What a Center Does in Hockey

Canadian business professional Barry Alter has held leadership positions in numerous industries. The co-owner of the historic Lausanne Hockey Club in Switzerland, Barry Alter previously played center for the American Hockey League’s Baltimore Clippers and in Switzerland.

Although considered a support position, centers in ice hockey have many important duties. They are responsible for winning face-offs, distracting the other team’s goalie, and protecting their own net. The support element of the center involves “wingers.” While wingers are expected to make goals, they generally remain on their side of the ice. Alternatively, the center can travel throughout more of the playing area to ensure that their teammates have a safe path and to prevent competitors from impeding their movement.

Constantly in motion, centers play important roles offensively and defensively. When in an offensive position, they must keep the area open for wingers and direct passes. If the team is playing defensively, centers should concern themselves with their own goalie and figure out ways to prevent the puck from reaching the net.