CARHA Hockey often writes about the best part of hockey being the social side - sitting around the dressing room with the team, talking about work, life, or this great sport of ours.

But what is it about hockey that differentiates it from other sports in this regard?

Well, given the fact that it involves more equipment that any other sport, it became common for players to show up to games 30 or even 45 minutes before puck drop to ensure that they had time to change into their gear.

This gave teammates time to plenty of time to chit chat while they changed, and provided them with an opportunity to unwind for a little while, escaping their otherwise jam-packed, stressful lives.

Think about soccer - getting ready for a game only involves putting on shin pads, socks, and cleats, and then going through a quick stretch. This leaves players with only 5 to 10 minutes of social time before the game, and a simlar amount of time after the game.

Baseball is closer to hockey because players have the duration of the game to chat in the dugout while the game is happening, but this only occurs when the team is at bat, meaning you're left all alone in the field with no one to talk to when the other team is at the plate.

Hockey has the dressing room time, but also the time together on the bench, discussing strategies, plays, funny things that happened in the game, or even just basking in the glory of our great sport.

Over the years, hockey developed more and more into a social gathering for a lot of people, and some even look forward to that cherished time in the dressing room with their teammates more than the actual game.

And we totally understand.