History of hat tricks in ice hockey
| |

What is a Hat Trick in Ice Hockey? Stats & More

Hat tricks in ice hockey are extremely uncommon! If you were able to see a hat trick while watching a live ice hockey game at the arena, you could consider yourself lucky.

In the NHL, hat tricks are occasions that elicit standing ovations from the crowd and hat tossing on the ice. Even though tossing items onto the ice is against the rules of the NHL, this is an exemption to the rule.

Ice hockey enthusiasts applaud this accomplishment by tossing hats as they watch because it takes skill to accomplish. You’ve come to the right place if you’re interested in learning more about this unusual feature of offensive play.

The history of hat-tricks and how they were incorporated into ice hockey will be covered in detail in this article.

So What is a Hat-Trick?

What is a Hat Tricks in hockey

A Hat-trick in hockey is an occasion when a player scores 3 goals during the duration of a single game. It is a moment of extreme joy for spectators and fans of the team that accomplished the hat-trick. 

For the goals scored to count, they must score within the regular playing time or overtime of the match. In addition, goals scored during shootouts are not counted for hat-tricks. 

Once this happens hats are thrown into the ice to reference the player for accomplishing such a great feat.

The term Hat-trick, in ice hockey, came from… cricket?

The National Hockey League claims that cricket is where the history of hat tricks began. As everyone is aware, a cricket wicket is made up of three upright, round wooden sticks that are driven into the ground. To keep it from losing its wicket, the batter must defend it.

Right-arm fast bowler H.H. Stephenson defeated South Yorkshire, the side from Hallam, in 1858 by taking three consecutive wickets.

The entire staff came together to raise money to buy him a hat to commemorate his brilliance, which they subsequently gave to him. This demonstrates the beginning of a hat trick in a game, however, it is still unclear how it made its way into hockey.

Origin of the Hat-Trick in ice hockey: a Story of Sammy Taft and Alex Kaleta

The most well-known incident in hockey hat-trick history involves Sammy Taft, a businessman from Toronto. As he struck an agreement with Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex Kaleta, the history was set in motion.

In 1946, Alex Kaleta visited Taft’s store because he wanted a fedora but couldn’t buy one. A trade was arranged between them and since Kaleta wasn’t a particularly talented player. Also scoring three goals was challenging and was a huge feat that was considered difficult to attain. Taft assured him that the hat would be his to keep only if he scored three goals against the Maple Leafs in the upcoming game. Kaleta concurred, and a settlement was struck.

Fortunately, Kaleta scored four goals to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 6-5. When the public learned the history behind the objectives, a phrase was created.

The media paraphrased Taft as remarking, “Yeah, that was some trick he pulled to get that hat”, according to a source, and the term “Hat Trick” was pulled out. Also, Taft employed the popularity of the game and the agreement with Kaleta as a means of promoting his business by giving hats to players who were able to score three goals in a game.

Taft no longer distributes caps, yet supporters have maintained this custom and continue to applaud players and throw hats on the ice whenever a player scores three goals.

There is another source in addition to the ones already mentioned that relates to hat tricks. Some claim that newspapers started using this phrase in the 1930s and 1940s.

the Canadian version Of the Origin of Hat Tricks

A similar story surrounds the Montreal hat shop Henri Henri, which used to give hats to players who scored hat-tricks. For twenty years, from 1950 to 1970, the Hat Shop performed this service at the Montreal Forum.

The ongoing argument is on whether it originated in Montreal or Toronto. The question of how this custom of throwing hats into the air came to be used in ice hockey is raised after studying all the information mentioned above.

When discussing the hats, the topic of what happens to the caps arises. Where do all the hats? Well, the answer is simple.

The player who made the hat trick is given hats to choose from from a group of gathered hats that are placed in a basket. If any hats are still available after the chosen period, fans can come to pick them up, and if not, they give them to a charity or sell them to a thrift store.

What Are The Types of Hat-Tricks in Ice Hockey?

There are different types of Hat-tricks in Ice Hockey, and below, we’re going to discuss each hat trick types one-by-one :

There are 3 types of Hat tricks in ice Hockey

Natural Hat-trick 

When a player scores three goals in a row in a hockey game without assistance from any other players on the ice, it is known as a “natural hat trick”.

The natural hat trick happens with two possibilities :

  • The player is required to score three goals within a single period.
  • The player has to achieve three consecutive goals in a game

Texas Hat-trick

There aren’t many of this kind. A player who scores four goals in a single game is said to have a Texas hat-trick. It’s important to note that the word “pants” is also used in reference to it.

No matter how it is described, it is too great to pull off in this contemporary, quick-paced game.

Gordie Howe Hat-trick

This type has entertaining variations since a player must score a goal, record an assist, and get into a brawl all in the same game to complete a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Fun Fact About Hat-Tricks in Ice Hockey

Only two hat tricks were scored by offensive player Gordie Howe in his career, even though a hat trick was named after him. The first Gordie Howe hat-trick, nevertheless, was actually recorded by Harry Cameron much earlier. Harry Cameron was a player for the Toronto St. Pats.

Fans have created second double and triple Gordie Howe hat-tricks. Doubles are when two players score goals, provide assists, and engage in physical combat all in the same game.

Hat-Trick Stats in Ice Hockey 

Fastest Hat-trick

Bill Mosienko tops the list when it comes to the fastest hat trick in history. On March 23, 1952, a Chicago Blackhawks player scored a hat-trick in under 21 seconds against the New York Rangers.

Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning scored the fastest and most recent hat trick in 91 seconds in 2018 (natural hat trick).

Most Hat-tricks

Wayne Gretzky tops the list of hockey players with the most hat tricks. In his outstanding career, the great Wayne Gretzky recorded 50 hat tricks. Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy came in second and third, with 40 and 39 hat tricks, respectively.

With 10, 9, and 9, respectively, these three players also top the list for most hat-tricks in a season.

NameHat Tricks
Wayne Gretzky50
Mario Lemieux40
Mike Bossy39
Brett Hull33
Phil Esposito32
Alex Ovechkin30
Marcel Dionne28
Bobby Hull28
Maurice Richard26
Cy Denneny25
NHL players with the most hat tricks


Were you unaware or used to thinking otherwise? After reading this article by Cleats Hub, you must have learned much about the origin, different varieties, and some interesting, unknown stats.

Similar Posts