The Stanley Cup trophy. (Chip East/courtesy Reuters)
Globalization meets hockey tonight at 8 PM when the Boston Bruins square off against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. At stake is not just the pride of two great cities, but the pride of Canada as well. No Canadian team has taken home the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens did it in 1993. That’s hard to believe, given that Canada gave us hockey.
If you tune into NBC tonight you will not only see a great game, you will also see a concrete example of globalization at work. People in my line of work spend a lot of time worrying about all the bad things that globalization generates and facilitates: terrorism, climate change, financial panics, infectious diseases, and so forth. So it’s worth taking a moment once in a while to highlight some of the good things.
Here’s what I mean. Until the 1980s, virtually everyone who played in the NHL was Canadian. American-born players like Robby Ftorek of Needham, Massachusetts were such a rarity that every fan knew who they were and where they came from. The only European-born players were people like Stan Makita of the Chicago Blackhawks who fled communist-controlled Czechoslovakia as a kid and ended up in Canada.
The Bruins and Canucks today look like the UN on ice. Okay, that’s somewhat of an exaggeration. But the countries represented in tonight’s game include Canada, the United States, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, and Russia.
Read more »