Although the sport of Hockey amasses a dominating percentage of North American players it seems the Canadian organizations just can’t make it past the blue line. All seven of Canada’s teams fell short this year of securing their spot in the playoffs, to the chagrin of a nation.
Canada has not seen one of its own teams play in a Stanley cup final since the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in 2011. This game made famous by the riots that ensued on the streets of downtown Vancouver later that night. Canada, the inventors of the sport, has not housed the coveted Stanley cup since 1993, when the Montreal Canadians brought it home.
A drought powering into its 23rd year begs many hockey fans to ask the question why? It is not a question of revenue, operating income or fan base with three of the Canadian teams making the Forbes 2016 Business of Hockey List (2-Canadians, 3-Leafs, 6-Canucks) and all seven making the top 20.
It cannot be the American brand name that defeats us when we have triumphed over them in 2002, 2010 and 2014 with Olympic gold medals. The blame then falls, as it always does, upon the shoulders of the coaches, the owners and, of course, the players. However, blame is pointless because it neither progresses nor debilitates the factual proof that Canadian teams are simply not winning enough.
Something that the Americans are doing is working and it is about time Canadians got on board. It seems, yet again, we will have to root for the American team with our favourite, or most successful native hometown players. Maybe next year, will be the year we end the drought.