While probably wearing his vintage blue and green Canadian Alliance pajamas, Conservative MP James Moore declared on his twitter page "The Canucks are Canada’s team in these playoffs". Now putting aside the obvious fact that there’s another team that just happens to be subtly named after the people of our country, Moore’s premise of one Canadian NHL team that the whole country can get behind just isn’t gonna fly.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a certain kind of logic to the argument. We should be hoping for a Canadian team to win because their fans will fully appreciate it, at least they’ll care. The NHL’s been lucky the last couple of times getting Pittsburgh and Detroit as Cup winners, cities where hockey actually matters, but we have ended up in places like Carolina and Tampa Bay. I bet you a shiny new loonie (luckily for Canadian teams, now actually worth something) that if I went down to Raleigh and while being piggy-backed by Cam Ward, conducted a random, on the street survey about their beloved Cup champs , I’d get more punches in the face than I would any sort of acknowledgement of their gloried hockey history.
Even the vaunted fan powers of Hockeytown USA can’t compete with the most mediocre fan support north of the border (that would be Sens fans by the way). So shouldn’t we want a Canadian Stanley Cup Champ. That is what logic should dictate. The problem is the heart wants what it wants. As much as my heart hates the prospect of some sun belt team using the Stanley cup as some sort of bastardized propane tank at some NASCAR tail gate, it hates the Idea of a non-Canuck Canadian team winning even more.
If the Leafs could somehow fall ass backward into the playoffs (realistically sometime in 2027) would, nay could any of us cheer on Toronto?!? If the Leafs actually won, we’d be subjected to CBC commisioned documentaries and Tragically Hip penned anthems commemorating their win. Hell, the parade route would go right across Canada, Olympic Torch style. And if you think Leafs fans are insufferable, wait until the time when the Canadiens fans put another Cup win on their tote board. Before the dry period in Montreal, you couldn’t have a conversation with a Habs fan without them bringing up the somewhere between 20 and a million Championships that "Les Bleu, Blanc et Rouge" had won. They were even more annoying than Leafs fans back in the day and that dormant hubris monster desperately wants to wake up. Now take a second to ponder all the transplanted Albertans living in BC, and imagine Flames or Oilers fans walking around in their newly minted Stanley Cup Champ t-shirts (which I’m sure would be Albertan formal wear). It be enough to make any true blue Canuck fan vomit in rage. Vomitous rage would also follow if the Sens could win, since the Canucks would be left as the only Canadian team without a Stanley Cup on their resume and I’m just not ready to face that world.
Now, does the rest of Canada feel any different about the Canucks? While talking to a friend of mine who happens to be a Flames fan, I decided to ask him if he’s going to support the Canucks as "Canada’s Team". After telling me in no uncertain terms into which orifice I could stick that idea into, he let me know that he has two favourite teams, The Flames and whoever is playing the Canucks. To my mind, or should I say heart, that sounds about right.