US #5253c – Souvenir Sheet
2017 49c History of Hockey
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: October 20, 2017
First Day City: Detroit, MI
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Format: Souvenir Sheet – pane of 2
Quantity Printed: 500,000 stamps
Stick-and-ball games have been played for thousands of years. In the 18th and 19th century, British soldiers brought these games to North America, where they flourished and evolved into hockey.
Montreal is generally considered the birthplace of organized hockey, having hosted the first recorded indoor game on March 3, 1875. From there, hockey spread across Canada, becoming the nation’s official winter sport. Throughout the 1880s, more teams formed and tournaments and challenge contests were staged infrequently. Four clubs eventually formed the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada and developed a schedule.
In the coming decades, new leagues developed, competed for players, and folded. Then in 1917, the National Hockey Association suspended their league after disputes with a team owner and formed the National Hockey League (NHL). Other leagues remained in operation until they all disbanded in 1926, making the NHL the sole hockey league in North America. Since then, the NHL has grown from four teams to over 30, which are cheered on by millions of fans.
Above all, the NHL is celebrated as the world’s premier hockey league. Few winter sports bring as much joy and excitement as ice hockey in the U.S. and Canada.