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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Goodnight Canada

Wild on Sports
http://storage.canoe.ca/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1302138248157_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=650x
Goodnight Canada

Well, another year gone, another season without a Canadian team winning the Stanley Cup. The final nail was put into the coffin on Friday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins disposed of the Ottawa Senators 6-2 to take the series four games to one. With Ottawa now gone we add another tally to the year total since the Montreal Canadiens last brought Lord Stanley home to Canada in 1993.

A lot has been made in the media, this site included, about the NHL and its recent run of success in big markets. Of course, when people refer to those big markets they think of US cities like LA, New York, Boston Chicago, etc. What is being missed is the foundation of the National Hockey League and that is the Canadian audience. The vast majority of the players in today's game were born or grew up in Canada. The game started there on the frozen ponds in the winter and that tradition continues today. Of course, the game is expanding on an international scale but when it comes to tapping into the true root and passion for the game there will likely never be a fan base in this sport like the Canadian fan base.

For the majority of the people reading this article, you are probably thinking to yourself; yeah, OK -- Canada = hockey woohoo, whatever. But what most will fail to understand is the pure madness ingrained in the Canadian culture from day 1. Case and point; anyone catch a glimpse of what was happening in Toronto during the Maple Leafs first round series with Boston? Talk about madness. People were surrounding Air Canada Centre for damn near a mile radius. Lets think about that for a minute. 32,550 in the stadium, another 100,000 give or take outside the stadium, yeah I'd call that some serious fan power and from the NHL standpoint, some serious revenue. 130,000 people all drinking and eating, many buying souvenirs, paying for parking, and the list keeps going on -- get the picture?

As much as fans love their teams in Boston and New York they are coming out my the thousands to stand outside the garden in all types of weather to root on their teams. They love their teams, just not with the same extreme insanity that you get in the Canadian markets.

And so we wait again. Another year of Canadian frustration, another year of what could have been.

I guess we always have the Quebec Coyotes to look forward to in a few years. They are bound to break the streak. Or at least I will keep telling myself that.

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