NHL Power Rankings: The 10 Most Annoying Fanbases in the NHL
The passion and fervor with which hockey fans support their team is truly one of a kind in the world of sports, but when it comes to the antics of some of these fans, it's safe to say certain supporters are more annoying than others.
Whether it's a strange tradition that's otherwise pointless, the general attitude of the fanbase as a whole or just other pestering shenanigans, home fans always dread hosting certain opponents due to these fans invading the building.
So did your team make this list?
10. Anaheim Ducks
Yes, that's right, I did it.
As a die-hard Ducks fan, I put my own fellow Ducks fans (and likewise myself) onto this list because in many ways a lot of Ducks fans disappoint me.
While true hardcore Ducks fans are some of the best fans in the NHL and are just as intelligent and knowledgeable about the game as any other fans in the league, the reason the Ducks make this list is because there aren't many of these fans.
A large number of people that are sitting in Honda Center during home games aren't much more than casual hockey observers who don't know all that much about the game and thus, make Honda Center one of the quietest buildings in the NHL on your average night.
What's even worse is there's a good amount of them who are "split-fans" and will cheer for both the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. This just really grinds my gears.
Mind you, I'm in no way implying non-hockey fans (or hockey-fans-to-be as I like to say...) shouldn't go to a game and enjoy the spectacle that is NHL hockey for themselves, but just at least pick a side.
But when Anaheim averaged just 14,738 fans per game last season (26th in the league), it really annoys me that the fans in Orange County won't make it out to the game and make Honda Center the energized, deafening building I know from experience that it can be.
9. Los Angeles Kings
Hold your laughter Kings fans, you're on here too and actually for slightly worse reasons.
The people of Los Angeles are very proud of their teams, and thus the city has more or less created a brand identity that prompts people from the area to "support" any team with the "LA" letters across their chest.
Why do you think Lakers and Dodgers gear is selling so rapidly?
Well, the Kings have jumped on that bandwagon and now that the team has some talent and is rumored to be making a Stanley Cup run, the fair-weather fans who more or less abandoned the team during a nearly decade-long rebuild have bought this year's edition of the Kings' new sweater and are flooding back to the seats.
Very few know anything more about hockey other than there's a lot of fights and they hate the Ducks, making the two most common phrases I've heard shouted at Staples Center in my many trips to the building: "DUCKS SUCK!" and "F*@$ HIM UP!"
I wish I were joking, but I'm not.
Additionally, the Kings have a very high number of season seats they've sold to corporate partners, meaning a good chunk of the people who are there didn't even put forth the effort to buy the tickets, but rather they're at the game because they were given the tickets.
When the team eventually starts to fall down the standings again (whenever that will be), we'll see how many of those people will still be there.
8. Philadelphia Flyers
When did the city of Brotherly Love get to be so mean?
I mean come on, even some of your own players are scared to play there, particularly goaltenders.
Philadelphia Flyers fans have a reputation as some of the meanest, loudest and most brutal fans in the league.
While there's no doubting their passion for their team and I really admire the fact that their arena has thus turned into one of the toughest buildings in the league to play in, the scrutiny the fans and the media place on the team makes the environment borderline cutthroat.
Just ask Sergei Bobrovsky.
With the Flyers really shaking things up this offseason, a lot is riding on GM Paul Holmgren's head right now, and if the Flyers go into any form of a slump, expect an immediate uproar calling for his head on a plate.
Though sometimes I wonder if that idiom is actually being used figuratively in Philly...
7. Boston Bruins
Call this one preemptive.
The NHL is a growing sport and thus widens its fanbase with every national broadcast. So when the Stanley Cup final is nationally televised on a major cable network, people get to see two teams, and thus usually start to pull for the one that wins.
So pretty much as with every year, there will be a pretty large number of new and/or fair-weather Boston Bruins fans running around through every building in the NHL next season.
That alone will be pretty annoying, particularly in smaller-market arenas, but there's more to it than that.
Some people might remember Jay Mohr's humorous description of Boston fans during his monologue at the 2011 NHL Awards (if you don't click here), but the part that made it extra funny is it's pretty much true.
And another thing that is not unique to Boston but heavily prevalent: a sense of smug superiority from being an Original Six franchise.
While I respect the game for its rich history, being one of the first teams ever to exist in the league doesn't make you in some way better or more deserving of the championship and fans than any other team. So stop parading it in other teams' faces because we honestly don't care. Thanks.
6. San Jose Sharks
I'm convinced that San Jose Sharks fans are repeatedly jinxing their team.
Despite dominating the Pacific Division for four straight seasons now only to end up with a disappointing playoff exit, fans continually claim "This is the year..." year after year after year.
I swear, how about just one time you try not claiming you're destined to win that elusive first Stanley Cup and just see what happens?
Okay, perhaps there's a bit of personal bias in this, but Sharks fans are easily the most annoying hockey fans in the division.
With the Sharks dominating the Northern California hockey market, there's no shortage of people coming out to HP Pavilion for games (averaging a sell-out crowd every game).
And while they make the Shark Tank one of the loudest buildings in the NHL, the fans are certainly extremely arrogant about their success and aren't afraid to shove it in their opponents' faces right up until they fall ungracefully from the playoffs.
So thus, at least around California, it's pretty safe to say both Ducks and Kings fans alike are more than annoyed by Sharks supporters.
5. Vancouver Canucks
Speaking of fan arrogance, the Western Conference champion Canucks are certainly no strangers.
With the assembly of their powerhouse squad and recent dominance over their division, Canucks fans have been certainly riding high and aren't afraid to invade any building to support their team while simultaneously annoying any home fans around them to death.
Perhaps the most annoying thing however was the Canucks Nation's attitude toward their finals appearance. In many ways, fans thought of their Canucks as missionaries and heroes of Canada, fighting in an epic struggle to finally bring the Stanley Cup back to its true home in Canada.
Think I'm crazy? Watch this.
And the funnier thing about it was that was pretty far from the truth: most of Vancouver's Canadian rivals would rather have seen the Cup go to Boston and stay in the United States than go to the Canucks. The teams hate each other so much that club loyalty took the place of national pride.
When it came down to it, I don't think the fans of Vancouver were prepared for their heartbreak as the loss turned into an unexplainable and inexcusable riot, forever tarnishing the reputation of the team and the city that for so long prided itself on its friendliness and relaxed atmosphere.
Good job, 'Nucks fans. Hope you learned your lesson.
4. Montreal Canadiens
Perhaps the only team with a bigger ego than the pre-Cup Finals loss Canucks last season is that of the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens hold the distinction of being the last Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup (back in 1993), the team with the most Stanley Cups (a whopping 24) and the team with the longest history, dating back nearly 102 years to December of 1909.
Montreal Canadiens fans will never hesitate to remind you of their history...before every game, during every game, after every game and during just about any conversation you ever have with them.
In fact, they take the whole "Original Six Complex" as I like to call it to a whole new level and will constantly reflect on their lengthy history in just about every moment of every day.
In fact, it almost looks as though names like Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard and Guy Lafleur are thrown around more when talking about the Canadiens than anybody on the current roster.
Perhaps this is a subtle ploy in hopes that making a constant nostalgic grab at past success will take Habs fans' minds off the team's recent struggles in both the regular season and playoffs (highlighted only by a run to the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago).
Either way, Montreal. We get it. We know you've been around for forever. There's no point in constantly reminding us of guys who played 50 years ago with drawn out, pointless pre-game ceremonies and atrocious throwback jerseys that make me want to gouge my eyes out.
3. Chicago Blackhawks
My, how the weather has been fair in Chicago for the past few years, hasn't it?
As recently as the 2006-07 season, the Chicago Blackhawks averaged just 12,727 fans per game—a number even last year's Atlanta Thrashers would have laughed at (they pulled 13,469 and relocated). The Blackhawks finished 26th in the NHL that season.
Years before weren't any friendlier.
2005-06 saw the Hawks finish 28th in the league and average 13,318 fans at the gate each game, second-lowest in the league to only the New York Islanders. 2003-04 saw 13,253 fans per game as the team finished 29th in the league.
However, the Blackhawks' first season after winning the 2010 Stanley Cup saw them lead the entire NHL in attendance, pulling an average of 21,423 fans per game.
Interesting how the fans who are now emerging in droves were so conspicuously absent as little as a half-decade ago when the team wasn't winning.
Again...the weather must be just amazing in Chicago right now.
So Blackhawks fans, my message to you: before you go off claiming to be the best fans in the NHL with your loyalty and passion to your historic team (which most of you probably know nothing of), I ask, where were you four years ago? Five years? Seven years? Learn to live with your team in the hard times before you can relish in those that are good.
Until then, get off the bandwagon.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins
You want living proof that the clever marketing of one player can send a team surging to success?
In the final year before the NHL lockout (2003-04), the Pittsburgh Penguins had the worst attendance figure in the NHL: a paltry 11,877 fans per game.
Since Pittsburgh drafted Sidney Crosby, he's become the media darling of the NHL and new hockey fans have been more or less bombarded with the boys from the Steel City on a daily basis.
Since the NHL began broadcasting a "Game of the Week" on NBC, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been a candidate to be one of the two teams shown more than any other team, have appeared the league-mandated maximum four times each year and are the only team to have appeared in two Winter Classic events, arguably the NHL's premier regular season game.
They won a Stanley Cup in 2009, showing a new pinnacle of success, but arguably their national attention has brought about a fanbase that now stretches nationwide (with many of their non-local fans even having any connection to the city of Pittsburgh at all).
So what annoys me about Pittsburgh fans? While this certainly isn't true for all of them, a good chunk of their following only became such because they were so heavily bombarded with Penguins stuff in the national media that they really weren't even given a chance to become a fan of another team.
Seriously...have you seen how many articles there are per day simply saying "Sidney Crosby is still hurt and we don't know when he's coming back," even over summer?!
We get that you're all behind your best player, but for crying out loud it'd be nice if the NHL would show some other team besides you guys, the Capitals and the Rangers for once.
P.S. Those baby blue alternate jerseys you wore for a few years are hideous and you know it. Quit defending them.
1. Detroit Red Wings
Anybody who's ever been to a game when the Detroit Red Wings are in town can no doubt justify this.
Just take a look at the picture above: that's a road game for the Detroit Red Wings.
In fact, I really don't think the Wings have any road games. They just have games they play in different buildings while wearing their white sweaters.
So many of their fans who have gotten out of the rapidly-deteriorating situation in the city of Detroit (or simply started following them because of their winning tendencies) more or less invade every arena in the NHL and give them such a strong fan presence that it more or less resembles a home game.
In smaller-market arenas, a Red Wings goal is greeted with a roar to rival that of the home crowd.
Nothing is more annoying to a hockey fan than having your own home invaded with fans of one of the most hated teams in the league (at least from a Western Conference perspective), many of whom are continually fair-weather.
Their fans will also not hesitate to shove their success in anybody's face either. The fact is that the Detroit Red Wings have been something to behold for the last couple decades, riding a 20-year streak of playoff appearances.
While being this successful is certainly a decent reason to be arrogant, passionate and joyful of the good times, that doesn't mean it isn't extremely annoying when you're all of these things in everyone else's building.
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