Rover (ice hockey)

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Ice hockey positions
Left Wing  - Center  - Right Wing
Enforcer  - Grinder  - Team Captain  - Pest  - power forward  - Rover

Rover is an earlier position designation in ice hockey .

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ice hockey was played with seven instead of the now usual six. In addition to the goalkeeper , the two defenders and the three strikers, there was another field player on the ice, the so-called rover. The rover was not assigned a fixed position on the ice surface, as it had to perform both defensive and offensive tasks and was universally applicable. This flexibility and its central role in the structure of the game correspond to the position of the Libero in football. Most of the time, the rover was the best player on a team, and the other three strikers tried to stage him in front of the goal.

The position lost its importance dramatically during the 1910s and early 1920s as overall player skills had greatly improved. The National Hockey Association (NHA) decided to do without the rover when it was founded in December 1909. This practice was also followed by the National Hockey League (NHL) as the successor to the NHA in 1917. In contrast, the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), which was founded in 1911, and the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL), which began playing in 1921, continued to play with the seventh man. It was not until 1923 that they decided to forego the same. Since then, the rover's position has disappeared from the world of ice hockey.

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