Canada founded in 1867 and is now into its 151st year and a nation. Jump forward only 50 years from that point and it’s now 1917 and the National Hockey League forms, now in its 100th year. A 50-year gap, a dot on the timeline of civilization, in which Canada and its provinces grew, developed and seemingly form an incredible passion for the sport. This has always and forever will be a long shared heartbeat.
Back in this early day’s much discussion would surround the affiliation with Canada’s climate and thusly, why its forebears took to strapping on stakes to wade through the inhospitable landscape. Wondering upon a frozen pond, they fashioned sticks and a puck and as if by some evolutionary consciousness of curiosity the game was born.
100 years of Hockey
Like Kubrick’s 2001, we jump in a blink to the formation of the National Hockey League. In this time the game has developed, with teams rising and falling, now leaving only two of the six original teams remaining. The skate’s transform, outfits for the game changed, sticks redesigned and pucks manufactures using various materials. The ownership of the game never wavered. Transcend 100 years to our modern times and we introduce global recognition, international team sponsorship, business models, and betting facilities like Parissportif-Hockey. All uninterrupted during the growth of a nation which wandered through harsh terrain on to built-up immigration, into World Wars, fighting for independence treaties and battling financial depressions. Hockey remained as the nation’s backbone in very restless times.
Skating became so ingrained into the gene of the Canadian people that hockey was a natural rite of passage. Those which traveled to the country in the early days certainly didn’t have the born skill to master the ice with two blades strapped to the bottom of the feet and it would become a handicap for those wishing to become a hockey player.
From the age of six, a young Canadian will have developed full knowledge of the game and the now near extinct street hockey would have been their platform. Jump forward again 100 years and you have parents of children investing in talent with expensive equipment, fees, specialized coaching, and the summer programmes.
150 years of Building Hockey History
Hockey has remained, the years passing from the leagues birth in 1917 saw a number of sports brought to the nation with the additions of baseball and, more recently, soccer, striving for recognition with the nation, there is no denying that hockey will remain the heart of the nation for a very long time. It’s no surprise that in the nation’s short list of proudest moments in Canada’s history, the 1972 Summit Series sits alongside such events as the Vimy Ridge battle in 1812. With the survey focusing on individuals, Sidney Crosby considered to be the greatest Canadian athlete of the 21st Century and list which included the likes of Gretzky, Howe, Orr and Lemieux.
There is something about the sport which definitively defines the spirit of our people, and it will remain. For its highs and lows, good and bad times, for the players breaking records and making history that come and go and the Olympic heroes that have raised a nation to their feet. Nothing, not one single thing can replace that scrapping of the skate on an icy surface, the clacking of sticks and the thud of bodies impacting to bring joy to a people which are totally in synch with the game.