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Which NHL Teams Have the Best Fan Support?

When it comes to ranking NHL teams based on their fanbases and city-wide support systems, metrics become extremely subjective. After all, every NHL team has its dedicated rows of supporters who pack into home games, follow the offseason with their fingers crossed, and never give up hopes for a Stanley Cup run. The passion, regardless of how the season ends, is always there.

Over the last few years, interest in the NHL (and professional sports in general) has benefitted from an uptick in betting interest. As more states launch their virtual betting markets, NHL fans have access to free bets collated by oddschecker, which can be used for various markets. This includes offers from major brands such as BetMGM. Even those who don’t want to wager on a puckline can use the offers for similar activities, such as daily fantasy sports. 

Some fans stick to their hardboiled fantasy leagues, including those hosted by CBS and casual options organized by friend groups. Fantasy leagues in particular are important for engagement to those who might not see their team enter the postseason, or even come close to a wild card. In fact, when compared to other leagues, the NHL has quite a few teams that, despite having not made it to a Stanley Cup series in years, won’t give up the charge.

Let’s take a look at which NHL teams have the best fan support based on studies, polls and statistics.

Philly Has Fun

There are few reputations in the NHL as controversial as this one. The Philadelphia Flyers have a fanbase that has been noted for its heckling, which might range from light-hearted to very annoying. This isn’t unique to the NHL. Philly fans are known for being some of the loudest and most outrageous in any sport. 

Still, to say that the Flyers don’t know how to make fun for spectators at live games would be a disservice. Much of the charm is thanks to the mascot Gritty, a massive orange monster with the spirit of Philly whirling inside. Does the mascot make sense? No. Is it passionate? Yes. Will it put a smile on just about anyone’s face? Guaranteed.

A Canadiens Legacy

It wouldn’t be a list of NHL teams without a hearty breakdown of why the Montreal Canadiens still matter, despite lingering at the bottom of the NHL for a long, long time. Some might immediately point to legacy; despite their bad luck, the Canadiens have plenty of silverware and a long list of legandary players.

But, in reality, it’s all about local passion. There’s no city in Canada that can match the energy of the Canadiens. They don’t just love their team, they love the sport as a whole, and tend to take on a role as cultural ambassadors for ice hockey.

Hurricanes & Hospitality

The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the more unique teams in the NHL. They’re relatively new after moving in 1997, they’re in an area that isn’t known for its love of hockey, and the team hasn’t quite performed to the level that they could. That being said, all of these factors help contribute to a positive and wholesome live game experience.

Fans come from farther than most other teams, which means they’re there for a great time. Given hockey is a relatively new quantity for hardcore baseball and football fans, there’s added interest and curiosity. Plus, The Hurricanes might have only taken home one Stanley Cup back in 2006, but it remains the only pro sports trophy to be lifted by a team in North Carolina.

Predators Are in Their Own Lane

Lastly, let’s cover one of the more unique teams: the Nashville Predators. Just like with the Hurricanes, the Predators entered the Tennessee sports market in the late 1990s. Since then, they have yet to lift a Stanley Cup. However, what the Preds lack in postseason power, they make up for with unforgettable fan culture.

The team sells out almost every game and fills the rink with unmatched passion. This passion has a unique southern twist, as locals are known for their quirky pastimes, including throwing catfish onto the ice and taking on visiting team fanbases with detailed plans, like the ‘Keep the Red Out’ campaign for a face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks.


Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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