Field Hockey Canada > “Bubli” Chohan, a Canadian Hockey Legend

“Bubli” Chohan, a Canadian Hockey Legend

April 15, 2011 | Field Hockey Canada |

Paul “Bubli” Chohan, a Canadian Hockey Legend

By Dawn Phillips

Every sport has their legends; those that inspire and make lasting contributions.  Field Hockey in Canada is no exception.  As a team sport, every player contributes to the overall accomplishments and direction of the team.  However, very few make lasting impressions and hold records that stand for years, let alone a decade.  Paul “Bubli” Chohan is one of these players. 

When Bubli retired from international play in 1998, he did so after 24 years with the Senior National Team, more than any other Canadian player to date, and had accumulated an impressive 317 international caps, again more than any other Canadian player.  In our current technological age where we can web surf, “tweet”, and Facebook, we have the potential for instant access to information from around the world.  This was not the case for much of Bubli’s career.  In fact, upon reflection Bubli says when “I broke the record I think 25-30 years ago, it sort of just happened without any celebrations or fanfare.” 

Next week on tour in Ireland, Ken Pereira and Rob Short will tie and then surpass Bubli’s long standing record.  On the eve of this milestone, Field Hockey Canada would like to acknowledge and celebrate Bubli’s outstanding career and contributions to the game in Canada.

Bubli’s accomplishments since joining the National Team at the young age of 16 are impressive.  He retired with 61% of games played resulting in either a win or tie and an average score of 2.2 goals for and 1.8 goals against.  His competition resume includes multiple years in every possible international caliber event : 3 Olympic Games (1976, 1984, 1988), 5 Pan American Games resulting in 2 gold and 3 silver (1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991 – flag bearer for Canada), 4 Intercontinental Cups resulting in 1 silver medal (1977, 1981, 1985, 1989) and 3 World Cups (1978, 1986, 1990).  In fact, Bubli would have competed in his fourth World Cup in 1998 had it not been for a wrist break a few months earlier.

His former teammates John DeSouza and Nick Sandhu offer high praise for Bubli’s strong work ethic and dedication to the game.  “Bubli was one of the most consistent performers for Canada.  He practiced exactly the way he played the games,” said Nick.   John would agree “you could always count on Bubli.  He was reliable – you knew exactly what you were going to get”.  This dedication combined with his high fitness standards, intelligent play, and highly developed technical skills enabled him to make a lasting contribution throughout his career, first as a “play maker” and then as a “role player” mentoring players such as Ken and Rob.  “Bubli is a good friend of mine”, says Ken.  “He was my roommate many times on tour when I first started on the national team and has taught me a few things on and off the field”.

Reflecting on Bubli’s career, it is no wonder that his name is synonymous with Field Hockey in Canada. To earn 317 international caps over a 24 year career required dedication and a “hockey is first” attitude.  In fact, had today’s cap and unlimited sub rules been implemented in his playing career, who knows how many international caps he would have today.