It’s high time for Canada’s 21-year Stanley Cup drought to end.
So says Charles Barkley, NBA legend, basketball analyst and, as it turns out, a massive fan of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“I’m pulling for a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup. We need a Canadian team to win the Cup. It would be great for hockey. I know it’s been a long time,” Barkley told Dean Blundell & Co. on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday morning.
Barkley, 52, said he’s lucky the Cup tournament coincides with the NBA playoffs. That way, he can keep an eye on both sports when he’s in the studio.
“I think the NHL playoffs are the best playoffs in the world,” he said. “I have all the games on. There’s nothing more exciting than the hockey playoffs, so I’m getting pumped, man. I got about a month before everything gets started, and I can’t wait.”
The golf addict said his favourite NHL team is the Arizona Coyotes: “We’re just trading everybody. We suck in hockey.”
Barkley was also happy to have met Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier.
“He was great to me.”
“I want to see the Maple Leafs do well. I know they’ve been struggling,” Barkley added, explaining that he wasn’t complimenting the NHL just because he was on air with a Toronto station.
He’s also envious of the colder sport’s commentators.
“I’m the biggest Barry Melrose fan in the world. I think he’s the best analyst on television,” Barkley said. “The only difference between Barry and us guys: hockey players are not wussies. Barry can actually get on television and say what he wants to say and every agent and every player doesn’t call you (saying) you’re hurting his feelings.”