Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Should Canadian hockey fans be cheering for the Canucks?

Canuck forward Ryan Kesler hugs
a miscellaneous hockey player
There are two unavoidable facts of hockey life that every Canadian fan will be reminded of at this time of year. The first is that none of the country's teams have managed to win the Stanley Cup since 1993. The second is that, because of that drought, Canadian fans are expected to switch their allegiances en masse once the country is down to its last remaining team.

This year, that team is Vancouver. Yet despite the President's Trophy-winning Canucks representing what's probably the country's best chance at a championship since the lockout, many Canadian fans seem hesitant to climb onto the bandwagon.

That view seems short-sighted. While it's understandable that fans of the other five Canadian teams would be reluctant to even temporarily support another team, it says here that it's the logical move.

So if you're a Canadian hockey fan and find yourself still on the fence about rooting for the Canucks, consider the following list of good reasons to throw your support behind the nation's last hope.
  • Geologists and historians assure us that, in the strictest technically sense, Vancouver is part of Canada.

  • Manny Malhotra has been a feel-good story as he attempts to resume his playing career after a devastating eye injury, instead of just going straight into refereeing like anyone else would have done.

  • Admit it, it would be fun to watch Roberto Luongo win a Stanley Cup and still be roundly criticized for not doing it "clutchily" enough.

  • If you do decide to root against them and Mike Gillis finds out, uh oh, here comes another press conference.

  • Odds are at some point a Canadian fanbase will watch their team win the Stanley Cup and immediately become completely insufferable towards the rest of the country; at least if it's Vancouver, the rest of us will get a three hours break first thing every morning.

  • If you can get on the Canucks' good side, they might let you help design the new logo they'll inevitably be coming out with in the next year or two.

  • It's been a long time since hockey lovers around the country joined together in pursuit of a common cause, unless you count getting Winnipeg fans' hopes up yet again and then laughing at them.

  • It's been inspirational watching the Canucks continue to succeed despite every player on the roster having whatever that disease is where you keel over dramatically the second anybody brushes up against you.

  • Maple Leaf fans might really enjoy seeing a team built by Brian Burke and Dave Nonis win something for a change.

  • The Stanley Cup finals are expected to wrap up in early June, which would be good timing for Vancouver since it would coincide with the scheduled end of that Markus Naslund jersey retirement ceremony.

  • Ottawa fans would no doubt love to see Sharks star Dany Heatley come up short in a devastating playoff loss, since it would remind them of the good old days.

  • No matter what team you're a fan of, you just can't root against Ryan Kesler. No, really, you can't. If you try, the next time you close your medicine cabinet door he'll be standing right behind you.

  • It would be a nice change for Canuck fans' ever-present persecution complex to be unfounded because the rest of Canada is rooting for them, instead being unfounded because the rest of Canada doesn't care.

  • Sure, go ahead and get Canuck fans mad at you if you want, but good luck nailing that big sales presentation when you've got two guys in green bodysuits humping the boardroom window.


  1. I like the jab at Winnipeg fans. Too bad none of them will get it. Not because they have no sense of humor, but because none of them can read

  2. As a Canucks fan - I thought this was spectacular - well done.

  3. I dig it! And I'm a nucks-fan in Oil country. Love the word 'clutchily.'

    I'm griping about the Burke bit though. Man did get both Sedins but other than that left the cupboard pretty well bare. It was Nonis who did a decent job cleaning up BB's mess, and giving Gillis a great foundation to work from.

  4. Shutup Ro-Bot. Burke is the man.

  5. It's just not gonna happen.

    And let's clear up one thing about one of your points: It's been a long time since hockey lovers around the country joined together in pursuit of a common cause, unless you count getting Winnipeg fans' hopes up yet again and then laughing at them.

    Anyone remember the Olympics? Like a year ago? Yeah, that. That's how I showed my support for "Vancouver". Good luck Canucks, but I'll be rooting against you the whole way.

  6. God, I hope Heatley doesn't win the Cup.

  7. This idea that Canadians are supposed to jump on the bandwagon of the last remaining Canadian team is ridiculous.

    Are we really that self-conscious about our place in the hockey world?

    The people who feverishly jump on the "Canada's team" bandwagon are generally people who aren't really hockey fans the rest of the season.

  8. At least in THIS photo, the other guy in the frame isn't wearing the "miscellaneous" hockey player's jersey! Hilairious caption for those who will get it.

  9. Hell, I don't cheer for a Canadian team NOW, why the hell am I supposed to cheer for one in the playoffs? It's the dumbest idea ever.

    You know what team I cheer for when I want to support Canada? TEAM F'N CANADA. Hell, at least that way I can watch Bernier lose heartbreaking games instead of Quick....

  10. "It's been inspirational watching the Canucks continue to succeed despite every player on the roster having whatever that disease is where you keel over dramatically the second anybody brushes up against you."

    Wouldn't that be Sidney Crosby Syndrome?

  11. The Leafs are going to bring the Cup back to Canada.

    Enough said.

  12. Ro-Bot

    The Sedins, Kesler, Bieksa, Salo, Burrows and Hansen were all a product of Brian Burke. Love him or hate him, he did draft or sign the core of the roster.

  13. Vancouver fans are already insufferable.

  14. Two reasons I am behind the Canucks, the first is that Canadian fans are the best and most knowledgeable hockey fans and deserve to see Lord Stanley's Mug come home, secondly anything that would burn Gary Bettmans ass is good with me
    Walt AKA All Sports on the Web

  15. But I don't want to die before i see a cup for a canadian team :(

  16. 18 Canadians on the Sharks, only 16 Canadians on the Canucks so Vancouver is hardly the "Canadian" team to throw your hopes behind.

    Couture was born in Guelph, Thorton, London and Marleau, Saskatchewan. I'll even forgive Mayers for being a Torontonian.

    The C of the Canucks is worn by a guy described on his WIKI page as "a Swedish professional ice hockey centre..." and that's not very Canadian is it.

  17. As a Leafs and Oiler's fan, there's two teams I would absolutely refuse to cheer for.

    Ottawa(AKA the new Habs to Leafs fans) and the Flames.

    If both those teams somehow made it to the finals, the only acceptable outcome would be an immediate player lock-out.

    Having said that, being a Leafs fan who's lived in Van for the last year and had to endure comments like "you're a Leafs fan?... So sorry." all the time, I would be quite happy to see the Sharks or Tampa win the cup.

  18. BrokeInTheNosebleedsMay 17, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    This one was fantastic! Definitely one of my all time favourites.. GO SHARKS

  19. it's not about how many canadians are on the team, it's about seeing your fellow canadians from another city celebrating.

  20. A long time ago I grew up in a Leafs household with four brothers and a Dad. The last Stanley Cup win by the Leafs was in 1967. It's been a long time to diet on thin air. So after moving to BC I have become one of those insufferable, passionate, and indefatiguable Canucks fans. GO CANUCKS!

  21. There's no way in hell I'm going to side with those granola-munchers on the left coast. It's really a no-lose situation though....Vancouver loses, the fans hide all summer. Vancouver wins, they burn their city down.

  22. @ post above, you need to mellow out. Come to Vancouver! We have a really good way of doing it. ;)

    (Granola munchers, indeed.)

  23. The persecution complex is spot on man! I lived there for 10 years and witnessed, as a Leaf fan, a completely unsubstantiated one-way rival bitterness. I didn't have the heart to tell them that Leaf fans rank Vancouver somewhere in the vicinity of the Panthers or Nashville in terms of rivalry-status.

  24. re: The Muppet

    I don't think it's a "rival bitterness". It's just plain bitterness. We pretty much can't stand most of what comes out of Toronto.

    We're expected to adopt the Raptors and Bluejays as Canada's team because they're the only ones in their leagues. Yet when a team other than Toronto or Montreal is left in the Stanley cup race there's a debate about whether they're Canada's team.

    If Toronto's such a be all and end all why do so many people leave? Like the saying goes: Toronto, a great place to be from.

  25. Vancouver vs Tampa....Tampa taking down another Canadian team.
    Is it 2004 again?
    Does it take us into another lock out?
    Will Carolina win another post lock out Cup with out Maurice?
    It will all be worth it in order to have revenge for the Olympics. USA! USA! Bettman Sux!

  26. Yeah, because I give a shit what Calgary or Toronto thinks. Too funny. I don't want anyone in those second rate towns cheering for my Canucks.

  27. Funny post. Like the blog. The one thing I don't get is the claims that Vancouver can't even be considered a Canadian city. I get that this is all in good humour, but I have seen many arguments using that as a point. Seriously. Just because it is on the West Coast doesn't make it un-Canadian.

  28. Here in Vancouver, we really don't care if the rest of Canada is cheering for us, we would rather bask in the potential glory on our own, rather than share it with all the other recently futile Canadian hockey franchises. People won't jump on our bandwagon not only because we have currently the best Canadian team, but by far the nicest city, so everyone feels it necessary to spite us largely out of jealousy.

  29. @Anonymous from May 17, 2011 4:47 PM, I'm a Canadian living in Canada and everyone I know got to watch me celebrate last year when the Blackhawks won. So...I'm not going to cheer for the Canucks just because they're Canadian. In fact, I'm not going to cheer for them at all because they knocked my team out.

  30. Hilarious article!!! I loved it. The writing style is really good.

  31. If Vancouver thinks beating the Sharks is any kind of accomplishment, I got news for them. It's not. The Sharks were woefully deficient. They got excited at defeating a rebuilding and injured Detroit, but you can see how little the Sharks had. Vanc better set their sights a lot higher than that series, because Boston seems ready for them.

  32. Toronto has a huge persecution complex, All I hear is "Well if the leafs were in the finals no one would be cheering us!" even goes back to when phil kessel got drafted last in that fantasy draft. Like it was some kind of conspiracy that a leafs player got laughed at and taken last. Always everyone targeting toronto... like there supposed to be feared, how abt them just being easy to pick on?

  33. I know vancouver is going to win because they have never won the cup and they were the number one team this year, so it is now their year to win the cup. Iknow that more canadians should be going for their home country team. THEIR GOING TO WIN THE STANLY CUP!!!