HOCKEY: MORE THAN A GAME
Co-produced by WNED and Forevergreen Television & Film Productions Inc., Dundas, Ontario
“Canada is hockey.” — Saying on a T-shirt
WNED’s brand new bi-national production celebrates one of the fastest, most challenging sports in the world and its role in Canadian life. “Hockey: More Than A Game” is an hour-long documentary that explores hockey history and culture and offers an insightful, intimate look at the game described as “Canada’s gift to the world.”
While capturing the timeless excitement of competition, the film relays the spirit of hockey among Canadians, its traditions, dramatic human stories and family commitment. Viewers also learn how hockey has evolved over nearly 200 years — from open-pond outdoor games to professional play in packed National Hockey League arenas.
Walter Gretzky, father of hockey icon Wayne Gretzky from Brantford, Ontario, reminisces about his son’s early interest in hockey and also recalls Canada’s moment of Olympic glory in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2010.
“It’s the first time I saw Canadians standing there waving Canadian flags and physically crying —and they’re singing ‘O Canada!’ It brought tears to my eyes,” he says in the film. “Canadians don't do that. We're proud but we're not vocal about it.”
In addition, authors, historians, NHL players, a hockey dad and coach from Dundas, Ontario, and the owner of the oldest hockey stick all share their perspectives.
The film highlights:
- The much-disputed origins of hockey
- Great moments in Canadian hockey, including the first slap shot, the 1972 8 Game Summit Series between Canada and the former Soviet Union, and Canada’s overtime win over Team USA in the 2010 Olympics
- Minorities and women in hockey, including interviews with winning Team Canada Olympians
- Interviews with Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs; Buffalo Sabres Jason Pominville and Tyler Myers; and 2010 Team Canada Associate Coach/Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff
- Historic footage, including Phil Esposito’s plea to disappointed fans in 1972
- Fan enthusiasm and loyalty, including the pop culture phenomenon of “Hockey Night in Canada” and the spirited Kraft Hockeyville competition among Canadian communities
- The Stanley Cup, its history and patron namesake
- The Hockey Hall of Fame
The film was produced, directed and written by Alan Aylward, with co-producer/writers Jeremy Major and Aaron Lam. John Grant and David Rotterman are executive producers.
Major funding was provided by New Era. Additional funding was provided by NOCO, the Frank L. Ciminelli Family Foundation, the Consulate of Canada in Buffalo, N.Y. and the Royal Bank of Canada, with additional support from members of WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto.