As the NHL emerged as the dominant professional league in the 1920's, it adopted the Spalding puck as its official game puck. The most important aspect of a puck in the 1920's was durability. Prior to using the Spalding, there had been humorous incidences of pucks breaking and in one case, splitting in half when hitting a post with half of the puck going in and half not. The rock hard Spalding was definitely durable.
As the game evolved and the ice surface improved, the pucks ability to smoothly slide across the ice became more important. The Spalding had sharp edges that would catch on the slightest groove on the ice and skip and bounce as a result. In comes the legendary Art Ross to the picture.
Besides his roles on the ice and off, one of Art Ross' biggest roles was that of inventor. He had brought goal nets to the game and was about to add a touch of innovation to the puck itself. Art Ross beveled the edges of the puck and molded a checker pattern on the edge to make the puck slide better and easier to control. He patented his innovation in 1940 and his famed Patent Number (2226516) would appear on NHL game pucks for the next 28 years. The puck was soon used along side the Spalding and by 1942, became the official NHL game puck.
The puck changed little over the next two decades. A larger octagon was added to the puck in 1950 but a generic game puck were the only one used by the NHL during the heyday of the Original Six era.
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