In case you haven’t heard, there’s a billionaire trying to buy an NHL franchise and move it to Southern Ontario.

Toronto hockey fans are in a tizzy.

And while it’s awesome to see the affection folks in the metropolis have for our icebound obsession, there is so much out there that screams for our attention.

It’s true hockey has come to embody much of the Canadian identity, but this fascination with what is essentially a business deal has overshadowed what great sport is really all about.

I’m talking about the wizardry of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin on Stanley Cup playoff ice. The Blue Jays are making a little magic deep into May and are still in first place. And professional soccer is finally taking root in this country reflecting a complex, multicultural reality.

Beyond all this, the playing fields are alive across the land. Young people are back in the water and on the tracks to someday soon fly Canadian colours on the international stage.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hockey and think a seventh NHL franchise in this country would be sweet justice. But I’m not going to dwell on it.

Heck, Canada’s going to host the Olympics in nine months! Women ski jumpers are fighting for gender equality and the right to compete at Vancouver 2010. We’ll also find out if the Golden Horseshoe’s Pan American Games bid has been successful.

The World’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, will appear in Toronto and just outside Halifax this summer they’ll stage the World Canoe/Kayak championships. There are marathons to be run and swimming races to be won.

So there it is, I applaud Jim Balsillie’s quest to plant another team in Canadian soil and redefine the NHL’s future. But, in a sporting nation like ours, it’s also good to know that the field of play goes well beyond the boards, or indeed boardrooms, of professional hockey.

– Gemini Award winner and author Scott Russell is the Host of CBC Sports Weekend seen Saturday afternoons. A 20-year CBC Sports veteran, he has covered a variety of professional and amateur sports including nine Olympic games and numerous world championships.