What Team Should Canadians Cheer for in the 2023 NHL Playoffs?
As we quickly approach the beginning of the Conference Finals of the 2023 NHL Playoffs, it’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room. This season will mark 30 years without a Canadian team hoisting the Stanley Cup. With only United States-based franchises remaining in this year’s postseason bracket, this has left many Canadian hockey fans looking for a new horse to back in this year’s title race.
This is the first time in #StanleyCup Playoffs history the final four teams are based in “Sun Belt” states. The closest instance before came in 2020 when 3 of 4 clubs met those criteria (Tampa Bay, Dallas and Vegas). #NHLStats— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 16, 2023
More details: https://t.co/wAOMZwWA3D pic.twitter.com/UUt9uvR3It
At Canadian Sports Betting, we’ve taken a deep dive into each remaining NHL team competing for the 2023 Stanley Cup and come up with one reason for Canadians to back them. These factors stem from a number of areas including geographic area, Canadian members of the team, and even the colour of their jerseys.
Find out which remaining NHL Playoff squad you want to back as we quickly approach the culmination of this year’s postseason!
Don’t just stop there, be sure to place a bet on your new favourite team with one of the best online sports betting sites in Canada. After carefully evaluating and reviewing the top-ranked NHL betting sites, we’ve compiled the top sportsbooks in Ontario so you can find the online bookmaker that’s right for you.
Sign up with the online sportsbook in Canada that’s right for you using the links provided on-site and place your first winning wager on the team with the Canadian influence you feel connected to the most below.
2023 Stanley Cup Odds
|Vegas Golden Knights||+260|
(Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Ontario Sportsbook as of May 17th, 2023)
Vegas Golden Knights: Most Canadian Players
A longstanding method used by Canadians to determine who they will cheer for once there are no more teams from the Great White North in contention for the Stanley Cup, the team with the most Canadian players is a no-brainer to cheer for.
This year the honour falls upon the Western Conference juggernauts, the Vegas Golden Knights. Entering into the season tied for the most Canadian players rostered (17) the Golden Knights have looked sensational throughout the postseason.
Captained by Winnipeg’s own Mark Stone, the Canadian influence is clear to see on this years Golden Knight squad. Also sporting a Canadian Head Coach in Bruce Cassidy, as well as a Canadian General Manager, Kelly McCrimmon, the only part about the Golden Knights that isn’t reflective of the Maple Leaf is their home barn located in Sin City.
Additionally, while each remaining team in the NHL Playoffs is located within the Sun Belt, the Golden Knights are the most northern team remaining in the postseason, making them the closest to the Canadian border.
Currently favoured to emerge from the Western Conference and back into the Stanley Cup Final, the Golden Knights are a great team to cheer for north of the border (even if they eliminated two Canadian teams to get there).
Florida Panthers: Highest Canadian Population
A longtime favourite destination for Canadians, Florida, primarily the Fort Lauderdale-Miami area, is home to the most Canadians of any remaining team in the NHL Playoffs according to U.S. Census Bureau. With plenty of Canadians in the area, the FLA Live Arena could become swamped by Canucks looking to some enjoy playoff hockey.
With such a large Canadian population in the area, there are sure to be tons of Canadian fans in South Florida cheering on the Panthers to win the Stanley Cup in 2023.
With a massive amount of Canadians in Florida supporting the Panthers, why don’t you join them? While it isn’t quite the same as bringing the Cup back across the border, if the Panthers win the Stanley Cup they will provide the most Canadians with a celebration victory of any team remaining in the playoffs.
Dallas Stars: Only Team Remaining Owned by a Canadian
At the end of the day, the hand that’s on the wheel steering toward destiny resides with the a teams ownership. Since it’s up to the owners to assemble the right staff, branding decisions, and set goals for their team, their influence is felt from top to bottom in any organization.
The Dallas Stars are currently sitting as the only remaining franchise owned by a Canadian, making them a great team to back as the Cup would be won by a team built by a Canadian.
Owned by business executive Tom Gaglardi, he has been at the helm of the Stars organization since 2011 and has been a leader behind the scenes for several successful seasons including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2020.
Looking to hoist the Stanley Cup as the lone Canadian Owner remaining in the NHL Playoffs, back Gaglardi and the Stars to go the distance, claiming their first championship victory since 1999.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Only Team Donning the Red & White
We know it’s a stretch, but hear us out. Devoid of any “real” notable connection to our home and native land, the Carolina Hurricanes do bear a striking resemblance to that of the Canadian National hockey team. Sporting the red & white with black accents to match, if you squint hard enough you may just think you’re watching your Team Canada on the ice.
While there are Canadian members featured on the Hurricanes both as players as well as staff, they certainly don’t bolster the Canadiana that the other remaining franchises do. With only seven players hailing from the Great White North, they will still present the Stanley Cup to a Canadian first as they are captained by Jordan Staal.
They may not be overly Canadian, but at least they look the part! Back the Hurricanes as they are currently slated as the favourites to win the 2023 Stanley Cup and score yourself a winning wager even if it means the Cup doesn’t come home for yet another 365 days.
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