Over the course of the World Junior Showcase, my allegiance to Team Canada gradually changed in favour of its mortal enemy, Team USA. What, one may say, would be the cause of such sacrilege? Let’s just say a certain Canucks star prospect is the one to blame.
It’s an interesting time to be a Vancouver Canucks fan right now. Whether it be the free agency or Trevor Linden’s departure, it seems that something always has Canucks fans generally butting heads.
The one thing that is clear in the faithful’s minds, is the excitement surrounding our latest first round draft pick Quinn Hughes. His sublime skating and slick moves have people just chomping at the bit to see him in a Vancouver uniform.
While Quinn Hughes the player has everyone united, Quinn Hughes the American is about to cause a deep divide.
Like many of you, I was rooting for Quinn Hughes during the World Junior Showcase, watching with bated breath as he waltzed around the ice creating chance after chance. It was easy for me to cheer him on, until he faced our beloved Team Canada.
Over the course of the match I felt my heart strings being pulled in many different directions. Often it would be like “yes team canada scored; darn Quinn Hughes was on the ice for a goal against” or “yes Quinn Hughes got an assist.
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Oh my Gosh Canada might blow a 5-1 lead”. I had never been that conflicted since McDonalds started giving the customers the option to add bacon to their big mac (just go sans bacon folks, don’t fix something if it isn’t broken).
After much internal debate, I finally chose to root for Quinn Hughes and Team USA at the World Juniors this year. Some of you might be thinking that I am traitor, and your right, but hear me out!
We have all had the privilege of watching Canada dominate on the world hockey stage. From the Juniors to the Olympics, Canada has won the lion’s share of gold medals.
What we haven’t seen is the Canucks win a Stanley Cup. Now ask yourself, which would you rather see more, another Canada gold or a Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup? For me hands down it’s the Stanley Cup.
If you also chose Stanley Cup, think about which team winning the world junior might help accomplish this. Would it be Team Canada, with it’s one measly BC raised player (Michael Rasmussen of Langley) and potential Canucks backup goalie Michael DiPietro? Or would it be the United States and the aforementioned Quinn Hughes?
If Hughes can dominate and help carry his team to victory at the World Juniors, it would add confidence which he could carry on to the second half of his college season and eventually the NHL.
Look at Charlie McAvoy and or Zach Werenski. Both returned to college in their draft plus one season’s, where they went on to be the best defenceman at the World Juniors. They then stepped into the league and became star top-pairing defenceman right away.
If the World Junior Showcase was any indication, Quinn Hughes has the potential to follow a similar path. If the Canucks are ever to win a Stanley Cup they are going to need Hughes to be a confident and clutch player when needed most. That starts with Hughes being the go to guy for the US and leading them to victory.
So Canucks fans, I implore you, betray your country for the sake of your city. Watch the tournament not with a Canada jersey, but with a Canucks one instead. Be a traitor, it is, in this case, for the greater good of our beloved Canucks.