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ARCHIVED - Backcheck: Hockey for Kids

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This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

About this site

This digital project's primary focus is on the early days of hockey. Materials from the collection of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are presented to trace the development of Canada's national winter sport.

The site includes a chronological presentation of hockey stories from English and French language newspapers, providing a valuable resource for online hockey research. The site also includes feature articles, rare items from the collection of LAC, as well as a guide to hockey resources at LAC.

Backcheck : Hockey for Kids is a parallel site intended to interpret this material for a younger audience.


LAC gratefully acknowledges the invaluable partnership of the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR) in the development of Backcheck: A Hockey Retrospective. The SIHR working group is coordinated by SIHR past-president Paul Kitchen, and includes:

  • J.W. (Bill) Fitsell -- Founding president of SIHR, retired columnist for the Kingston Whig Standard, hockey historian and author of Hockey's Captains, Colonels and Kings
  • Ernie Fitzsimmons -- President of SIHR, hockey historian, and consulting statistician for Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Hockey League
  • Ed Sweeney -- Curator of Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, hockey researcher and writer
  • Michel Vigneault -- Sports historian, hockey researcher and writer

This group identified newspaper articles for the "Great Hockey Stories" section. Bill Fitsell contributed the essay on the origins of hockey and Michel Vigneault contributed the essay on French-Canadian hockey traditions.

Other authors also provided essays for the site: Brian McFarlane, hockey researcher and author of Proud Past, Bright Future: 100 Years of Canadian Women's Hockey, contributed the article on women's hockey in Canada, Denis Gibbons, who has worked as chief of research (ice hockey) for the ABC, CBS and NBC television networks, provided the essay on international hockey; and April "A.J." Bellegarde, a Cree freelance journalist based in Calgary, is the author of the essay on Aboriginal hockey.

We are very grateful to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper for his generous loan to LAC of the rare book Hockey: Canada's Royal Winter Game by Arthur Farrell. Additional thanks to Brian Malone and Red Fisher for bringing national attention to this treasure, and to the Milwaukee Public Library for their assistance in determining the missing pages of the book.

Our greatest appreciation is reserved for Paul Kitchen, the curator of Backcheck: A Hockey Retrospective and author of the essay on the origins of hockey. His research efforts on behalf of this project have been nothing short of monumental and his enthusiasm for the game of hockey is evident throughout the material showcased here.

We also gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the Department of Canadian Heritage, whose financial assistance through Canadian Culture Online (CCO) made this work possible.

Visit the website ARCHIVED - Backcheck: a Hockey Retrospective