With the NHL's Ottawa Senators <a href="http://www.canoe.ca/Slam030109/nhl_ott-cp.html">filing for bankruptcy protection</a> on Thursday, shortly after missing payroll, the team may have saved its immediate future. But the episode has left observers wondering whether the future of pro hockey in Canada is as muddy as that of the team in its capital city. Sens owner Rod Bryson, saying the team is $360 million (cdn) in debt, is imploring increased fan support. But even so, his language alludes to a previous Canadian team that flew south. 'That the franchise will have a hugely successful future is absolutely clear, just as the Quebec Nordiques did,' Bryson told The Canadian Press. 'But the support of this community is what will determine where that future unfolds.' The Nordiques had future success, but only after moving to one of the fastest-growing American markets and becoming the Colorado Avalanche. With an infusion of new cash, and outstanding goaltending from Patrick Roy, the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 1996, not to mention numerous playoff and SC appearances. There was concern some owners would take this as a misplaced object lesson that New U.S. Market + $$$$$ = Stanley Cup. Does this represent a kind of reversed cultural imperialism, where the United States has stolen Canada's national pastime to turn it into the fourth-place U.S. pro game?