Development of Professionalism within Canadian Hockey
Susan Markham Starr
March 25th 2011
Canada is a country symbolized by many things such as the maple leaf, our animals and especially the sport of hockey. Canadians have fallen in love with the game of hockey because Canadian history has not been shrouded by victories or losses in war but rather victories and loses in hockey have been nationally celebrated (Dowbiggin, 2008). The pride Canadians feel for the sport of hockey is reflected in the volume of high caliber hockey players that have developed within Canada. According to the NHL (2010), almost 54% of all athletes that played in the 2009-2010 NHL season were born in Canada. The United States of America has the next highest percentage of total athletes during the 2009-2010 NHL season at 23%. Matthew Barnaby, a Canadian hockey great, speaks of his mother remortgaging her house to keep him in competitive hockey (Dowbiggin, 2008, p.24). Barnaby’s story begins to show that Canadians place a tremendous emphasis on the sport of hockey. The amount of emphasis is justified by Hockey Canada (2010) when their statistics say over 500 000 kids are enrolled in minor hockey programs across Canada. Therefore, using Hango and de Broucker (2010) an approximation of 1 out of every 15 kids in Canada are registered in an official Canadian minor hockey program. The enrollment of Canadians in minor hockey is a direct correlation to the large amount of success Canadian hockey players have experienced on an international and professional level. Canadian hockey players have had a reputation for greatness and success since 1901. In 1901 Canadian hockey players were being recruited to Northern Michigan to play for hockey’s very first professional team (Mason, 2004). The recruitment of Canadians to Northern Michigan can be considered as the spark that ignited the flame of national pride surrounding hockey and...