Are the Edmonton Oilers truly Canada’s team?

On the eve of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the divisive discussion rages on over whether the Edmonton Oilers have the support of the country.

Sportsnet 650 Host Jamie Dodd says this debate happens every time a Canadian team is in the final. He doesn’t think the discussion is warranted.

“It’s old at this point. Here’s the deal, yes, a lot of fans across Canada who are maybe a little bit more casual will cheer for Edmonton,” he explained.

“There is some connection to a Canadian team winning the Cup after more than 30 years, but you ask hardcore fans of any other team — not just Canucks fans — any other team in Canada and they will tell you no, they do not want to see the Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup.”

He reiterates no one supported the Vancouver Canucks during their run in 2011.

“No! Of course not. Why would they? They shouldn’t have. There was no reason to. Why would you all of a sudden just be a fan of another team just because they’re in the Stanley Cup Final? I couldn’t care less. When I was growing up as a fan, I never cared whatsoever. I always rooted against the other Canadian teams because it means nothing to me. Who cares if it’s a Canadian team or an American team? I could not care less about the drought for the Stanley Cup in Canada.”

Dodd stresses especially for Canucks fans they would not support the Oilers, after Edmonton forced a Game 7 and moved on to Round 3.

“Of course, you’re going to be cheering against them. They’re a Western Canadian rival. You’re bred to hate this team, if you’re a Canucks fan. You’re not all of a sudden going to start cheering for the Oilers just because they’re the last Canadian team standing.”

There’s also been talk of Canucks fans supporting the Florida Panthers’ hopes and dreams because former Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo now works in their front office and many feel he deserves a championship.

Fraser Tuff is a die-hard Oilers fan and host on JACK 96.9. He claims Canucks fans have been very kind towards him.

“I don’t know if they really mean it or not, maybe they’re just being polite,” explained Tuff. “There’s been a significant amount of support from Canucks fans. Most of the people that I’ve encountered said that they’re willing to support me.

“So many people in my life have said that they want a Canadian team to win and more than anything, people said they want Connor McDavid to win a Stanley Cup because he’s so amazing that they really feel he deserves it.”

CityNews can’t confirm if that’s true.

“I always think Canucks fans get kind of a bad rap for being mean because, generally speaking, people have been supportive. I think the country as a whole would like to see the Cup come back to Canada no matter who brings it here… and I think the majority of the country supports us.”

Dodd thinks the Panthers will win the Cup while Tuff says the Oilers will come away with the silverware in seven games.

The puck drop on Game 1 is just after 5 p.m. PT on Saturday.