Canada is still waiting for its first Stanley Cup in nearly 30 years
The Oilers, Leafs and Jets are the country's only hopes this year of breaking one of the most laughable curses in pro sports
Now that the NHL playoffs are underway it’s time to revisit one of my favorite storylines of the sporting calendar: after nearly three decades will a Canadian team finally win a championship in the sport the country invented?
In any given year there's roughly a 22 percent chance (7/32) a team from north of the border wins the title, so we would expect to see a Canadian championship one out of every four to five years. By now we should have seen at least four combined championships given these odds. In fact, if a champion were randomly chosen from all NHL teams active each season, the odds that a Canadian team would have won at least one Stanley Cup since 1993-94 are more than 99 percent — but that of course hasn't happened.
Nate Silver wrote a great piece in 2013 about how unlikely a run of such futility among Canadian clubs really is, if you weren’t already convinced.
The Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets are Canada’s representatives in this year’s playoffs. Collectively they have a 15 percent of winning the Stanley Cup, according to FiveThirtyEight.com. In other words, they have about a 85 percent chance of not winning the Stanley Cup and extending the streak.
The Oilers look to be the best of those teams, as they have a nine percent chance of taking home a title, which would be their first since the dynasty of the 1980s. Meanwhile the Leafs have a five percent chance and Jets a measly one percent1.
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