Justin Faulk said the quiet part out loud

After the St. Louis Blues defenceman spoke honestly about his lack of enthusiasm toward crossing the border, Justin Cuthbert and Julian McKenzie discuss why he's not alone.

Video Transcript

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Last topic-- I mean, it's meant to be kind of funny. But Justin Faulk hating Canada-- I found it funny as a Canadian. He was asked about--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: You know what's funny? I saw this. I had no clue this was the thing. You're going to have to take me through this one because I had no clue this was a thing.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: You didn't see this? OK. So he was asked-- I guess the Blues are going on a Western swing, probably through Western Canada. I believe they played in Seattle the other night. So that was probably on their way. And he was asked if he was looking forward to going into Canada. I don't really know why that was a question. Maybe they knew he would be-- [CHUCKLES] he would provide an entertaining But he said just simply, and you know, deadpan, I'm not looking forward to go to Canada one bit. He said ask why. He said, I like where we're at in this country. So we'll go with that. Now, you could bring in the politics here. You know, we probably don't have to go that route.

But I mean, it's kind of simple. This is a guy who is playing in a market that is-- and in a country that is-- kind of wiped its hands clean of COVID a little bit while in Canada, there's still major restrictions-- mask wearing, no fans and most of the arenas or at least 50% capacity in some. Like, it's not actually a great time to be in Canada. I'm living, and you're living in Canada right now and it's not what Canada should be. It's a very muted version of what Canada should be, which is a place where there are not restrictions, but there are a ton of restrictions right now. So I don't know if, you know, he just loves going out for dinner on the road or loves playing in front of fans, I'm not really sure why he's so passionate about it. But he does not want to be in Canada. And we'll let everyone else draw their own conclusions, I guess.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Well, I'll say this. Like, I think on its surface you can understand why it's like, yeesh. Yeah. You can understand the humor in all this but I think if you really look deep at that quote. There's a lot on this. There's a lot beyond the surface of that quote. I think of--


JULIAN MCKENZIE: --one story I got to like read for one of my colleagues at "The Athletic," Marc Antoine Godin and Arpon Basu, they were talking about Jeff Petrie who is from Michigan. And his family. they;ve decided to just kind of go from Montreal just to be in Michigan just I guess for the rest of the year. I don't know how long that will go. But like, that's essentially they decide, you know, we're not going to stick in Canada anymore. We're just going to go back to the United States.

And in that article that they wrote as well, they've talked to agents and stuff. And they didn't necessarily go on record with their names, but they've heard some stuff from people being like, hey, you know what? Like, if it comes time for me to play for a Canadian team as we continue to go through this, like, there are some serious reservations on that. And if we continue to go through what we're going through with COVID, which it looks pretty likely that we will, and it seems pretty likely that the restrictions will kind of vary as they've been over the last little while in Canada. You're an NHL player hitting the free agent-- if you're an NHL player, not even just hitting the free agent market, if you're hitting the tree, if you could be traded at the trade deadline and a possibility comes up for you to play for a Canadian team, do you say yes to that?

And one team I'm thinking of in particular-- the Edmonton Oilers. I understand AlbertaAlberta-- the restrictions are a little bit looser than others. But like a guy like Marc-Andre Fleury-- do you want to go play in Edmonton?


JULIAN MCKENZIE: Like, we mentioned Jakob Chychrun playing in Toronto. Do you want to go do that when, you know, not only can you stay in America the Florida Panthers who play-- Jacob Chidren is a native of Boca Raton. Why would you go play for Toronto where you could play in front of maybe 500 people or you could go play in Florida where they don't even know what COVID is, you know?


JULIAN MCKENZIE: Like, not to make light of the situation. But there are players who are definitely thinking about it. And the longer that we continue to go through this, the more pause I think it'll give for players about the possibility of playing for a Canadian market over the next few years this is something that could very well-- and it remains to be seen, I guess. But like, COVID could continue to have ramifications that affect Canadian teams if players want to play for them going forward Justin Faulk is sort of saying the quiet part out loud here.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah. Yeah I mean, I think he's sort of, you know, he's not talking outright. He's sort of saying it without saying it I've mentioned, you did, he did say the quiet part out loud. But like, I think this is, like, pointing to, you know, the general feeling that most players have, and they're frustrated. They just are so sick and tired of their current reality. And it is a lot better in the United States at least in terms of them being able to be, quote, unquote "normal" NHL players doing normal NHL player things. And they understand that it's a different world in Canada, and I feel like you're right. If given the decision, why would you sign up for all the stringent testing, the stress on your family, the isolation that people will have to deal with when they're stuck at home? You and I are dealing with it right now.

And the one thing he said is that he's on holiday. He's on holiday, and what on holiday means is that he's done with testing for a while because he's had COVID. And most of the players in the league are on holiday, but only the players playing in American markets, I think, can enjoy their holidays.


JUSTIN CUTHBERT: And I think that's sort of what he was getting to.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: That's fair. And after the all-star game, it looks like he doesn't have to worry about testing all that much unless he somehow has symptoms too. So yeah. It's a bit of an interesting thing. I think just Justin Faulk just essentially just kind of said what a lot of NHL players might be feeling with regards to playing, or even considering just being, in Canada at this point I'm not going to get into the other whole thing with COVID and all that. I'm not going to go into more of that. But it's ust he sort of just said-- I think he said something that a lot of players are thinking.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah I mean, I don't know how bad it would be to just play a couple of games in Alberta to be honest.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't know. Some people don't like it.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: I think he wanted to make his point, which was that the situation that they're in maybe doesn't need to be as strict as it is. And of course, the Canadian government in Canada and the Canadian teams are having a pretty sizable impact on the restrictions and how the league is operating. So that's probably where it's coming from. I will say the fact that most players are on holiday and got through COVID and had COVID-- NHL has got a regular schedule. We're playing games every night. We're not canceling anything it looks like we might be through this. The NFL has stopped testing. The NHL plans to stop testing. I mean, the season is going to get played, I think, unless there's a new variant that comes along and doesn't allow anyone to be on holiday anymore. Hopefully that doesn't.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Oh, please. No.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Hopefully, we are through the worst of it. And hopefully, Justin Faulk can bear his few days North of the border. Uh--

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