Ron and Don: Canada still has plenty to cheer for in all-American final

Ron and Don are in Vegas to break down the opener of the Stanley Cup Final, highlighting the Canadian factors on each team and touching on the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

The Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals kicked off their Stanley Cup Final series Monday night as fans of the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs were left wondering what could’ve been.

Both Canadian clubs, the only two to earn a shot in the post-season in 2018, were ousted before the final series — Toronto in the first round and Winnipeg more recently to these Golden Knights.

But while Canada’s two playoff hopefuls fell short, the red and white still have plenty to cheer for in this all-American final, according to Don Cherry.

“I look around and I see America — I’m wearing America, everybody’s America. We don’t have a Canadian team in. Well let’s just go over it right now ,” Cherry said during the Coach’s Corner segment Monday. “The GMs are Canadian. The two coaches are Canadian. The two goalies are Canadian.”

General managers Brian MacLellan and George McPhee both hail from Guelph, Ont. (and played for the same junior hockey club there), while bench bosses Barry Trotz and Gerard Gallant are from Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, respectively. The two netminders in question, Braden Holtby and Marc-Andre Fleury, are from Saskatchewan and Quebec, and have each donned the maple leaf on the international stage.

The two teams’ Game 1 rosters featured 18 Canadians in total, 12 on the Golden Knights’ side and six in Washington’s locker room.

So don’t fret, Canada. Though the Stanley Cup won’t see a Canadian city engraved on its rings this summer, the hallowed trophy is sure to see plenty of time up north either way.

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