I tuned into the Team1200 this afternoon upon a frenzy of news reports that Kings scouts were watching Alfredsson in Montreal on Tuesday night (Muckler refuted the rumour before most people even knew it existed). As always, there is one buffoon that calls in and claims that Ottawa can't win the Cup so long as it has a European captain. We're supposed to be knowledgeable in hockey, but there is always an army of simpletons that think the only way you can win a Cup is by putting a letter C on an aging Canadian. So I took to the books (read: wikipedia) to uncover the truth behind this myth. Let's call this next blog a mythbuster. Here are the key facts that I found. ALL RESEARCH IS FROM 1950 - PRESENT
1. Since 1950, there have been 361 different captains in the NHL. 306 of them have been Canadian, 26 have been American, and 29 are European. That means since 1950, 85% of the captains in the NHL have been Canadian, 7% American, and 8% European.
2. Of those 29 European captains in the past 50 years, 13 of them are currently the captain of their team (9 in the East, 4 in the West).
3. Of the 55 Stanley Cup Championships since 1950 (mind the lockout), there have been 24 different captains to be the first to raise the Holy Grail. 23 were Canadian, Derian Hatcher is American.
I understand there doesn't seem to be much meat in this sandwich, but please take note of the incredibly weighted statistics before you say a European captain can't win the Cup because it has never happened before. 85% of captains in the past 55 years have been Canadian - that is kind of a factor in Canadian captains winning Cups. Remember that in the past 55 years, only 24 captains have WON a Stanley Cup. So let's all take it down a peg or two and instead discuss who will be the first European to lead his team to a championship, because with 13 European captains, it is inevitable that it will happen soon. Quit throwing proverbial danishes at the head of our captain and let's just hope that he starts scoring in bunches or at least finds a scoring centre to play with!
Other interesting facts I came across that you can use at your local Royal Oak Pub:
- Scotty Bowman lost three straight Cups as coach of the Blues, two of them to Montreal. His solution? He took over as coach of Montreal and won four of the next seven.
- Of the 24 captains to lead their team to the Cup, 14 of them did it multiple times.
- The only two Stanley Cups that Boston has won since 1950 had no captain.
Come back on Friday as Matt and I issue our first ever POINT / COUNTERPOINT where we debate three current topics involving the Senators.