|Long Island Old Pucks|
| The History of the Long Island Old Pucks
In the early 1970’s, Dick Wilson, the owner of Sportarama in Baldwin, Phil Engle, current secretary and retired player, and Steve McCabe, past president and current player, came together to form an “old-timers” hockey group. The result of their hard work was the Old Pucks hockey club. Their philosophy was simple: promote hockey to encourage more players in order to keep the club going.
The Long Island Old Pucks skate at the Freeport Recreation Center on Monday and Friday nights.
The Monday night group is comprised of players of 50 years of age and over. The Friday night group is open to all players regardless of age. In order to maintain the over 30-year tradition of “keeping the club going,” players younger than, but close to 50, have been encouraged to join the Monday night group.
Players of both nights are recognized for their knowledge of the game as well as their playing ability. This allows for parity in the computer generated lineups, and that translates to more competitive games. The games are not divided into three periods and scorekeeping is mostly unofficial, although, the goalies usually know the score. Three lines and three sets of defensive pairings are desired but games have been played with fewer players.
The games are controlled by a referee who keeps a stopwatch timer on the line changes to insure that playing time is equally distributed among the players. This also guarantees that line shifts aren’t too long and tiring. Neither slap shots nor checking is allowed and all players must wear helmets and face shields. The referee will call the obvious penalty which is served by the player on his next shift. We are not a select group – we accept all levels of ability. We do not tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior and do not allow fighting. Fighting on more than one occasion can and will lead to expulsion from the club.
The season runs from late September until the end of April. The cost of the ice and insurance determines how much each individual player must pay for the season. The club also sponsors two individual Christmas parties, one each for the Monday and Friday players; a Christmas family skate, and the annual Old Pucks Picnic at Lido Beach every June. While the average cost of ice time increases, the club has tried to keep the cost at a minimum to the players.
It has been said that the Old Pucks Hockey Club is a social club that tries to play hockey. This has not stopped the Old Pucks from playing in numerous tournaments and venues across the globe. In 1984, the Old Pucks began to travel at home and abroad. We have participated in tournaments in Australia, Austria, Wales and here in the U.S. at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Santa Rosa California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
UPDATE - Fall 2019
Over the Summer of 2019, the Freeport Rec Center reclaimed the time slots long used by the Old Pucks and, offering no times that allowed our broad membership to play together, sent the Old Pucks looking for ice elsewhere. Over time members come and go, some move on, some pass on. Throughout, the relationship with the Rec Center has been a constant - until now. The Old Pucks Hockey Club played at the Freeport Rec Center rink for some 40 years.