The Best Canadian Hockey Towns
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has a long way to go before it tops Trip Advisor’s top Canadian tourist destination list. But I doubt that the locals care. They’re too busy playing hockey!
Saskatoon doesn’t have an NHL franchise, but they do have one of the most successful minor hockey systems around. Saskatchewan, the city’s home province, has produced more NHL players per capita than any other Canadian province.
Winnipeg is considered one of the coldest cities in all of Canada. That would have most people packing their bags. But, as we all know, hockey players are an altogether different bunch.
Jonathan Toews, Alex Steen, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, and Andy Bathgate all owe their stripes to their wintery birthplace. That’s an impressive list of all-stars without a doubt.
In truth, it’s the Winnipeg hockey fans that truly deserve a pat on the back. Their patience (and dollars) helped persuade the head honchos at the NHL to bring the beloved Jets back to Winnipeg back in 2011. And the National Hockey League is a better place because of it.
The Calgary Stampede averages over one-million attendees year over year and yet, the largest city in the province of Alberta is without a doubt a hockey-first city. Calgary is home to the NHL’s Calgary Flames, and to one of the most dedicated fanbases league-wide.
The city is a hotbed for world-class talent too, including Mike Green, Taylor Hall, Patrick Eaves, and Ty Rattie. Even more impressive is the star-studded list of Calgary Flames alum that once called Cowtown home. Doug Gilmore, Lanny MacDonald, Theo Fleury, Jarome Iginla, Johnny Gaudreau, and the list goes on.
Part of what makes Calgary such a great hockey city is their long-standing rivalry with Alberta’s other club, Edmonton. The decades-long rivalry is, by every measurable, an absolute must-watch.