Boasting a proud history of innovation and competitive spirit, Canada is famed for its rich sporting history and traditions. In recent years, the country has also produced championship teams and major league success stories.
When the NBA Championship Came Home
Given the huge popularity and fame of the NBA, the North American basketball competition is one of the most followed competitions around. However, many fans often forget that basketball was actually invented by James Naismith, a Canadian professor of physical education. After moving to the United States in the late 1800s, he created the game while teaching at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Remarkably, since the inaugural 1946-47 season of the NBA, no Canadian team had ever won the championship or even reached the Finals. Teams from the United States dominated the competition until 2019, when the Toronto Raptors became the first Canadian champions of the NBA. Currently the only NBA franchise based in Canada, the Raptors carry the basketball hopes of a whole country, reaching the playoffs for the last seven seasons running.
Major League Casino Winners
Aside from success in major league sports, Canadians also seem to have good fortune when it comes to landing massive jackpot prizes. If we’re talking about major league players in the realm of online casinos, the most famous game of all is undoubtedly Mega Moolah by Microgaming, the slot which has earned worldwide fame for some of the biggest ever jackpot payouts.
Renowned for having the biggest Microgaming bonus offers in the Great White North, free spins for Jackpot City in Canada could land another lucky slot player the next big win. In fact, when one fortunate resident of the country won just over $20 million Canadian dollars in 2019, that set a record for the biggest payout in Canada, and the fourth biggest in worldwide online casino gaming history.
Building on the Success of Soccer
While professional soccer is a fairly recent addition to the major league sporting scene, the game has been played for well over 100 years throughout North America. Although previous competitions had struggled to survive, Major League Soccer (MLS) finally gained a firm foothold in its inaugural 1996 season. Canadian teams joined later, beginning with Toronto FC in 2007, Vancouver Whitecaps in 2011, then CF Montreal in 2012.
Canadian soccer franchises have since fielded some of the strongest North American teams. The biggest success story of all is Toronto FC, who won the MLS Cup and overall championship in 2017. Known as ‘The Reds’ by adoring fans, they were also runners-up in the 2019 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League. As the soccer team with one of the biggest budgets in the MLS, this is a franchise built to achieve more success in the near future.
The Patient Wait for NHL Glory
As the officially recognized winter sport of Canada, ice hockey has undoubtedly brought the most historical major league success for the country. The NHL itself was founded in Canada and in the early years, only Canadian teams participated in the Stanley Cup championship. That all changed when US teams joined, then the balance of power gradually shifted.
Subsequently, no team from north of the border has lifted the Stanley Cup since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens were triumphant. Edmonton Oilers came close in 2006, then Vancouver Canucks in 2011, both reaching the finals. The best hopes of Canadian success now rest with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are considered one of the favorites for NHL glory in 2021.
If the Maple Leafs do meet expectations, the whole of Canada will breathe a celebratory sigh of relief, hopeful the balance of power can shift back northwards.Back to the Top News Newsfeed