Hockey was originally played with as many people as you could find, and every body simply ranged across the field doing what they could. Obviously they would stratify into groups that were better at defending and better at attacking, but this was not formalised.Answer
This might not be the answer you were looking for, but in the lat 1800's on Canadian ponds there would be over 50 people playing a game at a single time.Answer
In the PRE NHL rules, before 1917, there were a goaltender, a rover, two defence men, and 3 forwards, for a total of 7 players on team, NO SUBS were allowed. If a man was hurt the team played a man short for the rest of the game. All players played 60 minutes in those days, with a 15 minute break between the 1st and the 2nd periods, and another 15 minute break between the 2nd and the 3rd period.
To illustrate my point consider this .............One of the early Stanley Cup winning teams ( 1907) was the OTTAWA SIVER SEVEN, who had just 7 players in their championship photograph. You had to be tough to be a hockey player, then and now.
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