Superstars on the ice to soccer players on the grass the hat trick showcases one man’s ability to dominate. As some of us know but for others that don’t know the hat trick is associated with an act of achieving a single accomplishment three times. This can be associated with a variety of sports including soccer, hockey, water polo, cricket and team handball.
While we have all heard the word Hat Trick used many of us wouldn’t know exactly where that word originated from minus the ability to google it. It actually originated with the sport of cricket in 1858 after HH Stephenson recorded three wickets on three consecutive deliveries. This resulted in a hat being purchased and delivered to Stephenson. It wasn’t till twenty years later the word would actually be used in print for the first time.
In other sports the hat trick can be associated with three goals scored in hockey, water polo and soccer. Despite being difficult to achieve just a single hat trick players have the ability to also record a double hat trick including recording six wickets consecutively or scoring six goals. In hockey we also hear the world Natural Hat Trick which simply means three consecutive goals scored.
As we start to look at the history in ice hockey the idea of where it become popular is a toss up with some saying it started with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1940’s After a Maple leaf would score three goals in one game a Toronto Haberdasher would in return would give that player free hats. This has evolved over the years with many home crowds tossing hats on the ice after a hat trick is completed. Other historians also claiming it started at the Montreal Forum between the 1950’s and 70’s as well as during Guelph Biltmore Mat Hatters games.
Maybe the craziest of the stories took place with Alex Kaleta of the Chicago Blackhawks back on January 26, 1946. Kaleta who was shopping for a new hat in Toronto but didn’t have enough cash to purchase one from Sammy Taft. The two agreed to a deal that would result in Taft giving a free hat to Kaelta if he would go on to record a hat trick that evening. Kaleta would not only pick up the hat trick but would finish with four goals that evening.
Now it’s hard to say where it started at it is easy to say it is one of the top achievements any hockey player can finish with. During any given season the total of hat tricks that take place averages between 15-20. The list of the NHL greats to land on the list includes Bobby Hull, Mario Lemieux, Stan Mikta and Brett Hull. On January 3rd, 2015 Jaromir Jagr at the age of 42 became the oldest NHL star to record the feat in a single game. The feat also marked his 15 of his career but first time since the 2006 NHL season.
The king of the hat trick is no other than the great one Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky who not only holds multiple records in the NHL also holds the record for most hat tricks with 50 over the course of his historic career. One record that will be hard to break!