MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia, Part One: Hockey's "Third Season" Basics

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 MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia, Part One: Hockey's

Hello, hockey fans!

Weeks after the NHL’s 2007-08 “second season,” fans face a long, arid, third season—summer.

For the hardcore hockey nut, beautiful weather replaces fast-paced sporting glory, and it doesn‘t quite seem like a fair trade. After weeks of intense Stanley Cup ups-and-downs, the months after that final game can be awfully anti-climactic.

It's a forced and unwelcome four-month break from ice-based madness. But really, it doesn’t have to be that way. Hockey is everywhere, all the time. Especially if you know where to look.

There are the NHL Awards, the NHL Entry Draft, international competitions at assorted levels, and off-season trades.

There’s the start of free agency signings, training camps, prospect arrivals and trade rumours.

On the streets, games of road hockey appear to block avenues across the continent, amidst cries of “CAR!” Garage doors and washing machines everywhere are at serious risk of black marks and denting. And in the minds of fans and players of every age and description, the next season is planned out and anticipated with ever growing excitement.

That’s just the skim of hockey’s off-season pastimes. It doesn’t head to California to swan about with Elisha Cuthbert—it has players to do that by proxy!

Fans of ice hockey will never run out of topics to talk about, no matter what time of year it is. Summer just means there is time to bone up on some of the titbits missed the first time around. There is over a century of information, hundreds of teams and thousands of players recorded in this great game. There are countless records, enduring characters and endless quirky statistics, each with a fascinating story of its own.

All you have to do is look. And so I did.

Some of what I found would be considered the basics of hockey/NHL lore, while other information blew me away—all of it was interesting. Even as a lifelong hockey fan, I was always finding something new, and it made me appreciate the sport all the more. I got into hockey writing in the first place so that I could share that feeling of connecting with the sport, and so I found a way to pass on what I found.

Welcome to Part One of this summer series: Trivia! Over the coming months, you will find questions on various hockey subjects, with new editions out at least twice a week. Test your knowledge, learn something new, or stump your friends.

Starting off, we have a sampler of “the basics” mashed in with a few random questions. As the days and weeks go by, various topics (and miscellany) will be covered. I hope you find something new, something interesting, and have fun getting closer to the game of hockey.

Grab a pen and paper, or type out your answers on your own Bleacher Report profile.

1. Which country/countries maintain ice hockey as an official National Sport?

2. What constitutes a Gordie Howe hat trick?

3. Name the "Original Six" NHL hockey teams.

4. Even before he went pro, Wayne Gretzky had turned heads by scoring 378 goals and 139 assists in a single season. How old was he when he recorded those numbers?

5. Which player is known as “The Rocket”?

6. In 2007, the records for “Most points by an American-born player” and “Most goals by an American-born player” were broken and reset. Which player(s) now hold these titles, and which player(s) were surpassed?

7. Before a puck is used in an NHL game, it is frozen and kept cold as best as possible. Why is the biscuit frozen for play?

8. As of the end of 2008, which was the last Canadian-based NHL team to win the Stanley Cup?

9. Which team is generally credited with inventing the “neutral zone trap”?

10. What does “five-hole” refer to?

Bonus Question: Which player was the first from Newfoundland to win the Stanley Cup?

Photo Question: His name has appeared on the Stanley Cup so many times, one would think the committee would know it by heart.  Unfortunately, spelling hasn't been a strong suit on the silver grail, and this man's name has been misspelled five times when engraved on the game's greatest prize.  Which hockey Legend is in the photograph (top of the article)?

Answers are listed—with detailed explanations—in the next instalment of this series, found here.  Every Monday and Friday look for a new set of questions in topics covering all aspects of hockey and the NHL.  There will be a link from this article to each chapter of Q&A, so check back for new editions regularly.

In celebration of last weekend's pick 'n' mix party in Ottawa, Part Two looks at "the draft".  Various hockey subjects to follow.

Until next time, don’t worry if you don‘t solve them all - There are plenty more to come! Use your head, do a bit of research, pave your own path of discovery as you search for answers and solidify your personal bond with the game.  And remember, the 2008-09 hockey season is just around the bend, so keep your head up and your stick on the ice! We’ll all cross the goal-line eventually!

Other Trivia in this series: 

Part Two - MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia: The Draft, and answers to Part One

Part Three - MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia: Stanley Cup Sampler

Part Four - MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia: International and Olympic Hockey

Part Five - MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia: NHL Awards and the Stanley Cup

Part Six - MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia: Classic Hockey Hodgepodge

Part Seven - MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia: Rules, Refs, and Regulations

Part Eight - MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia: Great NHL/Hockey Lines and Nicknames

Feel free to post a note on my profile page to let me know you have completed your answers.  I can let you know in advance just how well you have done!

A general bibliography will be added to the final voume of this series.  In the meantime, any questions, comments, or concerns regarding source materials may be sent to the author's email.

Answers to Flames Quick Quiz: 1-a. 2-d. 3-d. 4-b. 5-Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla 6-c. 7-e. 8-a. 9-b. 10-c. Photo Question -Thomas Vokoun

M MacDonald Hall is the Bleacher Report Calgary Flames Community Leader, and will be adding to the NHL department over the summer. Future Flames articles include a breakdown of Calgary’s playoff performance in the 21st Century, roster changes and information, and Flames-specific trivia. M’s Bleacher Report archive includes an assortment of Flames/NHL articles.

M also writes on various other topics, sport and non-sport related. Enquiries regarding NHL writing or other subjects may be directed to M’s Bleacher Report profile or via email.

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