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TSN gives Exhibit A for why Edmonton sports fans hate Toronto – Edmonton Journal

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Oct 21, 2021.
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Oct 21, 2021. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas /USA Today Sports, file

TSN has given us Exhibit A for why Edmonton sports fans hate Toronto.

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On its Instagram account this week, just as Connor McDavid and his Edmonton Oilers were as down as they’ve been in years, TSN’s Instagram account came out with an image of McDavid in the hockey jersey of every other Canadian team, with the caption: “WHICH OTHER CANADIAN TEDAM WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE MCDAVID ON?”

Well done, Toronto Sports Network.

Well done.

If your goal is to make Edmonton fans hate your network, you took one giant step forward.

If the goal was simply to troll and trigger Oilers fans, you also succeeded.

The post pounded on a number of hot buttons:

  1. Edmonton’s raw nerve fear of losing McDavid, made all the worse by a form of collective PTSD from Edmonton losing Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri, Kevin Lowe, Curtis Joseph, Doug Weight and Chris Pronger.
  2. The fact the Oilers and Edmonton itself just now is in a major funk due to the Oilers strange things rollercoaster of a season, which saw them as the best team in the NHL for two months, then the worst team in the NHL for the next six weeks. If the goal was to hit a team and and a city when they are down, mission accomplished.
  3. The implied and arrogant notion, strongly held by a faction in the Toronto media, that McDavid is hankering to play in Toronto (or possibly some other Canadian city).
  4. The image of McDavid in a Flames sweater, which is too much for the eyes to see, the mind to fathom.

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Will McDavid play out his entire career as an Edmonton Oilers?

Maybe.

I’d put the odds at 50/50.

In Edmonton’s favour is that McDavid’s roots are with this team, with his friends Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyson Barrie, Zack Kassian and others. He’s also becoming a mentor to younger Oilers. The pull of seeing through a mission with your friends is strong. And if the Oilers win, it will be all the sweeter given the seasons of adversity this tight group has now endured.

If Edmonton treats McDavid and his teammates right, and if this team can find a way to win in the playoffs, it will be difficult for the group to replicate their closeness and achievement in another city.

Against Edmonton is the fact the team has yet to win, the claustrophobic nature of the Edmonton fish bowl, and the pull of gargantuan American cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, which is where I’d expect McDavid to end up if he left Edmonton, not in Toronto.

When other stars left Edmonton, it put me in, shall I say, a pissy mood, one that’s lasted to this day.

If McDavid does leave one day, I don’t think it will be like that with me at least. I’ll accept his decision.

For one thing, it’s a different era now, with players having far more freedom to move, with it being an expectation they will make the right choice for themselves and their families. If that day comes for McDavid and he decides against staying in Edmonton, so be it.

Just so long as he doesn’t go to Calgary.

Or Toronto.

P.S. Good tilt at the press conference. Hope the Oilers show as much fight as Jim Matheson and Leon Draisaitl did here in their next game.

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