There is some debate as to who broke ground in terms of being the first to play ice hockey but we do know that the sport has been around for hundreds of years. In the modern era, it’s big business with professional leagues in place right across the world and it’s also a showpiece event at the winter Olympics. Ice Hockey also has support from our betting community who expect to see a wide choice of available markets. At Unibet, we meet those needs and as an added bonus, our live streaming TV service stands by to cover all of the top games.
You can easily tune in to Unibet TV but what, exactly, will you be able to watch?
The Big Leagues
There are many ice hockey leagues in place across the world but most fans, even those in Europe, would agree that the main focus is on North America. The National Hockey League (NHL), was founded in 1917 and, for much of its life, it has featured the best teams and the best players in the sport.
The current format sees 31 teams taking part, with 24 from the United States joined by seven clubs from Canada as they do battle for the Stanley Cup. While the NHL’s headquarters are in New York and the competition has a heavy US focus, the most successful team in the division’s history to date are the Montreal Canadiens who claimed their 24th title in 1993. The absence of success since that date has pushed Montreal down the order while other teams to consider in the outright Stanley Cup markets include the St Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers.
Those sides have all earned Stanley Cup success in the past but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will lift the trophy in years to come. It’s easy to check up on current odds by clicking on the Ice Hockey button on Unibet’s sportsbook and following the relevant links. Remember too that Unibet TV is on hand to live stream the best of the NHL action.
Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics
Ice Hockey has been a permanent fixture at every Winter Olympics since the tournament began in 1924. In fact, the sport had made its debut four years earlier when the summer games were held in Antwerp. At the 1920 Olympics, only the men’s section was represented with the gold medal going to Canada, ahead of the USA.
When the winter Olympics took its bow in France in 1924, the order of gold and silver was identical with Canada and the US taking their respective places on the podium. Since that point, Canada have maintained their place at the top of the men’s medal table and, following the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, the country has nine golds. With the former Soviet Union closing on seven golds, Canada’s closest challengers from the current geographical landscape are the United States and Sweden who have two apiece.
Women’s ice hockey was finally introduced to the games in Nagano in 1998. The US team were the first gold medallists and they repeated the feat in Pyeongchang in 2018. In the interim, Canada won four golds and those are the only two countries to have achieved success in the women’s section.
The United States and Canada will both feature at the top of the outright markets for winter Olympic ice hockey and they will be joined by a host of other teams from Europe and other parts of the world. It’s a time when our markets become increasingly active and the interest in Unibet TV continues to grow.
Other Major Events
Outside of the NHL, there are league systems in place across Europe and beyond with much of the focus placed on the KHL. The Kontinental Hockey League was incepted in 2008 and it currently features 23 teams from Russia, Latvia, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Finland. From here, and from other top tier hockey leagues across the continent, there is the aim of qualifying for the Champions Hockey League. This is a relatively new competition which came into being at the start of the 2014/15 season and it features the cream of European sides.
Ice Hockey also has a World Championships and results from that first summer Olympics in 1920 were used to determine the winner. Since that initial success for the Canadians, the competition has been held every year. In the modern era, the Canadians stay strong but they have plenty of challenges from the likes of Russia, Sweden and Finland.
Keep it tuned to Unibet TV to watch the best of the world championships and, you can take a look at the many ice hockey betting options that are listed on our sportsbook.
Betting on and Watching Live Ice Hockey
There is the potential for more than 70 markets to appear on our ice hockey coverage, starting with the match result and extending to a whole host of props. Total goals is in place, along with handicaps and correct score. Ice Hockey is also a big draw in the live markets for those who prefer the fast nature of betting in play. Of course, you can also place a bet on the outright winner of those major tournaments.
Watching the game live can enhance your enjoyment and Unibet TV is available for all customers with a funded account.