Yes, the demographics in Canada's major cities are undergoing massive changes due to immigration. Soccer and basketball are both overtaking hockey as a youth sport in Canada.
I doubt it will severely impact their national hockey program, but it will make it easier for the US to reach consistent hockey parity.
In general, the children of immigrants take to hockey. The immigrants dont as easily. My observation anyway, and if you look at Vancouver the Punjabi community has been here longer and the offspring are in general hockey nuts. In the Chinese community which immigrated in large numbers relatively later, there seems to be fewer hockey fans at the moment. I expect their offspring to take to hockey though, as the Chinese Canadians born here I know generally have.
We are seeing children of immigrants play hockey also, so I dont think it will have a major effect. If anything, it will raise the level of hockey in Canada by having more participation.
Here's where you hope that a huge American market team like Chicago (yes please!) or Philly makes it to the SCF to capitalize on the current amicability towards hockey. That happens and tons of new fans show up over night.
Although I hope my Senators make the final, if that doesn't happen I'm hoping for a Chicago-Washington match up. Not only do I love the Hawks and Ovy, but I think that series could bring some serious national attention in the states. Hopefully, there's another Washington-Pittsburgh series this year as well, which is likely to get almost as much exposure as any final.
Hockey in the US seems to be fertile at the moment. Every american program I watched today spoke about the game and how great it was. I heard some ESPN journalist with a southern accent say that game was up there with Superbowl 3 and other great games he's seen. Letterman spoke about it in his monologue (although he tries to give the NHL props on occasion) for at least a good 5 minutes. Bettman just has to not screw things up. Get the NHL back on ESPN and off versus and just sit back and let the game be appreciated. Outside factors like an NFL work stoppage and the NBA's current suckage are only going to help things.
According to another site I see http://www.hockeywidgets.com/newblog...geography.html
Back in 2007, Minnesota (25), Michigan (24), New York (21), Massachusetts (20) had the most NHL players. Now I know that today there are definitely quite a few players from NJ that I'm seeing popping up, although this only says 3.