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|Flag and abbrev.||CAN|
|Leader|| Justin Trudeau |
|Population||35,160,000 (as of 2013)|
|National team||Team Canada|
|National federation||Hockey Canada|
|IIHF ranking||1st (+1)|
|Top league||National Hockey League (NHL)|
|Current champion||Montreal Canadiens*|
Canada is a North American country, bordered by the United-States. Its capital is Ottawa, Ontario and there are a little over 35 million inhabitants. The largest cities are Toronto (Maple Leafs) and Montréal (Le Canadien).
|IIHF Since||April 26 1920||Junior||325,432|
Hockey is hugely popular in Canada, to the point of having been named the official national sport. Currently, the top league in the country is the National Hockey League (a league established in both Canada and the United States. Despite the immense popularity of the sport in the country and the large number of top-level pro players, paradoxally, professional hockey is not very developped. The NHL only has 7 canadian teams out of its 30 members: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg; there is speculation that Quebec City will be getting a team in the near future do to financial problems in other NHL cities, such as Long Island's Islanders, Florida's Panthers, and Pheonix's Coyotes. The country has other teams in minor North American professional leagues, but there too, they are under-represented comparatively to the U.S.-based teams. The lack of large enough cities and potential investors, along with the high level of taxation in Canada are usually regarded as the main causes of the situation. The country, however, has some very strong semi-professional and amateur leagues.
Ice hockey in the country is governed by Hockey Canada.
History of hockey in CanadaEdit
The early yearsEdit
Ice hockey appeared in Canada early in the 1800s. The original game was pretty much adaptation to European sports of hurley, shinty or field hockey to the winter conditions of the new home of Irish, Scottish and English settlers, respectively. In 1825, Sir John Franklin wrote that "The game of hockey played on the ice was the morning sport" while on Great Bear Lake during one of his Arctic expeditions. In 1843, a British Army officer in Kingston, Ontario, wrote "Began to skate this year, improved quickly and had great fun at hockey on the ice." A Boston Evening Gazette article from 1859 makes reference to an early game of hockey on ice occurring in Halifax in that year. Games in Kingston and Halifax are the earliest recorded hockey games.
Hockey clubs began to appear. The first was the [[McGill University Hockey CluThe bowl, initially known as The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and more famously later as the Stanley Cup, was first awarded in 1893 to the Montreal HC. If it was originally intended as a challenge cup for champions of various leagues across the country, it became the de facto championship trophy of the National Hockey League in 1926, and de jure in 1947.
In 1904, International Professional Hockey League(IPHL) was formed in the United States. That league boasted the first professional team from Canada, the Canadian Soo. The league hired amateur players from Canada ; that forced canadians to move from amateurism to professionalism as well, in order to keep their top players in the country. The Manitoba Professional Hockey League holds the distinction of being the first league to go professional in the country, in 1905; that league was essentially made out of the teams of the amateur Manitoba Hockey Association.
On the international level, Canada is very competitive, continuously ranked in the elite of the world and part of the Big Seven.
Some great Canadian playersEdit
A very large number of very great talent have come from Canada through the years; they have, at every moment of the history of the NHL, outnumbered the number of American and European players, even though the country only has seven franchises out of thirty within its boundaries. Among the very best players to date are:
- Wayne Gretzky
- Mario Lemieux
- Maurice Richard
- Bobby Orr
- Patrick Roy
- Gordie Howe
- Bobby Hull
- Sidney Crosby
- Steven Stamkos
- Steve Yzerman
- Mark Messier
- Ray Bourque
- Phil Esposito
- Luc Robitaille
- Joe Sakic
- Marcel Dionne
- Alexander Cup Major Senior
- Allan Cup Senior
- Edinburgh Trophy Minor Professional
- Hardy Cup Intermediate
- Memorial Cup Major Junior
- Royal Bank Cup Tier II Junior "A"
- Stanley Cup Major Professional
- University Cup Universities
Population of Metropolitan Areas (2006)
- 1 Toronto 5,113,149
- 2 Montreal 3,635,571
- 3 Vancouver 2,116,581
- 4 Ottawa 1,130,761
- 5 Calgary 1,079,310
- 6 Edmonton 1.034,945
- 7 Quebec City 715,515
- 8 Winnipeg 694,668
- 9 Hamilton 692,911
- 10 London 457,720
- Canada men's national junior ice hockey team
- Canada men's national ice hockey team
- Canada women's national ice hockey team
- Canada women's national U-18 ice hockey team
- Canada men's national U-18 ice hockey team
|Alberta - British Columbia - Manitoba - Newfoundland and Labrador - New Brunswick|
| Nova Scotia - Ontario - Prince Edward Island - Québec - Saskatchewan
|Territories: Northwest Territories - Nunavut - Yukon|