March 3 — Para Ice Hockey Preview & the First Hockey Game

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

GOALIE SWAPS: Depth goaltenders were on the move on Wednesday, with two trades taking place weeks before the March 21 NHL Trade Deadline. The San Jose Sharks acquired Alex Stalock from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for future considerations. Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames picked up Michael McNiven from the Montreal Canadiens in a deal that returned futures. 

TRAINING TRAUMAS: “Practice? We talking about practice?” Allen Iverson’s immortal words are a bitter pill to swallow for Washington Capitals fans, as the Caps lost Carl Hagelin and Ilya Samsonov to injuries during training this week. Samsonov was hit high with a shot before leaving the ice and needs re-evaluation on Thursday morning. Hagelin underwent eye surgery yesterday after taking a stick to the left eye on Tuesday and is out indefinitely. 

A RED CARPET WELCOME: As the Edmonton Oilers arrived in Chicago for their matchup against the Blackhawks tonight, the team welcomed back long-time Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith to his once-home arena. Complete with a hockey stick tunnel and a red carpet leading to his stall, the Oilers decked out the visitor’s locker room with “DK” and “#2” for the 17-year veteran.

3/2/2022 KRAKEN DAY: Yesterday, the Mayor of Seattle proclaimed March 2 as “Kraken Day” to honor the NHL’s 32nd franchise. Complete with deals, giveaways, and discounts across the city (think 32% off, $3.20 beers, and radio prizes for the 32nd caller), the Kraken have embraced the “32” moniker and turned it into a prime marketing opportunity to grow the team.

STREAKS SNAPPED: Four games were on the NHL schedule last night, highlighted by a preview of the Tim Horton’s Heritage Classic. Seattle and the Buffalo Sabres ended their seven and six-game losing streaks, respectively, as the New York Rangers snapped the St. Louis Blues’ winning streak. Get caught up on all of last night’s action here

This Day in History: The First Official Hockey Game

The sport of ice hockey was born in the 1870s, and on March 3, 1875, the first organized game took place inside the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, Quebec. Here is a brief background of the man who structured it and how everything came together.

James Creighton

James G. A. Creighton was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1850 and moved to Montreal in 1872 to attend McGill University as a law student. He was also a member of the Victoria Skating Club and would play pick-up games with his friends and classmates at the indoor Victoria Skating Rink. Before then, ice hockey had been played, but only on outdoor rinks.

James Creighton (THW Archive)

Creighton is considered a principal figure in the development of the sport, widely credited with organizing the first indoor hockey game (the game at the Victoria Skating Club on March 3, 1875). He also captained the first organized hockey team (McGill University Hockey Club, formed in 1877) and published the initial rules for ice hockey (in Montreal’s The Gazette, which he wrote for in 1877).

Creighton, who later played on a team with the sons of Lord Stanley (namesake of the NHL’s championship trophy), would posthumously receive multiple honors for his involvement in the development of hockey, including a plaque in 2008, a monument in 2009, and an induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

First Organized Hockey Game

Creighton put an advertisement in The Gazette for a hockey game at the Victoria Skating Rink between two teams of nine players—mostly comprised of his college friends. While casual hockey games had taken place on outdoor rinks around the country, this was the first organized indoor staging with spectators. 

Victoria Skating Rink in the late 1800s (THW Archive)

Due to the organized indoor setting, the pre-existing rules required an update. Since outdoor rinks offered space for as many players that could fit on the frozen body of water, Creighton and company placed a limit of nine skaters per side due to the relative snugness of the indoor rink. Because it was an indoor skating rink, there were also set dimensions, unlike with outdoor games.

However, the game’s most significant innovation was substituting a lacrosse ball, used for outdoor hockey, with a flat circular piece of wood. This change was a safety measure since a lacrosse ball would be more likely to bounce and possibly hit a spectator, paving the way for the hockey puck we know of today.


The Gazette published a post detailing the match, which included the crowd size, the reasoning for the block of wood instead of the ball, the names of all 18 participants, and a description of the action—a 2-1 win for Creighton’s team. It seems like Creighton and his friends knew they were making history, but who knows if they ever imagined the historical significance their game would have.

Top-Shelf Thursday – Best Deadline Moves

If December is the “most wonderful time of the year,” March is considered the most hectic. Hockey families around the league hold their breath as trade calls come in and players get moved. Before the fun begins this season, let’s take a look back at some of the best moves at the trade deadline in recent history. Let’s dive in.

Kimmo Timonen → Chicago Blackhawks

Timonen was a loyal soldier for the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers. Toward the end of his career, he was still chasing the Stanley Cup, and on Feb. 27, 2015, the Flyers traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks at the age of 38 for one last chance. He did not earn a point while a member of the Blackhawks, but the team did celebrate the ultimate victory. Captain Jonathan Toews made sure to hand the Cup to the veteran for the only time in his 16-season career. 

Jeff Carter Los Angeles Kings

Once upon a time, Carter signed an 11-year, $58 million contract extension with the Flyers through the 2021–22 season. As we now know, that didn’t exactly work out, getting traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 23, 2011. Following a lackluster season with the Jackets, Columbus traded Carter in Feb. 2012 to the LA Kings, leading to a small dynasty for the Kings, winning Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. 

Martin St. Louis New York Rangers

St. Louis was a staple in Tampa Bay for 13 seasons. On March 5, 2014, the Lightning sent the veteran to the New York Rangers in exchange for pieces that included Ryan Callahan. The Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, and in an ironic twist of fate, St. Louis had to beat his former team to move on. While he came up short of winning his second Cup that season, the following year, his playoff run—and career—was ended at the hands of the Lightning. How poetic is that?

Back to Beijing: Paralympic Preview

The Olympic men’s and women’s hockey tournaments delivered a first-time gold medalist (Finland’s men’s team), a first-time medalist of any color (the bronze medal-winning Slovakian men’s team), and another chapter in a storied international rivalry (the US and Canadian women’s teams). Now, the Paralympic tournament is ready to take center stage.

With a unique new format that will make the group stage hotly contested, the tourney, kicking off on Saturday in Beijing, should bring excitement from start to finish. Here’s what you need to know:

New Format

An event accustomed to some lopsided score early has taken steps to address that issue, grouping the top four countries (USA, Canada, RPC, and South Korea) in Group A to bring some competitive, high-level hockey to the group stage. Group B consists of the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, and China. Group A’s top two finishers will automatically qualify for the semifinals, while Group B’s top two will challenge Group A’s bottom two for the other semifinal spots.

Jack Wallace, TikTok Star

Captain Josh Pauls might be the leader and best player on Team USA, but he isn’t the team’s most famous member. That would be Jack Wallace, whose status as a Paralympic gold medalist and heartthrob have earned him more than 30,000 followers on TikTok. Through the platform, Wallace gives fans an in-depth look at the training, practices, and experiences of international athletes competing at the highest level.

Another Cross-Border Rivalry

While it was no surprise to see the American and Canadian women’s teams engaged in a dramatic, emotional clash for gold a few weeks ago, it is the same for the Paralympic tournament. Four years ago in South Korea, the US secured gold in a 2-1 overtime thriller over the Canadians. No doubt their neighbors to the north will be seeking a bit of revenge.

Don’t Sleep on South Korea

South Korea made history on home ice at the 2018 Games, claiming an unlikely bronze medal thanks to superstar Seung-Hwan Jung for the country’s first Paralympic medal ever. Jung led that tournament with six goals, including the game-winner in the bronze medal game. Can they build on their breakthrough and disrupt a Canada and USA gold medal showdown?

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