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‘Get bent’: Boston Pizza’s Stanley Cup pitch to Canadian hockey fans backfires

Click to play video: 'NHL playoffs: Can a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup after 31-year drought?'
NHL playoffs: Can a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup after 31-year drought?
Hockey playoff fever is in full swing across Canada — and the big question is: will a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup? The Canucks, Oilers, Jets and Leafs all have a shot at the ultimate prize. The last time that happened was 31 years ago. Eric Sorensen on whether one of our own can break the curse – Apr 20, 2024

Restaurant chain Boston Pizza is proposing a polite and friendly solution to Canada’s lack of Stanley Cup wins over the past 30 years — and our nation’s hockey fans are not having it.

As we get further into this year’s NHL playoffs, the recurring thought nags: Canadian teams have failed to bring home the Cup since the Montreal Canadiens bested the Los Angeles Kings in 1993.

And that’s where the B.C.-based Boston Pizza comes in: They’re suggesting that Canadians, coast to coast, unite and cheer on all Canadian teams on the quest for this year’s Cup, loyalties be damned.

https://twitter.com/bostonpizza/status/1779980545688285526

The Team Up for the Cup promotion is quite clever, highlighting just how much has changed in 30 years — phones used to have cords, for instance, and the minimum wage was $5. Heck, Edmonton Oilers team captain Connor McDavid wasn’t even born.

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“Maybe it’s time we try something different,” an ad for the company encourages. “This playoff season, let’s cheer with fans we’ve always cheered against.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/C5_NEZwguiG/?hl=en

Even the most lukewarm bandwagon fans know that Canadian hockey die-hards actively take joy in watching their most rivalled teams get picked off, and many are calling Boston Pizza out on social media for the most absurd, un-Canadian ad campaign they’ve ever witnessed.

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Judging by the reactions to the campaign, maybe Boston Pizza was successful in its mission of uniting Canadians — just not in the way it intended.

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To be fair, Boston Pizza has long been a troll in the hockey world, especially when playoff season rolls around.

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For years, despite its name, it has actively tried to rile up Boston Bruins fans with its obvious support of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Brad Treliving, the son of Boston Pizza’s owner Jim Treliving, is the Leafs’ general manager).

It’s also been known to temporarily change its name when a Canadian team goes up against a Boston team in the playoffs: in 2011 it adopted the moniker “Montreal Pizza” when the Canadiens and Bruins went head to head in the first round, and for a month, dozens of B.C. locations changed their name to “Vancouver Pizza” when the Bruins went up against the Canucks.

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This year, it appears the restaurant chain is switching tactics, as it has scaled back on its social media posts blatantly supporting the Leafs, posting more about the playoffs as a whole and the four Canadian teams in the run for the Cup.

Some have called their past efforts the Boston Pizza Curse, so maybe this new tactic will turn the tide for Canadian teams.

Regardless, with this latest campaign, Boston Pizza has accurately captured the collective heartbreak that Canadian hockey fans have felt for years over the Stanley Cup drought, but it’s safe to say most hockey fans would rather chew tinfoil than root for anyone other than their home team.

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