When you think of a dream hockey matchup, you're probably not thinking of Florida, Dallas or Las Vegas. It's certainly not what many Canadian fans were hoping to see in the Stanley Cup final.
It's a safe bet the broadcasters weren't hoping for this. And yet, if it's being honest with itself, this just may be precisely what the National Hockey League has been building toward. "The NHL is probably sneaky-happy," said Adam Seaborn, a sports media analyst and the head of partnerships at a company called Playmaker Capital.
He says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has spent most of his tenure trying to build the game down south. "He's finally getting his southern cup final," Seaborn said in an interview. "This is the completion of Gary's 25-year vision of bringing hockey to the south of the U.S." This year's NHL playoffs began with a surge in hope for Canadian fans.
The possibility of the first all-Canadian final since 1989 was very real — if only briefly. The Edmonton Oilers looked prepared to storm through a crowded field in the west and the Toronto Maple Leafs made it past the first round for the first time in 19 years.Read more on cbc.ca