Free Essay: The State of Hockey in Canada

Published: 2023-02-09
Free Essay: The State of Hockey in Canada
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Goal Problem solving Sport World
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 713 words
6 min read

Canada is considered the birthplace of hockey. The game is more than a simple sporting pastime in the country. It acts as a unifying force for people who are often divided by language and politics (Kidd, 2013). Canadian children play hockey more fervently than any other children in the world and the National Hockey League (NHL), which is largely an American League, is mostly made up of Canadians. The country also boasts some of the most enthusiastic fans, most lucrative franchises, and the biggest television audiences that the game receives anywhere in the world. For many years, the country dominated the sport. For instance, 27 out of 40 Stanley Cups were won by Canadian teams between 1954 and 1993 (Mintzberg & Moore, 2018). However, the country has not won a single cup ever since. Though the country is still dominant in junior, men's and women's hockey, it lacks a true national hockey league. Moreover, though Canada is the most significant contributor of revenue in the NHL, only seven out of the 31 teams are Canadian (Mintzberg & Moore, 2018). This has often raised the question of whether hockey in Canada is progressing or declining. This paper seeks to discuss the state of hockey in Canada and measures that can be taken to restore the game to its former glory.

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Is Canadian Hockey on a Decline?

Though American teams have entirely dominated the Stanley Cup for the last 26 years, it would be unfair to claim that Canadian hockey is on the decline. Canada still dominates the world in junior, women's and men's hockey (Mason, Duquette, & Scherer, 2013). The fans have also remained loyal through the years. Therefore, though Canada has been relegated to the second place in the NHL, it remains at the top of the world. However, due to the enormous contribution and investment that Canada makes to the NHL, there is a need to make the Canadian teams more competitive once again (Logothetis, 2018).

Many Canadians see the domination of the NHL by American teams as a loss of control of a game they consider their own. The change of guard can be traced to 1993, the year that a Canadian team last won the NHL (Mintzberg & Moore, 2018). Gary Bettman took over as a commissioner of NHL and embarked on a mission to expand the game on the American soil. Unfortunately, a similar task was not undertaken on the Canadian side. This is despite the fact that small Canadian cities are bigger markets for hockey than large American cities. According to a report by Forbes, Canadian teams contribute 30% and 55% of gate receipts and operating income in the NHL, respectively (Mintzberg & Moore, 2018). Moreover, while American fans spend an average of $27 at games, Canadians spend $73 (Mintzberg & Moore, 2018). This notwithstanding, there exists barriers to entry of more Canadian teams in the NHL. The restrictions have hampered the progression of the game in the country. It can also explain why teams from the United States have dominated the NHL for so long. However, since the barriers are legal and political, solutions can also be obtained legally and politically.


It is no secret that Canada rules the world in hockey. However, the same cannot be said about the NHL. The league has been dominated by teams from the United States since 1993. This can be attributed to barriers to entry of more Canadian teams into the league despite the country's substantial weight in the game. Though this does not necessarily mean that Canadian hockey is on the decline, it has undoubtedly limited the progression of the game. Adoption of the right political and legal measures can help take Canadian teams to the top of the league once again.


Kidd, B. (2013). Canada's 'national' sport. Sport in Society, 16(4), 351-361. Retrieved from

Logothetis, P. (2018, November 1). 'No dynasty lasts forever': the long, slow decline of the Montreal Canadiens. Retrieved from The Gurdian:

Mason, D. S., Duquette, G. H., & Scherer, J. (2013). 4. Heritage, Sport Tourism and Canadian Junior Hockey: Nostalgia for Social Experience or Sport Place? Heritage, Sport and Tourism, 43-62. Retrieved from

Mintzberg, H., & Moore, K. (2018, May 15). We've lost control of our own game. Retrieved from The Globe and Mail:

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