4. Goalie Masks
In almost all sports, not much originality is allowed when it comes to the uniforms. In hockey, all the players on a team have to wear the same jersey, shorts, socks, gloves and helmet.
The exception to this is the goalie and his mask. It all started in the late 1960s when goalie Gerry Cheevers started putting black slashes on his mask to represent the stitches he would have without the protection of his head gear. Since then, goalies have been decorating their masks in many different ways. It has developed into a tradition and an art form.
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The men behind the masks have taken advantage of their “canvas” as a way to express themselves as individuals outside of the uniformity of the team. Their expressions have become very creative, ranging from the emblems of their favorite bands, to personal icons and tributes.
5. The Stanley Cup
The ultimate goal in hockey is to win the Stanley Cup trophy. Yes, there are many other trophies in sports, but the Stanley Cup is unique in that it is the same every year. Other sports make a new trophy each year for the team that wins. But the NHL transfers its trophy from year to year.
The winning players, coaches, and team members all get their names engraved on one of the bands around the trophy. When the Cup gets too full, the band that has been on the longest is removed and placed in the hockey Hall of Fame. It is estimated that a name will remain on the Stanley Cup for at least 50 years before it’s removed.
And then, of course, there is the tradition of each player and team member getting his “Day with the Cup.” The Cup travels all over the world as players celebrate it with the community, family and friends. What an incredible way to share the love of the game!
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