The Most Hated Opponent for Each NHL Team

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IDecember 30, 2011

The Most Hated Opponent for Each NHL Team

0 of 30

    There are great rivalries all over the NHL, and many of them will become more heated when the league realigns into four conferences next year. Many teams have heated contests whenever they face certain opponents, and many teams hate each other.

    But what is the one team that every fanbase, and team, hates to play the most?

    What follows is our look at the team every organization hates playing the most around the NHL.

Anaheim Ducks

1 of 30

    Los Angeles Kings

    They're a great geographic rivalry and have been playing on a similar level for the last few years. With young players in place to keep this a physical, heated rivalry in the coming years, this should continue to provide exciting games in southern California.

    That is, of course, if major trades don't change things in either city...which is a big assumption with how this season is going so far.

Boston Bruins

2 of 30

    Montreal Canadiens

    This is a rivalry as old as the NHL, and it continues to provide some of the most spirited regular-season contests every season. Boston doesn't like a lot of people, but they might hate the Habs the most.

Buffalo Sabres

3 of 30

    Boston Bruins

    They're division rivals and always play each other hard. The rivalry was magnified this year when Ryan Miller got drilled, but that's only the tip of the iceberg between these two teams.

Calgary Flames

4 of 30

    Vancouver Canucks

    Another division rivalry, the Flames and Canucks always seem to bring out the best hitting in each other. The Flames are looking up at the Canucks right now (and have been for the last few years), but there is a palpable lack of respect here.

Carolina Hurricanes

5 of 30

    Washington Capitals

    The 'Canes have been battling the Caps since they entered the NHL, and while the hate in Carolina isn't as deep as it is in cities that have had hockey longer, they still always get up for Ovechkin and company.

Chicago Blackhawks

6 of 30

    Vancouver Canucks

    Even on the day that the Blackhawks host the Red Wings for the first time, Chicagoans and the team will easily admit that there's more deep hate for the Canucks right now than Detroit. The playoff battles in recent years, and the rhetoric that has surrounded those series, has amplified the feelings between the teams and cities.

Colorado Avalanche

7 of 30

    Detroit Red Wings

    They aren't in the same division, and won't be under the new alignment, but the hate between Avs fans and the Red Wings goes back to their epic battles in the 1990s for NHL supremacy.

Columbus Blue Jackets

8 of 30

    Detroit Red Wings

    Yes, Detroit has a number of cities that hate them (many teams do). But the rivalry between Columbus and Michigan runs deeper than what happens on the ice...just ask any Buckeyes fan who they hate the most.

Dallas Stars

9 of 30

    San Jose Sharks

    The Stars had their run a decade ago, but that division has been owned by the Sharks since the lockout. It might be as much about envy as it is hate, but the Stars will be glad to see the Sharks limited on their schedule next year.

Detroit Red Wings

10 of 30

    Chicago Blackhawks

    It's hard to say Detroit fans "hate" anyone, because they've been on top for so long. But the longstanding rivalry between Chicago and Detroit has always been heated no matter how good or bad the teams have been. Now that Chicago is playing on Detroit's level, there's more on the line than bragging rights.

    A close second to Chicago would have been "anyone on the West Coast," since the Wings apparently hate to travel.

Edmonton Oilers

11 of 30

    Vancouver Canucks

    The young Oilers are starting to look like a playoff team, but they'll continue to be looking up at the Canucks. The games between these two have started to get more physical, and as the Oilers get better, the Canucks will be forced to give them more attention.

Florida Panthers

12 of 30

    Tampa Bay Lightning

    The Bolts and Panthers aren't exactly the Bruins and Habs, but the geographic rivalry is as strong as you can get for hockey in Florida. If one of the two Panthers fans that regularly shows up to watch a game has a better idea, let me know.

Los Angeles Kings

13 of 30

    San Jose Sharks

    The drive to Anaheim is shorter, but the fight for the top of the division has been with the Sharks for the last decade. L.A. and San Jose have had some great battles over the last few years.

Minnesota Wild

14 of 30

    Dallas Stars

    Ever since the North Stars moved to Dallas, fans in Minnesota have shown their...appreciation for their former franchise whenever they meet. With the Stars and Wild in the same conference starting next year, this could become more potent with a playoff spot on the line.

Montreal Canadiens

15 of 30

    Boston Bruins

    Montreal fans hate the Leafs with a passion, but their hate for the Bruins is bloody. This Original Six matchup always brings out the best from both teams.

Nashville Predators

16 of 30

    Chicago Blackhawks

    Nashville doesn't have the longest tradition in the league, but they've been fighting Detroit and Chicago for the last few years. Their epic series against Chicago in 2010 was heartbreaking for the Music City.

New Jersey Devils

17 of 30

    New York Rangers

    The Devils and Rangers share a market, so the drive for fans of both make the stands at every game split between the Blue Shirts and their Devil counterparts.

New York Islanders

18 of 30

    New York Rangers

    Much like Chicago fans hated their "big brother" in Detroit for years, the Islanders have envied the attention the Rangers get in New York. This is a great, physical rivalry, and the young Islanders are trying to steal the headlines from the Rangers.

New York Rangers

19 of 30

    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Another great Original Six rivalry, the Leafs and Rangers have been at each other's throat for decades. They aren't in the same division, but the hate is palpable when they get together.

Ottawa Senators

20 of 30

    Toronto Maple Leafs

    This is a heated division rivalry between two of the major markets in Canada. Many Canadian fans of teams other than the Leafs hate Toronto, and there frequency of the matchup makes the Sens and Leafs an intense game every time.

Philadelphia Flyers

21 of 30

    Pittsburgh Penguins

    Whether or not Sidney Crosby is available, the Flyers and their fans hate the attention the Pens get for the Cup they won recently. Philly and Pittsburgh is a great rivalry on and off the ice.

Phoenix Coyotes

22 of 30

    TBD

    The Coyotes have a wonderful fanbase...when the postseason begins. They're bankrupt and might not be in the desert for much longer, so who their fans will hate in the future depends on where they're located. If the fans of the Coyotes hate anything, it's social security.

Pittsburgh Penguins

23 of 30

    Philadelphia Flyers

    There have been some outstanding games between these two franchises over the last few years, and now that the unthinkable has happened—Jagr in orange—the rivalry has intensified.

San Jose Sharks

24 of 30

    Chicago Blackhawks

    It might stem from Sharks GM Doug Wilson, who played for a long time in Chicago and was then a charter member of the Sharks, but it has grown in intensity in the postseason over the last few years.

St. Louis Blues

25 of 30

    Chicago Blackhawks

    The rivalry between St. Louis and Chicago, whether it's the Cardinals and Cubs or Blues and Blackhawks, is heated and every game is as physical as can be. When the captains fight, you know there's blood in the hate, and that has happened when the Blues and Hawks have played in recent years.

Tampa Bay Lightning

26 of 30

    Washington Capitals

    Tampa and Washington have been on the same page for the last few years. Their young core of players have been among the most electric in the game, and the division crown has traded places between these cities. Again, if there's "hate" from the Bolts and their fans, it's for the Caps.

Toronto Maple Leafs

27 of 30

    Montreal Canadiens

    As was the case with the Leafs, Bruins and Rangers, the battles between the four Original Six teams in the Eastern Conference has been intense. For Toronto, the hate for Montreal, and need for the fans to have bragging rights north of the border, is as passionate as it gets.

Vancouver Canucks

28 of 30

    Chicago Blackhawks

    The song "Chelsea Dagger" and name Byfuglien might be some of the most hated things a Vancouver fan can hear, and the games between Chicago and Vancouver have been among the best in the last four years. Of all the rivalries that will be hurt by the proposed new schedule and alignment, this is one loss for the NHL and its fans.

Washington Capitals

29 of 30

    Pittsburgh Penguins

    The Caps and Pens have hated each other since the lockout ended and two top picks made their NHL debuts at the same time. The Ovechkin-Crosby rivalry is as filled with hate as any player rivalry in the game; the teams match the two captains' intensity.

Winnipeg Jets

30 of 30

    TBD

    With the Jets just back in Winnipeg, it's hard to pinpoint a single team they hate the most. When the new alignment goes into effect, the rivalries with Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit will be fun to watch.