American Ice Hockey

The history of ice hockey in America goes back to the early 20th century, when the sport was still relatively unknown outside Canada and Northern Europe.

It is believed that ice hockey was introduced to the United States by American tourists who had visited Canada in 1884, where the first game of organized ice hockey took place three years earlier at Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink on March 3, 1875.

Many American historians have pointed to this event as the true beginning of ice hockey in America, as it led directly to the formation of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada in 1886 and eventually to the creation of the National Hockey League in 1917.

Early History

Ice hockey has been played in the United States since the late 1800s. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most popular sports in the country.

In 1894, an artificial ice rink was built in Baltimore, Maryland and became a popular pastime with many Americans. Gradually, other rinks were built and by 1914, there were more than 120 ice skating rinks in North America.

The Rise of Professionalism

(plag) Ice hockey in the U.S. has a brief history, beginning in 1894 when the first artificial ice rink was built in Baltimore, Maryland. (plag)

The sport of hockey is generally not seen as a mainstream sport but is often viewed as a niche sport because it doesn’t have the same following that football or baseball does.

Professionalism began to rise during the 1920s and 1930s with the creation of the NHL (National Hockey League) and other pro leagues popping up across North America.

The NHL and College Hockey

The National Hockey League (NHL) is the only professional ice hockey league in the U.S., and it contains 30 teams. The NHL was founded on November 26, 1917 and is headquartered in New York City.

College hockey is popular for men and women at both the collegiate level and as a recreational activity, especially among American high school students.

Modern American Ice Hockey

The first American-based team was the Boston Hockey Club, which was founded in 1885. Ice hockey grew popular in the northeast, with teams popping up in places like New York and Philadelphia.

The International Hockey League was founded on November 1, 1904 (the same day as the World Series) by four U.S.-based teams, but it folded after just two years.

One of the last great hockey leagues was the Western Canada Hockey League, which dissolved after its merger into the National Hockey League in 1926.