The Best Canadian Hockey Towns
Windsor, Nova Scotia be damned, the birthplace of Canada’s most beloved sport has always been Kingston, Ontario. The game can be traced all the way back to the 1840s when a 23-year-old British soldier referenced hockey in his diary.
Kingston’s contribution to hockey didn’t end in the 1840s though. Today, the Kingston Frontenacs of the Canadian Hockey League entertain local fans and have been since 1989. The historic hockey town has also produced premier hockey stars like Doug Gilmour, Kirk Muller, and Mike Smith.
Vancouver is the crown jewel of Western Canada. It’s certainly one of the most modern, vibrant, and unique places north of the 49th. Though the Vancouver Canucks have only been an NHL franchise since the 1970s, the seeds of the club were planted in the mid-forties.
The Canucks have provided some of the most memorable Canadian hockey moments too. There’s the Todd Bertuzzi sucker punch, their 2011 push for the cup, and who can forget the ensuing hockey-fueled riots?
On the ice, the city is a veritable juggernaut. Vancouver gave the hockey world Paul Kariya, Evander Kane, Milan Lucic, Ryan Johansen, and superstar-in-the-making Mathew Barzal. The Canucks may be perceived as a second-class hockey city when compared to Montreal or Toronto, but year after year, they continue to raise the crossbar.
Quebec City is far from the perfect NHL consumer base for the ever-expanding professional hockey league. But that doesn’t stop the rabid Quebec City faithful from petitioning the league in a myriad of ways.
Of course, Quebec City once had an NHL franchise. The Quebec Nordiques folded, having moved to Colorado in 1995. Apparently, nobody told their rabid fans. Nordiques fans still abound in Quebec City, team or not.
The city has produced quite a few NHLers too. Simon Gagne, Paul Statsny, Sylvain Cote, and David Desharnais all owe their career to the popular, French-speaking city.
Quebec City may not have an NHL team yet, but they have a stadium (Videotron Centre) and a pretty darn good minor-league team, The Quebec Remparts.