In case there was any debate left as to which National Hockey League team should be considered “Canada’s Team”, it’s certain that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would have his opinion heard.
He even appears in the music video for the song ‘Rock The Sweater’ by Montreal artist Annakin Slayd, where he can be seen kissing the Canadiens jersey that he is wearing underneath his suit in a mock Parliament session.
Today he wore the jersey as part of his show of hospitality to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, doing a ceremonial puck drop at a youth hockey game in front of a large Chinese delegation at the Bell Centre. Mathieu Dandenault, Gaston Gingras, Francis Bouillon, Guy Carbonneau, Patrice Brisebois, Réjean Houle, and Yvan Cournoyer were also there representing the Canadiens Alumni, along with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.
It’s worth noting that China just received it’s first KHL team, the Kunlun Red Stars, showing that there is an emerging market in China for one of Canada’s greatest cultural identifiers.
Whether this display at the Bell Centre was a way of reminding the Chinese officials that there is another professional hockey league worth considering, or simply that Trudeau used it as an opportunity to again don the Canadiens jersey while in official capacity, it continues to show that the CH is a powerful symbol worldwide.