Some NHL teams just matter more than others. Whether it is thanks to highly vocal and motivated fans, a long and rich history or simply because lately they win a lot of games, certain teams have a disproportionate impact on the hockey world.
What we have done here is tried to rank which of those teams matter the most in an objective fashion. We looked at three different categories—team history, recent success and fan engagement—to arrive at those rankings, grading each on a scale of 1-10.
The mark each club received in team history is based on championships won and decades of existence, with attention also paid to teams with a history in other markets (such as the Calgary Flames) and markets with a history of other teams (such as the Minnesota Wild).
Recent success is based on each club's regular-season and playoff record over the last five years, with particular attention paid to the most recent seasons.
Fan engagement was measured using a number of factors, including attendance, ticket prices, TV ratings and social media presence.
Then the three individual metrics were combined to give an overall ranking to each team at this point in time, with ties broken based on the judgment of the writer.
Read on to see our rankings of the most important teams in the NHL right now.