The Olympic Stanley Cup: Montreal 1977, Calgary 1989, Vancouver 2011?
Hockey Productivity Statistics
These next set of charts show the national hockey productivity for different countries and provinces – how many NHL players a population yields per capita. The calculation is a bit biased towards North American players – in that you can have a European player that is capable playing in the NHL, but may choose not to relocate. We’ll ignore that case and assume that the best hockey players in the world play in the NHL.
Canada is the true hockey nation in the world. It yields twice as many hockey players per capita than all other countries.
In the chart below, the dotted red line shows the Canadian average for national hockey productivity at 16 players per 1 million people. Saskatchewan is clearly the winner when it comes to pumping out NHL players in Canada per capita. They yield 3 times more than the national average. They also happen to be the roughest Canadian players, but more on this in a later post. On the lower end sits New Brunswick with a productivity rate comparable to Denmark. Also surprising is Quebec’s below average hockey productivity. Ontario is sitting comfortably at the national average.
The only comparable states to Canadian provinces (Quebec) are Alaska and Minnesota. The rest of the States have hockey productivity rates comparable to Eastern Europe. The US average sits at a meagre 0.70 NHL players per 1 million people.
The clear winners here are Czech and Slovakia. Maybe they should reunite as a country again – give Canada some real competition on ice. The surprise for me is Russia’s hockey productivity rate – 0.23 players per 1 million. They can probably put together a decent hockey team just based on their population size.