What Is The Most Popular Team In The NHL

What Are The Most Popular NHL Teams?

Without a doubt, the NHL reigns supreme among all ice hockey leagues in the world, holding the most prestigious title, having the largest fan base, and fielding the most well-liked teams. Currently, there are more than 50 million NHL fans worldwide, and every one of them has a club they would support at any time.

Today, we’ll examine the NHL team with the most devoted following. We will also discuss some of the reasons why some teams have more devoted followers than others.

Most Popular Ice Hockey Teams In The NHL

Most Popular NHL Team

Which NHL team has the largest fan base? Well, the answer is none other than that the NHL’s Original Six teams are leading the league’s popularity campaign. The initial six clubs have remained one of the most well-known teams, with a steadfast fan base.

For those who are unaware, the first six NHL teams were the earliest franchises that gave rise to the current NHL period. Between 1942 through 1967, they were the sole franchise in the league. They created history during the period prior to the expansion in 1967 and continue to do so today, decades after their time has passed.

However, out of the six clubs, only the Toronto Maple Leaf can claim the title of Most Popular NHL Team. The Maple Leafs have consistently been at the top of the popularity charts throughout the year. In addition to being a notable NHL team in many other nations, the Original Six member enjoys widespread popularity in Toronto, where the Leafs are based.

Some teams in the league, like the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens, also have devoted followings that span several decades. Those who were familiar with NHL teams over the first six eras brought their kids to watch their favorite team play. The kids then developed a love for the same franchise as a result, which increased the popularity of the team.

Also, each of the original six speak for themselves in terms of honors, with the Canadiens having won the most Stanley Cups (24 Stanley Cups). The Blackhawks have won six Stanley Cups as well.

Because most of the current teams can’t come close to matching what has been accomplished, each of these teams’ historical legacies retains their respective fan bases in high spirits. These teams have also produced a number of NHL legends who will not be forgotten.

Popular NHL Teams In America

Among the 32 NHL teams, 25 are located in America, the Boston Bruins are the most popular America-based NHL team.

Why the Bruins? The reason for this is that the Bruins stand as a formidable American-based club in the United States. They give it their all on the field, winning them a devoted following that will support them wherever they go.

In addition, the Bruins are also part of the NHL’s original six teams. They have a high winning percentage as a team, many superstar players, epic team/player rivalries, and ideal geographic conditions, which piques the interest of the younger generation in the game. Given all of this, it makes sense that they would be the most popular NHL franchise in the United States.

Popular NHL Teams In Canada

When it comes to Canada, with just five teams, the most popular team will have to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Also among the original six, the Maple Leafs are based in Canada’s largest city, Toronto

Coming from the heart of Canada, Maple Leafs’ fans are the most loyal. Even though the franchise has not won a Stanley Cup in years, they still hold up to their love for their home team. 

NHL games in the Scotiabank arena are always filled with fans who chant at the top of their voice for the Leafs. Even when matches are played outside of Toronto, the fan base ensures they are well-represented. 

However, the Leafs are not just popular in Toronto; they are also popular in several countries. Their fan base stretches from Canada to part of the United States, Germany, and Australia

What Influences The Popularity Of NHL Teams 

What Influences Popularity Of NHL Teams

The popularity of an NHL team is different every season. In some seasons, a team can be among the top five most popular teams and drop to the top 20 the following season. 

Some factors include the legacy of such a team, history of wins, performance in a current season, and the team’s base population.

Legacy And History

A team’s legacy and history significantly influence the franchise’s popularity. This is evident with the original six teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leaf and Montreal Canadiens. These teams were the big dogs back in the day and shared the entire fan base of the game.

The Canadiens dominated, taking home most of the Stanley Cup victories to lead all Stanley Cup-winning teams. They still maintain such sizable popularity because of the achievements they made at that time that are still relevant today.

Even though it has been 20 years since they won a Stanley Cup, the franchise continues to be adored by fans who have supported them from their heyday. Children who witnessed their parents’ devotion to a team have also received some fandom love from their parents.

Sidney Crosby is one example; he wanted to play for the Montreal Canadiens because his father was selected for their roster and because he had grown up rooting for the team. Prior to being drafted by the Penguins, he disclosed this.

However, the Maple Leafs still possess the most loyal fans who repeatedly ensure that the Scotiabank arena is at its maximum capacity during every game. They repeatedly come out in their numbers chanting, cheering, and selling out the merchandise of their home team. This is why they are the most popular team in Canada.

Team Success

Nobody loves an unsuccessful team. A team continually missing the playoffs and coming out every season will likely lose its fanbase. The more success a team has in its matches, the more it is likely to grow its fanbase. The more its fans, the more its popularity.

Because they went from missing the playoffs for four years in a row to being one of America’s best NHL teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins provide for a fantastic case study. The team has amassed more victories and won three Stanley Cups over the years, even though it is largely because of their top player (Sidney Crosby).

The Penguins were the most popular team in the NHL during their consecutive Stanley Cup victories. They continue to rank among the most well-liked NHL clubs in America right now.

Presence Of A Star Player

In every sport, from golf to football, basketball, baseball, and any other sport, there is always that one-star player that fans are willing to stand by whatever team he is on. Many team fan base support comes from the players they have on their roster. And often, fans of such players eventually become supporters of such teams

During the trade of Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the New York Rangers, a couple of supporters would have switched teams (from the Edmonton Oilers to the Rangers) because a particular “Star Player” was moving.

Epic Rivalries

Epic Rivalries In The NHL

Another thing that drives the popularity of sports teams is rivalries between two-star players in different teams (e.g. Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin) or between two teams. In the case of Sidney and Ovechkin, their rivalry has been hot since their first days in the NHL, and this has also increased the popularity of their teams (you can’t talk about a player without mentioning his team).

Even non-fans of the franchise of Crosby and Ovechkin paid to see the two stars compete against each other because of the intense player rivalry (the two are regarded as one of the best currently). This is due to the fact that followers of the sport often contrast and analyze the stats of the two participants during legendary rivalry in sports.

The rivalry between NHL teams is a  different scenario, especially when the teams face each other yearly. This occurred between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins in the 1900s, and it is one of the most intense rivalries in the NHL to date.

This rivalry also made the teams so famous that each game between the two teams was sold out so that spectators could see who would win. In some rivalries, the winning team gets the spotlight while the losing team is forgotten. However, there are times when both teams remain in the spotlight, no matter the outcome. 


A team in a big city should logically be more well-known, especially if the ice hockey team is successful. People support their hometown team by default, and the bigger the city, the better the audience and popularity the team has.

But, a city’s size alone does not guarantee that it will be more well-liked. Several elements influence how popular the sport is there. Ice-cold conditions make Canada and cities in the northern United States ideal locations for the sport. In contrast to warmer climates where ice rarely develops, this increases knowledge of and access to the activity.

In contrast to colder places in the north, you will discover that in the southern regions of the country, cities with warmer climates are less likely to recognize ice hockey.

Most Searched NHL TEams Across Countries

CountriesMost Searched Team
United StatesTampa Bay Lightning
United KingdomToronto Maple Leafs
CanadaToronto Maple Leafs
GermanyEdmonton Oilers
AustraliaToronto Maple Leafs
RussiaWashington Capitals
JapanBoston Bruins
FranceWashington Capitals
FinlandColumbus Blue Jackets
China Vancouver Canucks
SwitzerlandSeattle Kraken
New York Devils
IndiaFlorida Panthers
NorwayMinnesota Wild
Data obtained from Sporthandle


Now we have come to the end of exploring the most popular NHL  teams in the world, the United States and Canada. I presume you gained one or two things from this article. In conclusion, the National Hockey League has a rich history of passionate fan bases that support their favourite teams with unwavering loyalty.

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