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All players are well aware of the surface they are playing on. They know the length of the ice and the amount of room they have to play in the neutral zone.  Advancements in the game of hockey have led to frequent modifications to the markings on the playing surface. Please note that the below layouts reflect the expectations from the National Hockey League, but there have been teams throughout history, particularly the earlier years, who have had some discrepancies with their hockey markings.

Throughout the history of the NHL, there have been many variances from rink to rink such as Edmonton's center ice facing the players benches or the shorter rinks like the one in the Chicago Stadium. There were quite a few of these abnormalities, but for the sake of the overall history of the NHL, the following graphics will be based upon the typical 200 by 85 foot rink.