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A Canadian team is in the Stanley Cup Final. So what?

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Here is a list of Canadian NHL teams that have won the Stanley Cup since 1993: __

Here is a list of Canadian winners of the Conn Smythe Trophy over that same period: Cale Makar, Ryan O'Reilly, Sidney Crosby (twice), Duncan Keith, Justin Williams, Jonathan Toews, Scott Niedermayer, Cam Ward, Brad Richards, J.S. Giguere, Scott Stevens, Patrick Roy, Joe Nieuwendyk, Steve Yzerman, Mike Vernon, Joe Sakic, and Claude Lemieux.

There have been 15 Canadian Hart Trophy winners in that time. Nine world championships for the Canadian men's team. Three Olympic gold medals.

Canada, despite the lengthy Cup drought for teams based north of the border, is unquestionably still pretty good at hockey.

And yet, every spring, there is an attempt to give greater meaning to the collective playoff disappointments of Canada's NHL teams, as though they somehow create a nationwide melancholy and the country as a whole would be boosted if the drought could be broken.

To which I say: Bah. Canadian NHL fans outside Edmonton might want to see Connor McDavid lead the Oilers to the Cup because he's an incredible talent, and it is fun to watch great players succeed. But it doesn't make you a bad Canadian if you would rather watch the Oilers suffer, especially if you're a Calgary Flames fan. It's also not an indictment of your patriotism if you don't care either way. An Ottawa Senators fan is allowed to feel total indifference at this point of the season. (If we're honest, they've probably felt that way since about January.)

This playoff season, the question of Canada's Cup drought was placed in our collective laps quite early thanks to a couple of advertising campaigns that have been prominent on Rogers hockey broadcasts. In one, Chris Cuthbert narrates a Boston Pizza advertisement that recounts past playoff failures and exhorts Canadian fans to cheer for other Canadian teams. Maybe the drought was our fault all along?

A Co-operators insurance commercial, meanwhile, depicts Maple Leafs fans - sorry, fans of Generic Toronto Hockey Team for licensing reasons - removing their jerseys to support Edmonton and Vancouver as backup plans. (Let's hope they had alternative versions ready; otherwise, it seems like an indictment of Leafs management that the Co-operators marketing department wasn't worried about how this ad would play if Toronto was in the middle of a lengthy playoff run.)

The commercials suggest that a Canadian hockey fan's second-choice team should be another Canadian team. And if that team loses, they should pick the next Canadian team.

Andy Devlin / NHL / Getty Images

This is just weird. Should Los Angeles Lakers fans be expected to root for the Sacramento Kings because they are also based in California? Do Pittsburgh Steelers fans have the Philadelphia Eagles as their second-choice team for Pennsylvania reasons? Are Tampa Bay Lightning fans supposed to show pride in their state by supporting the Florida Panthers against the Oilers? This seems like the exact opposite of how fandom generally works, where a team's biggest rivals are geographically nearby. Senators fans hate the Leafs, as they should. And it's called the Battle of Alberta, not the Pleasant Renewal of Acquaintances of Alberta.

In many parts of the world, a person could be disowned for deciding to throw their support behind the team from the adjoining neighbourhood. Do you like Liverpool now, or would you like to remain in the will?

It's tempting to say this is all a media narrative; that the idea of rooting for Canadian teams just because they are Canadian is cooked up by people who aren't hockey fans in the first place. But stories about the Canadian NHL drought always find a few people who say that, yes, they hope that another Canadian team wins it. Which is, obviously, fine. Cheer for who you want! Maybe you just find Chris Cuthbert very persuasive!

There is actually a good reason for Canadian hockey fans to hope that Edmonton can manage the four wins needed to lift the Cup: We would finally be done with drought stories. No more questions about whether the pressure of trying to win playoff hockey in a passionate Canadian market is too much for the teams to bear. No more stories about how it's too hard to sign free agents in Canadian cities, or how hockey players don't get enough privacy in Canada and would rather just walk around anonymously, like a CFL player in Toronto. No more arguments about whether the weather is too cold, or the media too cruel, or the currency too colorful.

Edmonton could disprove a lot of those hoary theories in one fell swoop: It's a small market, the weather is not exactly ideal, and the fan base is wildly passionate. The Oilers even have free-agent signings playing significant roles, like Zach Hyman and Jack Campbell. OK, scratch that last one.

But just think of all the narratives that would be buried if McDavid, Leon Draisatl, and friends could beat the Panthers. It would take at least another five years without a Canadian team winning the Cup before anyone would dare to call it a drought again. Ten years? Five would at least be a start.

I guess what I'm saying is: Go Oilers.

Scott Stinson is a contributing writer for theScore.

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