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Ice hockey is a very popular sport that is played all over the world today. Hockey is the fastest and roughest of all team sports. The game of hockey, as it is known today, originated in Canada.

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Ice hockey is a very popular sport that is played all over the world today. Hockey is the fastest and roughest of all team sports. The game of hockey, as it is known today, originated in Canada. Hockey is an important part of Canada's culture. It has given Canadians many heroes such as Maurice "The Rocket" Richard, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. Most Canadians grow up exposed to the game whether as a fan or a player. Canadians are responsible for not only developing the game of hockey but also for taking it to a professional level. No one really knows for sure when or by who ice hockey was invented. "The word hockey comes from the French word hoquet, meaning shepherd's crook, referring to the shape of the stick."1 Most historians agree that a form of hockey began in northern Europe where field hockey was a popular sport. In winter, athletes would play a form of it on frozen ponds. Most people believe that ice hockey was spread to Canada during the mid 1800's by British soldiers who played ball and stick games on the ice in Halifax and Kingston. New research has discovered a hockey-like game played by the MicMac Indians in Nova Scotia in the early 1800's. It was played with a hurley (stick) ...read more.


and Canadian dollar and the extra tax burden faced by Canadian teams."5 Two Canadian teams, Quebec and Winnipeg, have already left Canada because of financial costs. Today there are thirty teams in the NHL and just six of these are based in Canada. Although there are other professional leagues in Europe and the U.S., they are considered as semi pro when compared to the NHL. The NHL is the elite of all professional hockey. No matter what the future holds for the NHL in Canada, Canadians can pride themselves in the fact that the Montreal Canadians record of twenty four Stanley Cups will most likely never be broken. As hockey progressed into an organized sport, rules were changed and added to make the game more interesting. In the very early years hockey was a totally disorganized game with as many as thirty players a side. Rules were made up as the game went along. It resembled a pick-up game of shinny. As hockey began to organize into leagues with teams, rules started to be a part of the game. Teams played with nine players a side. Players played the whole game. Substitutions were allowed only if a player was injured. Goalies had to remain standing at all times and forward passing was not allowed. The early 1900's saw many changes to these rules. ...read more.


Canadian teams have not done very well. At the world hockey championships held this year, Canada did not even make the semi-finals. "Canadians are no longer the masters of their own game."7 Other countries have caught up. Today, hockey remains to be a very popular sport in Canada. Thousands of children are playing the game at both the houseleague and rep levels. The number of adults playing in old-timer leagues has risen. The biggest change today is in the number of girls who have taken up the sport. "Girls hockey is the fastest growing sport in Canada."8 Although women have been playing hockey in Canada for over 100 years it was not very popular and did not get a lot of exposure. The first women's world championship was held in 1990 and women's hockey became part of the Olympics in 1998. Canadian women have proven themselves the best at these events. Hockey is no longer seen just as a sport for men. Ice hockey will always remain as one of Canada's most popular team sports. No other sport has given Canadians so many heroes. The tradition of hockey will continue to live on in Canada not only by those who play it professionally but also by those who play the game just for the fun of it. Although Canadians no longer dominate hockey, Canada will always have a place in the history books as the country that developed the game into what it is today. ...read more.

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