All too often in sports we talk about the hexes, vexes and jinxes. We love to believe that Babe Ruth cursed the Boston Red Sox for nearly 100 years, that the billy goat is still working its magic on the Chicago Cubs and other such ridiculousness. There might be some truth to the stories, there might not. That's really for each of us to decide on our own.
But maybe -- just maybe -- there's some truth to it all. Maybe this stuff does happen. Last night while watching the Canadiens get knocked out of the playoffs by the Flyers in Game Five, it hit me that we might have a curse living right under our noses. With the Canadiens elimination last night, they became the last team from Canada to get knocked out and the 14-year drought of bringing a Stanley Cup back to Canada will certainly carry on into a 15th year in 2008.
Who was the last team from our neighbors to the north to win a Cup? The Montreal Canadiens. It looked for a while that they might be the team to bring this all full circle and finally bring the Cup back home. They skyrocketed to first in the conference during the second half and finished with the third most points in the NHL. But it was not to be and Canada will have to wait another year, although I can't say most Canadians were really hoping for the Habs to win their 25th Cup.
But this all got me thinking. The Habs won the last Cup that came home to Canada in 1993. They defeated Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings in five games that year. Now do you remember who was behind the bench for the Kings that year and gets reminded for the loss on Sportscenter quite a bit? Yup. It's our friend Barry Melrose (I have never met him but would assume he's quite engaging, you see).
Could this drought of Canadian won Stanley Cups all be because of a Mulleted Man currently working in Bristol, Connecticut? Probably Not. Is it fun to speculate like this? Absolutely. But what if Melrose comes back and coaches? He was rumored to be a candidate for the job in Tampa Bay. Maybe it would take a Melrose return to the NHL to bring the Cup back to his homeland in Canada. Stranger things have happened.
Hey Toronto, if you're listening, this guy might be able to help you out. He might just be the lucky rabbit's foot you need!