This last week of the NHL season could be pretty meaningless for Canadians. Not a single Canadian team makes the playoffs. It means the 23rd straight year the Cup will go to an American team.
Or we could try to find some meaning in this travesty, the overthrow of mothership hockey.
My son and I did some calculations. All things being equal, the odds that no Canadian team would win the Cup for these 23 years in a row is about 1 in 278.
But, all things being equal, the odds that not a single Canadian team would even qualify for the playoffs this year are even longer, about 1 in 594. It last happened 47 years ago. It’s not our turn!!!!
Clearly, not all things are equal!
So, how do we explain it? How do we find meaning in this? Here are a few ideas to ponder:
1. Canadian hockey players just aren’t so good anymore; the world has caught up with Canada. But that theory doesn’t make much sense because every team is a mix of players from many countries. And there are far more Canadian than American players in the league overall. And Canada is the reigning Olympic champion, where the best in the world actually do compete against each other by country.
2. Canadians are bad business people compared to Americans. They don’t know how to build teams that win. Well, this theory might make sense if Canadians ran Canadian teams and Americans ran American teams. But there is a good flow of executives back-and-forth. Many of the managers and coaches on American teams are Canadian and vice versa.
3. Management and coaches lose their edge when they come to Canada. Tortorella (an American) won a Cup in Tampa Bay, but look what happened when he came to Vancouver. Maybe it’s in our water. Maybe our cold just chills out the brain. But Boston, Buffalo, Chicago and Minnesota are colder than Vancouver! And, my Oilers remain woeful despite all those #1 draft picks, where their management picked the player every other team would have chosen, too. (Shed a tear for me, please!)
4. The entire league is rigged; Canadian teams will draw fans, win or lose, but American teams won’t, and Gary Bettmen hates Canadians. Okay, many of us would agree with the last part. But an entirely rigged league? If all competition was a sham, that would have been exposed long ago. I know Vancouverites think the 2011 Cup final was rigged. But the whole league? All Canadian teams missing the playoffs? Not even Bettman could pull that off.
5. It’s part of a secret deal Obama has made with Canadian teams to ruin this country—and then take us over. It’s obvious that playoff TV revenues will tank in Canada. And, hockey being such a big part of our economy, could that lead to a complete economic meltdown? And then we’d be ripe for the picking? Just saying . . . Or might it be Donald Trump who has engineered this? Or is it ISIS? Or China?
6. It’s simply coincidence! Could that really be? With those long odds? You mean my original premise, that not all things are equal, is wrong? Tell me it ain’t so! Or, assure me that, by the same odds, my Oilers could win the Cup next year. It would help me buy the coincidence theory!
Got a better explanation? I’m all ears.
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