Are the Sens Canada's team?

EARL MCRAE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

When the Mighty Senators Of Ottawa polish off the spooked Dull Sabres Of Buffalo and meet either Anaheim or Detroit in the Stanley Cup final, here's the question: Is it "Canada's" team?

The city of Ottawa's team, yes, but even at that, can you truly call it "Canadian?"

Interesting argument, this.

What makes a team in the NHL "Canadian?"

(1) Flesh, blood, and bone?

(2) Geographical location?

If your True North Strong And Free patriotism lies with (1) then you Ottawans had better be rooting for the Anaheim Ducks should the Senators meet them in the Stanley Cup final. O Canada is the national anthem for 18 of the players on the Ducks roster. For the Ottawa Senators? Fourteen. If you go flesh, blood, and bone, the Anaheim Ducks are more "Canada" than the Ottawa Senators.

Is "hometown" flesh, blood, and bone important to you in hockey patriotism?

If so, Ducks again. Not one Senators' hometown is Ottawa. Two Ducks' hometown is Ottawa and vicinity. Sean O'Donnell, Ottawa. Kent Huskins, Almonte.

Team captains?

Senators captain, Daniel Alfredsson, is a Swede.

Ducks captain, Scott Niedermayer, is a Canadian.

Team names?

Ask a school kid: Which is more "Canadian" -- a duck or a Roman Senator?

Club ownership?

The Ducks' Henry and Susan Samueli are Americans. The Senators' Eugene Melnyk is a Canadian. A Canadian who lives in Barbados, which is not Canada.

The general manager of the Ducks, Brian Burke, is American. The general manager of the Senators, John Muckler, is Canadian. A Canadian whose primary home is in Buffalo, which is in America.

The head coach of the Ducks, Randy Carlyle, is a Canadian. From Sudbury, which is in Ontario.

The head coach of the Senators, Bryan Murray, is a Canadian. From Shawville, which is in Quebec.

You're rooting for the Senators to beat Buffalo?

If your hockey patriotism is through roster flesh, blood, and bone, you're dead on.

Only eight Sabres are Canadian.

But if your patriotism is "hometown," you'd better be pulling for Buffalo.

Derek Roy is from Ottawa.

Daniel Briere is from Gatineau.

Daniel Briere is also Sabres co-captain.

The Sabres general manager, Darcy Regier, and the head coach, Lindy Ruff, are Canadian.

If you're pulling for Detroit to upset Anaheim, you're not being a Canadian patriot.

Only eight Red Wings are Canadian. Not one from Ottawa.

The captain, Niklas Lidstrom, is a Swede.

HEART AND SOUL

Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch is American, but the general manager, Ken Holland, and the head coach, Mike Babcock, are Canadian.

Question: If, for the sake of argument, the Senators were all Russian players taking on the Buffalo Sabres or Detroit Red Wings or Anaheim Ducks who were all Canadian players, which of the teams would be "Canada's Team?"

Who would your heart and soul be rooting for? Should geographical base trump the flesh, blood, and bone? Or should O Canada rule? O Canada as in the Anaheim Ducks over the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings.

The American corporation Wendy's now owns Tim Hortons. But we still consider Tim Hortons as being Canadian. Not because most of the outlets are in Canada. But because the flesh, blood, and bone -- the employees -- are Canadian.

If the American-owned Tim Hortons employed predominantly Americans in its Canadian outlets, would you still be thinking of Tim Hortons as Canadian?


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