The real business | For or against a Canadian division?

Each week, two journalists from the sports section will compete in a rhetorical game that is sometimes serious, often less so. To break the ice, Richard Labbé and Simon-Olivier Lorange are wondering today about the idea of ​​an all-Canadian division when play resumes in the National Hockey League this winter.

Richard

Sometimes when I hear bad news, I tend to hang on the end of the bad news that really pains me. In this case, with an all-Canadian division, what pains me is that the Canadian will no longer play in California, and that we, by the same token, will no longer go to California. no more. Do you know what it can do on the mind, Simon-Olivier, California? It’s proven, palm trees have a calming effect on the nervous system.

Simon-Olivier

I recognize here your old reflex of “beat guy” thirsty for adventure, endless stopovers and Marriott points. But, like hockey, it’s not just that in life. Of course there won’t be California anymore, but that also means there won’t be Buffalo anymore. And on this account, everyone wins – except Guillaume Lefrançois, the main buffalophile in America, but that’s another matter. I bring to your attention, in return, the prospect of increasing the duels of the Canadian against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers. Auston Matthews, Elias Pettersson and Connor McDavid on repeat helps get through the winter, right?

Richard

You bring so many excellent points, Simon-Olivier, but let me ask you the question which, without killing, still hurts quite a bit: what do you do with the partisans? You know, the ones who are going to have to go to the arenas or risk watching the Ottawa Senators play a dozen times, if not more? What do you do with these people? Think about it: a 100% Canadian content calendar will deprive them of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and also Jacob de la Rose. Are these really the kind of values ​​we want to pass on to our children? And then the TV ratings, already not famous this summer, will certainly pale in this constantly overhauled menu, with the same names and the same teams.

Simon-Olivier

I hear you, dear friend, I hear you. I could monologue for hours on end about this unprecedented opportunity to celebrate Canadian federalism, but let’s not go there. More seriously, it pains me to see you pouring your gall on the Senators, because I remind you that their repeated visits to the Bell Center would mean a sustained presence of Alex Galchenyuk, and THAT is literally priceless. By the way, is he a center player or a winger? Let’s put a pin on this for further debate. In the same vein, how can you spit on multiple visits to the Canadian Tire Center in Kanata? The “smoked meat and pierogis” evening last January (true story) still makes me dream.

Richard

I especially don’t want to play the guy who saw deals before you were even born, Simon-Olivier, but I’m going to do it the same: we used to have Canadian-Nordiques. Do you understand ? This rivalry was so intense and fabulous that it resulted in torn families, divorces and children who had to change schools. In short, it was a good time, and then, no matter how hard I look, I don’t see how 12 Canadian-Senators games or 12 Canadian-Jets duels will be able to bring us back to this great era. That’s kind of what bothers me about this whole Canadian idea of ​​division, to be quite honest.

Simon-Olivier

I am terribly surprised at your eagerness to cross the border again, knowing that our team meeting in September must have taken place outside, lulled by the soundscape of the adjacent construction site, because Mr. didn’t want to sit in a cafe supposedly infested with COVID-19. In terms of health, everything makes sense in this Canadian division. Everything is far from perfect in the most-best-country-in-the-world, but the crisis is much better contained there than with our American friends.

Covering a sturdy Canadian-Leafs in safety or a sleepy Canadian-Panthers in one of the continent’s worst hotbeds of infection? I made my choice.

Richard

I’m certainly not going to blame you for your lack of enthusiasm for Sunrise, a destination which, as you know, is a kind of Kanata, but with palm trees. Believe me, cautious young colleague, I am the first to jump on the sanitary compliance train, and if we can save thousands of lives in exchange for 12 Canadian-Senators games, who am I to judge? So that will be it. I’m just wondering if the league will be able to give us a proper schedule with such repetitive content. Tour bosses, lead Gary Bettman, have been stressing the importance of bringing back the concept of regional rivalries for years. Well, thank you to COVID-19, we’ll see some, regional hockey!

Simon-Olivier

I’m glad you’re happy, Richard. And since you’re telling me about regional rivalries, let me remind you of the 2003-2004 season, in which the Canadiens faced Hal Gill and the Boston Bruins a total of 15 (!) Times, including preseason games. (2), season (6) and playoffs (7). As far as I know, everyone had survived. This is yet another proof that history is repeating itself, and seeing the year 2020 go by, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Alex Kovalev attempted a return to Montreal. Failing to travel, we could at least say that we have been entertained.



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