“Over the past two decades, the Canadian teams in the N.H.L were considered poor cousins of their colleagues in the United States,” the New York Times reported Tuesday. But no more. A surging Canadian dollar has turned things around, making it easier for Canadian franchises to pay players in U.S. dollars and boosting the revenues generated by teams north of the border. In some cases, the results have been felt in small ways; the Vancouver Canucks, for instance, have used extra profits to refurbish their dressing rooms. In other cases, the effects are huge; the same team was recently able to re-sign twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin to $30.5 million contracts. “The Canadian teams went from being very weak to the crown jewel in a short period,” says Rob Tilliss, founder of Inner Circle Sports, which consults with N.H.L teams. Now, N.H.L commissioner Gary Bettman is hinting the league is considering expanding in Canada, with Winnipeg, Quebec City, and southern Ontario topping the list of possible destinations.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.