanized rubber. It is 1-inch (25mm) thick and 3-inches (76mm) in diameter. Interesting to note that the pucks are frozen before each game to reduce bouncing.
During a game, pucks can reach up to 100 miles per hour. The current NHL record is held by Zdeno Chara whose slapshot was clocked at 105.9 Miles an hour in 2011. However, the world record is held by Denis Kulyash of the KHL. He slapped the puck at 110.3 miles per hour in 2011.
As we all know, when a team ices the puck, the play is stopped and the puck is returned to the offending team’s end. But, here’s a fun fact; the team that had a player ice the puck must keep the same players on the ice for the next faceoff.
Major manufacturers of the pucks only exist in Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, China and Slovakia.
The phrase “dumb as a hockey puck is a common idiom in Canada. But, Don Rickles is famous for calling people a hockey puck in his insults to celebrities.
So, there you have it. Everything you always wanted to know about the puck, but were afraid to ask.