When it comes to Washington tourist attractions, most people think of Seattle, Mount Rainier, the San Juan Islands, and maybe the Cascades. It’s tough to blame those people, because those places are pretty dang fantastic. Even though we hail from Central Washington (and therefore focus more on Central Washington tourist activities), the virtues of the west side of Washington are clear.
Likewise, folks who are more familiar with Washington and all it has to offer will be familiar with Spokane and the Inland Northwest. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Coeur d’alene and its beautiful lake of the same name found in the long, vertical panhandle of Idaho, people from all around make Spokane and Lake Coeur D’alene a must-visit location. The green pines, blue sky, and rolling hills which become mountains as you head east toward Idaho make for a picturesque, underrated east side of the state.
Now we come to the middle of the state. To the uninitiated, Wenatchee might be just a destination on an exit sign on Interstate 90 that they’ve never taken while en route to Seattle or Spokane. But this northern-central Washington city, the county seat of Chelan, is cozy yet not too small at just over 30,000 residents. You can find it in the valley where the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers meet very close to the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range. The city is known as the “Apple Capital of the World” because of its wealth of apple orchards and a rich history thereof.
In a previous post of ours, titled “A Brief History Of Wenatchee And Other Wenatchee Activities To Enjoy”, we took the time to highlight a few of our favorite Wenatchee activities – outside of religiously attending Wenatchee Wild home games, of course. If you are interested in learning about the early history of Wenatchee and how the natives got along with the settlers, it’s worth a gander. In terms of Wenatchee tourist activities, we highlighted beautiful Wenatchee Confluence State Park, the storied Ohme Gardens, and Stemilt Creek Winery, to name a few.
Random And Fun Facts About Hockey!
However, we have a promised blog topic to get to today, so we must digress about fun things to do in Wenatchee, for now. Read on if you are interested in reading some little-known facts about hockey, and a few about the Wenatchee Wild!
- As many die-hard hockey fans already know, frozen cow pies were the original material used for pucks. It was important for the pie to be frozen, because this caused the makeshift puck to smell less, bounce less, and stick together. In the modern game, rubber pucks are still frozen to keep them from bouncing around as much.
- Canada was (and to a lesser extent, still is) so categorically dominant in the sport that they didn’t even participate in the knockout round of the 1930 World Ice Hockey Championship. They got a free ride to the finals, as the knockout round was used to determine an opponent. Unsurprisingly, Canada won against the Germans, who coincidentally had a lamb-led-to-slaughter-inspired mascot that year. Just kidding, but that would have been apt.
- The very first million dollar contract was signed by Bobby Orr, widely considered to be the best defenseman of all time. He signed a five-year, $200,000 contract with the Boston Bruins. Orr proved to be well-worth the investment, as he scored 181 goals from the blue line in that 5 year stretch! For those of you unfamiliar with hockey, that’s really, really, really good.
- In stark contrast to the above factoid, Kris Draper was traded to the Red Wings of Detroit for a measly buck. That’s right, $1. He consequently received the nickname “One Dollar Man”, but proved to be worth significantly more than the fee paid for him, as he played a full 17 seasons with the Red Wings. He scored 158 goals in over 1100 games and won a staggering four Stanley Cups in that timeframe. Of course, he and the rest of the team were made to look silly by the dazzling skill set of their hated rivals, the Colorado Avalanche, during that period, but Draper and his teammates certainly got their fair share of hits (a few of them fair, too) and beautiful goals in during that time too. The Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry was a bloody, entertaining affair that lasted the better part of a decade. Their games were so intense that much of the North American sporting world would make a point to watch those games. Both teams were stocked with talent and absolutely hated one another, which led to high-scoring games filled with fights and often dangerous hits by both teams. Many of those games in the 90s are on YouTube, so we recommend you check it out if you are in the mood for watching one of the best rivalries of all time – in any sport!
- On a slightly less detailed note, the Pittsburgh Penguins once had a live Penguin as their mascot (for real this time, no lies).
- To start a faceoff, the moment when the play starts, referees used to place the puck between the two players sticks before they vied for possession. Obviously, this led to refs getting more than their fair allotment of cuts and bruises, so they eventually changed the rule to allow refs to be able to drop the puck for a faceoff in order to reduce the number of injuries. Great idea!
- The average professional hockey player loses between 5 to 8 pounds during the course of any given game. Though most of this weight is water, it’s still a remarkable amount, and shows just how physically demanding this sport can be on its players.
- Have you ever noticed that Wayne Gretzky uniquely tucked his sweater into his pants on the right side? He started doing this out of necessity. When he was 6 years old, the “Great One” played in a ten-year-old league. Naturally, the shirt provided for him was much too big for his diminutive stature, so he had to tuck it in. Whether he kept doing it out of superstition or comfort, your guess is as good as ours!
Get Your Wenatchee Wild Tickets Today!
Now that we’ve got your hockey juices flowing, it’s time to get to a Wenatchee Wild hockey game this season. If you are interested in single-game or group tickets, feel free to browse! We’d love to see you out here supporting the home team, whether you are a local to Wenatchee or are just passing through! The playoffs are just around the corner, so make sure you come see the boys fly around the ice at least a few times before the offseason!