Honoring the Big Numbers in Hockey

Photo  by Ken Lund /  CC BY-SA 2.0    The Montreal Canadiens – the most successful team in hockey .

Photo by Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0
The Montreal Canadiens – the most successful team in hockey.

The world of hockey looks more exciting by the minute, and teams have pushed harder for bigger wins and more claims to the ultimate titles. In such a fast-paced, high-octane environment, you have to do something dramatic to stand out from the crowd. Luckily for us fans, the best hockey players tend to have the goods to do that.  

Whereas some sports concentrate on pioneering new paths like skateboarding’s first foray into the Olympic Games, others celebrate reaching dizzying numbers of plays like 200 billion hands played online. With better training, better equipment and better stadiums than previous years, ice hockey teams join this impressive crowd and can pull off more extraordinary feats than ever before. This sport has a lot to shout about nowadays! 

Most Successful Teams 

It comes as no surprise to die-hard fans that the Montreal Canadiens take the title of the most successful team. Over the years, they’ve managed a record 24 Stanley Cup wins, almost double that of the second most successful team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. This number takes them straight to the top of the leader board. 

Taking this into account, it makes sense that the individual player with the most Stanley Cup wins is a former NHL champ and Canadiens’ Hall of Famer, Henri Richard. He was with the team during a staggering 11 of their victories and is now an ambassador for the Canadiens’ organization.  

Most Successful Individuals 

Photo  by David /  CC BY 2.0   The Toronto Maple Leafs – the second most successful team in hockey.

Photo by David / CC BY 2.0 The Toronto Maple Leafs– the second most successful team in hockey.

The 2018/19 season saw 15 players take part in their 1000th game, including Ron Hainsey of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tomáš Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. However, beating all of them for time on the rink is Gordie Howe. Active on and off between 1946 and 1980, he racked up an impressive 1,767 games in his time, which is a current world record. 

The current player with the most games under his belt is Patrick Marleau, the alternate captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s played in a phenomenal 1,657 games so far and is well on his way to taking Howe’s crown for most games played across his lifetime. 

On a different note of success, the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid claims the highest pay packet of any hockey player on the circuit at present. His total earnings amount to an eye-watering $19 million, according to Forbes. That’s the kind of salary we’d like to see on our pay slip! 

Stadiums & Games 

That’s some remarkable stats from the best teams in the business, but what about the fans? The Big Chill at the Big House, a game played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor in 2010 saw a record 104,173 people in attendance. This historical game saw the Michigan Wolverines take on the Michigan State Spartans in a stadium usually reserved for football matches.  

The highest capacity ice hockey-specific stadium is the Bell Centre in Montreal. It can hold 21,273 people, but going off the numbers that turned up in Michigan, maybe the sport needs to think about expanding its horizons toward higher capacity stadia. 

Miscellaneous 

Perhaps the most impressive feature of ice hockey is the speed at which it’s played. If you’ve ever wondered how fast everything can move out there on the rink, then consider that the fastest recorded slapshot was 110.3 mph. Avangard Omsk player Denis Kulyash achieved this feat back in 2011. 

Our friend Connor McDavid qualified as the fastest skater in the 2019 All-Star Skills earlier this year. It’s his third win in a row, clocking in at 13.378 seconds at the event. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Dr. Brent Saik and friends set the record for longest continuous hockey game played with their marathon effort running from February 9–19th. They totaled 251 hours, 7 minutes and 58 seconds on the rink!