Oh Canada. When will you win again? Or is it Woe Canada?
It’s going on 22 years and counting. Once Calgary and Montreal get eliminated from this year’s playoffs, it will ensure that a team in the United States will once again win hockey’s ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup. Why does this keep happening?
James Mirtle wrote a great piece documenting why this is happening. Some of it involves really tough puck luck as Mirtle calls it. He cites the fact that 4 different teams in a 7 year span, were in the Stanley Cup Final. The Oilers, Canucks, and Flames were each in a Game 7, only to lose. The other part he mentions is where the elite talent is going. Teams like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles among others, have scooped up the elite talent. These teams went from losing, to winning, just like that.
Eventually, someone from Canada has to win the Stanley Cup right? One would logically think so. But which team will it be? To me, there is one team that clearly stands out above the others. No, it’s not Montreal either. They are a great team. I just don’t see them winning a Cup before this team I’m about to mention. As unbelievable as it sounds, the next Canadian team that will hoist the Stanley Cup, will be the Edmonton Oilers.
Edmonton Will Win The Stanley Cup??
Crazy, isn’t it? The Oilers struggles are well documented. They’ve had numerous bad seasons, in spite of owning so many high draft picks. But of all times to win the draft lottery, this was the year to do it.
Edmonton will now have the chance to draft elite talent. The biggest prize, Connor McDavid, surely will go 1st to the Oilers. This gives them an immediate leg up on everyone else in Canada. It might take a couple of seasons to realize this, but imagine for a second a 21-year-old Connor McDavid as the best player in hockey. Edmonton will do everything to make sure he stays long-term.
Just look at the teams who have recently won the Stanley Cup. What do they have in common? They all have elite talent. Pittsburgh got to back to back Stanley Cup Finals with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin leading the way. Chicago has won 2 Stanley Cups thanks in large part to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Los Angeles has 2 Stanley Cups, thanks to having elite talent. Boston has made 2 Stanley Cup Finals as well. Seems like the same teams, right? That’s because they have the elite talent.
You cannot discount Montreal from this discussion. Any team that has Carey Price in their net will certainly have their chance to win the Stanley Cup. This is more about where on the roster the talent is. The Penguins, Blackhawks, Kings, and Bruins have elite forward talent. Edmonton will join this list with Connor McDavid, when he gets drafted. It didn’t take those other teams long for them to get to the Stanley Cup Final after landing those elite players.
Edmonton has plenty of work to do. But when it comes to the question of which Canadian team will win the Stanley Cup next, the Oilers are at the top of my list. Amazing what a lottery can do for a franchise. Just ask Pittsburgh and Chicago about that. If history is any indicator, the Oilers will soon become the Blackhawks and Kings of today. Who ever saw that one coming?
Feel free to leave your comments below. Which team do you think is the next Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup?