The unprecedented 2020-21 National Hockey League regular season has long been concluded. The first and second rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have finished. Hockey fans living in Manitoba no longer have the Winnipeg Jets as an option to watch in the evenings.
So what teams left in the running can provide Manitobans with optimal local content? The answer is a bit harder to explain than most may like.
In terms of Manitoba product, the Vegas Golden Knights boast five roster players from the province of Manitoba – four of which get into the action on a nightly basis. However, Jets fans may want to stay away from Vegas, as it was the team that sent Winnipeg packing from the Western Conference Final back in 2018.
Oh, and did we forget to mention that the Golden Knights’ general manager is long-time owner/GM/coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Kelly McCrimmon?
Taking on those Vegas Golden Knights is the Montreal Canadiens – yes, that team that booted the Jets from the playoffs by way of a four-game sweep in the second round. So it’s easy to say that things are complicated in this semifinal matchup. Montreal boasts one player from Manitoba.
Moving on, the New York Islanders feature two players from the province, while also boasting a head coach that was born and raised in Manitoba as well. New York is battling the Tampa Bay Lighting (zero Manitobans) in the semifinals for the second-straight season.
Tampa Bay and New York have played the opener of their seven-game series (Islanders won 2-1), while Montreal and Vegas gets going Monday evening from Nevada.
A detailed list of all active Manitobans is provided below:
VEGAS: Mark Stone (Winnipeg), Ryan Reaves (Winnipeg), Keegan Kolesar (Winnipeg), Zach Whitecloud (Sioux Valley Dakota Nation), Cody Glass (Winnipeg), Logan Thompson and GM Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon Wheat Kings).
MONTREAL: Joel Edmundson (Brandon), Joel Armia and Ben Chiarot (Former Winnipeg Jets).
NEW YORK: Ryan Pulock (Grandview), Travis Zajac (Winnipeg), Barry Trotz (Dauphin), Andrew Ladd and Corey Schneider (Former Winnipeg Jets/Manitoba Moose).
TAMPA BAY: None.