There is a pretty interesting article over on the CBC website which looks at how Canada's projected population growth might effect the future of hockey.
Canada is a nation that encourages and even depends upon immigration. Our own population can not sustain our economy, and we need people from other countries to keep up.
But it seems most immigrants are staying away from the Canadian game, preferring traditional sports such as soccer over the foreign and cost-prohibitive hockey.
The article states "By 2017, roughly 20 per cent of Canada's population could be visible minorities —6.3 million to 8.5 million people — with close to half projected to be South Asian or Chinese.
"The numbers are especially important considering recent census figures indicate Canada's pool of youth under-15 is shrinking. With a growing number of visible minorities comprising that pool, it will be essential for minor hockey associations to connect with them to keep afloat."
With Canada's youth population declining, Hockey Canada needs to attract new Canadians to maintain current numbers.
Canada may be on top of the hockey world now, but it will be interesting to see how changing population statistics in Canada and the other hockey nations changes the balance of power in the hockey world.
Throw in the weakening economic picture coupled with the high cost of youth hockey, as well as climate change taking away outdoor ice time away from kids nowadays, and there may well be hard times ahead for Canadian hockey.