The word “puck” was first recorded in the February 7, 1876 edition of the Montreal Gazette. The NHL regards this date as the hockey puck’s birthday, even though they were in use for decades before.
Early pucks were made from frozen cow dung. The first rubber pucks
were made from lacrosse balls, which were sliced in thirds and only
the middle third was used. Now they are constructed of vulcanized
Players are required to use frozen pucks to reduce bouncing and make
them easier to control. These tend to thaw quickly and are replaced
by officials on average of 12 per game. Don Rickles might have
called people who started the NHL strike 'hockey pucks'.