Wednesday "Knight" wisdom about USA dominance in the Stanley Cup Final

It seems like the Stanley Cup Final will be won by another U.S.-based team. How did the Vegas Golden Knights contribute to the decades-long streak?
Vegas Golden Knights Victory Parade And Rally
Vegas Golden Knights Victory Parade And Rally / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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The Florida Panthers are in a comfortable position in the Stanley Cup Final. They hold a 2-0 lead over the Edmonton Oilers, moving closer to continuing a decades-long drought. The dry spell in question? The last time a Canadian-based NHL team won the Stanley Cup. It's a streak the Vegas Golden Knights have contributed to in recent memory.

Starting in 2018, the Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference Final, 4-1. They were the last Canadian-based team in that year's Stanley Cup playoffs, which prolonged a streak that's lasted since 1993. By the way, who was the last Canadian team to win it all? The Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 4-1.

A lot has changed since that time. The wide-eyed children watching hockey became full-blown adults with children of their own, taking them to hockey games. There are also different cultural changes, with Michael Jordan's NBA dominance transitioning to LeBron James's twilight years of reign.

That includes the NHL landscape, where numerous changes have happened. From relocations to new teams that include the Vegas Golden Knights, the league has evolved. Now, Connor McDavid and company hope to dig the Oilers out of their current hole and end the drought.

Vegas eliminated some teams themselves, with their only series loss coming to Montreal in the 2021 semifinals. Whether it's Winnipeg (2018, 2023), Vancouver (2020), or Edmonton (2023), the Golden Knights have gotten their hands dirty with America's neighbors up north. Life's not fair for Canada in their favorite game right now, specifically when it involves Vegas.

But there's more to the NHL right now than Canada's woeful luck at winning a Stanley Cup. What else is happening around the NHL? Who's requesting trades from their teams? Get ready for some late-night wisdom because the season's end is approaching.

Patrik Laine requests a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets

On Wednesday, Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine said he was "looking for a fresh start." What he means is he's seeking a trade with Columbus assisting him. The sniping star has a cap hit of $8.7 million, which might complicate matters. However, that shouldn't stop some teams from going after the 26-year-old star.

There are many reasons why a team would want his services. A terrific finisher who has a quality shot is something you don't see often. Yes, he must stay healthy to maximize his value. But there are plenty of teams who'd take a flyer on the promising Blue Jackets winger.

One of those teams could include the Vegas Golden Knights, a franchise desperate for forwards. But their issues lie with having enough bodies on the ice, with five unrestricted free agents at the position hitting free agency this summer.

While Kelly McCrimmon isn't shy about having other teams retain salary, this might be a tough one to swing, especially with a modified no-trade clause. That is unless Vegas moves a contract or two of their own to offset it. Then again, not many people expected the Golden Knights to have a productive trade deadline.