Are the Toronto Maple Leafs Really Canada’s Team?

It’s Canada Day in this great nation of ours, so I thought it’d be fun to take a look at how well our population is represented on the Toronto Maple Leafs to see if they truly are Canada’s team.

Throughout the 2019-20 season, there were 413 active Canadians that played across the 31 cities in the league. But how many of them are part of the Toronto Maple Leafs roster?

It’s been said that Toronto is Canada’s team. Now, before fans of other franchises are quick to react, this is not a rumour being produced for the purposes of this piece and to generate more hate than Toronto’s fanbase already experiences.

As Alan Frew proclaimed in his Maple Leafs team anthem, he caps the song off by reminding his listeners which team he claims as being representative of this country.

Frew expands on his rationale:

“I’m a Leafs fan. I have debated with Montreal friends about the identity of Canada’s team and I will do so again. It’s fun. But from the point of view of a Leafs fan, the Leafs are Canada’s team just as a Canadiens’ fan will say the same thing about his team.”

So it may just be that we, in this city, constantly hear that Toronto is Canada’s team because it’s what we keep telling ourselves. And that’s ok. Just as it’s acceptable that fans in other cities do the same.

Canadian Connections

Making up 42.6% of the league’s player pool, how many of our neighbours are on each of the seven Canadian teams in the NHL?

Vancouver Canucks fans aren’t shy to share their displeasure with the Toronto market, especially as it relates to the coverage the Maple Leafs get over theirs.

In true Canadian fashion, and prioritizing politeness this Canada Day, I wanted to give them the spotlight and begin this journey out west in British Columbia.

Vancouver Canucks

 

From the Pacific side of the country, we’ll start to head east where we end up reaching Alberta.

Calgary Flames

 

With their closest neighbouring team about 300 km north, we’re not leaving Alberta just yet.

Edmonton Oilers

 

Non-stop straight through Saskatchewan, next up is to visit Manitoba’s only franchise.

Winnipeg Jets

 

After heading south-east through most of Ontario, we’ve reached our next destination.

Toronto Maple Leafs

 

Travelling across the 401 for the next few hours, we’ll end up staying in Ontario a bit longer.

Ottawa Senators

 

Ending up in Quebec, the last stop has us visiting the first Canadian team to be established.

Montreal Canadiens

 

How the Numbers Stack Up

This is strictly about quantity, not quality. I’m not here to analyze which of these rosters is better than the rest. Besides, I don’t feel the need to give non-fans any more reasons to dislike Leafs Nation on a day that should be celebratory for us all.

As far as representation throughout each roster:

  • Vancouver Canucks – 10
  • Calgary Flames – 11
  • Edmonton Oilers – 16
  • Winnipeg Jets – 9
  • Toronto Maple Leafs – 13
  • Ottawa Senators – 8
  • Montreal Canadiens -15

In my opinion, the only team that should be affiliating themselves with the whole of Canada is the one that has our country’s logo on the front of it. And, no, I don’t mean the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Backing any Team Canada at every level of international play transcends NHL fandom.

With an excuse for the whole country to unite, what better time to show what it really means to be Canadian as we cheer alongside each other from coast to coast?

No matter which organization has the most (or best) Canadians, from this Toronto Maple Leafs fan to you and your favourite team, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all a Happy Canada Day!