Abstract: Hockey Capital: The National Hockey League and Transnational Cultural Production, 1924-1967
My doctoral dissertation examines the business operations of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1924 to 1967, the period in which it established hockey as a central component of Canadian and American sport and popular culture. The NHL was a transnational business with both American and Canadian teams, a Canadian labour force, and mixed Canadian/US capital and governance. Applying a business history methodology, I am exploring issues of geographic expansion, industrial monopoly, transnational ownership, and the production of culture by a commercial enterprise. Among other features, the hockey industry produced a relatively unique organizational form—a national cartel that resisted centralization and formal vertical integration tendencies—that describes an alternative path of industrialization. Indeed, the very notion of the sport as industry was repeatedly contested, which draws historians into a discussion of the part that business and industry play in the creation, production, and propagation of culture.