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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article replicates for hockey what others have done for baseball and basketball, with the interesting exception that alleged discrimination in hockey falls along the lines of language and national origin rather than along racial grounds. The National Hockey League (NHL) essentially has three minority groups: Americans, Europeans, and French Canadians. The focus in the discrimination literature has been on French Canadians, and, to a lesser extent, Europeans. It is reasonable to suggest that Canadian fans and media have a much stronger sense of “ownership” of the game of hockey than what is found in the United States. There have also been economic changes that have occurred in recent years that should work to decrease any possible discrimination. While the NHL has historically had the least amount of voluntary player mobility, the most recent collective bargaining agreement signed in 2005 provides for a much more liberalized system of free agency.

Keywords: National Hockey League, Americans, Europeans, French Canadians, ownership, racial discrimination, free agency, player mobility

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