O Canada! Celebrating Canadians on the Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews, Team Canada (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jonathan Toews, Team Canada (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

July 1 is Canada Day, celebrating the Constitution Act which joined three colonies and created the country in 1867. There’s no better time to show love for the Chicago Blackhawks who came from the Great White North.

As a born and raised Canadian, my country’s affinity towards hockey is built into my DNA.

Growing up in Southern Ontario, it’s only natural that I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. But, thanks to my Dad’s influence, I’ve also proudly cheered for the Chicago Blackhawks throughout most of my life.

Canada is the birthplace of the game, which is noted as having originated around 1800, and it’s also one of our two national sports (lacrosse is the other).

The National Hockey League was established in 1917 and it should come as no surprise that every team involved was representing a city in Canada. In fact, the first American based team didn’t join the league until 1924. It was the Boston Bruins.

413 Canadians are listed as having played the NHL in 2019-20. It is the highest national representation throughout the league, with the United States sitting in second with 253 players.

Our Home and Native Land

This is not an article to claim Canadian superiority of the game. Yes, we in this country take great pride in the international success we achieve on the ice. We’re also happy to see other nations growing the game.

Competition makes all of those competing better because of it. Besides, with more people playing and greater interest in the sport, it ultimately benefits the fans.

As for cross-border match-ups between Canadian and American neighbours, you’ll have to excuse the fact that our manners take a backseat to beating Team USA. We want our Team Canada men and women singing the Canadian anthem at the end of every one of those games. No exceptions.

The rivalry is unmatched and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Would you?

With that said, and bringing thigs back to being as politely Canadian as I can, I’m comfortable proclaiming that these two nations control the hockey landscape collectively.

As long as Team USA is beating countries like Russia, Finland, or Sweden, I’m all for it.

Chicago’s Canadian Connections

Being a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, who also happens to be a Canadian, I thought that July 1 would be a great time to celebrate all things Canada throughout this lineup.

The Blackhawks currently have 13 Canadian players on their roster. There are also six American born skaters, two are Swedish, two from Czechia, and one is Finish.

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

Of the franchise’s top 10 point producers of all-time, eight are from Canada. Including the best Canadian captain, Jonathan Toews. The only Team USA representation on the list is none other than my favourite American born player, Patrick Kane.

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

And the five goalies with the most wins in team history just so happened to learn how to navigate a crease growing up in Canada.

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

Let’s not forget about the importance of coaching. Chicago’s top five all-time originated from up north.

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

Those are pretty good lists, eh?

From wherever around the world you happen to be reading this, thank you. I appreciate that you took the time to let me brag a little bit about this great country that I call home.

Hot. No other team partied as much as the Blackhawks did last decade. light

Needless to say, it’s all for the greater good of the Chicago Blackhawks. Because when that sweater goes on, it’s no longer about the flag those players fly at home. The focus becomes bringing another Stanley Cup back to the great city of Chicago.

Happy Canada Day!