Blade runners: Canadian migrants and European ice hockey
Focusing on Canadian ‘blade runners’ this chapter examines several intercon� nected issues that frame both the migrants and people from the host culture’s experiences of ice hockey in the global sports arena. These issues, which have both intended and unintended features, involve issues of recruitment, retention and release and are closely connected to problems of motivation, adjustment, dislocation and foreign sojourn. Questions of labour rights, work permits and salary caps also impinge on the migrant experience. It is intended here to examine the broad pattern of Canadian male ice hockey labour migration and then to focus on the experience of these migrants in one country, Great Britain (GB). Developments in British ice hockey are used as a ‘critical case’ to highlight the issues, problems and tensions associated with migrants in global sport processes.1 For further discussion of British ice hockey see Elliott and Maguire (2008).