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Professional ice hockey has existed since the early 1900s . The professional game originated in the United States in 1904 and became prominent in Canada during the early 20th century before expanding back into the United States and eventually to many other countries. In addition to the United States and Canada, high-level professional hockey is present in Germany, Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland; professional hockey is also played in many other countries, as diverse as Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Austria, Australia and Japan.

Professional ice hockey has existed since the early 1900s (decade). The professional game originated in the United States in 1904 and became prominent in Canada during the early 20th century before expanding back into the United States and eventually to many other countries. In addition to the United States and Canada, high-level professional hockey is present in Germany, Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland; professional hockey is also played in many other countries, as diverse as Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Austria, Australia and Japan.