Once again in 2015, it will be an American market that’s celebrating when the Stanley Cup is awarded. Not since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens defeated Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings, has the Cup been won by a team north of the border.
It’s a remarkable streak, really. That a Canadian team has been to the final five times — and lost four times in Game 7 — only adds to it. The Canucks (twice), Flames, Oilers, and Senators have all played for the Cup since 1993.
The fact the Toronto Maple Leafs, the richest team in the NHL, haven’t won a playoff series in over a decade is pretty incredible too. Even in the salary-cap age, there’s a major advantage to having deep pockets.
Then again, these things go in cycles. Remember that Canadian teams owned the Stanley Cup from 1984-90, when the Oilers, Flames, and Canadiens combined to win seven straight titles. And before that, from 1956-79, it was the Habs or Leafs who won the Cup in 19 out of 24 seasons. Only a four-year run by the Islanders broke those two stretches up.