"Hockey: Canada's favourite sport" Canada Local Custom Tip by Carmanah
Canada Local Customs: 138 reviews and 102 photos
Although it's a lie to say that everyone loves hockey in Canada, the majority of Canadians love hockey with such a passion, it's similar to how most British people obsess over the English Premier League. Almost anywhere in Canada, no matter how small the town is, will probably have a hockey league. And no matter how much else is going on in the world, hockey will almost always make the front page news.
Canada has 6 professional NHL (National Hockey League) teams. These are the famous televised games that are broadcast on national TV. There's the Vancouver Canucks, the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames, the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs (yes, not Leaves), and the Montréal Canadiens (yes, that's the French -iens , not the English -ians ). Some teams have strong rivalries (ie: the Edmonton Oilers vs the Calgary Flames). While you'll rarely see opposing fans beat each other up, there's generally a lot of good-natured teasing if you're rooting for the other team!
While NHL teams are exciting to watch, the tickets can be expensive if they're not already sold out. As an alternative, many locals are now going to watch the smaller leagues instead, as these are the teams that consist of players who will eventually get into the NHL. Many people even go as far as to say that the smaller leagues are actually more exciting to watch, as the teams are playing for the passion of the game, and not for a multi-million dollar paycheque! It also helps that the tickets are cheaper! :) Some smaller leagues to look out for are the WHL (Western Hockey League) or the OHL (Ontario Hockey League).
And finally, nobody in Canada calls hockey "ice hockey". It's redundant, as it's already assumed you play hockey on ice. People will identify other types of hockey as "ball hockey" (when playing in a gym with a tennis ball or something other than a puck), "street hockey" (when you're playing a casual game of hockey on the street in your neighbourhood), or "field hockey" (generally played by girls in grassy fields).
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