With Auston Matthews scheduled to return to the lineup tonight, we’re thinking about prolific goal scorers today and wondering what Maple Leaf has the most career hat tricks?
Although hats are too expensive to throw on the ice these days, where did this tradition all begin?
When did the tradition of throwing hats on the ice for scoring a hat trick start?
I had to look it up and there seems to be different variations of the origin story,
.. and it has nothing to do with hockey at all
According to Wikipedia
The term first appeared in 1858 in cricket, to describe H. H. Stephenson taking three wickets with three consecutive deliveries. Fans held a collection for Stephenson, and presented him with a hat bought with the proceeds. The term was used in print for the first time in 1865 in the Chelmsford Chronicle. The term was eventually adopted by many other sports including hockey, soccer, Formula 1 racing, rugby, and water polo.
In terms of hockey, it seems that the when the tradition started isn’t so clear…
The official story (according to the The Hockey Hall of Fame) said it involved Alex Kaleta in 1944, a winger for the Chicago Blackhawks when playing a road game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Recently returning from World War II while serving with the Canadian military, saw a fedora that he couldn’t afford when visiting a men’s clothing store before the game. Owner Sammy Taft offered Kaleta a deal that if he scored three goals, he could come back and get the hat for free.
The tradition caught on from there in other cities as well, but now it was the fans that were throwing their hats on the ice in hat trick celebration during NHL games in the 1950s.
What NHL player has the most career hat tricks?
Was there any doubt? Wayne Gretzky has 50 career hat tricks…
Number Of Hat Tricks
But this poll is about the Maple Leafs, we’ve got some beauties below to remember..
Matthews scores hat trick in Maple Leafs opener
John Tavares records first hat trick with Maple Leafs
Nazem Kadri Lights Up Capitals For Fifth Career Hat Trick
No cheating, can’t Google it — What Leafs player has the most regular season career hat tricks?
What Maple Leaf Has The Most Career Hat Tricks?