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What Is Icing in Hockey? (And 9 Other Questions About Hockey You’ve Been Too Afraid to Ask)

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Have you ever been to a bar or a friend’s house where people gathered around the TV watching a hockey game?

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement.

After all, when your team scores, you know it’s time to cheer! But other than that, do you really know what’s going on?

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one who is in the dark as to what hockey’s all about; but that ends today.

Here are the answers towhat is icing in hockey?” plus nine other questions about hockey you’ve been too afraid to ask.

What is Icing in Hockey?

Photo Credit: Wikipedia “For a puck shot toward the top of the diagram, Example “A” is not icing. Example “B” is icing, provided that it is not “waved off” for an eligible reason (e.g. offensive team is short-handed).”

A referee calls icing when a player shoots the puck from behind the center red line, and it crosses the other team’s goal line without being touched (Reference example B in the diagram above). 

It’s basically a delay tactic. It’s sometimes used defensively, as it disrupts the flow of the game, stops play, and results in a face-off in the offender’s defensive zone.

But it doesn’t always result in an icing call or penalty. It all depends on which team touches the puck after it crosses the other team’s goal line. If the team who committed icing reaches the puck first, it gives that team a scoring advantage, and the puck remains live and in play. If the other team reaches it first, the ref will call icing.

However, icing is allowed if the team doing it is short-handed a player because of a penalty.

In that scenario, they can hit the puck out of their defensive zone without having to worry about icing being called.

How Many Periods Are There in Hockey?

A hockey game has three 20-minute periods with a 17-minute break in between each period. When the team returns to the ice, they take their position at the opposite end of the rink.

How Long is a Hockey Game?

Most hockey games last about two and a half hours. You’ve got the three 20-minute periods (that’s an hour right there). Then you have two 17 minute intermissions (that’s an hour and a half already).

The clock only runs when the puck is in play, so every time someone sends the puck out of play or scores a goal, the clock stops.

Those minutes add up quickly, as do the breaks they take to allow time for commercials for the viewers at home.

If the teams are tied at the end of the three periods, the game will go into overtime. The overtime period is an additional five minutes. During the playoffs, the OT period lasts twenty minutes.

When Does Hockey Season Start?


The regular NHL season starts at the beginning of October. The first half of the NHL season overlaps with the NFL season and can also conflict with MLB playoffs, which are also played in October.

Regular hockey season ends in early April and is immediately followed by the start of the playoffs, which go until the NHL Finals sometime in June.

Who Invented Hockey?

There’s no exact answer to this question.

The game has evolved over hundreds of years. Stick and ball games have been around since ancient Egypt. By the late 1700s, people were taking those games onto frozen ponds and rivers in the winter.

Canada, however, is where the modern game of ice hockey originated. James Creighton from Montreal is often credited with the creation of the game as we know it today. There’s a lot of history and variations of the game that have led to the current version of hockey today.

What is Offsides in Hockey?

A blue line on the ice divides each teams’ offensive zone from the neutral zone.

A player is offsides if both of their skates cross the blue line before the puck does. In other words, the attacking player cannot be in the attacking zone until the puck is there.

How Many Hockey Games in a Season?

The regular season consists of 82 hockey games played by 31 teams. Each team plays 41 games at home and 41 games on the road.

Sixteen teams qualify for the playoffs at the end of the regular season. The playoffs are played in rounds until the top team from each conference faces off to play for the Stanley Cup at the end of April.

What is a Hat Trick in Hockey?


A hat trick is when one player scores three goals in one game.

It’s difficult to score one goal in a game, let alone three, so it’s always exciting to watch a game when a player has already scored two goals. It’s not every day you get to see a hat trick!

The Great Wayne Gretzky has the most hat tricks of all time with 50 (along with 39 other NHL records).

Why is Fighting Allowed in Hockey?


Technically, it’s not.

Fighting is against the rules, but players that engage in a physical altercation usually only have to sit for five minutes in the penalty box. It’s not like in the MLB or the NBA where they can face ejections and suspensions from future games.

In hockey, they just have to sit out the game for five minutes. If you’re the instigator, however, you can get a 10-minute misconduct penalty.

Players are known to engage in fights as a morale booster, and fights have also been known to change the energy of the game drastically.

How Much Do Hockey Players Make?

Unlike the game of baseball, the NHL imposes a salary cap, limiting the amount of money that players can earn.

The average hockey player in the NHL makes about $4 million dollars per year.

Connor McDavid was the highest paid NHL player last year, raking in around $19 million for a single season. That may sound like a lot, but it’s peanuts compared to what other athletes in other sports are bringing in.

The highest-paid baseball players are topping out around $38 million per year. Heavy hitters in the NFL are raking in as much as $70 million per year. The top names in basketball are bringing in around $56 million per year. Compared to the MLB, NFL, and NBA; NHL players aren’t doing nearly as well.

Jessica Heston

Jessica Heston

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