MONTREAL, QC. — Spring is in full swing. The leaves on the trees are coming out; the flowers are in full bloom… Normally I’d be ignoring all of this as I sit in front of my computer watching the NHL playoffs. But with all the teams I decided to cheer for now out of the running (or never in the running to begin with), I’m not too interested in the NHL playoffs these days. Thankfully for me, the Memorial Cup is just around the corner (to quickly refresh your memory, the Memorial Cup is a tournament that involves the winners of the Canadian Hockey League’s three leagues plus a host team.)
If you’re like me and cheer for teams that never win the whole shooting match, then you’ve got to come up with a whole set of complicated rules for deciding which teams to root for. Here’s a quick guideline to help you pick a team to cheer for during this year’s Memorial Cup.
Why you should cheer for them: As mentioned above, they’re the host team. In most cases the host team is not as good as the other teams in the tournament and they could use some support from people besides their home fans.
Why you should NOT cheer for them: The played against the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the QMJHL finals. Okay, so it was back in 2009, but some of us have long memories, okay?
The Habs Connection: Morgan Ellis spent half of last season with the Cataractes after being traded from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Oh, and Michaël Bournival.
Saint John Sea Dogs
The least you need to know: After demolishing everyone in the QMJHL in the regular season, they proceeded to demolish everyone in the playoffs as well, including a sweep of the Rimouski Oceanic to win their second straight President’s Cup.
Why you should cheer for them: People are saying that they’re the favourites to win their second Memorial Cup in a row. If you like cheering for a team that actually wins things (trust me, this has its benefits sometimes) then go for the Sea Dogs.
Why you should NOT cheer for them: They win too much. Would it really kill them to spread the win around a bit? Sharing is a good thing, right? Also, they don’t wear red. It’s a pre-requisite I have for my teams.
The Habs Connection: Last year’s first round pick, Nathan Beaulieu, plays for them.
Why you should cheer for them: uh, well, I’m sure there’s a good reason. Like, if you’re from London, England, you can have fun telling people you’re cheering for a team from London, not the London they’re thinking of, but the London across in the pond… Uhhh, right, shall we just move on then?
Why you should NOT cheer for them: They beat my Niagara IceDogs in five games to take the Robertson Cup. That’s just mean.
The Habs Connection: Jarred Tinordi. He is the only reason why the London Knights aren’t on my blacklist yet.
Edmonton Oil Kings
The least you need to know: Yes, a hockey team from Edmonton won something.
Why you should cheer for them: How can you not cheer for a team from Edmonton? Even I tend to feel bad for the long-suffering people in Edmonton who have to watch the Oilers all the time. Plus, they wear red.
Why you should NOT cheer for them: Believe it or not, I have no reason why you shouldn’t cheer for them. I should pay more attention to the WHL so I have more arbitrary reasons to hate random teams.
The Habs Connection: Ian Wilkie played for a previous incarnation Edmonton Oil Kings. He was drafted in the 7th round of the Draft…. in 1969….. No really, there isn’t any current Habs connection to the Oil Kings that I could find.