Here’s a little hockey tidbit gleaned from Twitter: not once in the last 27 years have Canada’s three most westerly NHL teams all made the playoffs in the same season.
Meanwhile, in California, its three NHL teams have all qualified for the postseason for the fifth time in eight seasons.
So Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles have teams vying for the championship of Canada’s favourite sport. Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver again have to watch, wait and wonder how to get better.
The obvious solution is to move south.
Really, if you were a professional hockey player would you rather play in Alberta or California? And that’s part of the problem. Because of free agency, veteran NHLers can decide where they want to play.
It allows teams in certain markets to keep getting stronger, which attracts even more talented players. Canadian cities just don’t have the same appeal. And it’s only partly because of the weather.