St. Petersburg Times online  
Hockey School
 
the professorThe Puck

What it is: A piece of vulcanized rubber that measures 3 inches wide and 1 inch deep. It weighs 6 ounces. The word originates from the 17th century French verb that means “to poke.”

Why is it frozen?: Simple. A room temperature puck bounces too much. The NHL wants them to stay as flat as possible. Too many bounces lead to too many fluky goals.

What the future holds: More and more supplies. In 2001, the NHL issued official protocol to be followed. An official memo stated “once a puck has been in play for three minutes, it should be replaced at the next stoppage in play.” Not to mention, countless pucks get sent into the crowd or the safety netting behind the goals during each period. Traditionally, a regulation puck features the home team logo on the front and the NHL logo and commissioner Gary Bettman's signature on the back.

The lingo: Pucks are also known, around the rinks, as biscuits and wafers.

Did you know?: In accordance with the league, the home team is responsible for supplying 15 frozen pucks at the start of the game and 15 more at each intermission. They are kept in a small freezer by the timekeeper's station.

– Compiled by Tim Sullivan

 
© Copyright 2006 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved