Top 5: Misconceptions of Hockey

Even with the growing popularity of hockey, there are still false beliefs

Ryan Hanes turns to find the puck.

Lisa Hanes

Ryan Hanes turns to find the puck.

Even though the popularity of hockey is growing, it still does not match up to the other three major sports in the United States. According to Forbes, in 2014, the NHL averaged 621,000 viewers per game through the first ten games of the postseason. The NBA averaged 3.5 million viewers per game through the first eight games of the postseason. The NHL is the least watched sport compared to the three other major sports in the United States. Along with little knowledge of the sport to the public, many misconceptions can occur. These are five of them.

1)The majority of hockey players are from Canada.

As the NHL continues to diversify, the amount of Canadian players are starting to diminish. In the 2015-2016 season, the amount of players in the league that were born outside of the United States was at the highest point it has been in history. Canadian born players made up 49.7 percent of the NHL last season. That is the lowest point it has been in NHL history. Ryan Hanes, who is the captain of the Varsity Lakers Hockey team, said that this belief comes from the NHL originating from Canada.

2) Size matters.

“Size currently in the game does not matter,” Hanes said. “It’s more about speed and agility. The game is a lot faster and there are a lot more talented players now.” Hanes explained how only about five to ten years ago the game depended more on size, but as the game progressed it now depends more on skill. Patrick Kane, Johnny Gutro and Zach Parise, who all are between 5’ 9” to 5’ 11” and weigh between 150 to 194 pounds, are examples of players today who are under sized but still are top NHL players. 

3) All hockey players are indestructible.

Hockey is a fast paced sport where bodies are flying everywhere.

“[Hockey players] have a lot of padding, but it’s not going to do a lot if you get hit in the face by a puck,” Hanes said. He went on to say that many common injuries are concussions, cuts, broken ankles and legs. Any of that can be caused by blocking shots, getting hit or slammed into the boards.

4.) Hockey is not a physical sport.

With football being one of the most popular sports in the United States, Hanes believes that hockey is generally overlooked, and does not get as much attention as a physical sport. In the 2015 NHL regular season, there were 559 concussions reported, according to TSN. According to ESPN, 271 concussions occurred over the 2015 NFL regular season. Hanes also said he believes the recognition of this is growing.

5.) Hockey is easy to learn.

Hanes started playing hockey at the age of seven. He said that it takes at least three to four years to learn the game. A player would have to learn to skate, balance and learn how to stop. A player would also learn to shoot, handle the puck and other aspects of the game.