Thread: Canada's Team?
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04-18-2013, 09:01 PM
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Canada's Team?

There's a lot of talk about which Canadian NHL team is "Canada's Team." To me personally, it doesn't really matter as we are all entitled to like whichever team we want. But out of curiosity, I've been looking at some stats regarding the matter. I'm not trolling but laying out the facts. If you ignore the facts, then I cannot help you. It's obvious to me that only the Habs and Leafs can be considered in this debate.

Stanley Cup Wins/Team Success

Habs: 24
Leafs: 13

Conclusion: Habs historically are the more successful Canadian hockey team.

Fan Support/Ratings/Revenue

Habs: A Ipsos-Reid poll had 1/3 of participants declare that the Canadiens are Canada's team, the most for any team. However, only 1015 people participated in the survey, giving it a rather small sample size. Revenue for the Habs in 2012 was approximately $575 million. The Bell Centre is essentially always at full capacity.

Leafs: Revenue for 2012 was approximately $1 Billion, almost double that of the Habs. ACC is essentially always at full capacity.

Concerning TV ratings, it depends how you look at it and what networks are carrying the games. Hockey Night In Canada's ratings for Leafs/Habs vs the Penguins show that the Leafs had more viewership on CBC.
DEC. 20th - Toronto/Pittburgh : 1,163,000 (CBC)
DEC. 27th - Montreal/Pittsburgh : 900,000 (CBC) & 729,000 (RDS)

From my own personal experience traveling across many parts of Canada...I tend to see and meet slightly more Leaf fans throughout Canada than Habs fans. Hab support seems to be especially strong in Quebec, southern Ontario, and BC. Leaf fans in general are just everywhere in Canada but most strongly in Ontario. Even folks in Igloolik, Nunavut wear Leaf jerseys. Also, because the Leafs seem to be the team most hated on, that indicates to me that they may be the most popular.

Conclusion: Leafs have slightly more fans than the Habs.


Leafs: Conn Smythe after the St. Pats had been renamed to the Toronto Maple Leafs: “The Maple Leaf to us, was the badge of courage, the badge that meant home. It was the badge that reminded us all of our exploits and the different difficulties we got into and the different accomplishments we made. It was a badge that meant more to us than any other badge that we could think of... so we chose it... hoping that the possession of this badge would mean something to the team that wore it and when they skated out on the ice with this badge on their chest... they would wear it with honour and pride and courage, the way it had been worn by the soldiers of the first Great War in the Canadian Army."

The Leafs carry the torch of the Maple Leaf on their chest passed to them from Canadian soldiers, and for this reason are strongly associated with the Canadian military, our veterans, and the "Canadian spirit."

Habs: From Habs is an abbreviation of "les habitants," the informal name given to the original settlers of New France, dating back to the 17th Century. So it's a natural fit for the The Montreal Canadiens, established in 1909 and marketed as a French-Canadian hockey team.

Conclusion: The Habs are still well-liked by non-French Canadians as is evident but the Leafs are more accessible to the average Canadian as a team that they can identify with.

The historic rivalry between the Habs/Leafs has caused a lot of fans to hate on each other. Personally, I like the Leafs as my 2nd favorite team. Problem? Anyone who trashes and disrespects another hockey organization is in fact quite childish. Chirping is fine, but the way some of you talk about the Leafs and other's just pathetic and embarrassing.

So, let us all like the team of our choice and enjoy the playoffs. Carry on.

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