ANAHEIM - There's a lot to like about this team. It has one of my favorite players in the league (Ryan Getzlaf), it has an up and coming star in Bobby Ryan and it's in California, so I get to reference this. But let's be honest, I can NEVER EVER EVER cheer for a team that beat us in the Stanley Cup Finals.
CALGARY - It's a Canadian team and their fan base is rabid. They have a nice team with Iginla, Phaneouf and Kipper but they play a boring style, they're always a playoff disappointment and too many people are on their bandwagon already. Call me crazy but I'm not dying for another Canadian team to win the cup before us. So screw em, they signed Bouwmeester when I was dying for him to join us. I can't cheer for that.
CHICAGO - There's a lot to like here. They play a crazy, fast paced style, with many young exciting players. They were a team I used to watch in the early 90's because of my man crush on Jeremy Roenick. Hell I even own a Blackhawks jersey. Plus they play in a great city and have good celebrity fans (Michael Jordan, Vince Vaughn) and have a shot at winning the cup. Plus there's this which is always gonna be funny. Also important is they play in the Central time zone which is only an hour later then ours. They're in the mix.
COLORADO - They're off to a fine start (2-0), have a sick rook in Duchesne (darkhorse for the calder) and they're in a town that loves hockey. But I just can't do it. While they may be down and out right now, they had a decade of amazing teams and won multiple cups. That's just not for me. Plus they have Darcy Tucker and I could never cheer for a team that has my most hated player of all time on it. Remember this..Next!
COLUMBUS - They play a BIG second fiddle to Ohio State football, which is a huge knock in my books (big Michigan fan). They have a boring team and a worse city. They do have Antoine Vermette but I've seen him fall enough in Sens colors. that I don't need to see it any more, especially in those ugly jerseys. On the plus side they do have Rick Nash (did he really re-sign their for 8 more years?) and they did give us Pascal Leclaire and Robin Lehner. Ugly Uni's + Boring city + More boring style of play = Not my team
DALLAS - I'm just not feeling them at all. I don't like their jersey's, they are a HUGE 3rd fiddle in Dallas (behind Mavs and Cowboys) and Marty Turco is hugely overrated in my books (even if he is a former wolverine). They also used one of my favorite guys, Sean Avery, as a scapegoat last year for all their problems. They also won a cup in one of the most controversial calls of all time. Sorry Dallas, it's not me, it's you.
DETROIT - They are everything that's right about hockey. They build their team the right way, they turn players into stars, they have excellent scouting and they are always competitive. They have the best GM in the league by far in Ken Holland (yes Leaf fans, Ken Holland, not Brian Burke), a great coach in Mike Babcock and a classic jersey that never changes and doesn't need to. Everything is pointing to them being the easy pick here, which is why I can't pick them. Ya they're great, ya they play a good style and ya they are played out. No fun picking the team everyone already likes. No Hockeytown for Sens Town
EDMONTON - Players don't want to play there and I don't wanna cheer for them. Sorry Deadmonton but you're too needy for me. You're always trying to sell yourself on how awesome you are and how we've got you all wrong. I don't want my western conference team to be so insecure. Ya you sell out you're drug store, errr I mean arena everynight but let's be honest, is there anything else to do there? When you wear your awesome throwback jerseys, I do momentairly think about what could have been but alas you lost whatever chance you may have had with me after I saw this from your opening night. I do want to thank you though, for trying to take Dany Heatley off our hands for months, even if it made you look like a doormat. Don't worry though, I'm sure some other blog with relationship issues will be along any minute to settle with you as their team. Best of luck
LOS ANGELES - There's a lot to like here as well. I dig their current duds and LOVE their Greztky era jerseys and the old Marcel Dionne era ones too. They play at the famous Staples Center and look like they have a bright future with their young team. But once again this team plays 1726th fidde in a town with the Lakers, SC football, the Dodgers, and all the celebrities. Also, they're in the pacific time zone which means late games and a fan base that would rather be at the beach, then in a cold arena. I can't even blame them. I'd love to love LA but maybe next year instead?
MINNESOTA - Now here's a team I might be able to get with. The Minnesotan's are basically honorary Canadians when it comes to puck. They're passionate, knowledegable and let's face it, can relate to the cold. They sell out every game, they have beautiful jerseys and with Lemaire leaving, will be playing an uptempo style for the first team in franchise history. Add in former Sen Martin Havlat's ability to make a highlight worthy goal at any moment and his awesome twitter page and we have soemthing here.
NASHVILLE - I hate country music, I hate the country lifestyle and I hate their jerseys and logo. They also play in the Gaylord Center, nuff said. Add in that they're always at the bottom of the NHL's payroll, they don't have much of a chance to go very far and the Carrie Underwood ducking incident happend there and I'm out.
PHOENIX - I think this picture says all you need to know about the Coyote's this year
SAN JOSE - No fucking way EVER! In fact, I will elevate them, along with the Leafs and Habs, as teams I will actively cheer AGAINST this season. I think we all know why
ST LOUIS - Here's another team I can get with. They are a bit of a sleeper team, in a city that likes hockey, with A LOT of upside, even if they do have a former Leaf who can't even win a fight against Spezza. I like they way they play, attacking, fast and hard hitting. They have nice jerseys, competent management and are in the central time zone as well. Plus if they were my western conference team, I could wear this and not feel guilty (yes I'm one of the few who actually dug it)
VANCOUVER - Everyone's sexy pick coming into the season (now everyone is on the ledge and thinking of jumping after an 0-3 start). They have the best goalie in the world, they're a Canadian city and a fairly balanced team. They do have somewhat ugly jerseys though, and tons of people are already hopping on their bandwagon, but not me. I just can't go with them. I don't like how they play and looking at the Sedins gives me the creeps. Sorry left coasters but I don't see you living up to the pre-season hype. Add up all of that, combined with the late games and a city full of pretentious hippies, is not a team I want to get on board with. Plus any fan base that gets this excited about a 1st round sweep, clearly doesn't know what it's like to win.
So there you go. After a team by team analysis, I have narrowed it down to 4 finalists. The lucky teams are Minnesota, Chicago, Los Angeles and St Louis. So give me your advice and opinions. So readers, who should be my Western Conference team?