For the next couple weeks, Canadians are going to be inundated with their grandest holiday tradition:
The world junior hockey championships.
Dylan Strome, Tyson Jost and Gilbert Ducharme are about to become household names, as Canadians debate the home team’s goaltending, power plays and defensive pairings following every victory – or loss. TSN has turned the tournament into an all-consuming event, making sure that Canadians know about the players’ families, home towns and the teams they come from. The games are going to be heard on Rawlco Radio, too.
Although Sweden and Finland pay attention to the tournament, nowhere else does it matter as much as Canada. It’s fair to say the world junior hockey championships are like U.S. college football bowl games – both are showcases for the next generation of star athletes. Patrick Laine, Connor McDavid, Jonathan Toews and Jordan Eberle rose in prominence because of the world juniors.
Some Canadians don’t get it, but most are watching the pre-tournament games and are ready to scream: “Drop the puck!”