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Manhood, Rivalry, and the Creation of a Canadian "Hockey World": Media Coverage of Early Stanley Cup Hockey Challenges, 1894-1907 Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lorenz, Stacy Lyle
Supervisor and department
Mills, David (History and Classics)
Examining committee member and department
Howell, Colin (External Examiner - St. Mary's University)
Mason, Daniel (Physical Education and Recreation)
Whitson, David (Political Science)
Voisey, Paul (History and Classics)
Department of History and Classics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This study examines media narratives of high-level amateur and professional hockey in Canada during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, this project analyzes English Canadian newspaper coverage of Stanley Cup “challenge” games and championship series between 1894 and 1907. It assesses local and national newspaper reporting on hockey, as well as the telegraph reconstructions that enabled fans to share a simultaneous experience of distant games. Early Stanley Cup matches are valuable case studies for examining the cultural meanings of hockey in Canada. Media reports and experiences of hockey brought Canadians into local and national communities of interest, while constructing narratives of regional identity, civic boosterism, and community rivalry. Press coverage and telegraph re-enactments of Stanley Cup challenges contributed significantly to the growth of a mediated Canadian “hockey world” – and a broader “world of sport” – during this time period. By 1903, Stanley Cup hockey games had become “national” Canadian events, followed by audiences across the country. Hockey also played an important role in the construction of gender and class identities, and in debates about amateurism, professionalism, and community representation in sport. By examining media descriptions of “brutal” and “strenuous” play, this study explores the connections between violence and manhood in Canadian hockey. Narratives of robust and hard-hitting hockey expressed both ideals of respectable, middle-class masculinity and characteristics of rough, working-class masculinity. In addition, this project analyzes how notions of civic identity changed as hockey clubs evolved from amateur teams represented by players who were “members” of their home community to professional aggregations that included paid imports from outside the town. A growing emphasis on securing the professional athletes that could ensure victory led to praise for a team’s efforts to please its supporters, or “customers.” By investigating key issues related to media, gender, and community identities in early hockey, this research addresses important gaps in the study of sport history and the analysis of sport and Canadian popular culture. More specifically, this thesis answers the need for careful, scholarly examinations of the cultural narratives attached to Canadian hockey – and the development of the Canadian sports media – in a historical context.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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