Why I Won't Support The Vancouver Canucks
The Toronto Maple Leafs are my home team and a little part of me dies every time they don’t make the playoffs, as is the case once again this year.
But that in and of itself does not bother me. No, I have made peace with it and am looking forward to next October.
What does bother me are the stories published by Reuters, the National Post and various other Canadian news outlets that seem to be under the impression that all of Canada wants to see the Stanley Cup come “home,” regardless of which city hosts the parade.
This is complete and unmitigated crap.
There are six NHL teams throughout Canada – the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, the Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators – and they all loathe each other only marginally less than the fans do.
Yet the media still insists on printing stories explaining to me why, as a Canadian, I should be excited for a playoff run of a team I find even more annoying than the portion of their fan-base that genuinely believes Roberto Luongo is the best goaltender in the league.
It was even worse last year when the eighth-seed Canadiens somehow made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals and the media could barely contain its excitement in the rush to tell us all how great the advancement was for Canada (for those of you not fluent in hockey, go tell a Red Sox fan that the Yankees are America’s team and see how well he responds).
Thankfully, the fact that the Canadiens were all under 5-feet and not actually that good finally caught up with them (thank you, Pronger), and I was able to sleep soundly knowing my friends at McGill weren’t going to get burned alive in the streets of Montreal.
But the oldest rivalry in the National Hockey League aside, I just don’t understand how it still surprises people to find out that Canadians don’t view the NHL as a “Canada vs. The States” thing.
How could we when approximately 54 percent of the players in the league hail from up North? That’s why it always kills me when the Leafs play in Boston and are taunted with chants of “U-S-A!” despite the fact that the Bruins roster contains 70 percent Canadians, not to mention even fewer Americans than Toronto’s.
It’s never really a question of nationality unless discussing the Olympics or World Championships. For Leaf fans, the Cup would be “coming home” to Vancouver about as much as the Commissioner's Trophy “came home” to the San Francisco Giants when the Atlanta Braves won it in 1995.
I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and that is the only team I will ever actively cheer for.
As far as this year’s playoffs go, I have preferences – teams I would prefer to see go further and teams I would prefer to see crash and burn under the weight of all its fans’ hopes and dreams. But at the end of the day, I don’t really care who wins.
Well, as long as it's not another Canadian team.
Reach Sophie by email.