Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Once Again, Only A Few Canadian Teams In The Playoffs

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

Of the seven Canadian franchises, one, the Vancouver Canucks, is considered a genuine contender, having made it to the finals last year and strong again this year. In a worst-case scenario, the Canucks might yet be the only “Dominion” team to enter the playoffs.

Why is this?

It cannot just be bad luck – the Canucks, Senators, Flames and Oilers all reaching the finals, but failing, over the past decade – and it cannot be blamed entirely on the various general managers and coaches, though both Toronto and Montreal have lately been trying their best.

Many theories have been put forward, none of them rock-solid. It has been said – and is often said privately by management – that the better free agents tend to avoid Canadian teams for factors that are not related to money: weather, the opportunity to live a more private life, a partner who might be U.S.-born and reluctant to move to another country.

There is some thought – especially in Toronto, partially in Montreal – that life in the media fishbowl exacerbates the natural rhythms of any team. A few losses becomes a full-blown crisis, a few wins a Stanley Cup parade; players not scoring get pressed about it so much they cannot score; players who excel get so much spotlight they often whither under it.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

bezukov's avatar

There are twenty six American franchises.  Why is this surprising?

I get tired of all the nationalist crap the Canadian media pushes out every year.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/27/12 at 12:24 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by bezukov from The Darkness with Harkness Redux on 03/26/12 at 10:24 PM ET

Better make that 23….

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/27/12 at 12:25 AM ET

Avatar

Do you?  Oh well.  That’s just the way it is up here.  Hockey matters that much.  It probably shouldn’t, but it does. 

It matters in Canada in ways that hockey will never matter in the U.S.  There may even be more hockey fans in the States, due to the population differences, but percentage wise, it’s not even close.  Probably never will be.

Try to imagine if the U.S. invented football (actually, shared with Canada…McGill and all that history stuff), yet the NFL had, say, 80% of its teams outside of the U.S. borders…and the league was comprised of 55% Americans.

It’s akin to that, roughly speaking.

My suggestion to all the American hockey fans is don’t sweat it in the least.  It has no effect on your team, if you’re in a strong hockey market, such as Detroit.

Let’s see.  Habs…no.  Leafs…no.  Senators..doubt it.  Oilers…no.  Flames…no.  Jets…no.  Canucks…maybe.  That about sums up the Stanley Cup chances this spring for Canadian franchises.

If, and when, the Coyotes head back over the 49th parallel and land in Quebec City, they might have the best chance for Canadian teams.

Posted by Mick Kern on 03/27/12 at 12:43 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by Mick Kern on 03/26/12 at 10:43 PM ET

Well my suggestion is that you switch off Coach’s Corner.  I am well aware of the demographics relative to hockey in Canada and the USA.  I am also aware that the US and Canadian national teams don’t participate in NHL playoffs.  Is Canada?

Look, I understand the mentality.  But its just a big eye roller when the Canadian press attempts to nationalize whichever Canadian team makes the playoffs, and/or tries to make the distribution of [successful] teams an “us vs. them” situation.  I really enjoyed the rather immature piggy back ride Canada took on the usually ignored Vancouver Canucks last year…. just for the sake of example.

I hate the line of thought that this article grew out of.  The whole premise of the gripe is nothing but sour grapes with a Canadian flag draped over them.  If Canadians don’t like the way the last twenty years have gone, maybe their franchises should follow Vancouver’s lead and step it up…. or maybe not subject their teams to a yearly soap opera.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/27/12 at 01:38 AM ET

Avatar

My suggestion to all the American hockey fans is don’t sweat it in the least.  It has no effect on your team, if you’re in a strong hockey market, such as Detroit

I love your apologist attitude for bigotry and xenophobia all draped in a Canadian flag. Just because the stories are for the home market doesn’t mean they don’t affect us south of the border. Under this lame excuse, us Yanks need to ignore all of the trash talking up north and then watch as you undermine our franchises, trash and defame our GM’s and coaches, slag our players and generally bully the NHL. We ain’t gonna buy it and we aren’t going to be silent.

Posted by timbits on 03/27/12 at 02:50 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by Mick Kern on 03/26/12 at 10:43 PM ET

As someone who makes his living off of a North America wide media format, why aren’t you calling out your cohorts north of the border for their anti-anyone but Canada hockey mentality. You actually have a platform to call BS on the BS instead of making excuses for it!

Posted by timbits on 03/27/12 at 03:04 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Canadian teams don’t make it because they’re not very good, and poorly run.

If teams deserve it, they make it.  Simple as that.

Hockey isn’t covered so tightly in Canada because it’s sacred or holy:  it’s because quite frankly what else is there to cover and follow?  Canada has no NFL teams, one NBA team (for a little while longer probably), and one MLB team.  Sure, there’s what, a couple of MLS teams now too, but they don’t even get coverage here in the US mostly.

The truth is if Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver got NFL teams, or if the latter two got MLB teams… after a while hockey wouldn’t be such a huge deal because a generation would grow up with other choices and outlets.  Things would be more spread-out like they are in US markets.  This is why things are that way even in Original Six US markets.

Posted by Primis on 03/27/12 at 09:21 AM ET

Avatar

Excuses?  No.  Not in the least.  Reasons, more like it.

Now, I don’t know if the two of you are Americans, but if you are, then I find it amusing that I am being accused of wrapping myself in the flag.

Please re-read what I wrote.  You really need to just let all this stuff (Canadian hockey media self-focus) just roll of your backs, because it will never change, and it really has no effect on your love for hockey.  Don’t worry about it, that’s what I was trying to say.

Even if you still want to rage at us Canucks, please do me one favour…never confuse me as someone who watches Coaches Corner.  Not all Canadian hockey fans worship at that altar, though many still do.  But not me.

Posted by Mick kern from Toronto on 03/27/12 at 10:32 AM ET

Avatar

“Hockey isn’t covered so tightly in Canada because it’s sacred or holy:  it’s because quite frankly what else is there to cover and follow?  Canada has no NFL teams, one NBA team (for a little while longer probably), and one MLB team.  Sure, there’s what, a couple of MLS teams now too, but they don’t even get coverage here in the US mostly”.

“The truth is if Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver got NFL teams, or if the latter two got MLB teams… after a while hockey wouldn’t be such a huge deal because a generation would grow up with other choices and outlets.  Things would be more spread-out like they are in US markets.  This is why things are that way even in Original Six US markets”.
————————————————————————————————————————————

Sir, (or Ma’am), your statement is so patently wrong.  Hockey has long had a strangle hold on the sports passion up here.  Other sports have their moments (for exampke, the Blue Jays in 92-93), but hockey is always on in this country.  24/7.

Demographic changes has chipped away at that, but only a bit.  Hockey registration is down, but there are many more choices for kids today.

We can argue all we want, but the statement you made is just so off-target.  And it’s no an opinion thing, it’s just wrong.  With all due respect.

Posted by Mick Kern from Toronto on 03/27/12 at 10:38 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

And it’s no an opinion thing, it’s just wrong.  With all due respect.

How so?  Kids have options to play other sports?  Yeah… and?  What does that have to do with the media scrutiny angle?

I don’t think Damien Cox is going to be very distracted by the Canadian version of pop warner football.  Kids have plenty of options of what to play, but there aren’t a lot of options for what the media can cover.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/27/12 at 11:12 AM ET

Avatar

just let all this stuff (Canadian hockey media self-focus) just roll of your backs, because it will never change, and it really has no effect on your love for hockey.  Don’t worry about it, that’s what I was trying to say.

But it does affect us south of the border, from rule changes, to franchise locations, development of junior and college players, media perceptions of hockey in the US and priorities of the NHL. Canada does not own hockey, it doesn’t love it more than those of us who have played and watched our entire lives and we won’t stand by and let others define our hockey experience for us.

Posted by timbits on 03/27/12 at 11:38 AM ET

Avatar

timbits, this will be the last thing I have to say on this, because we are now going in circles.

I believe you to be correct in your last statement.  You alone define what your hockey experience is. 

Canada will always be crucial to the NHL, because it remains the heartland of ice hockey.  Parts of the U.S. can make that claim as well, as can Russia, Sweden, etc.  But there’s a myriad of reasons why Canada has been such a huge part of the NHL, even though the league has been mainly U.S. based since the late 1930’s.

Franchise changes?  The U.S. has “lost” two Atlanta teams to Western Canada.  Most of the franchise changes have been between U.S. cities.  If Phoenix relocates to Quebec, then it is returning to it’s WHA Canadian roots.

timbits, I’ve followed your comments on this fine website for a year or two now.  You are passionate about your love of hockey.  Great.  But you’re only boiling in your own juices when you get all worked up about what the hockey-centric Canadian sports media says about the the game.  That is what I was trying to say; you’re fine as it is.  Ignore them.

The NHL will always be a U.S. based league.

Posted by Mick Kern from Toronto on 03/27/12 at 12:18 PM ET

Avatar

RE: Canadian media obsessing over Canadian teams/players/hockey in general.  Watch NBC’s coverage of any game and the non-stop blathering about American players and American hockey.  It’s the same thing as in Canada: pandering to their audience. 

The difference is in Canada, you hear it a lot because so many media outlets report on hockey, mainly because there are so many fans.  In the States, only a small percentage of people give a crap.

Posted by yayamo on 03/27/12 at 12:37 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by yayamo on 03/27/12 at 10:37 AM ET

I must have missed it when Mike Milbury took Joe Nieuwendyk to task for not having enough Texas-born players on his team.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/27/12 at 12:52 PM ET

awould's avatar

If Canadian teams can’t compete, blame Canada!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxPRHXgYVl

Posted by awould on 03/27/12 at 12:55 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/27/12 at 10:52 AM ET

You can’t use Cherry as an argument for anything.  It’s like using Slapshot to say hockey’s too violent.

Posted by yayamo on 03/27/12 at 01:15 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You can’t use Cherry as an argument for anything.

Hahaha. Welcome to the internet.  wink

To say that the level of jingoist pandering from NBC is the same as what goes on in Canada is like saying the guy screaming for help after being mauled by a tiger should quit his bellyaching because your cat scratched you the other day and you somehow made it through that ordeal in one piece.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/27/12 at 02:05 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

You can’t use Cherry as an argument for anything.  It’s like using Slapshot to say hockey’s too violent.

Posted by yayamo on 03/27/12 at 11:15 AM ET

Cherry is an enormous presence in the Canadian press.  To try and say otherwise is having it both ways.  JJ’s comment was dead on. 

The Canadian press tries to play Cherry off like a cartoon or a national joke, but evidently the only people being fooled are north of the border.  The Burke/Cherry kerfuffle has gotten an enormous amount of play for a guy who is supposed to be some unimportant buffoon.  In the US we let Rush Limbaugh call a few NFL games, and we all know what happened shortly after.  I’ll start believing that Cherry is just a national joke in Canada when the CBC takes away his pulpit, not before.

timbits, I’ve followed your comments on this fine website for a year or two now.  You are passionate about your love of hockey.  Great.  But you’re only boiling in your own juices when you get all worked up about what the hockey-centric Canadian sports media says about the the game.  That is what I was trying to say; you’re fine as it is.  Ignore them.

The NHL will always be a U.S. based league.

Posted by Mick Kern from Toronto on 03/27/12 at 10:18 AM ET

Mick, speaking for myself (and others on this thread if I may), I don’t appreciate being patronized.  Its fine to disagree, and we’d love to hear your opinion, but please state it by using another device, rather telling us to “calm down,” or “just ignore it,” or “accept it because that is the way it is.”  Paternalism isn’t persuasive.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/27/12 at 02:21 PM ET

Avatar

I’ll start believing that Cherry is just a national joke in Canada when the CBC takes away his pulpit, not before.

You’re right, because all Americans take Steven Tyler seriously just because he has a national audience.

Same with Kim Kardashian.

And all the “Real Housewives”.

Nobody who is on TV can be considered a joke.

Posted by Garth on 03/27/12 at 02:26 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

I get tired of all the nationalist crap the Canadian media pushes out every year.

Try living here Bez.  This shxt sucks.  The worst part is that it actually gets non-hockey fans yacking.  People at work that don’t have enough interest in the sport to ever watch it want to bitch about how the cup belongs in Canada.  Hack journalism, so unusual.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/27/12 at 02:45 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

In fairness, none of Steven Tyler, Kim Kardashian, or the real housewives are on a channel run by the U.S. government.

This focus is getting narrow though. It’s not really about Don Cherry, it’s about the way the Canadian media is part of the problem with Canadian teams. I don’t know how much it factors in to all of the other causes, but the concept that it’s harder to do one’s job under the intense scrutiny of the coverage they get fits in with what I think is part of the reason Canadian teams don’t succeed as much as some would like them to.

It’s also partially because Canadian teams make up just under 1/4th of the league and math works funny sometimes.

... and that one of the Canadian teams is essentially an Atlanta team that was just moved.

I don’t really care if the circus surrounding Toronto is as difficult for the Leafs’ GM to manage as the actual team is. As an American hockey fan who doesn’t like the Leafs for reasons other than the country in which they play, it doesn’t really affect me.  Point remains that there is more media scrutiny of hockey moves in Canada than there is in America. This seems to have a detrimental effect on them.

Or it could just be that six out of seven teams in a league of 30 aren’t blessed with the magical combination of a caring and rich owner and one of the only 10 or so GMs it seems are actually capable of putting together a competitive team.

Like much of the hockey news up north, it seems as though a lot of what you might think about the truth in that statement would be tied to what you think of the happenings in Toronto.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/27/12 at 02:55 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

You’re right, because all Americans take Steven Tyler seriously just because he has a national audience.

Same with Kim Kardashian.

And all the “Real Housewives”.

Nobody who is on TV can be considered a joke.

Posted by Garth on 03/27/12 at 12:26 PM ET

Garth, those examples don’t even compare to Don Cherry.  I’ve never seen Steven Tyler or Kim Kardashian on Monday Night Football, nor do I expect to see them making commentary during the Final Four this weekend.  I have yet to see any individuals of their ilk affect the national sports media in the US in quite the same manner as Cherry does in Canada.  In the future, if you are going to take an ad absurdum tack with me, make sure you’re not the one being absurd.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/27/12 at 03:09 PM ET

Avatar

In fairness, none of Steven Tyler, Kim Kardashian, or the real housewives are on a channel run by the U.S. government

FWIW, CBC is mostly funded by the government but they have no control over the actual product.  They can’t even get CBC to properly report how they are spending their billions.

Cherry is an entertainer/pundit and should be taken as such.  Mainstream media picks up on his antics to sell copy and nothing else.  Anything involving media-whore Cherry and media-whore Burke of course is going to get major play, particularly in “national” media that leans heavily towards Toronto-centric news.

I think a better comparison for Cherry is someone like Ann Coulter in the 2000s.  She is a niche personality that was occasionally thrust into mainstream media, some people took her seriously, some people got all bent out of shape about crazy stuff she said, but the majority of sane people saw her as a polarizing clown.

Posted by yayamo on 03/27/12 at 03:17 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Try living here Bez.  This shxt sucks.  The worst part is that it actually gets non-hockey fans yacking.  People at work that don’t have enough interest in the sport to ever watch it want to bitch about how the cup belongs in Canada.  Hack journalism, so unusual.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from home of the 1925 Stanley Cup Champs on 03/27/12 at 12:45 PM ET

I can imagine how it must feel.  I hate all the cheap applause that “patriotism” draws on this side of the border.  I’m a believer that once you do something enough times, it can lose meaning or become cliche.  I often feel that the constant obeisance to the military and the flag borders on disrespectful, especially when its used by our politicians. To me the the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and Memorial Day are sombre occasions that should be cause for reflection, not grandstanding.  I can only imagine how annoying it must be when folks try to make your hockey team an official tool of statecraft. 

So, thats enough about me lol…..

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/27/12 at 03:21 PM ET

Avatar

Mick, speaking for myself (and others on this thread if I may), I don’t appreciate being patronized.  Its fine to disagree, and we’d love to hear your opinion, but please state it by using another device, rather telling us to “calm down,” or “just ignore it,” or “accept it because that is the way it is.”  Paternalism isn’t persuasive.


Guess I have to answer this…my apologies for how that read.  Not my intentions. What I meant, and still mean, is why worry about it?  A lot of Canadian hockey fans know that the game of hockey is global, and that there are die hard American fans, who know their stuff.

We don’t all follow the words of Don Cherry, and his ilk.  The comments made by some here are very true; even now, Cherry’s words have an effect up here.  I hear it every Saturday and Sunday morning when I take my kid to his hockey games.

Just ignore all that crap.  Many of us do.  I do.

Geesh, I love this site and the dialogue, but some of you are a touch too touchy.  My initial intention by posting here was to show support for the American fans of the NHL.

Now that I read back, I feel it even more necessary to state…calm down.  It’s only freakin’ hockey.  What do you care if the Canadian hockey media ignores/rejects you??? 

That happens to us as Canadians on a daily basis.  Some of us whine about it, most of us just get on with things.

See ya at the rink, ya crazy bunch of puck lovin’ Yanks!!!!!!

Mick

Posted by Mick Kern from Toronto on 03/27/12 at 03:21 PM ET

Avatar

The truth is if Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver got NFL teams, or if the latter two got MLB teams… after a while hockey wouldn’t be such a huge deal because a generation would grow up with other choices and outlets.  Things would be more spread-out like they are in US markets.  This is why things are that way even in Original Six US markets.

Primis, once again demonstrating that keen knowledge of Canada that he is renowned for. Never mind the fact that baseball didn’t succeed in one large city here, and basketball didn’t succeed in another. And the Bills aren’t exactly packing ‘em in right to the rafters for their games in Toronto…

Posted by dzuunmod on 03/27/12 at 04:33 PM ET

Avatar

@timbits: You sound kinda like a straight person telling everyone that gay marriage harms your own marriage. If you don’t like what Canadians are saying, go to another website or change the channel. It’s really simple.

Posted by dzuunmod on 03/27/12 at 04:35 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Hah.  Well we are rabid about the CFL, so that kinda takes up all the NFL room.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/27/12 at 05:46 PM ET

Avatar

Perhaps if the Canadian franchises put winning a the forefront of everything instead of whether a certain person speaks French or not, then the Canadian franchises would have more success.

I mean that Sutter still has a job is a joke in itself!  or,

Imagine if the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs for ten years?  That’s how bad;y mismanaged the Leafs are. 

The Oilers have three of the best young players in the league and still can’t figure out how to win.

But hey Canada, don’t worry, you’ll always have the Blue Jackets to laugh at.  Unless they move to Quebec.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 03/27/12 at 06:23 PM ET

Avatar

@timbits: You sound kinda like a straight person telling everyone that gay marriage harms your own marriage. If you don’t like what Canadians are saying, go to another website or change the channel. It’s really simple.

I appreciate that Paul runs these articles, he knows full well what the response will be. Ignoring what is said in Canada, doesn’t change the impact. I respect Mick for trying to give his view, and I believe he is sincere. Unfortunately, it ignores reality. Canada does not live in a vacuum when it comes to hockey and since we share this sport we need to respect each other for it to work. I know most American hockey fans have a great respect for Canada. I can’t say I believe the same exists north of the border for the US. There are a lot of non hockey reasons for this. That being said, I will continue to call out the prejudice, and when I see it coming from the US, I will do the same. My comments are never intended as anit-canadian. As I have said before, my best friends and half of my family live in Canada, I have lived and played hockey there as well. That doesn’t change the fact the sport is being used for jingoistic purposes that have a negative impact on US hockey, US fans and teams.

Posted by timbits on 03/28/12 at 01:00 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by Mick Kern from Toronto on 03/27/12 at 01:21 PM ET

Mick, I appreciate that you didn’t mean to come off negatively.  But if you are going to apologize for something, maybe don’t do the exact same thing in the next sentence?

Geesh, I love this site and the dialogue, but some of you are a touch too touchy.  My initial intention by posting here was to show support for the American fans of the NHL.

The tone of your first comment doesn’t really back up your last comment, and give us a break about being “touchy.”  The first sentence you typed looked a little “touchy” to me.  In my summation it seems a lot like people are “touchy” or “need to calm down” for doing nothing other than disagreeing with you.

This is a place to talk hockey, which is what we’ve been doing.  Nobody has been name calling or taking anything personally.  If you disagree with anything said, make a substantive remark instead of commenting on posters’ emotional states.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/28/12 at 01:10 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

image

image