DENVER (CBS4) – On Sunday Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon at 19 years and 5 months became the youngest player in Avalanche history to score three goals in a game. His hat trick was Colorado’s first since Matt Duchene did it Nov. 4, 2011, at Dallas.
But where did the term “hat trick” come from? And what about Detroit Red Wings fans throwing octopi on the rink? Here are some great traditions that come from the world of hockey.
The Hat Trick
According to About.com, the term “hat trick” originally didn’t come from hockey. The term was first used in the mid-1800s to describe a cricket player’s feat of three wickets with three consecutive deliveries — a rare “trick.” The player was awarded a new hat as a reward for the feat.
According to torontoist.com, the term came to hockey from a man named Sammy Taft, a Toronto hatter who offered a Chicago Blackhawks player a free hat if he could score three goals against the Maple Leafs in a game on Jan. 26, 1946.
Now fans will toss their hats on the rink if a player scores three goals in a game.
Tossing The Octopus
According to the Detroit Red Wings website, the first octopus was tossed on the rink on April 15, 1952, during the Red Wings’ Stanley Cup playoff run.
“Two Detroit brothers, Pete and Jerry Cusimano — storeowner’s in Detroit’s Eastern Market — threw the eight-legged cephalopod on the ice at Olympia Stadium. Each tentacle of the octopus was symbolic of a win in the playoffs,” according to redwings.nhl.com.
At the time the NHL only had six teams and eight wins (two best-of-seven series) were needed to win the Stanley Cup.
Every Player’s Day With The Stanley Cup
According to the Bleacher Report, since 1995 each player on a Stanley Cup champion team is honored with a day with The Cup. There are some crazy stories out there about what some players have done with their ay with the trophy. Real Clear Sports has a list of the Top 10 Stanley Cup Stories.
Blackhawks Fans Cheering During The National Anthem
According to the Bleacher Report, the tradition of Blackhawks fans cheering through the American Anthem began in 1985 when the team was down two games in a playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers. Apparently the fans wanted to get their team hyped up even before the puck dropped.
Some think the tradition is disrespectful, but others say cheering during the anthem is a show of respect.
Not shaving during the playoffs is a tradition that most likely was started in the 1980s as a superstition. New York Islanders defensemen Ken Morrow was famous for growing his beard while his team dominated, winning four straight Stanley Cups.
The tradition has now expanded to other sports where a player won’t shave until their team wins a championship or is eliminated.
Engraving Names On The Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is undoubtedly the most famous trophy in all of sports, and every member of a team, not just the players, that wins it gets recognized with their name engraved on The Cup.
The Stanley Cup “is the only trophy in professional sports that has the names of winning players, coaches, management and club staff engraved on the silver chalice,” according to NHL.com.
The trophy is comprised of five rings where the names are engraved. When the rings become full the oldest one is retired to Lord Stanley’s Vault at the Great Esso Hall in the Hockey Hall of Fame and clean ring is added.
The Handshake Line After Last Game In A Playoff Series
Playing in the NHL playoffs can be very hardcore and violent, so it’s an amazing show of sportsmanship that players will line up and shake hands after a series. It’s not clear how the tradition was started, but players say it shows respect, pride and integrity of the game.
There is nothing in the rulebook that says the teams must shake hands following a series, it’s simply a custom that began so long ago it’s hard to pinpoint its origin.
Don’t Touch The Conference Championship Trophy
As with the playoff beard, hockey players are considered deeply superstitious. Since touching the Stanley Cup is every player’s top goal, it’s an unwritten rule that players dare not touch the trophy unless they’ve earned it.
But the superstition goes deeper than that. Players on a team advancing the Stanley Cup Finals won’t even touch the trophies they’ve just earned for winning their conference — the Eastern Conference’s Prince of Wales Trophy or the Western Conference’s Clarence C. Campbell Bowl. Although, it has happened.
The hockey world believes that the Stanley Cup is the only trophy worth celebrating.