May 24, 2023
HOCKEY #1 – The Best Game You Can Name
Hockey is a hell of a lot of fun. But right now, the sport is going through a reckoning.

Hockey is a hell of a lot of fun. But right now, the sport is going through a reckoning. Allegations of racism, corruption, sexual misconduct and so much more are rocking the game to its core.

But the truth is that in Canada, hockey is more than just a sport. It’s a civic religion, with a billion dollar business attached to it.

Over the next seven episodes, COMMONS will be digging into the cult of hockey, scrutinizing its doctrines and exposing its secrets.

Canadaland is turning 10! From May 24 – June 2, sign up for our highest level of ongoing support for only $10 a month. PLUS the first 100 signups will receive a FREE limited edition 10th Anniversary tote bag. Head to to become a supporter today.

Featured in this episode: Ian Kennedy (The Hockey News)

Editor’s Note: a different version of this episode was published on the subscriber-only feed of Commons. No inaccuracies were found in the original version, changes were made by the Editor in Chief for storytelling purposes.

To learn more:

“How a Toronto hockey league turns kids’ joy into an $8.8m cash cow” by Ian Kennedy and Nathan Kalman-Lamb in The Guardian

“Aliu says GTHL rejected organization that would have assured spots for BIPOC players” by Rick Westhead in TSN

“Prospective buyer says he was coached to skirt GTHL’s rules on organization sales” by Rick Westhead in TSN

“Rinks of dreams: The Little One had style” by Bruce Lowitt in The Tampa Bay Times


Credits: Annette Ejiofor (Managing Editor)


Additional music from Audio Network

More from this series
The story of Westray is one of managerial malice and the heroism of everyday people. But why is it that governments let this happen over and over again, at the expense of so many lives?
April 17, 2024
It’s a story of racism and labour exploitation that goes back decades, even centuries. And it’s a prophecy of what is to come — that the hardships inflicted on migrant farm workers are only a trial run for the rest of us. 
April 10, 2024
To understand why the situation remains so bad, we need to go back in time to a moment when there was progress and hope. A moment when it looked like things might truly change for the better.
April 3, 2024
Across Canada, emergency rooms have been shutting down, leaving desperate people in the lurch. And at the heart of this health care crisis, is a labour crisis.
March 27, 2024
The rise of gig work and temp agencies have made employment more precarious than ever
March 20, 2024
This season of COMMONS will dig into the fascinating history and ever-changing present of what it means to be a worker in Canada.
March 6, 2024
In this bonus episode, COMMONS producer Noor Azrieh sits down with Peter Smith to discuss his reporting on right-wing conspiracy groups like Qanon and Romana Didulo.
February 7, 2024
Canada’s biggest grocery chains spent nearly 2 billion last year buying up their own stocks.
January 3, 2024
all podcasts arrow All Podcasts