Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hockey: The Identity of a Nation

By Annmarie Dean

I love hockey. Plain and simple. My family has religiously watched the Buffalo Sabres for as long as I can remember and my first ever crush as a little girl was Michael Peca. I interned with the team and assisted with the 2008 Winter Classic while in college. I really could go on and on about what this game means to me and the city of Buffalo, but to give credit where credit is due, hockey is Canada and Canada is hockey; it is what baseball is to Americans. Fans of the game will be able to tune in to the premiere broadcast of WNED-TV’sHockey: More Than A Game” on December 1 at 8 p.m.

The program features a comprehensive look at the history of the game. Not only do viewers get to see the active role of minorities and women in hockey, but they also get to learn about the formation of the National Hockey League. In 1917, the NHL was conceived in Montreal and in 1924, the league expanded into the United States with the Boston Bruins. The original six included Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Boston; all of which have bore great players and even greater dynasties.

WNED’s Hockey: More Than A Game

While the majority of hockey players today play with composite sticks, the craftsmanship of sticks of the past is nothing short of artisan status.  Catch a glimpse of the world’s oldest hockey stick which dates to 1835-38 and was handcrafted using a single piece of wood (like most from this time were.)   

Among other relics from hockey’s past that are featured, no other symbol reigns over that of the Stanley Cup. In 1892, Lord Stanley, the governor general of Canada, donated the bowl to the best amateur team in Canada and it quickly became a much contested prize. He did so at the suggestion of his daughter, Isobel, a figure very prominent in the role of women in hockey as she organized the first documented women’s game.

“Hockey: More Than A Game” is packed with many experts of the sport who give their commentary, but it is the personal aspect that makes this program so special. Hear stories from hockey families, Walter Gretzky (father of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky), one town’s desire to be dubbed Kraft Hockeyville and an 11-year-old boy with dwarfism who dreams of becoming a goaltender in the NHL.

Hockey really is more than just a game as the title suggests. As one expert kindly points out, “hockey is Canada’s gift to the world.”

Are you looking forward to the premier broadcast of “Hockey: More Than A Game?” Do you have any hockey memories that you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below.


  1. Oh boy oh boy oh boy, I'm getting the DVR ready for this one. I'll be watching it with my son!