You knew this poll was coming today. The Montreal Canadiens were eliminated last night, meaning that Canada’s Stanley Cup drought — no team has won it since the Habs in 1993 — will continue until at least next season.
Of the seven Canadian teams, there isn’t really one that screams Cup contender. Six of them missed the playoffs this season, and with all due respect to Montreal, there weren’t a ton of people picking the Habs to go as far as they did. Meanwhile…
— Calgary’s still in the early stages of a rebuild.
— Edmonton’s been rebuilding for what seems like forever. And based on last season, plenty of construction remains.
— Ottawa has Erik Karlsson…and financial limitations.
— Toronto still doesn’t have the kind of elite center that Cup-winning teams usually have. Not to mention the kind of stud defenseman.
— Vancouver has a new GM that thinks the Canucks can be turned around “in a hurry.” His opinion, however, is in the minority.
— The Jets have no shortage of talent. What they lack is reliable goaltending.
Our vote? We’re giving it to Montreal. PK Subban and Carey Price are legitimate stars, and both of them are only in their mid-20s. Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller are still young. Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher are even younger.
It’s far from a perfect roster in Montreal. But then, in voting, one has to consider the competition.