Who cares if a Canadian team doesn't win a Stanley Cup?

Who Cares If Canadian Team Doesn't Win A Stanley Cup?

If you're a Canadian hockey fan you've likely heard someone in the media, your cousin, uncle, or sibling say that this is the year the Stanley Cup returns to Canada. Because, if you aren't aware, a Canadian team hasn't won the Cup since the Montreal Canadiens did in 1993.

Canada is hell-bent on getting the Cup back. Like Sauron before getting the one ring. We're seeking it. All our thought is bent on it. 

There's a real sentiment that the Stanley Cup "belongs" in Canada. Even if the Cup does reside in the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto. Which last I checked is in fact in Canada.

Dominance Over the Sport

I get why Canadians desperately want the Cup to be won by a "home" team. We Canadians feel like this is our game and we've dominated the scene for years now.

Canada has the most gold medals in the men's event (9) and woman's event (5) at the Olympics. Our maple syrup-producing nation also has the most golds at the World Juniors championship with 20.

If you're of a certain age group you'll remember the Canada Cup, the premier best-on-best tournament of its time. The red-and-white maple leaves have dominated that tournament too with four wins.

The only thing eluding us recently has been the Stanley Cup. This year three Canadian teams are in the playoffs. The Leafs are the favorite of the trio to lift Lord Stanley's Cup at +650.

49th Parallel Failures

The playoffs have been a story of failure for years north of the 49th parallel. A Canadian side has made the playoffs 96 times since 1994, and six of them went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Where they - obviously - failed. 

Canadian Teams Quest For Cup
Teams Playoff Appearances Finals Appearances
Calgary Flames 13 1
Edmonton Oilers 11 1
Montreal Canadiens 17 1
Ottawa Senators 16 1
Quebec Nordiques* 1 0
Toronto Maple Leafs 16 0
Vancouver Canucks 15 2
Winnipeg Jets** 7 0

*Quebec relocated to Colorado for the 1995-96 season.
**Winnipeg didn't have a team between the 96-97 and 10-11 seasons. 

We had a good run in the early 2000s when a Canadian side featured in three straight finals from 2004 through 2007 (the 04-05 season was canceled because of the lockout).

And look Canada came really close a few times. Four of those six Cup Finals appearances were decided in a Game 7. Vancouver choked twice, once in 1994 with a 3-2 loss in Game 7 vs the Rangers and then in 2011 with an embarrassing 4-0 Game 7 loss to the Bruins.

Who Cares?

Now that I've brought you basically to the point of being foaming mad at how many times a Canadian side has missed out on winning the Cup I'm going to tell you: "Who cares?"

Maybe that gets you a bit more mad, but listen, a Canadian side doesn't need to win the Cup to prove our dominance over the sport. Just look at how many Canadian-born players are on each of the last 10 Stanley Cup-winning sides:

Canadians on Last 10 Cup Winners
Year Stanley Cup Winner Percentage of Canadians
2013 Chicago Blackhawks 41%
2014 Los Angeles Kings 60%
2015 Chicago Blackhawks 48%
2016 Pittsburgh Penguins 36%
2017 Pittsburgh Penguins 33%
2018 Washington Capitals 31%
2019 St Louis Blues 70%
2020 Tampa Bay Lightning 46%
2021 Tampa Bay Lightning 56%
2022 Colorado Avalanche 50%


Outside of the Penguins in 2016 and '17, Canadians make up a majority of every championship-winning roster. So, by that merit, Canadian talent wins the cup every year.

So who cares if one of the seven Canadian-based teams wins a Cup? Does it do anything to dilute our dominance over the sport? No, it doesn't.