While we tend to think of ice hockey as being a truly modern sport, it might surprise some to find out that its origins actually extend back to the middle ages. For example, IJscolf was a sport that was played in the “low countries” during the Dutch golden age. But that really only scratches the surface because it’s also been said that the Vikings invented and played a similar sport thousands of years ago (it’s called “knattleikr”). Anyway, fast-forward to today and you see the modern sport of ice hockey carrying on these ancient traditions and tendencies in a number of countries around the world. To make a long story short, here are some great places to visit if you have an interesting in ice hockey (presented in no particular order)…
Aside from the fact that a majority of players in the NHL tend to come from here, Canada is perhaps THE country to visit if you’re a true ice hockey fan. In short, hockey is more or less seen as the national sport in “the great white north”, being analogous to football in Europe, etc. Moreover, the climate in most regions of Canada is basically made for hockey, with fans pouring in from around the world during the sports season. If you can only pick one holiday ice hockey destination, let it be Canada.
While they might be more famous for producing other things (like chocolate or supermodels), Sweden is also one of the more notable countries when it comes to ice hockey. Tending to be on most people’s top 5 list, this nation is always a serious contender when it comes to international play, with their team always finishing well. Moreover, Sweden is an absolutely fantastic place to visit that’s filled to the brim with beautiful sights and elements of high culture.
Yet another Nordic country that’s worth taking note of when it comes to ice hockey is Finland, who again, always fares well in competition. Finland has racked up an incredible number of wins in the men’s hockey category in the winter Olympics too, with very few able to challenge them. Of course one could attribute this success to the fact that the country apparently contains one of the highest percentage of licensed players in terms of its total population (it’s said that over 1% are players).
Last but certainly not least we have the United States, which isn’t generally thought of as being a major contender when it comes to ice hockey. Sure, there are places you can visit which might be crazier about hockey than the US, but many of those locales might not be quite as inviting to general tourists. That said, there are some places in the states where ice hockey is a bona-fide institution. You can even make the occasion even more fun by having a little bet, such as william hill ice hockey betting, which allows you to place a stake on the outcome of the game you’re looking to watch.
Here are a few of the best cities to check out:
New York City, New York
St. Paul, Minnesota
…better yet, why not turn your hockey-centric trip to the US into a multi-city affair? In this way, you can take in a large swath of the sights and sounds of America while at the same time focusing on your love of the sport.