Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Changing of the Guard in Pittsburgh.
Madison Square Garden (New York City, NY)
Home of: New York Rangers
One of the oldest buildings in the NHL, this building has a storied tradition of being the home of the New York Rangers, the home team of New York City. With the passionate fans of New York, this building is a very difficult stop on any trip. However, the Rangers have not been a stellar team over the past sevearl years, finishing their seasons with disappointment year after year. Hence, this building falls to this category.
Air Canada Center (Toronto, ON)
Home of: Toronto Maple Leafs
The Air Canada Center is constantly sold out and filled with Maple Leafs fans. The team has missed the playoffs for the past several years, making this building more of a free-points situation, but there is light on the horizon. Young players are starting to come into their own, and the team is winning games. For the first time in a while they're not in the cellar of the East right now. And with the seats always packed and full for every game, this building could soon once again be one of the most intimidating in the NHL.
Mellon Arena (Pittsburgh, PA)
Former home of: Pittsburgh Penguins
I can't really put this building on the list since it's technically no longer an NHL arena. The Pittsburgh Penguins moved into the newly constructed CONSOL Energy Center at the start of this season, but my hat does have to go off to this building, which was a nearly impenetrable fortress over the past several years, particularly in the spring. The Pens made the Stanley Cup Finals in both 2008 and 2009, and had a nearly unbeatable record at home during both of those runs. The fans, the team and the history behind this arena made it truly a fearsome place to play.