It's been fifteen years since a Stanley Cup victory riot (as opposed to run-of-the-mill First Round victory riots) took place in the streets of a Canadian city. In the years since the Habs claimed Big Ugly in '93, five of the six Canadian teams have been to the Final only to come up short every time (I'll leave you to deduce the odd team out. Hint: Try the Google).
How could this be? Was it the skewed odds inherent in the fact that only 6 of the league's 30 teams, or 1 in 5, ply their trade on our soil? Of course not.
Could it be that our teams were handicapped right out of the gate by the twin disparities of a crushing exchange rate (for most of those 15 years) and an unwillingness to lavish giant subsidies on billionaires who wanted to build revenue generating cash cows at taxpayer expense? Revenue, it should be added, that would solely benefit those billionaires? Don't be stupid.
Then perhaps it was those teams not based in Canada absolutely refusing, until it was imposed on them from above, any kind of revenue sharing agreement or salary cap that would lessen their ability to strip mine talent from our teams through ridiculous and predatory free-agent contracts, knowing that any losses they incurred in the process would be, unlike their Canadian counterparts, fully tax deductible? Pshaw.
No, the reason a Canadian team hasn't won a Stanley Cup in 15 years is...we're too obsessive about the game of hockey:
I see. It's all my fault then.
Why don't teams from Canadian cities win more often, when we care so very much? Because we care so very much.
Why don't more big-name free agents want to play in Canadian cities? Because we strangle them with our passion, cover their every twitch and mis-step, examine their private lives, call in to talk shows to discuss ad nauseum every minute happening in their season.
And so, as I, wearing my Jamie Baker #13 jersey, ensconce myself in my Man Room with its walls painted Senators' Red, and settle into my Ottawa Senators Officially Licensed recliner beneath the framed autographed photos of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, Mike Fisher, Steve Duchesne and Lance Pitlick, to watch TSN's two hour season preview, I promise I'll stop caring so much that I become the single largest cause of my favourite team's inability to hold a two goal lead.
So thanks for pointing that out Cam. You've saved us all a lot of grief. And I, for one, can't wait to read your corollary story on the (obvious) eventual 08-09 Cup Champs, Nashville Predators.
We Just Care Too Much [Ottawa Citizen]