First thing's first.
1. Yes, I know I didn't finish the NFL team comparisons. My timing was off, I was a complete n00b that overestimated my time. However, I'm getting a jump on it, and am now working from my palatial estate. Now that the draft and free agency is just about over, it's a good time to evaluate, I think.
2. Guess what, sports fans? Without any NFL or NBA next year, some of you will unwillingly become hockey fans. I know the thought makes some of your yambags shrivel up, but just trust me. I've never trained TEH JITS, but I did play hockey for twelve years, and it's a goddamned magical sport. The single most fun sport to watch in person and a blast to watch on TV. Embrace it now, believers!
3. Much like MMA, hockey is a niche sport, not many casuals on either side, so the 20% or so that actually love hockey will enjoy the series, and the other 80% will be busy wondering when North Carolina got a team.
4. Oh, and I'm omitting my personal favorite team after the bashing I got in the NFL posts.
As essential to Quebec as the French language and Poutin, you're a source of pride to your people the world over. Your home crowd is the most raucous in the sport and every opponent is automatically at a disadvantage. Your steep accolades are constantly bragged about throughout Montreal in debates about the sport. You are beloved, and for damned good reason.
Despite re-inventing yourself every couple of years, you just can't quite seem to grasp that brass championship ring. New coaches, new personnel, changes in size, you've been inches away but can't seem to quite take it over. Also, like Chris Pronger, you can use your elbows to devestate your opponent.
A picture of consistancy, class, professionalism, and stoicism. The most dominant franchise over the past decade. Foreign-influenced, heavily disciplined, fighting only when neccessary and never dirty or unsportsmanly. Violence is merely a means to end to achieve the goal of winning. Simply put, the model franchise. Someone you're drawn to. Yes, had a rough couple years, but always dangerous. The Red Army and the USSR hockey teams are a precise influence.
Languished in mediocrity for years until an essential change in scenery. Now you're rejuvinated, the talk of the town in the sport and we're all excited to see where you go from here.
Pushed to the moon because of your exciting style and international flavor, but once you meet top-level competition, you fold. You refuse to improve your defense even though it's been your weak spot for years. Still, you'll keep getting lots of TV time because of a perceived exciting style you haven't possessed in years.
Slowly, and I do mean slowly, but surely, from the ground up, you built a fantastic foundation. For years you were a footnote in the sport, a "nice little squad they have there". But year after year, more eyeballs turned to you. You built your foundation on fundamentals and defense, striking when you had the opportunity. Your management and support system are top-notch. Now you're one of the most exciting squads out there. Casual fans may not flip the channel to a Nashville game, but we diehards know the difference. Nobody doesn't like the Preds and their rise to stardom.
Boy, they really tried, didn't they? Giving the sport a southern flavor. You had the financial and administrative backing of many people, celebrity endorsements, good marketing, and even some success, but it's for the best that the plug was pulled. It was never a good fit.