Well folks, with Nathan Horton’s second consecutive OT goal Montreal was eliminated from the playoffs last night. Their exit from the postseason leaves only one Canadian based team contending for Lord Stanely’s Cup. At this time of the year most Canadian based hockey fans will now shift their attention and support to the Canuck’s hoping that the Cup will venture North of the Border for the first time since 1993. However for some us it is tough to support the Canuck’s as they just don’t seem Canadian…. I decided to explore this notion.
What makes a team Canadian? Does the fact that the Canuck’s reside in Canada simply make them Canadian? I don’t know about you but Canada’s team should look Canadian; play with the passion, desire and determination that Canadian hockey players are known for… the location of the team should be secondary in my opinion.
I prefer to believe that Canada’s team is the NHL franchise that provides the greatest number of Canadians an opportunity to play the Canadian game of hockey. Every NHL franchise regardless of where reside has the same opportunity to draft and sign players from whatever Country they see fit and the roster each team puts forth is a representation of what they believe a winning team looks like.
Those of us who consider ourselves proud Canadians should be examining the sum of all it’s parts not just the zip code when determining who we support come spring time when our team is elminated or fails to qualify for the post season. I decided to put my line of reasoning to work and examine the remaining 8 teams to see who Canada’s Team should be.
To begin I first had to generate a baseline to work with and according the NHL’s website 454 of the 852 players who either registered a single point or one win were Canadian; as a result we can conclude that 53.3% of the NHL’s players are Canadian. After reviewing the starting 12 forwards, 6 defencemen and 1 goalie of each remaining team I was able to determine each teams “Canadian content”…… and the results shocked me.
San Jose – 78.9%
Boston – 73.7%
Nashville – 63.2%
Philadelphia – 63.2%
Washington – 57.9%
Tampa Bay – 57.9%
Vancouver – 47.4%
Detroit – 31.6%
Of all the teams remaining only the Detroit Red Wings have fewer Canadian born hockey players on their roster than the Canuck’s; and if you examine the Canuck’s roster in further detail you will find that 3 of the 9 Canadian born players they have play on their 4th line leaving only 6 notable Canadian born hockey players on a roster of 19. The zip code may suggest they are Canada’s team but their roster surely contradicts this opinion. They didn’t even meet the league average!! In my opinion the Canuck’s should be described as a Canadian based team only.. not Canada’s team.
The numbers were so shocking that I could only conclude that Canadian hockey fans looking for a temporary team to support should look no further than the Boston Bruins or the San Jose Sharks this postseason… as clearly they care about supporting the Canadian hockey player. Here’s hoping the Bruins or the Sharks help bring the Cup north of the border!
What do you think?? Please comment and let me know which idea you support…. Zip Code or Roster Content?
About the Author
Written by Kirk Butler
Born and raised in Murray Harbour - PEI. Like many Canadians hockey is my religion; as a kid I had the pleasure of playing my minor hockey with Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards of the 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning. I played competitive hockey until the age of 21 which included stops in the American Prep School System, Canadian Junior Hockey and the CIS. I now get my competitive fix on the golf course as a scratch golfer. More to come: Kirk Butler PEI, Canada