While any country that can make a hall and keep it chilled technically qualifies for playing hockey in its purest form, which countries love the sport the most is still a matter of discussion. So, unlike trying to figure out who likes ice fishing, the Olympics, promotions like the Sportingbet promotion code 2019, or bird watching, we can use actual data to figure out where ice hockey is most popular.
You can find people playing ice hockey in Canada all year, every year. In fact, one could say that Canada is partially responsible for the sport we know and love today. If you take hockey sports from Europe and bring them into the winter-like setting, you get the first recorded indoor game of ice hockey in Montreal in 1875. The Canadians were quick to share their newfound sport with their southern neighbors and, in 1917, have founded the biggest league in the world – the National Hockey League.
The NHL is a big league that is played in North America, and Americans were quick to adopt the crazy physical and adrenaline-packed sport from their Canadian brethren. In fact, they were eager to take over, so the NHL now has 24 teams in the US, as opposed to 7 teams in Canada. Furthermore, while the league was founded in Quebec, its headquarters are now in New York City. Ice hockey is followed closely by more than 600,000 people.
One of the several amazing things about Russia is that ice hockey is the most popular sport there. The second most followed is soccer. You may be surprised, but Russia was among the first to promote and develop this sport. Whether it is today or its days as the Soviet Union, hockey has been and will most likely be a huge part of Russian sports culture. Furthermore, the popularity of the sport spread out to other eastern Slavic countries, like Belarus and the Czech Republic. They have even made Canadians sweat a few times when their national teams collided.
Like we’ve said before – any place that can maintain cold weather and has sports halls can produce amazing hockey players and fans. The Nordic countries are certainly not the exception to that rule, as hockey is really popular in Finland and Sweden most of all. The Finnish developed Liiga in 1975 and is, arguably, the strongest hockey league in entire Europe. The Swedes don’t fall far behind with their legendary team called Tre Kronor, or Three Crowns, which won several medals at the Winter Olympics and a few World Championships as well.
Not legitimately comparable to others on the list, but still strong enough to make the list all the same, Switzerland has been into hockey for over 100 years. They’ve had amazing wins and terrible losses, but have always kept close to the top. Unfortunately, they’ve won no gold medals or first prizes in the World Championships or the Winter Olympics, but they have proven their worth time and time again, standing their ground and not being afraid to challenge the best of the best – and the Swiss know it. It is for this reason that ice hockey is so closely followed in Switzerland.