While National Hockey League pundits lament the lack of Canadian-based teams in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, Nanaimo bars say they aren’t bothered that much.
The Vancouver Canucks, along with their counterparts in Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, are already in offseason mode, but that really hasn’t had an effect at Longwood Brew Pub, said Mike Campbell, co-owner and general manager.
Campbell said a Canucks postseason appearance would definitely be noticeable, but only because of the buzz it creates at the bar. Longwood is pretty busy generally, he said.
“I would say there’s definitely less banter, we’re not seeing anyone wearing their Toronto and Montreal uniforms around,” said Campbell about lack of Canadian teams. “Business-wise I don’t know if it affects us a tonne because we are generally fairly busy … but for sure we notice that it’s not being discussed and not being watched obviously.”
Kahla Rempel, manager Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub, said while her establishment does see more traffic during Canuck playoff games, it isn’t seeing a drop off in attendance due to the lack of Canadian teams.
“It’s business as usual,” said Rempel. “We’re not overly affected by that, but we’re also a pretty busy pub anyways.”
Dave Waugh, owner of the Old City Station Pub, has similar sentiments.
“It really hasn’t affected me much,” said Waugh. “Usually the first-round of the playoffs are not all that exciting for people, unless you’re a real hockey fan … actually I think right now the Toronto Blue Jays have more fans than hockey does.”