Well, so much for Canada in the Stanley Cup.
Five Canadian NHL franchises had made it into the playoffs, the most teams in a decade, prompting talk not only about a Canadian team winning the Stanley Cup, but of an all-Canadian Cup final for the first time since 1989.
Anyway, it’s all gone to heck. The Flames were eliminated on the weekend, and with the Montreal Canadiens’ elimination in the second round it means there are no further Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Canadian cup drought now extends to 23 years, to 2016. What’s even harder to accept for the Canadian fans is that two of the squads remaining are teams from the Sun states (Tampa Bay and Anaheim).
Fans of Canadian teams now officially have no reason to care about the Stanley Cup. And because the TV coverage under the new TV deal has been so thoroughly panned in Canada, with Ron MacLean’s role totally minimalized and with George Stroumboulopoulos being shoved down the fans’ throats on Hockey Night in Canada, the fans have no other reason to watch now, either.
With no Canadian teams left, and with a real prospect of an all-Sunbelt Cup final series, the ratings in this country for hockey are going to go right down the tubes. How do Rogers executives feel today, having handed over $5.2 billion dollars to the NHL for the rights to the hockey games on TV — only for this total playoff debacle to happen?
Time for the fans to tune in the Blue Jays full time. And as an aside, CFL football cannot come back soon enough.