Adopt-a-team for the NHL Playoffs (Eastern Teams)

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Image: Florida Panthers

With the Canucks season over, many people have a choice to make as the NHL playoffs loom on the horizon: adopt another team for the next couple of months, or buy a brand new one from a hockey team breeder.

Sure, buying a new team can seem like the more desirable choice. You can choose what kind of team you want (none of those gross Boston ones please). You can watch it grow from infancy, see it lose its first playoff game, have its first superstar demand a trade out of town, and watch as it poops the bed repeatedly during its younger years.

But the reality is, there are so many teams out there in need of new fans, that you would be doing a disservice to the world of hockey if you didn’t try and adopt.

Of course, you can also choose to be the “I only bleed Canucks blue and green!!!” guy/gal who is furiously typing up an angry comment as we speak.

But for those wishing to adopt a playoff team, it isn’t without its issues. This is why I have put together a list of the pros and cons of potential teams that you should keep in mind if you’re thinking of adopting.

Eastern Team Options

For those who view adopting a Western team for a few months being akin to cheating on the Canucks, you have plenty of options in the East to choose from.

Washington Capitals

Pros:

  • Alex Ovechkin probably wants a Cup and he seems like a good guy, despite questionable choices in chocolate bars.
  • Brayden Holtby’s beard, already at an elite level, can only get better with four rounds of hockey behind it.
  • They have a player named “Jay Beagle” and if you close your eyes and use your imagination, sounds like a really cute dog playing hockey. Who wouldn’t want a beagle to win a Stanley Cup? It could sit in the Cup, people!

Cons:

  • It might spark up “Crosby vs Ovechkin” debates again, which is only slightly better than someone slapping your lunch out of your hands and spitting in your face. Unless your lunch was Arby’s, in which case hug that person immediately for saving you from yourself. Seriously, their slogan is “We have the Meats”. They have somehow managed to make the most delicious part of a sandwich sound like a horrifying disease you’d see in season 4 of House. They are one step away from going with “Got the runs? Sounds like a night at Arby’s!” as their slogan. But I digress.
  • They Capitals have a player named Taylor Chorney, which 100% sounds like an awful local country singer who repeatedly sends you Facebook invites to come “check him out” at a bar he’s playing at.
  • It might be too hard to witness a Capitals victory without Peter Bondra being a part of it.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pros:

  • Nick Bonino may have lost his hair, but he’ll be gaining a Cup.
  • Phil Kessel winning a Cup will probably make Steve Simmons head explode. This will be after the four hot dog based Kessel stories Simmons runs during the playoffs, of course.
  • Hey, maybe you’re still a big Sestito fan? That might have happened, right? Bonino and Sestito on one team, it’s almost like they should re-name them the Pittsburgh Canucks, am I right? Is…is it next season yet?

Cons:

  • Prepare yourself for Sidney Crosby commercials to triple in volume.
  • Seriously, think about how many more Crosby commercials will be added to the universe if they win another Cup. Tim Horton’s alone will pump out 87 of them in honor of Sid, and that will be for September alone.
  • I don’t think you realize how bad it will get.
  • “Crosby Post-its!”, “Crosby, Phil, and hash! Grand Slam at Dennys!”, “Scent of a Crosby” are just a few of the new products that will come into existence. Fear this one. Fear it.

Florida Panthers

Pros:

  • Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
  • Jaromir Jagr’s transition into “The most interesting man in hockey” kind of came out of nowhere, but I want to see what shenanigans he’ll get up to if he wins another Cup.
  • They have five players whose first name starts with a “J” and that has to count for something, right? If it doesn’t, I don’t even know what we’re doing here.

Cons:

  • Don Cherry gets to rant about how “vital” of a cog Shawn Thornton is for another four god damn rounds.
  • They have a player name “Greg McKegg”. This sounds like a poorly thought out witness protection alias, not a name that should be inscribed on a Cup. You’re probably sentencing a man to his death by having him win a Cup and having his entire new identity exposed to the world. Greg McKegg is supposed to be keeping a low profile in Florida.
  • Two Florida based teams will have won a Cup before Vancouver. That’s….that’s just depressing.

New York Rangers

Pros:

  • If you were around for the ’94 Finals, and you really really hate yourself, cheering on the Rangers is a good way to alert the world to this fact.
  • If you enjoy handsome goalies, and want to see a future GQ spread involving a Stanley Cup and a chiseled jawline, then this is the team for you.
  • Watching to see if Tanner Glass misses the Cup when it’s passed to him will be one of the most suspenseful moments of the season.

Cons:

  • Mark Messier will be guaranteed to show up your TV repeatedly, doing god knows what. Selling chips? Hawking Rogers cell phone plans? Trying to eat your soul? Whatever it is that monster does in his spare time.
  • Seeing Alain Vigneault in the Finals might send you into a YouTube spiral of depression as you re-watch all of the highlights from 2011. “WHERE DID IT GO SO WRONG??”
  • Their goal song is garbage and has more piped in chants than Goldberg.

New York Islanders

Pros:

  • Steve Bernier is still in the NHL!
  • You’ll get street cred for rooting for the non-cool New York hockey team!
  • A man who dedicates his life to a landing strip goatee like this deserves some support:

Cons:

  • If they win the Cup on home ice, odds are the sight lines are so bad you won’t get to see it.
  • They own the collection of the most boring first names in the NHL. Seriously look at some of these: Josh, Steve, Eric, Matt, Kyle, Ryan, John, Shane, Johnny, Thomas, Nick, Scott, Ryan, Brian, Thomas…
  • Mike Milbury will somehow find a way to take some credit for a Stanley Cup win. It won’t make sense, but that doesn’t matter. Remember, this is a man who once beat a fan with his own shoe.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Pros:

  • Mattias Ohlund is technically still under contract for the Lightning, so you might see him in stands watching the Finals or something?
  • Michael Keaton can play Steve Yzerman in the made for TV movie about his victory with Tampa Bay, Edward Norton can play Drouin.
  • Jason Garrison will bring the Stanley Cup to White Rock!

Cons:

  • The Stanley Cup will be stolen when Jason Garrison brings it to White Rock.
  • Watching Stamkos look upon the Stanley Cup celebration with a single tear rolling down his face will be hard to take.
  • Ben Bishop and Brian Boyle might form up to create the “Alliteration Giants Club”, and refuse to let anybody else hold the Cup, dangling it over team mates heads while laughing madly. Though to be fair, this could be a “Pro” for some people.

Philadelphia Flyers

Pros:

  • Their captain once played through broken wrists to play beer pong. If that doesn’t scream “Stanley Cup Champion” I don’t know what else does.

  • Shayne Gostisbehere’s nickname is “Ghost Bear”. I feel this is reason enough to want to see a team win a Cup.
  • It gives you a good excuse to eat philly cheese steak sandwiches every day of the playoffs, to show support for your team. This playoff run will most likely end in a heart attack.

Cons:

  • Nobody REALLY likes the Flyers. Even their own fans are just kind of ok with them.
  • They’re called the “Flyers” but when’s the last time you saw one of them fly anything? Sounds like a bunch of liars to me. Drop the “F” from their name and what do you have? Exactly.
  • Maybe you still have bad feelings about R.J. Umberger? The team is too orange? Slanted “P”‘s make you really angry? There’s probably a good reason in there somewhere.

Detroit Red Wings

Pros:

  • Brad Richards could really use a third Stanley Cup, the poor lad is stuck at a measly two. Easy to get behind that kind of sentimental journey. Win it for Brad’s hat trick of Cups, Detroit!
  • Do you like red things? Detroit has red jerseys. Done. See how easy it is to adopt a team you’re not going to care a single thing about in a couple of months?
  • Don’t believe me? Let’s make it even more arbitrary. Have a friend who has a first name that starts with D? So does Detroit. Boom. Adopted. Ever watched Home Improvement? Adopted. Opened a lid? They used to have a player called Lidstrom. See how easy it is? Just adopt a team people. Any team.

Cons:

  • After they win the Cup, they’ll still manage to draft a player better than the Canucks will draft. Each round. Every year. Until the end of time.
  • This is the team that brought you the “Does Chris Osgood deserve to go in the Hall of Fame??” debates.
  • Two words: Octopus murderers.

Part Two, the Western teams:

Image: Dallas Stars / Facebook

SEE ALSO: Adopt-a-team for the NHL Playoffs (Western Teams)

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Wyatt Arndt Wyatt Arndt is a freelance writer who currently writes for The Province, Canucks Army, Canucks.com and Vancity Buzz. He's probably written in bathroom stalls near you as well. You can find him on Twitter where he is most likely making fun of Eddie Lack's goalie mask.
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