When it was released in the U.S., he said it found an unexpected home in Texas. There, it was thought to be about baseball, with its big-league dreams. Cochrane said he had a web developer from Manchester, England, working on his site, “and initially, he had related the song to soccer.”
“There’s a political and economic component, too, that for a lot of people, hockey and baseball and football and basketball and soccer, that’s the way out,” he said.
“And in some cases, it’s the only way out for some kids, in their minds.”
For all the mystery that remains around its inspiration, though, Cochrane confirmed one thing: It is a song about hockey, and it is a Canadian song.
“It’s important for me to be respected and loved at home,” he said. “It’s really important. And this song, I hope, has in a sense galvanized me as a Canadian artist who cares about his people, who cares about his home and who cares about the relevancy of how this sport has impacted us and pulled us together.”