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Hockey was born on frozen ponds.

Before many professional hockey players ever took their first stride on NHL ice, they honed their skills on the frozen lakes and ponds of North America and Europe. Our sport can trace its roots to frozen freshwater ponds, to cold climates. Major environmental challenges, such as climate change and freshwater scarcity, affect opportunities for hockey players of all ages to learn and play the game outdoors.

These challenges extend beyond the roots of the game and into the places and spaces where hockey is played, particularly the natural ice conditions and the seasonal backyard rinks that pop up every winter.

This past winter, more backyards rink popped up as the result of the pandemic. Hockey players and fans of all ages took to the ice to enjoy the game in its natural form. Similarly, our 2021 NHL Outdoors Game was played in Lake Tahoe to the thrill and joy of NHL players, many of whom relived the thrill and experience of outdoor hockey growing up.

Click these videos to learn more about our outdoor the connection between backyard rinks, playing outdoors and the environment.