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

  • Author / Creator
    Lorenz, Stacy Lyle
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • History
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Voisey, Paul (History and Classics)
    • Mason, Daniel (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Howell, Colin (External Examiner - St. Mary's University)
    • Whitson, David (Political Science)