Although Canada's official sport is listed as lacrosse, there are millions of Canadian ice hockey fans who would beg to differ on the subject. If you asked almost anyone in Canada what their national sport is, you can be sure most would answer with a resounding: "hockey!" And if the "real" national sport of Canada is hockey then the "real" national pastime of Canada is watching hockey. On TV, on the radio, or in person, Canadians love to cheer for their favorite team.
The National Hockey League or NHL, which is based in the United States, gets a ton of attention from Canadian hockey fans. A significant portion of the population watches the games from pubs, living rooms, and neighbour's couches to find out which team will be the victor - and more importantly - who will win the Stanley Cup and ultimately triumph over all of the other teams in the National Hockey League. With such a large fan base in Canada, it only makes sense for team developers to choose Canadian locations for their teams.
Currently there are six teams in the National Hockey League based in Canadian cities. They are the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Vancouver Canucks. This is great for hockey fans who happen to live in Canada, but what about the fans who reside elsewhere? They're forced to cheer for a team that is based in a city that is not their own. To many Canadians, especially the ones residing in other large cities, this is not fair.
Since hockey is viewed in Canada as the national sport, it is also unfair to Canadians that they are so outweighed in the NHL by teams from American cities. To Canada's six teams, there are twenty four belonging to the United States. Therefore in the minds of most Canadians, it is time for change. And it should start with the creation of a seventh Canadian franchise in the NHL. You could fill a whole office with the mayors of cities vying for their cities to host this coveted team.
Should it be Halifax, Nova Scotia? Regina, Saskatchewan? Victoria, British Columbia? Here at Make It Seven, we'll debate the merits of prospective host cities and we'll also discuss the problems that would be faced by a seventh Canadian hockey team - financing, funding, fans, competition - and go over the history of Canada in hockey to analyze why we don't already have seven - or more - hockey teams.