It’s a sunny Tuesday in Buffalo and the Blue Jays are back “home” to take on the underachieving and slumping New York Yankees at Sahlen Field. The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to even their best-of-seven series with the New York Islanders at Amalie Arena and on Monday, the Vegas Golden Knights dominated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 in the first installment of their Stanley Cup semi-final match.
As is normally the case, my morning routine is to check Twitter and other websites for any news that occurred while my head rested on a pillow. The first thing that popped up was a response to a tweet sent on Monday afternoon from the Canadian government’s official feed.
Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but………..”Canada’s team”?????? Really???
Fans of the Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Jets, Senators and Maple Leafs would quibble with that.
This statement coming on the heels of the CN Tower and the Canadian Falls being illuminated Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge in honor of Les Habitants winning the North Division is very humorous and quite interesting.
While legions of Habs fans throughout the province of Quebec and scattered around Canada are euphoric at Montreal’s postseason success, there might be a few fans of the six other NHL franchises who are passively rooting for them, but the majority of them are either benignly disinterested or rooting vigorously against them.
Every year, broadcasters on radio and television float this narrative that everyone should unite behind the one remaining Canadian franchise in hopes that they will win the first championship since 1993, but if you ask most of the fans of the other franchises, the last thing they want is for another Canadian franchise to end the streak of futility. They want their team to win.
Social media did not exist in 1999 and 2002 when Toronto made the Eastern Conference Final vs. Buffalo and Carolina, but to my memory the Canadian government did not light up the CN Tower and the Falls in Blue and White for the Leafs, or Red and White in 2004 for Calgary, or Blue and Orange in 2006 for Edmonton, or Blue and White in 2011 for Vancouver.
So why are they doing it now????
The Toronto Marlies have traditionally been signing players AHL contracts for the purposes of developing talent that could end up benefiting them down the road or even reaching the NHL. Players such as Justin Holl (a former second round pick of Chicago) and former Leaf Mason Marchment (an undrafted free agent) were able to earn an NHL deal after signing an AHL contract and making progress with the Marlies.
On Tuesday, the club signed winger Ryan Chyzowski to a two-year deal. The 21-year-old is the son of 1989 second overall pick Dave Chyzowski and scored 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 23 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL.
The Marlies also signed forward Antti Suomela to a one-year deal. The 27-year-old was acquired from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline in exchange for Alexander Barabanov and had eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) in 17 AHL games.
*******If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising your business in the Greater Toronto / Southern Ontario area on this column, please send a message for more information by clicking on the “Contact” button at the top of the page.*******