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What is a hockey puck made of and how much does it weigh?

The game of hockey has been around for more than 150 years, and many things have changed since those early days in Montreal, including the shape of the puck.

BROSSARD, QC - JULY 11: Montreal Canadiens defenceman prospect Gianni Fairbrother
Icon SportswireGetty

The NHL season is officially over. The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, and the Draft has come to an end. For hockey crazed fans the countdown until next season begins. For the fans who just picked up the game over the last couple months of the postseason it’s never too early to learn a little more about the game they are just beginning to love.

The game was created in 1875, and so was the first puck

In 1875, the first indoor ice hockey game was played when a group of guys strapped on their skates in a Montreal rink and since then the game has grown into a global sensation. If the first indoor game was played in Montreal, than it only makes sense the invention of the word puck came from Montreal.

The first pucks were actually not pucks at all. They were rubber balls that would bounce up and down on the unsteady ice creating early hockey players to look for other solutions. One of those solutions was a block of wood. As you could imagine that didn’t last too long.

Before you know it, the rubber ball was being sliced down more or less to the shape we know today. The plastic was quite often made from pieces of recycled tires that were glued together, but that wasn’t always the most reliable material especially when it came to slap shots ricocheting off the post.

No official puck for NHL until 30 years ago

There were many trials and tribulations when it came to the the size and shape of the puck. For a brief period in the 1931-32 season, pucks were made with a sloped edge. That idea was canned almost as soon as it was introduced, and while the National Hockey League reverted back to the disk shaped puck, there was no official puck for the league until the 1990-1991 season.

A hockey puck is made out of vulcanized rubber, and has a radius of three inches and is one inch thick. The smooth surface on the top and the bottom allow the puck to glide over the ice, but the 5.5 to 6 ounces a puck can weigh can make a serious dent on any brave defender looking to get in the way of an incoming slap shot. The ridges on the edges of the puck are put there to allow a player more control off the tape of his stick.


While there have been no real changes to the shape or the weight a hockey puck in ages, there has been an effort to make the puck more visible for television viewer. We tend to forget that at the turn of the millennium, television was still a bit grainy. High definition screens were on their maiden voyage at that time. Before that, FOX tried something that was revolutionary in its day. They put sensors in the puck to where it would leave a colored jet stream behind so viewers at home could pinpoint the puck easier.

With the crystal clear television sets we have now, that technology seems archaic. In it’s day it was a visionary idea that if not for the modernization of television would still be around to this day like the first down line in football.