Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stanley Cup Droughts

Why does someone, in the midst of your worst suffering, decide the time has come to drive home, disguised in the form of character analysis, all the contempt they have been harboring for you all these years? What in your suffering makes their superiority so fulsome, so capacious, makes the expression of it so enjoyable?
Philip Roth, American Pastoral

A strange thing happened when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Amidst the celebrations by the victors and grief for the losers, a number of hockey people turned their sites on Toronto.

Yup, Toronto.

The culmination of an interesting regular season and a tremendously compelling playoff, during one of the most remarkable moments in professional sports, is apparently not the appropriate time to celebrate the victors or recognize the fight of the Flyers. No, it's the time to talk about the Leafs. More specifically, it should go without saying, it's time to point out the Leafs' failings.

You see, with the Blackhawks victory, the Leafs now have the longest current Stanley Cup drought in the NHL - an astonishing 43 years. The drought is an accomplishment the Leafs share with the Los Angeles Kings and the St. Louis Blues. Except neither the Blues nor the Kings resonate quite the same way with hockey fans or the hockey commentariat, so you won't hear much about those two other teams. No, you'll only hear about the Leafs.

You also likely won't hear about how it's not even the longest drought. The New York Rangers went 54 years without a Cup Win, but that doesn't quite fit with the need for a negative Leafs narrative, so it will be skipped.

On the bright side, all droughts eventually end.

At some point the Leafs will win the Cup. It might be in 2015 or it might be in 2050, but when the Leafs finally do raise that magnificent silver cup, I hope that the sporting press and twitterati wait a day or two before pointing out the failings of another franchise. It would be nice if the focus remained where it should: on the winners and the team they defeated.

Personally, I'm thrilled the Hawks won the Cup. Chicago is one of my favourite American cities and the Hawks were clearly the better team. It should be one helluva parade on Friday, I hope the fans revel in it.


  1. lordosis8:18 am

    Amen brother.

  2. Sweet, only 12 more season until the Leafs have a new record to celebrate!

  3. Anonymous1:27 pm

    Don't worry. When we win (and we will) damien cox will be the first person to have it rammed down his throat.