Submitted by Marianna Catherine Locke1*, George Karlis PhD2*
1* Marianna Catherine Locke, Ph.D. Student, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
2* George Karlis, Ph.D, Full Professor, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
For Canada hockey is not merely a sport, a game, or a pastime, rather it is a way of life that millions of Canadians are absorbed in. Each year hundreds of Canada’s most talented athletes leave Canada to play hockey in the NCAA. The routine loss of these dynamic individuals not only effects Canadian women’s hockey, but more significantly it impacts Canadian society. The paper provides the current state of condition of the mass exodus of Canadian women’s hockey players to the NCAA while also addressing concerns and challenges. Roughly 400 Canadian women’s hockey players currently play in the NCAA (The Canadian Press, August 21, 2014). The concern is that this number will continue to grow in the future based on the benefits offered by playing in the NCAA versus the CIS. The challenge will undoubtedly become greater for Canada to maintain its top Canadian women’s hockey players in Canada, not only for the betterment of Canadian hockey but also to help sustain cultural pride through its national winter sport.
Key Words: Canada, Women’s Ice Hockey, NCAA, CIS, Nationalism
Sport is a prominent institution in almost every society because it draws on and celebrates widely valued characteristics (Guoqi, 2008). Some of these characteristics include: respect, team spirit, integrity, hard work, tolerance, and passion (International Fair Play Committee, 2013). Sport also has a significant influence upon our social norms and expectations, educational system, economy, and values of citizens (Simon, 2004). Clearly sport is a considerable influencing agent in our global societies. The customary traditions, norms, and cultural practices of nations tend to closely correlate with the country’s national sport. For nations like Brazil soccer is the prominent global symbol and socializing agent. Baseball has been referred to as America’s favorite pastime and culturally representative of American traditions for years. As for Canada, hockey continues to be the most adored and celebrated sport.
For Canada hockey is not merely a sport, a game, or a pastime. Hockey is a way of life, and a way of life that millions of Canadians are well absorbed in. Prime Minister Stephen Harper illustrates the powerful impact hockey has upon daily Canadian life in the forward he authored in How Hockey Explains Canada by Paul Henderson and Jim Prime. (Henderson and Prime, 2011) The subsequent is an excerpt from Prime Minister Harper’s forward. “Canada is known throughout the world as the hockey nation. I meet with many world leaders and representatives of foreign governments and invariably the subject comes up. Many have observed to me that we Canadians are seen as generally as pretty modest, quiet, and unassuming-type people—but they notice with Canadians that when the subject of hockey comes up we get very loud and start waving our arms around. It’s a bit of a standing joke. Everybody notices this!” (Henderson and Prime, 2011) According to Canada’s most prominent leader in his abovementioned statement, hockey is largely acknowledged worldwide as Canada’s game.
Clearly Prime Minister Harper’s statement indicates that much of Canada’s world eminence can be attributed to the country’s intense passion for the game of hockey. As imperative as hockey is to Canada’s reputation outside the red and white borders, hockey is even more influential on Canadian soil. Canada proudly boasts seven Canadian based NHL (National Hockey League) franchises. These teams include: The Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks. These seven teams are worshiped by faithful fans. The players of these teams serve as role models to many young Canadian athletes. Moreover their existence serves as powerful contributors to the Canadian economy. Many people are employed via these organizations, and many markets (bar, restaurant, hotel etc.) benefit financially from local NHL hockey teams.
Undoubtedly these NHL franchises do garnish most of the media coverage and admiration from the Canadian public. However, once every four years another group of 20 very talented hockey players also experience Canada’s extreme hockey support and pride. This dynamic group of athletes would be the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. There are over 86,000 registered female hockey players in Canada (HockeyCanada, 2015). Most, if not all, of these players idolize the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Prime Minister Harper had this to say about hockey, and specifically women’s hockey. “Hockey in Canada today is everyone’s game, regardless of race, creed, or gender. I’m a big fan of elite level women’s hockey and really enjoy watching it. I think in terms of caliber of play, the women’s game has come a long way” (Henderson and Prime, 2011). Canadian women’s hockey has truly progressed not only on the ice, but, most importantly, off the ice and in the national development of Canada as a whole.
This paper will examine Canadian women’s hockey. The paper will largely focus on Canadian women’s hockey in relation to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Each year hundreds of Canada’s most talented athletes leave Canada to play hockey in the NCAA. The routine loss of these dynamic individuals not only effects Canadian women’s hockey, but more significantly it impacts Canadian society. This paper provides the current state of condition of the mass exodus of Canadian women’s hockey players to the NCAA while also addressing concerns and challenges. The paper purports to increase awareness of the mass exodus of Canadian women hockey players to the NCAA while also addressing concerns and challenges which are cultural, specifically, in light of the link between hockey and Canadian culture. To fulfill the purpose of this paper, this paper is divided into four parts: (1) evolution of women’s hockey, (2) the current state of condition, (3) concerns, and (4) challenges.
Evolution of Women’s Hockey
Women’s hockey is a very young sport. Although women have been playing recreational hockey on the Canadian prairie flooded fields since the early days of the 20th century, the more organized and esteemed recognition of organized women’s hockey has only existed since the early 1980s (McFarlene, 1994). Much of this appreciation and notoriety that women’s hockey has experienced can be attributed to Title IX. In 1972 the United States passed a law requiring gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding. Title IX was enormously progressive for women’s athletics. Title IX drastically improved participation opportunities for women, and also presented far more funding possibilities. This funding was tremendously valuable in improving women’s athletic facilities, equipment, coaching salaries etc. (The United States Justice Department, 2015). The significant impacts of Title IX were especially apparent in traditionally male dominated sports like hockey. Title IX truly was a springboard for the development of women’s hockey worldwide.
Shortly after the passage of Title IX the inaugural Women’s World Championship was held. In the spring of 1987 the first Women’s World Hockey Championship was played in Mississauga, Ontario. Just eleven years later, the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan marked the first time women’s hockey was played in the Olympic Games (McFarlene, 1994). Since then women’s hockey has continued to experience tremendous advancement in participation and as an entertainment product. Today women’s hockey continues to be one of the fastest growing women’s sports in the world. According to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), between 2007 and 2010 the number of registered female players worldwide grew from 153,665 to 170,872. Women’s hockey is on the rise in almost every part of the world and there are teams in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and Latin America (IIHF, 2015). Women’s hockey is clearly gaining global prestige, and no country is more revered than the IIHF ranked number one Canadian Women’s National Team (IIHF, 2013).
The Current State of Condition
Canada’s premiere women’s hockey players continually choose to play south of the border in the United States. These talented athletes choosing to play NCAA hockey rather than CIS (Canada’s Interuniversity Sport) hockey has an influence on women’s hockey and Canada. Indeed, roughly 400 Canadian women’s hockey players currently play in the NCAA (Canadian women’s university athletic scholarships: 5 things to know 2014). Table 1 identifies some of the positive impacts in retaining elite Canadian women’s hockey players in the CIS system, and more importantly upon Canadian society.
Benefits of focusing on improving CIS athlete retention
- Alumni donations (nostalgia)
- Nationalism (Hockey is Canada!) and overall Canadian hockey enhancement
- Role models
- Bond with community
- Money (not in hockey profit, but in city/town food, hotel, bar etc.)
The CIS is an institute in major need of additional finances. This is especially true in regards to CIS women’s hockey. One means to improve CIS women’s hockey funding would be to augment alumni donations. A chief hindrance to this campaign is the continual departure of capable Canadian hockey players. Each year hundreds of athletes are choosing to give back to their alma maters, their alma maters residing in communities within the confines of the United States.
When considering the routine loss of Canadian talent it is imperative to consider that Canada is not only considered the birthplace of hockey (Vaughn, 1996), hockey has also been proclaimed by the House of Commons as Canada’s official winter national sport (Karlis, 2011). When discussing nationalism and hockey it is useful to reflect upon one of Canada’s most celebrated hockey sons in Paul Henderson. Henderson’s great pride and honor in representing Canadian hockey and culture during the infamous Summit Series of 1972 are well noted in his succeeding statements. “I know the sweater has come to symbolize something much larger than a hockey series. It is as if it is another Canadian flag, one that instills pride in our country but also pride in our country’s game” (Henderson and Prime, 2011). Henderson’s comments clearly help one understand the close association between Canadian hockey and Canadian society. Henderson’s tremendous pride in representing Canada in 1972 is again lucidly evident with his following comments. “I will always be proud that I was a member of that wonderful team. I am even prouder to have played the game that I love, the game that has helped to explain Canada to the world and ourselves” (Henderson and Prime, 2011). This last statement by Henderson is a powerful statement, and one that truly resonates with the reader. Considering Henderson’s preceding comments, if hockey truly is Canada’s game, then why are the most gifted women’s hockey players not staying to play in the nation where hockey was created? The social and nationalistic consequences of this may prove significant.
Hockey’s birthplace and Canada’s nationalistic sporting source of pride not being able to entice their best female players to stay and play in Canada should be a huge red flag to Canadian leaders. These athletes leaving may contribute to less nationalistic pride. It could also contribute to future fewer elite Canadian born female hockey players. The regular loss of the most elite Canadian women’s hockey players creates a “watered down” CIS women’s hockey product. The less skilled Canadian players that play CIS women’s hockey are not afforded with the opportunity to skate, train, and compete with Canada’s best daily. This definitely hinders the overall advancement of women’s hockey in Canada. It is far more difficult to close the skill gap, and create greater parity in CIS women’s hockey without having the most elite Canadian born players pushing the development pace. This is a significant restrictive factor upon Canadian women’s hockey as a collective enterprise.
Similarly young Canadian female hockey players are only able to watch top caliber Canadian women’s hockey players once every four years. These young and upcoming Canadian female hockey players only watch their heroes play during the Winter Olympics. If their role models, and the best Canadian women’s hockey players, played CIS women’s hockey, these young girls could watch their heroes play every weekend of the winter. CIS women’s hockey would also most definitely experience far greater media attention and public acclaim.
Canada’s premiere talent does not always leave for just four years. Frequently these athletes fall in love with their school, community, person etc. and decide to make the U.S. their new home. These intense bonds to their new homes are frequently far too meaningful to leave. In this case Canada is not merely losing hockey talent, Canada is also losing dynamic future mothers, professionals, and leaders.
Moreover, Canadian women’s hockey players choosing to play NCAA women’s hockey have a direct economic influence upon Canadian society. Naturally, these Canadian hockey players and families spend money for leisure and living expenses while in the United States. Although this may not account for a considerable impact within the overall economy of Canada, the fact that Canadian families are spending considerable percentages of their leisure and recreation finances outside of Canada is indeed a very significant factor that must be prioritized by Canadian leaders.
NCAA versus CIS
At a quick glance the two prominent sporting organizations look comparable. Considering only the information presented in Table 2 there would seem to be no considerable problem with the structure of the CIS women’s hockey system. Both sporting organizations have a similar history. Both also have four major conferences. Aside from the number of participant institutions the four conferences appear to be relatable. However, the two sporting systems operate on completely different levels. The CIS is short on money and skill. Conversely, the NCAA is rich in resources and talent, especially Canadian talent.According to an audited financial statement, the NCAA hada net worth of $627 million in the 2013 fiscal year (Berkowitz, 2014).TABLE 2
Women’s NCAA and CIS Hockey by the Numbers
A comparison of the two sporting organizations:
|NCAA Women’s Hockey||36 Division I schools, and 53 Division III schools competing in women’s hockey (89 total schools)||15 National Championships||4 major Division I conferences (ECAC, Hockey East, WCHA, and CHA)|
|CIS Women’s Hockey||29 total schools||15 National Championships||4 major CIS conferences (CW, AUS, OUA, QSSF)|
A closer investigation into specific NCAA rosters and success patterns for two particular schools indicate this assertion. Consider the following information regarding both Cornell and Clarkson University of the ECAC women’s hockey league (NCAA Division I) (see Table 3).
NCAA/CIS by the Numbers
Cornell University: 2013 ECAC Champions
Roster featured: 15 Canadians, 6 Americans, and ALL 3 coaches Canadian born
Clarkson University: Second place in the ECAC (2013)
Roster featured: 19 Canadians, 1 American (ironically from Little Canada, MN) and 2 of 3 coaches are Canadian born
Clearly these two American universities are benefitting from the on-ice presence of Canada’s best women’s hockey players. Canadian born women’s hockey players are the driving force in many perennial NCAA women’s hockey superpowers, and ultimately in the schools as a whole. It seems like the CIS women’s hockey league, and all Canadian universities, would really benefit from the participation of these elite deporting athletes.
The vast exodus of Canadian women’s hockey players also becomes evident when evaluating the Team Canada’s Women’s Hockey Team. The pinnacle of all women’s hockey is achieved when appointed to Team Canada. What is alarmingly obvious when examining the rosters of the most recent Canadian Women’s Olympic and World rosters is the overwhelming number of players choosing to leave Canada and play NCAA hockey (see Tables 4 and 5).
Team Canada Women’s Hockey Players by the Numbers
2010 Canadian Olympic Team Roster:
Forwards: 10 of 12 played NCAA
Defensemen: 5 of 6 played NCAA
Goalies: 1 of 3 goalies played NCAA
* Shannon Szabados participated in the WHL (Western Hockey League) and thus forfeited her NCAA eligibility)
Totals: 16 of 19 Canadian Olympic women’s hockey players played NCAA hockey
2010 Olympic Games Statistics:
Top tournament scorers: 8 of 10 top scorers played NCAA
* 6 of these top scorers were Canadian playing NCAA hockey
Team Canada Women’s Hockey Players by the Numbers cont.
2013 World Championship:
Forwards: 11 of 13 played NCAA
Defensemen: 7 of 7 played NCAA
Goalies: 1 of 3 played NCAA
Totals: 19 of 23 Canadian Women’s World hockey players played NCAA hockey
* Hosted by Ottawa (April 2-9, 2013)
Why are these numbers concerning? Again, these athletes are leaving Canadian soil to represent American universities. Their alumni donations, Canada’s nationalism in hockey and the country, Canada’s role models, Canadian communities, and the Canadian economy are impacted by this departure. Olympians are supposed to be a nation’s brightest and most vibrant of stars. Unfortunately for Canada, these stars are shining bright, but not on Canadian soil.
The continual loss of valuable Canadian talent is a troubling issue for all of Canadian society. From the previous data it seems obvious that women’s Canadian hockey players leaving to play NCAA hockey is an enormous difficulty, especially for the CIS organization. Interestingly, the CIS president did not seem to portray any sort of urgency or considerable concern when discussing this issue in an interview. President Leo MacPherson had this to say about the NCAA, and particularly CIS women’s hockey: “We don’t have a consensus that we have a crisis on our hands for young Canadian prospective student-athletes for the CIS migrating to American National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA),” said the CIS president. “But there is some concern.” He went on to explain that the league is judging the loss of Canadian talent on a sport-by-sport basis, pointing to women’s hockey as a particular concern” (Hastie, 2013). These comments seem to reflect no true sense of apprehension.
A few suggestions were made in regards to CIS athlete retention. These included creating one large super conference and a “tiered” league, elongating CIS eligibility, and creating a formal compliance office (Hastie, 2013). Contrary to the sentiments expressed by CIS President Leo MacPherson, Canadian-decision makers do indeed have an exporting of Canadian talent crisis on their hands. It would be useful for Canadian sport leaders to further research the potential devastating consequences of this continued exodus. A potential crisis for not only Canadian women’s hockey, but Canadian sport, family, business, politics, and society may be ensuing
Hockey is Canada’s game. However, recently with the minority population growing, soccer is quickly challenging hockey as the newest most popular Canadian sport. Today one out of every three Canadians is of ethnic descent (Karlis, 2011). These individuals are choosing to participate in soccer rather than Canada’s historically proud game of hockey. This inclination for minorities to participate in soccer rather than women’s hockey is a noteworthy concern for Canadian hockey leaders.
The best Canadian women’s hockey players leaving Canada to play NCAA also has a foreseeable impact upon the decline of Canadian hockey participation. These young minority girls have very infrequent (every four years during the Winter Olympics) role models to emulate. If Marie-Phillip Poulin and Megan Agosta played at the University of Ottawa would young minority girls be more likely to participate in hockey rather than soccer? Perhaps, regardless it is a possibility that Canada is not experiencing because of the mass exodus of women’s hockey players.
It is also important to consider the influence Canadian women’s hockey players leaving Canada has on all Canadian women’s sports and physical activities. Consider the following Health Canada statistics: There are currently 31.5 per cent of those aged five to 17 — an estimated 1.6 million young Canadians — that currently are overweight or obese (Ubelacker, 2012). This statistic is striking. Over one quarter of the Canadian youth population is overweight. Participating in hockey can help keep some of the constituents in this obese population become more active. Young girls today frequently struggle with major concerns regarding body issues and self-confidence. Young girls included in this obese population could truly benefit from the regular role models that Canadian women’s hockey could provide. These powerful role models could possibly inspire participation in sport by young and overweight girls. This could have a tremendous influence upon a more positive body appreciation. Participation in hockey, or any sport, can also correlate with augmenting self-confidence. This confidence can largely be attributed to a sense of enactive mastery, and a feeling of belonging to a team.
With the tremendous benefits associated with sport and physical activity, it seems imperative that Canada attempts to maximize sport participation. The routine loss of valuable Canadian female role models encouraging confident, active, and athletic living is most definitely detrimental to this participation objective. Not only is Canada missing out on potentially talented athletes Canada is missing out on maximizing the potential physical activity productivity (confidence, energy, well-being etc.) from its very diverse population.
Probably the most significant challenge associated with the loss of elite Canadian female hockey players is the marketability and expansion potential of Canadian women’s hockey. Many young Canadian female hockey players dream of wearing an Olympic Gold medal. Consider Team Canada’s most prolific celebrities Megan Agosta, Tessa Bonhomme, and Marie-Phillip Poulin. Agosta has been acknowledged as one of the world’s most dynamic female hockey players. Tessa Bonhomme has commonly been referred to as the “face” of Canadian women’s hockey. She is intelligent, attractive, and charismatic. She serves as a great advocate for women’s hockey. The third Team Canada women’s hockey player frequently marketed is Marie-Phillip Poulin. She has been regularly equated to men’s hockey’s most entertaining player Sidney Crosby (Hockey News, 2012).
These three athletes all share three commonalities. All three players have been chosen as the premiere representatives of Team Canada women’s hockey. All three were captains of their respective university teams. Most importantly, all three decided to play their university hockey in the NCAA (Agosta- Mercyherst College, Bonhomme- Ohio State University, and Poulin- Boston University (College Hockey Stats, 2015). Of course Canadian hockey fans are missing out on their regular Friday/Saturday highlights. More critically important is the inability of Canadian companies to market these athletes for at least a four-year period. Women’s hockey is a sport looking to expand their fan base. Without having players like Agosta, Bonhomme, and Poulin in the regular Canadian spotlight, it becomes increasingly difficult to sell the game of women’s hockey to the casual fan.
As has been previously discussed, the departure of women’s hockey players also causes a significant problem to Canadian role models, community development, CIS women’s hockey, and future vibrant Canadian leaders. This issue may currently be considered of minimal importance by Canadian decision-makers, but is most definitely of maximal importance moving forward.
It is difficult to fault Canadian women’s hockey players for choosing to pursue NCAA hockey. NCAA women’s hockey offers full scholarships, a diverse playing experience, women’s hockey version of the “NHL,” and a close NCAA affiliation with Team Canada. Women choosing to play NCAA hockey will have absolutely no educational expenses. The NCAA athletic scholarships include tuition costs (including books), residence, food, and any other university associated costs. Playing in the NCAA also allows athletes to play in a different and very diverse context. A new country, culture, and group of people can be extremely enticing.
NCAA Division I women’s hockey is also equated to making “the show,” or NHL. Division I women’s hockey programs operate with lavish budgets. Some university women’s hockey teams have operating budgets exceeding $300,000 (A. Domenico, personal communication, April, 1, 2013). These budgets are used for equipment, apparel, travel, and whatever events the team chooses to partake in.
Lastly, Canadian women’s hockey players are enticed to play NCAA hockey because it serves as a platform for Team Canada evaluation. The previous data detailing the roster breakdown of Team Canada details this claim (p. 15 Team Canada Women’s Hockey Players by the Numbers). Elite Canadian women’s hockey players understand the strong affiliation between Team Canada and the NCAA. Obviously these elite athletes will undoubtedly choose to participate in the avenue that will best prepare them for ultimate exposure and success.
Discussion and Conclusion
After evaluating the existing advantages associated with playing NCAA hockey, it is difficult to fault the young Canadian athletes for pursuing this avenue. It is also difficult to place blame solely upon CIS leadership, because they are after all “playing shorthanded.” Although the CIS does operate under significant disadvantages in comparison to the NCAA (financial, social etc.), their presented literature surrounding incentives for athletes in partaking in CIS women’s hockey seems to fall quite short. The subsequent list of incentives was found on the CIS women’s hockey website (see Table 6).
Advantages of pursuing CIS Hockey (www.cis.ca)
- Due to the fact that Canadian Universities are subsidized by the government, tuition costs stay low, while the value and quality of Canadian post-secondary education stays very high. In addition, the cost of living in Canada is lower than many other countries such as England, Australia, and the United States.
- Canadian Universities are some of the most vibrant and advanced learning environments in the world and they make up a large part of Canadian culture. Canada ranks as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world where students feel “at home” living and studying anywhere from British Columbia to Newfoundland. It is possible to study in either of Canada’s official languages, French and English, or at a bilingual university. Canadian Universities are part of healthy and safe communities. According to the World Bank, “Canadian cities rank among the best places in the World to live, work, and study.”
- Hidden Costs: Health insurance, and taxable scholarships
- CIS schools are allowed to give athletic scholarships. CIS schools are allowed to award up to full tuition and fees. Ontario universities cap this amount at $3,500. To be eligible for athletic scholarships, students at CIS schools must enter university with a minimum academic average of 80%, and continuing students must maintain a 65% average to remain eligible for scholarships. Students who do not meet these minimums may be able to secure outside athletic funding from sources such as their Provincial Sport Governing Bodies or from the provincial government. There are also a number of non-athletic scholarships that students playing sport at a Canadian university may be eligible for. In 2008-09, 47% of CIS women’s hockey players received some type of athletic aid totaling $725,853. The average amount of aid received by an individual women’s hockey player was $2,556.
- CIS schools offer five (5) playing years, while the NCAA offers four (4) years. There is a “time-clock” of five years on NCAA eligibility – this means that an athlete only has five years to complete their four years of NCAA eligibility. However, in the CIS this “time clock” is non-existent and you have as long as you wish to complete your eligibility.
- Social networks and connections
Of the abovementioned suggestions by CIS officials only two seem worthy of further consideration. Elongating eligibility and the substantial benefit of social networking seem like two essential themes CIS leaders should expand. These are tangible incentives that could help sway some Canadian women’s hockey players to stay and play in Canada. The other presented points seem to be largely “reaching” at best in the hopes of retaining these elite women’s hockey players in Canada.
It would prove useful for CIS leaders to focus on marketing the nationalism associated with Canadian hockey. Most young female hockey players dream of wearing the infamous Maple Leaf on their jersey. Why not have these young girls play the game they love, in the country that adores hockey the most? The CIS should market the alluring presence that Paul Henderson described engulfing the Maple Leaf. Practice wearing the Maple Leaf everyday so when you are wearing one on the world stage you are ready! Marketing tools like the aforementioned statement could prove to be a powerful resource for CIS leaders.
The idea of “self” within a community context might prove advantageous in cultivating national pride and retention of Canadian women’s hockey players (Karlis, 2013). CIS leaders may also want to consider adapting some nonprofit organization strategies. Nonprofit organization leaders are incredibly innovative and resourceful. They are constantly “finding” money to help operate their organizations. It would prove beneficial for CIS leaders to adapt similar innovative strategies to their sporting organization
The presented issue, the mass exodus of Canadian Women’s Hockey Players to the NCAA, clearly is very challenging and complex. It is difficult to formulate viable solutions to this contemporary Canadian problem. However, Canada must address the continual exodus of Canadian women’s hockey players for not merely Canadian hockey, but for Canadian society as a whole. Hockey is Canada’s game. Where are the excitable and loud Canadian hockey fans waving their arms like Prime Minister Harper referenced? Canada must take more pride in retaining their female hockey MVPs. These Canadian MVPs are not only contributing to one of Canada’s biggest hockey rivals on the ice, but they are also contributing to the holistic success of the United States. Canada has long been referred to as a “cultural mosaic.” Canada must begin to diligently work in an effort to better retain some of Canada’s most vibrant “red and white gems.” If not, the “melting pot” in the south will continue to reap the significant benefits of some of Canada’s brightest and most revered “red and white gems.”
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* All hockey statistical intel, roster information, and images were collected from the subsequent online hockey data sources: