Are you wondering why hockey in Canada is so popular and why hockey is always associated with the country? Canadians of all ages love hockey. They breathe, eat, and live that sport. In fact, most people in Canada start teaching their children how to skate as soon as they learn to walk.
Why are Canadians obsessed with this sport? How did hockey become their official national winter sport? The answers to these questions are simple. Canadians invented the sport, and they are also very good at it.
This article will discuss the history of hockey in Canada to help you understand Canadians’ obsession with the sport. Further down this article, we’ll also share some exciting facts about hockey in Canada.
History of Hockey in Canada
The history of hockey in Canada dates back to the 19th century, most notably 1875, when the first indoor hockey game was played in Montreal, Quebec. Some of the rules and characteristics of today’s ice hockey game were drawn from this event. The Canadian rules were adopted by several countries overseas, and they later became the official rules of the game. The first annual hockey championships took place in Montreal in the 1880s. From the event till today, Canada has been making history in hockey. Below is an overview of the history of hockey in Canada.
• In 1914, about 21 teams across the country gathered in Ottawa to form The Canadian Amateur Hocket Association. Dr. W.F. Taylor was appointed as the president of the association, and their main function was to oversee the amateur games at the national level.
• About a decade after, Canada won the first-ever Olympic hockey gold medal. They retained their championship by winning gold again in the 1924 Olympics in France and the 1928 Olympics in Switzerland.
• From 1930 – 40, Canada won about eight golds in international hockey events, including a win at the 1932 Olympics. The country continues to add more trophies to its collections throughout the 1940s and 1950s, winning the 1952 Olympic and five other world titles.
• Canada won their 19th gold medal at the 1961 IIHF world Championship and three bronze medals from 1966 – 68.
• Canadians protested the exclusion of professional hockey players from the IIFC by refusing to participate in two Olympics events between 1970 – 76.
• Canada created two national hockey championships, Centennial Cup and Wrigley Cup, in 1971 and 1974, respectively.
• In 1981, Canada created the Program of Excellence to bring together the country’s top young players. The program was successful as Canada recorded improved performance on the international stage shortly after it was created.
• In 1982, Canada sent its first true national team to the IIHF World Junior Championship. They won the cup in 1982 and also in 1984 and 1987. In the same year, Canada created the national women’s championship.
• Canada hosted the first inaugural IIHF World Women’s Championship in the 1990s and won. The women’s team continued its dominance by winning five consecutive gold medals from 1993 – 97.
• In the last two decades, Canada’s national teams have achieved several feats on the international stage. The country won gold in the men’s and women’s hockey games in the 2002 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Four years later, Canada repeated the same feat with the women and men’s national teams winning gold in a world championship event.
How to Place Bets on Canada Ice Hockey Games?
Would you like to participate in betting on Canada’s most popular sport? There are many betting sites Canada 2021 that offer hockey betting. Here are the top sites:
• Betway Sports
• 888 Sport
• Royal Panda Sports
• PowerPlay Sports
• Sports Interaction
Some Interesting Facts About Hockey in Canada
We have gathered some exciting facts about Hockey in Canada that will leave you in awe. Read on to see what we have got.
Canada is the world’s leader when it comes to registered players. According to Statista, Canada has 607,951 registered players. The United States, Czech Republic, and Russia followed by 561,700, 129,595, and 100,701 registered hockey players.
Canada has the highest number of indoor and outdoor ice hockey rinks in the world. Data from Statista shows that the country has 2,860 indoor rinks and 5,000 outdoor rinks. The United States, the second country on the list, has just 1,550 indoor rinks and 500 outdoor rinks.
The first organized indoor hockey game was played at Victoria Skating Rink, Montreal. James Creighton organized the game.
Since creating the National Hockey League (NHL) in Canada, the Montreal Canadiens has won the cup 23 times. This feat makes them the NHL team with the highest Stanley Cup wins.
80% of Canada’s population watched the final men’s hockey game between Canada and the USA in the 2010 Olympics. To date, the game is the most-watched television broadcast in the history of Canada.
Wayne Gretzky, a former Canadian professional hockey player, is regarded as the greatest all-time hockey player in the world. He has 50 hat tricks, 894 goals, and 2,857 points to his name.
Toronto, Ontario, is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens goaltender, is regarded as the creator of the modern hockey goalie mask.
Where Can I Watch Hockey Games in Canada?
If you are in Canada, you can watch most hockey tournaments on TSN, while those in America can watch the games on NHL Network. The games can also be streamed live on FuboTV, Sling TV, TSN.ca, hockeytv.com, and more.
No doubt, hockey in Canada is a big part of the culture and heritage. Their unmatched history in the sport explains their obsession and love for the game. If ever possible, it will take decades for any country to match Canada’s whooping achievement in this combative sport. For those who love to check out hockey games in Canada or bettors who like to bet on the NHL, we have shared a list of places to watch the games and place bets.
We hope you find this article interesting and educative.