WWYDW: National Pride

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The World Cup of Hockey is upon us! Exhibition games start tomorrow, though people who are mad online about more hockey to watch will surely try to convince you that the entire tournament is a meaningless exhibition. Whatever it may be, and wherever the financial windfall may go, it’s still nice to see some of the world’s best take each other on for the sake of our entertainment and a little bit of national pride.

There’s even a bunch of Leafs representation, with six of the eight teams including roster players, and Mike Babcock making his usual cameo behind the bench of Team Canada. Team Europe is there too, but Frederik Andersen’s injury sustained during Olympic qualifying will keep him out. 

So, with all of that and more in mind… who are you cheering for?

Some will pick based on their favourite players. Some will pick based on a feeling that this is still an international tournament to be one. Some are just praying that none of their team’s players get hurt.

Personally, if I have a hat to throw in this ring, it’s for Team North America. Connor McDavid is arguably already the best player in the world, Auston Matthews has a chance to get some Air Canada Centre games in before doing it in the correct jersey, Morgan Rielly will get some big minutes with a great defensive partner in Aaron Ekblad, and the entire team is going to be eager to show their “real” national teams that they’re just as good.

Which, of course, is wrong. With a constantly evolving game and athletic prime coming at 23-24, they’re probably actually better than their countries. Certainly better than the USA, who seemingly picked their roster out of a hat and appears to want to play gritball in a two-week tournament. Canada’s roster matches up well, but it’d be cool in a weird way to see Babcock have a blemish on his record that makes him even more eager to do his thing with the Leafs. Speaking of a Maple Leaf, part of me wants Canada to lose solely for ruining the best international uniform they’ve ever designed by pairing it with the worst crest they’ve ever worn.

Anyway, that’s just me. Who’s your pick? Pledge your allegiance below.

  • Metal thrashin dad

    im all in on north america
    if they win, it will be the defining moment of a “New” generation of nhl. It may also help keep ufa overpayments in check. (we dont really need a 30 year old to win sooooo)

  • Tomas Oppolzer

    im all in on north america
    if they win, it will be the defining moment of a “New” generation of nhl. It may also help keep ufa overpayments in check. (we dont really need a 30 year old to win sooooo)

  • Brent Wisken

    The only team I am interested in is Team North America. Lots of exciting young players, and as a Leafs’ fan I am interested in seeing Matthews and Rielly. But if it was’t for the existence of Team North America, with all the young players, I don’t think many people would be paying attention to the event. The event would likely be a failure in terms of attendance/viewership. It doesn’t feel like an international event like the Olympics. Feels more corporate than anything.

  • Brent Wisken

    Why is it with the World Cup of hockey the one thing fans seem to be fixated on is it’s a “money grab”. I don’t understand I don’t really care who makes the money especially when the monies are not coming to me so I don’t understand why fans are so fixated on that rather than the actual high-end players that are going to be playing in that tournament.

  • Brent Wisken

    To be so ungrateful to the country that has given you all so much, that you would cheer against Canada is really sad.

    There is a moral core that is lacking. I don’t know if it’s just an age thing or if it’s specifically a Leaf fan illness.

    I’d like to see a question like this asked to the fans of other Canadian cities because if this is just a Leaf fan disease then the Leafs organization needs to fold!

  • Brent Wisken

    After the tournament we will see what the tv ratings indicate. I have a feeling they will show that Team North America is the main attraction and the driving force behind the event. Fans’ passion levels do not seem as high for their home country in contrast to the Olympics and past international events. I have a feeling the players do not have the same passion for it as, for example, the Olympics, and subsequently will not take it as seriously as other events. This time around it feels contrived. Doesn’t have same feeling as previous World Cup / Canada Cup iterations. Hard to have any national pride for this corporate event.

  • Tomas Oppolzer

    Dying to see team North America play more then any team in the competition. Praying for Canada vs TNA final. At this point my allegiance will switch to anything or anybody wearing a Maple Leaf, even if it looks tacky. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough for me.

  • Gary Empey

    Why are some people upset that it’s a money grab, regardless who gets the money?

    Simple: because it’s really just an NHL bs cash grab tournament that means nothing. It’s not the Olympics so the national pride aspect is very remote.

    Let’s say Matthews or Reilly get injured and miss 20 games (roughly 25% of the season) or more because of this tournament – that’s why most people who are upset are upset. I care more for the Leafs playoff and Cup chances over some bs NHL tournament that means nothing.