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A Brief History of Hockey in Canada

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  • Digital Team 

Canadians are very proud and enthusiastic about hockey. After all, it’s their national sport and Canadian hockey teams are among the best in the world. Canadians won’t hesitate to visit sites like to place a wager every now and then on their favorite team. 

But what is it about hockey that moves Canadians so much? The fact of the matter is that Canadians have made hockey what it’s today. 

Just don’t call it ice hockey if you ever visit Canada. Even Canadians tend to get upset when someone says ice hockey. It’s just hockey, as it should be. With that in mind, here’s a brief history of hockey in Canada. 

Origins of Canadian hockey

There are many debates regarding the origins of hockey in Canada. Back in 2008, International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) officially declared that the first ever organized hockey game was played in Montreal back in 1875. 

There’s also evidence that first ever hockey rules were published in the Montreal Gazette back in 1877. However, researchers have discovered that organized hockey games were first played on skates back in England where the first rules originated from as well. 

Starting from the 1870s, Canada made significant additions to the game thus reshaping hockey as we know it. In the early 20th century, Canadian hockey rules defined the sport itself. 

Where did the term hockey come from?

Hockey is a form of stick and ball game that dates back to ancient Greece and Egypt. However, hockey originated from stick and ball games that were played in Britain back from the 14th century onwards. 

For example, hurling (Ireland), shinty (Scotland) and bandy (England) were famous stick and ball games that eventually gave birth to hockey. Unlike the other names from England, the term hockey is more recent. s oldest known use can be found in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, written by Richard Johnson.

Hockey in Canada

Despite the claims that various Canadian cities and towns are the true “birthplace” of the hockey game, hockey is not really a Canadian invention. It was actually brought by the members of the British army and navy who were stationed in Canada. 

However, The “Canadian Rules” is what reshaped the game of hockey. Therefore, Canadians may not have invented hockey but they certainly take ownership of how the sport is played today.


Canada is a hockey country, there’s no doubt about that. Even though the sport itself is not Canadian per se, what Canadians did with the sport and the rules has revolutionized the hockey game forever. 

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