Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
On Cross Country Checkup: hockey heaven
Many fans are thrilled to cheer a Canadian team in the Stanley Cup finals ...but some say they're not cheering for the Vancouver Canucks.
What do you think? Are the Canucks Canada's team in the cup finals?
With guest host Heather Hiscox
As someone living in the hometown of this year's Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup team's only B.C. born player, Dan Hamhuis, I feel yes, defiantely Vancouver is Canada's team. Of course the really great thing about hockey is that even if you weren't a Vancouver fan you could say that Boston is also partly a B.C./Canadian team with at least two B.C. players on their roster.
Most of the world's cold-weather countries have players on NHL teams. So I say cheer for who you want for whatever reason you want because that hope for "your" team's triumph lifts you above the every day and joins you together with others in a shared joy and yearning for something bigger than ourselves. Too much emotion ? How about it's just a great reason, besides a wedding, to drive around town laying on the horn and yelling at the top of your lungs?
Go Canucks! Go Dan!
Smithers, British Columbia
The naysayers claim that Boston has more Canadian players so they are Canada's team. Not so! I counted the Canadian players on each website's roster and each team has 17 Canadian players. That excuse won't fly. Pick another excuse please.
Vancouver, British Columbia
I'm reminded of a conversation with a friend in the early 1990s when Toronto's Blue Jays won consecutive World Series titles. He remarked, "This is so exciting, our Americans beat their Americans!"
The Canucks are about as much Canada's team as Vancouver is a typical Canadian city, which it is decidely not. It is an unaffordable place to park your millions. People in Canada proper cannot even imagine affording to live there and those who reside there now - well-represented by the kinds of people who make up the Canucks - have only scorn for the countless non-Lotusland communities and Canadians whose hard work ultimately pays the bills for Vancouver, most notably for its 2010 Olympics splurge.
My allegiance goes to the old cities, the real cities that nurtured hockey for decades before it was turned into just another bottom-line crazed business with athletes who hardly know where they live much less care about anything other than seven-figure contracts.
Go Bruins, go!
Prince George, British Columbia
Why is the media (at least the CBC) determined to create an issue over whether the Canucks are Canada's team or not? Of course they are! This is the third program at least that is trying to create a mountain out of less than a mole hill. I am on the East Coast and am wildly rooting for the Vancouver Canucks. No matter what Canadian team makes the play offs, there will always be some Canadians who will cheer for the other team for a variety of reasons. They might know or be related to a player, it might be the team of their childhood, whatever. Maybe I feel a strong allegiance to Vancouverites because each (not just east) coast seems so far removed from Central Canada, the area populated with people who think that is Canada. My beloved Canadiens went down to defeat, so I worked my way east to west and now I'm rooting for Vancouver. I am not jealous! We are all Canucks.
If you want Candian hockey champions, look west or east, but not in Central Canada (at least not this year).
Love your show.
Saint John, New Brunswick
Thankfully, I can listen to America Public Radio until this hockey madness is over.
I wish the masses would get as excited about social issues, environmental issues or political issues with the excuberance they put forward with hockey. Frankly, with all of the important issues occurring throughout the world right now I find it embarassing that we are fixated on hockey. Im looking forward to the day when the massess rally behind ending homlessness, carbon addiciton or poverty.
Campbell River, British Columbia
Are the Vancouver Canuck's Canada's team? The local Tim Horton's in these parts seems to think so. They no longer sell Boston Cream Donuts. They now call them Vancouver Creams.
Love the show!
Courtenay, British Columbia
Great to hear your voice on the radio, Heather! While I share in the Canucks pride, for me, one of the proudest sports broadcast moments was your post-Olympic win TV interview with Alex Bilodeau's brother and father. You facilitated the interview in English and French with great enthusiasm and inclusiveness, seamlessly translating for your English-only audience and including the input of Alex's brother from his wheelchair. We were all proud of Alex, his family and you, Heather, as the moment highlighted everything great about Canadian multiculture. Thanks, CBC!
Vancouver, British Columbia
I remember well listening with my dad to Foster Hewitt announcing the Saturday night hockey game in 1935. Vancouver wasn't a team in those days, and I don't really consider it one now.
The Leafs are my preferred team, have always been so and that will not change. Right now, I am backing Boston for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Auld Lang Syne!
Robert A. McDougall
For years I was a fickle fan and supported various teams. Living in Yukon since the 1990s, I favoured Vancouver but was not a dyed-in-the-wool fan. Then I attended a Canucks game and saw that the team's supporters reflect the ethnic diversity of the city. The team, the fans, we are definitely all Canucks!
Prince George and the north have embraced the Canucks. It is amazing to see how many vehicles here have Canucks flags flying. We watched Dan Hamhuis from Smithers develop his skills while playing for the Prince George Cougars. Interesting to note that Zdano Chara played here as well, but we don't quite have the same feeling towards him as we do our northern boy.
I have been a long-time Canucks fan as I was going to UBC when the Canucks started. I was fortunate to be able to attend a few games that first year of the Canucks franchise and that clinched my lifetime support. Go Canucks, go! And yes, they are a Canadian team. Canada should be proud!
Prince George, British Columbia
It's easy for me to see the Canucks as Canada's team. They've been my team since their inception, and although they've broken my heart more times than I'd like to think about, I've always hoped they would go all the way. I've liked the Blackhawks since they were raised from the ashes after the death of Bill Wirtz, and if they had managed to once again take out the Canucks, I would have cheered for them at least until they met the Habs in the final.
Having said that, I would think that Canadians would get behind the Canucks not as much because they are the only Canadian team standing, and are almost definitely going to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada, where it belongs, but more because they represent what Canada really is. They are an intelligent, skilled team, with great modesty and a workman-like ethic. They are a cosmopolitan team, with players from Canada, the U.S., Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Russia. But what really makes me love the Canucks so much is the character of the players and the character of the team. When the Canucks recruit, they look for players committed to team, and for people committed to community. The Canucks contribute to the community of Greater Vancouver and to the province as well. Canuck Place and the Children's Hospital are very important elements of the life of the Canucks, and it did not surprise me when Henrik and Daniel Sedin donated $1.5 million dollars immediately after signing their new contract with the team. The Canucks exemplify excellence as hockey players and as human beings. Canadians should be proud to have this team as the last Canadian team in the playoffs.
The bottom line is that the Vancouver Canucks were the best team in the NHL in the regular season, and they have been the best team in the playoffs. They have more players winning individual awards than any other team. Their coaching staff and management are recognized as top-notch as well.
We did welcome the world to Vancouver last year and Canadians from coast to coast to coast came and cheered for Canada. I think it would be great if the same thing happened with the Stanley Cup finals.
Victoria, British Columbia
I am currently living in Grenada, West Indies attending medical school, and all of my fellow Canadian classmates (who are from across our great country) and I are cheering Vancouver on as the team representing our country! I completely agree with the last caller from Nova Scotia who said that it's all about geography. Any team in the Stanley Cup finals north of the border should be considered Canada's team. I also applaud with the caller who said he's shocked to hear that the question should even be asked as it is a moot point. Vancouver is in Canada, so what more do you want? This seems to be blurred by the idea that you should cheer for the team with more Canadian players on it, which is a silly idea. There is not one hockey team in the league that does not have Canadian players on it. So, if you agree with this idea then you need to count the number of players on each team that is Canadian, then only choose the team that has more players on it? So in essence it's a numbers game, and I should cheer for the team with six Canadians on it, and cheer against the team with five Canadian players on it. In the end can neveravoid cheering against individual Canadian players. It is a ridiculous concept. That said, if you want to cheer for individual players, like if your home-town best friend plays for Boston, then you can certainly make the choice to cheer for Boston. But that does not make Boston Canada's team.
I am a non-fan. That is, I do not follow any team, any sport, or any personality on a regular basis. Having made that confession, I always root for the Canadian team or the Canadian player in any international playoff. At one point during the Stanley Cup playoffs, I was rooting for the Montreal Canadiens (having been born and raised in Montreal, but I now live in British Columbia), and had a short period of angst. But when they were beaten, I transferred my support to the Canucks.
Despite the fact that Boston has more Canadian players, I know the Canucks are playing for Canada, and when they win, it will feel to me that they will be bringing Lord Stanley's Cup back to our country at long last.
Victoria, British Columbia
My answer is definitely not. Not down here in Newfoundland. The two teams with the biggest following down here are Montreal and Toronto, with Boston or Detroit in a scramble for third favourite. Newfoundlanders support the teams that have Newfoundland-born players on them, so down here we are cheering for Michael Ryder and the Bruins.
With the majority of players in the NHL being Canadian born, I personally do not associate any national pride with any NHL team. Also a note to Vancouver fans: it takes more than two wins to claim Lord Stanley's mug. And the Bruins aren't dead yet.
St. John's, Newfoundland
I'll be a party-pooper. But let me first say that yes, I do hope that the Canucks win because otherwise Vancouver will burn and we'll never hear the end of it.
I used to watch such sports events but no longer do because of a couple of things. The players are paid millions of dollars to play a game. That same money could actually be used to save the lives of people we love, if it were directed to the sciences where real heroes are forgotten and often working with shoe-string budgets to fight deadly diseases. The Canucks are not Vancouver's team. They would be if only Vancouverites were on the team, but that's not the case. Also, I think we should watch amnateur sports where kids and adults play for the love of the game, not the love of money.
Maybe Cross Country Checkup could give equal time to the sciences, the arts and to amateur sports. Yes, I'm a party-pooper, but am still Canadian and do have a tiny hope that the Canucks will win.
Excellent show as always!
Victoria, British Columbia
Hello, Cross Country Checkup.
CBC is abusing public funds by advertising for private sports entertainment companies by devoting an entire Cross Country Checkup show for ice hockey played by employees of NHL franchises. NHL is a private company devoted to making a profit for itself and CBC has no business advertising for them.
If CBC wishes to promote sports, it should only be discussing sports payed by school, college, university students, and other amateur sports organizations.
I am a great supporter of CBC. I would like to have its funding doubled if it uses this money for informing and educating the public on issues such as health, physical fitness, environment, economics, politics and other really important issues.
It is disgraceful for CBC to use radio talk shows to advertise for any private company, leave alone sports entertainment companies. If it continues like this, it must be shut down.
Down here in Chile, it seems all Canadians have come together to cheer for the Canucks. If you're living out of the country, to have a Canadian team in the playoffs brings everyone together. There's a great party planned for Wednesday night so all Canadians can watch together. You'll be able to hear us cheering in the Northern hemisphere.
I'm originally from Boston but have lived here in Prince Edward Island most of my 39 years. A woman called in earlier and said the Canucks are Canada's team because of the diversity of nationalities. If this is the case, why does the Canadian Olympic team not include such a diversity of players from all countries? Perhaps it's because Team Canada is made of of players from Canada.
The Boston Bruins have more players from Canada than the Canucks do. The Bruins GM, Peter Chiarelli, is from Canada. The Bruins president, Cam Neely, is from Canada. If you want to call a team "Canada's Team", you have to go with the Boston Bruins.
Best of luck to PEI's Bruin, Adam McQuaid. Bring home the Cup! Bruins in 7 games!
Prince Edward Island
Being an Albertan, there is a long and bitter tiff with our B.C. neighbors. Our two provinces can not agree on many things, hockey being one of them.
Grande Prairie, Alberta
For the Montreal fans, Gump Worsley played goal for the Western Hockey League Canucks. For the Boston fans, Phil Esposito played for the WHL Canucks. And for hockey fans, Andy Bathgate played for the Canucks.
But since 1994, and the riot, I have been less interested in the Canucks. The team is fine, the fans questionable.
Burnaby, British Columbia
If Montreal had defeated Boston and gone on to the finals, I would definitely be cheering for the Habs. A Habs-Canucks final series would have been wonderful: two Canadian-based teams. But given it's a Boston-Vancouver series, I feel strongly that it's a matter of geography.
The Canucks are Canada's team! I stayed up until the glorious end to see Kevin Bieksa score that second overtime goal against San Jose and take that series. And it was so exciting to see the Canucks' winning goals in the Games 1 and 2 against Boston!
I have never lived out West (which is why I would have cheered for the Habs) and as a previous caller pointed out that because of the time change (I live in Ottawa), I didn't know the Canucks players that well until these playoffs. The Sedins are a delight to watch and the goaltending has been terrific.
I don't want to see a Stanley Cup victory parade going down the streets of Boston. Hockey is our game and I want the Canucks to win in Game 5 so that they can win on home ice and have the fans right there in Vancouver share the glory.
Go Canucks, go!
My wife and I have watched every Canucks game this year, and we can assure the fans in B.C. that there are many, many Vancouver fans everywhere, especially in cities like Boise, Idaho which do not have an NHL team.
Great show, thanks!