It’s that time of year again Sports fans. The weather is getting too darn cold to sit outside and take in the majesty of Canadian Football. It was fine when the rouges were on the field, but now it’s showing up in our cheeks too, am I right?
Of course I am.
Now it’s that wonderful time of year where we take part of the great Canadian tradition of Sportsnet Wednesday Night Hockey. Will it be the same without Darren Millard? It’s too soon to tell.
Before we get too far off topic, the higher ups of The Leafs Nation asked me to put together this little ranking of the top Canadian teams. It seems like starting at #1 would be a little obvious, so we’ll start at the bottom. And I’ll tell you what, the team that’s sitting there is likely to stay there for a while.
8. Ottawa Senators
I can tell you are already intrigued by this. And if you’re intrigued and I’m intrigued, then the Senators are going to be really bad and we can watch them lose sponsors.
Honestly, I thought about recapping the entire list of things that went wrong for the Senators this summer, but at least three of the things seemed too cruel to bring up in this space when we’re trying to be lighthearted.
Instead we’ll focus on how Josh Norris, a late 1st round pick, and 4 randos out of the phone book are replacing Erik Karlsson.
We’ll focus on how that is the second deal of the summer where Doug Wilson fleeced Pierre Dorion on players he had to trade because of the same off ice incident.
We’ll focus on how Craig Anderson demanded a trade, Zack Smith was waived, and Bobby Ryan was considered a mandatory throw-in with Karlsson on any potential trade, but those three very angry players are still Senators.
We can take about how Mark Stone went to arbitration for the purpose of getting out of Ottawa as soon as possible, and how Matt Duchene, the player who was supposed to put the franchise over the top is likely to be dealt even before Stone is gone.
There’s the fact the Senators for some reason thought the idea of drafting Brady Tkachuk now was a better idea than waiting for Jack Hughes next season, when they are clearly committing to a long rebuild.
We can talk about all that, but really the funniest thing might be that the team has embraced an unofficial mascot that pretends to drink heavily because of their team.
When you think about it, it’s actually impressive that they managed to sell 4,000 Season Tickets.
7. Montreal Canadiens
Well they added Maximum Dummy, so that’s something. He might be disappointed that he won’t be able to continue to Make America Great Again, but I’m sure he’ll manage to make himself suspended again before the season is over.
I was going to have a lot more great material on Domi, and how terrible he is as a human and how average he is as a hockey player, but Galchenyuk went and got himself injured, so at least in the short term it looks like the Habs are winning this deal. Trust the Coyotes to screw stuff up.
This week the Habs named Shea Weber their captain. That’s funny because Shea Weber isn’t going to play for them again for a long time. Not to worry, slow 33 year old defensemen usually come back strong from *checks notes* knee injuries *tugs collar*
The preseason for Montreal has taught us three things.
1- Carey Price still doesn’t seem like he’ll be good.
2- The entire fanbase has put all their eggs in the Jesperi Kotkaniemi basket, and if he’s not the second coming of Saku Koivu they are going to set him on fire.
3- Marc Bergevin is the only physically intimidating person in their organization.
It’s going to be a big year. Bergevin is in the best shape of is life. pic.twitter.com/VcZnMBor3b
— Jр (@charlaje) September 23, 2018
6. Edmonton Oilers
Admit it. You thought it was going to be the Canucks here, right? To that I say, you can never count out how bad the Oilers are going to be. Admittedly I got lazy on my summer project, but check out how the beginning of the summer went for the Oilers at Great Moments in the Oilers Offseason
This is a team with obvious flaws, and should be very much committed to trying to win now, but spent the summer overpaying for a KHL goaltender, and bringing back aged versions of Kyle Brodziak, and Tobias Rieder.
Fortunately for Peter Chiarelli, the Oilers fanbase is so desperate to believe that blue skies are coming, they’ve convinced themselves that preseason points from Ty Rattie makeup for goaltending question marks, the Lucic contract, and whatever the fuck Kris Russell is. *receives a piece of paper to review* Apparently Kris Russell is a cowboy baby.
Cowboy – The Kris Russell Goal Song. https://t.co/aY1RvcJrjI
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) January 5, 2018
5. Vancouver Canucks
We’re going to give up on being too creative here and just point out that the Canucks are now spending six million a year combined for the next four years for Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel. Remember that is in addition to having Brandon Sutter signed $4.375M per year for the next three years, and Loui Eriksson making $6M a year until the end of time.
It’s hard to believe that the two most iconic players in franchise history decided to walk away from all of this.
The good news is that it’s unlikely that anyone will witness this trainwreck as it doesn’t take much for Vancouver fans to walk away from their team. The rest won’t care about their games as much as they will about dreaming up scenarios where they get a 1st round pick in exchange for Chris Tanev.
Oh yeah, and Trevor Linden left. How did I forget about that?
4. Calgary Flames
We’ve danced into the territory of teams that fall on the better side of Canadian teams. That is being incredibly kind to the Flames, a team that really defined Alberta culture perfectly by trading away a guy who goes to museums instead of hanging out at Moxies with his bros.
I tried to reach out to a Calgary museum for their thoughts on this, but it turns out the only Museum is just a history of Moxies, so I’m not sure they are completely unbiased on this issue.
Anyways, beyond that, the Flames still stand no chance in hell of getting a new arena on the taxpayers dime, and that’s fantastic, and they’ve also brought in James Neal, which seems like an absolutely wild card move which should keep the Flames interesting.
Maybe next summer will be the one where Rasmus Andersson learns to not repeatedly run over Brad Treliving’s dog.
I’m here for this pic.twitter.com/DXRtDPnNIS
— Team Player Jon (@YakovMironov) June 30, 2018
3. Winnipeg Jets
What Winnipeg lacks in airports, they make up for with players who know how to play hockey well.
This summer the hockey world was rocked when Blake Wheeler chose to re-sign in Winnipeg, making him the first person in history to choose Winnipeg when the options weren’t just limited to Winnipeg or Regina.
It seems unfair to give Winnipeg a complete free pass on their offseason, after all they are one of the top teams in the league, but they couldn’t woo anyone to come play for them beyond Laurent Brossoit, and jettisoned Steve Mason to clear room to re-sign Paul Stastny, only to have Paul Stastny make the most Winnipeg decision of all, and choose Vegas as the best place to be.
The Jets also unleashed the most half assed 3rd jerseys ever produced by a team not called the New York Islanders.
2. Toronto Marlies
The only championship team in Men’s hockey in the country. That ain’t nothing folk’s.
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 16, 2018
1. Toronto Maple Leafs
Only one Canadian team signed John Tavares this summer. John Tavares only chose one team.
Funny story about that. John Tavares wouldn’t even meet with Montreal.
The Leafs are the still the best. The center of the hockey universe. They are Canada’s team. They are the only path to true salvation. If they were an ice cream their flavour would be double chocolate orgasms. If they were a taco, they’d be triple deckered. If they were a song they’d be sung by Beyonce featuring Jesus (or if they aren’t available Hall & Oates). The Leafs are hockey team #1.