The game of Hockey, who can’t relate to the sport enjoyed by so many fellow Canadians? If you’re not a fan then surely you know someone who is. We live in a city that is the home to the prestigious Vancouver Canucks and where there is a television on game night, the game is surely being played.
The city of Vancouver has banners, signs, pictures and all things related to the Canucks at every shop, park, house you can think of. The fan base is huge compared to other sports teams in the city because the team has had so much success. Last year we can remember them losing in the finals to the Boston Bruins but that hasn’t had people losing hope in their home team this year. The fans are ready and are just as excited for the Canucks as last year. Let’s just hope they make their fans proud.
Now let’s reflect on where the game of hockey originated and how fast it became so popular in Canada. The game of Hockey has been around from the time of early civilization. Some of the reports find the earliest origin of the game 4000 years back. Field hockey was reportedly played even before the birth of Christ. Basically known as the “ball and stick” game, it was played since ancient times in places diverse as Rome, Scotland, Egypt and South America.
The 1917-18 season was the first in NHL Hockey history. The NHL began its first season with very few teams. In the history of NHL players, five teams began the season, but the “Montreal Wanderers” backed out in January of 1918 after their Montreal rink was burned down. With these humble beginnings, the NHL that we enjoy today stumbled its way onto the scene.
The NHL Hockey History actually begins with the NHA’s beginning in 1910 based in Canada. The Eastern Canada Hockey Association dated back from 1906 and from the first recognized hockey league called the AHAC (Amateur Hockey Association of Canada). Wanting to get the Montreal Wanderers out of the picture, the ECHA dissolved formed the CHA (Canadian Hockey Association) Ambrose O'Brien and his father, countered by making a league of their own, the National Hockey Association.
There are many indo-Canadians playing hockey that have had there big breaks. Punjabi Sports had an exclusive sit-down with number twenty-seven, Manny Malhotra from the Vancouver Canucks. He had a lot to say about the game.
Malhotra started playing the game of Hockey at the age of seven when his best friend also his neighbor at the time wanted him to join ice hockey. He asked his parents who finally agreed thinking he would get sick of the early morning practices, Little did they know it wasn’t a childhood faze and soon started to develop a love for the game.
He enjoys playing for a Canadian team because he feels that there is a lot more hype involving media and loves that more of his family and friends are in the audience. He enjoys the hockey market in Canada, loves the sold out games and being able to play for a successful team.
Born in Canada, Mississauga Ontario he didn’t have too many differences with other kids growing up and liked that once they were on the ice playing there was no discrimination of what the colour of your skin is but rather judged on how you played. He feels if you’ve grown up in a multicultural society there is no need to be afraid of experienced discrimination and intolerance by different people on the ice or their parents.
Malhotra’s advice for playing the game of hockey is to enjoy it to it’s full potential. You want to be friends with all your teammates and love being on the ice without putting too much pressure on yourself. When he hears from Indo-Canadians that the only reason they watch hockey is because he plays or there son is playing hockey from watching him play for the Canucks it makes him feel good and feels that pressure is there to always do the right thing.
His biggest reasoning to reaching his goal was that his parents were never pushy when speaking of the game. They allowed him to enjoy it and never spoke of the small tactics but rather asked him what he wanted to eat and if he had fun. This allowed him to develop a love for the game rather than thinking of it as a career path. He finds himself enjoying a lot of different Indian foods and even listens to some desi beats.
There are many local athletes who play for the WHL unlike Malhotra who plays for the NHL. One of these players is a local athlete from Surrey, BC named Prabh Rai. He currently plays within the Vancouver organization. He’s been selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the fifth round (131st overall) of the 2008 NHL entry draft. Rai is another prospect in the Canucks system described as a real speed demon. A player who uses his skating ability to create scoring opportunities (and make up for errors in all zones), Rai possesses an above average skill set and is confident in his abilities. On March 24 2010, Rai was signed to the Vancouver Canucks to a three-year entry-level contract.
Another local athlete Manraj Hayer has been a prospect player who plays in the WHL. Born in Vancouver, BC he has been recognized as a good Hockey player in the Indian community.