Winnipeg jets fans, many wearing white Jets "sweaters". can be seen in the stands behind the "boards" during this years Stanley Cup playoffs. Photo Jason Halstead /Getty Images)

Hockey- use the right words eh?

(commenting open on all RCI stories – scroll to bottom)

Hockey is just, well, so Canadian.

Sure the Russians, Czechs, Swedes, Germans, even Americans are pretty darn good internationally, and many do end up in the National Hockey League, but the NHL is still considered rightly or wrongly as Canada’s league. (Though now headquartered in the U.S the “national” in NHL originally meant Canada, as the NHL grew out of the National Hockey Association- a Canadian league prior to 1917).

Canadian Senator David Richards recently gave a speech in the Senate denouncing Americanisms in hockey language and a general lack of understanding in play by play and analysis by American announcers.


Canadian Senator and award winning author David Richards of New Brunswick- Photo: Senator Richards website

Senator Richards, himself an author and so quite aware of the significance of language laments –admittedly slightly tongue-in- cheek, the use of words like “jersey” to describe a hockey “sweater”. It’s a hockey sweater he says, every Canadian knows that, there was even a famous Canadian short story written about “the hockey sweater”.

As for “half wall”, you get hit hard into the “boards”, or get a penalty for “boarding”, there’s no “half wall”. He  grates his teeth at American descriptions of a shot as a “wrister” or a “slapper”.

The famous Canadian short story by Roch Carrier about “The Hockey Sweater” Photo-Tundra Books-Penguin Random House

But not only the use of American words, he says that most American announcers just don’t know or understand the game. He says Canadian announcers do, mainly because they grew up watching and playing hockey.

While Canadian teams haven’t won the Stanley Cup (championship) since 1993, he points out that almost three-quarters of players on American teams are in fact Canadian.

He wonders what happened to the “deke” or the “spin-o-rama” (Doug Harvey, Serge Savard, Bobby Orr)  or the dipsy doodle (Max Bentley ‘the dipsy doodle dandy’, and others).

In any case, he’ll be watching to Stanley Cup playoff broadcasts, even if he has to tune in to Canadian radio announcers at the same time.

additional information

Categories: Arts and Entertainment
Tags: , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *