October 13, 2014
Did You Know? The Origins Of Raising Your Stick To Celebrate A Goal
Have you ever wondered why hockey players so often celebrate a goal by raising their sticks in the air?
Me neither. It just seems like the natural thing to do. We all did it in our local rinks, driveways, basements and streets. We all did it because our heroes did. Darryl Sittler. Mike Bossy. Bobby Hull. Wayne Gretzky raised his stick more than anybody.
So I never really thought about it until I learned this little nugget of information:
In 1947-48 the NHL, at the advice of Frank Patrick, legislated a policy that players were to raise their sticks when they scored. This allowed fans in the audience to realize a goal had been scored. After all there was no such thing as jumbotrons and light shows back then.
So maybe so many players, generation after generation, raise their sticks in celebration because the Max Bentley's and Elmer Lachs of the late 1940s were forced to.
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Billy Reay was the first player to lift his stick after scoring a goal. He did it out of excitement and NOT because players were told to. That directive came shortly after Reay did that. Check him out. Played for 2 NHL teams and continued on with coaching. Should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame when you read his accomplishments.Makes you question the wheeling and dealing of who gets in or not.
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