Is the NHL against Canada?Not really

Is the NHL against Canada?Not really



After winning in overtime last night, the Montreal Canadiens survived another day in the playoffs they built for the Disney playoffs.

This is a success story of a loser, almost as unbelievable as the rampant conspiracy theory every time the Canadian team fails to do so.

If there were any signs last night, then this could be a year for Canada to make a comeback, after fans had complained for years that this game was aimed at them. A Canadian team has not brought home the trophy for 28 years, and it is easy to blame the poor record on some Machiavelli’s conspiracy to keep the trophy away, but this is not the case.

Twitter and Reddit are full of theories from armchair experts, who point out that the year Gary Bateman took over as NHL commissioner in 1993 was also the last time the Canadian team won a cup.

The Stanley Cup final that year was almost a duel between two Canadian teams. But at the moment when the Toronto Maple Leafs fans were still distressed, the officials missed the high shot of Los Angeles Kings star Wayne Gretzky in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against Maple Leafs’ Doug Gilmour.

Gretzky did not stay in the penalty area for five minutes, but scored the overtime winning goal. The Kings defeated the Leafs in the 7th game, but eventually lost the trophy to the Habu team.

Montreal Canadiens head coach Jacques Demers raised the Stanley Cup on June 9, 1993, when his team defeated the Los Angeles Kings and won the team’s 24th championship. (Jacques Boisino/Canada Press)

Although this is stinging for Leafs fans, it is hardly a smoking gun. Sportsnet senior columnist and insider Eric Engels (Eric Engels) said that officials deliberately calling for the US team to be superior to the Canadian team is false.

“It’s all nonsense,” he said.

“For a long time, fans will think that officials will play specifically for their team,” said Engels, who reported on the NHL for 14 years. “This is a classic fan conspiracy, I won’t believe it.”

The struggle to retain talent in Canada

If there is no invisible hand to arrange who wins and who loses, why does the Canadian team work hard to win the cup?

Engels said: “It’s not that they are at a disadvantage, but that they face greater challenges and have to do what they need to do to succeed.”

Several factors are at play. First, there is the problem of attracting talent to Canadian franchise. Although Canada produces nearly 43% of the players in the league, keeping them at home is a challenge.

Hockey belongs to the people, but the NHL is a business.-Eric Engels, Sportsnet Senior Columnist

Take, for example, the Tampa Bay Chargers game in Florida, where the climate is warm and real estate prices are reasonable—not to mention athletes take home more after-tax wages.

When you play in hotbeds like Montreal or Toronto, strict scrutiny is part of the bargaining and can also discourage some Canadian athletes from playing at home.

“some [the players] It’s nice to enter a market in which they are more obscure and unconcerned. After they finish hockey practice, they can walk to the golf course to play a game and then leave their work on the rink,” Engels said.

Nevertheless, some players still prefer a high-pressure environment.Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Dawn Montreal Sports columnist Jessica Rusnak (Jessica Rusnak) mentioned John Tavares (John Tavares), who agreed to leave the New York Islanders home to play for the Leafs.

Marketing decisions make fans feel abandoned

Another popular conspiracy theory is that referees are manipulated. But Rusnak said that usually when an official does not reach his full potential, this happens across the board and does not target a specific team.

However, she said she understands why Canadian fans feel abandoned. Part of this comes from the alliance’s marketing decisions, such as broadcasting options that cater to American audiences.

“Compared to Canadian networks, these time periods tend to be biased towards what the US networks want,” Rusnak said, refuting the idea that these broadcast choices will affect actual gameplay in some way.

They would rather cater to those who have watched three games in their lifetime, rather than cater to those who have been Habs fans or Ye fans all their lives.-Jessica Rusnak, CBC Daybreak Montreal Sports Columnist

“I think the NHL is definitely interested in developing this game in the US market because they know that this game will be very popular in the Canadian market anyway,” said Adam Seaborn, director of sales and media operations at Kingstar Media. , A Toronto marketing agency that buys advertising time on radio and TV.

“I think this is limited to the business side, and when it comes to actual competition, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“Hockey belongs to the people”

In the final analysis, alliances are a business, and the US market is where there is the greatest room for growth. Although this may mean that the league tends to support the expansion of American cities like Las Vegas and Seattle to Canadian cities like Quebec City, it is not personal.

“They want new fans,” Rusnak said. “They prefer to cater to those who have watched three games in their lives, rather than a lifetime Habu fan or Leaf fan, because they know that lifetime fans will always come back to them.”

If Canadian fans are looking for something to blame, rather than conspiracy theories, maybe they should turn their sights on capitalism.

“Hockey belongs to the people, but the NHL is an enterprise that belongs to the owners, players and all their corporate partners,” Engels said.

Nevertheless, although the league caters to the Americans in many ways, Engels said that the future of teams north of the border looks brighter.

“I think there are many teams in Canada that are on the rise. I think they will be on an equal footing with some teams in the United States.”


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