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Poll: Is Montreal the best hockey city?

Nov 9, 2011, 9:45 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

The Sporting News has been naming some of the best cities around the sports landscape. When the decided to weigh in on the NHL, they went straight to Montreal and awarded fans of bleu blanc et rouge the crown of “Best NHL City.”

Montreal certainly has a good argument. There are the 25 Stanley Cups. There’s the religion-like fervor surrounding every move of the team for 12 months every year. There’s the magical atmosphere at the Bell Centre. There are the burning police cars. (Hint: one of these doesn’t help their case).

In light of the Sporting News’ pronouncement – and since we’re all about democracy around here – we wanted to poll the readers to find out what you think. Here’s a list of all the teams that sold out each of their games last season.

The question is simple: what is the best NHL city in North America?

  1. Stiller43 - Nov 9, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Washington, st louis, and san jose are all supposed to be jokes, right?

    • deirdrebeth - Nov 10, 2011 at 7:23 PM

      San Jose is an awesome hockey city. Rabid, educated fans who are laid back enough that the players can hit the grocery store or the bars without being run down.

  2. ciaguy23 - Nov 9, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Nope sorry, I’m a bruins fan…..but Detroit is the best hockey city

  3. danphipps01 - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Can we give Vancouver negative votes? Speaking as someone who lives here, the attitude about hockey is NOT healthy. It’s not only full of bandwagonning fair-weather fans, but for some inexplicable reason they all become fanatics when said weather’s good – leading, apparently, to riots in the streets from people who’ve been following hockey for like six whole months. It’s a terrible atmosphere for players, on par with Philly in how vicious the legion of armchair players and GMs will be after two or three bad games, and without the true year-round love of the sport. I can only assume we’re on the list because the Canucks made the Finals last year. Lord knows we don’t earn it on consistency points.

  4. psujay - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Is Pittsburgh there to troll for page views? You can’t go bankrupt 3 times in your team’s history and be on this list….right?? I mean, that’s an insult to the California teams, let alone the real hockey markets…Pittsburgh is a great football city, that’s it.

  5. philsosexy - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Look at Philadelphia! Representttt

  6. westwoodwarrior8 - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    yes, Montreal is the best hockey city, Detroits a close 2nd tho

  7. polegojim - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Matt…. you leave off DETROIT??? HOCKEYTOWN??? REALLY???

    I refuse to vote.

    • cmutimmah - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      Completely agree… what an abortion of a poll.

      • kspear17 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        Yeah what the hell is wrong obviously so many people believe Hockeytown is the biggest hockey city maybe you should think twice.

        Did Don Cherry make this poll?

  8. rabidbillsfan - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    You have to include all of the canadian teams, I guess because that’s where the roots are. Also, what else do they have? You are missing a very important city, Buffalo. I may be biased, but Buffalo may be in the top 15 of sports cities in general. The Sabres are a way of life, a lot of us eat, sleep and breathe blueandgold. I guess losing a lot of big games has a way of bringing a team and a fan base together, but the Sabres are our TEAM, as are the Bills, and we love them both. To leave Buffalo off this list is a bit of a slap in the face to be honest.

    • sknut - Nov 9, 2011 at 11:17 PM

      He stated that it was teams that sold out every game last year, I was wondering why St. Paul, Detroit and some others were left off. Although I don’t think that selling out games is the only indicator or best hockey city.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        It’s a big part of it but it isn’t the only factor. Toronto. Montreal. Vancouver. Those are the Canadian cities I can think of. Philly. Motor City. Beantown. Buffalo. Those are the cities I think of when it comes to the U.S. There are other cities one can argue but these cities are ones I’d expect to be on most, if not all, peoples’ lists.

      • cmutimmah - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Sell outs involve ticket prices, economy, population, stadium size, etc…

        As for hockeytown, it’s a marketing name but I would say there’s more hockey attention per capita in this city than any other US market. In Canada it’s their only sport that can be played outdoors (sarcasm).. so of course it’s bigger there.

      • ThatGuy - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        cmutimmah- I’m pretty sure Twin Cities give Detroit a run for their money in attention per capita. They just get so much less national press, because they haven’t been good. Espeicially if you are talking about all Hockey, not just NHL. How many other states can say they sell 20,000 tickets to their High School state championship game or have 120,000 throughout the tournement?

  9. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    This is probably sacrilege but seeing the Leafs and Habs at the Bell Centre is way better than seeing them in Toronto

  10. balewsquare - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    San Jose?

  11. jrmehle - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Montreal is not the best hockey city. St. Paul and the entire State of Hockey is!

  12. ballsohardu - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Wow Pittsburgh over Detroit and buffalo ? Are you kidding me???!

    Why even write this up you clearly don’t know jack about hockey’s fan bases.

    Buffalo and Detroit were always top tv markets for their area per household

    Even heard buffalo had 10,000 people outside their arena to watch playoff games at one point.

    Pittsburgh barely gets 1,000

    Pittsburgh didn’t give two sh*ts about hockey before Crosby came along

    • jpelle82 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      kinda like ovechkin and caps fans

  13. ballsohardu - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Matt REITz you have lost credibility.. Anyone can be a sportswriter these days I guess

  14. gsprulz - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    San Jose finally getting some recognition.

  15. whatswellydoing - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    I love how most people didn’t notice it’s a list of teams that sold out every game last year… How can you claim your city is the best hockey city when you don’t even sell out your games?

    That being said – San Jose? Obviously, getting the most votes doesn’t make it true…

  16. jpelle82 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    i cant believe san jose is even on the list much less leading the poll. maybe if you are counting Best NHL City for choking…i would like to see the results of that poll…wash, van, and san jose would be legitimate contenders

    • gsprulz - Nov 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      you want a box of tissues?

  17. deadpooldx - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Buffalo and Detroit not being on this list is unacceptable. As a diehard Sabres fan I’m very offended by this.

  18. ramon1906 - Nov 10, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    The people of San Jose have a ton of pride in the Sharks and the sport of hockey in general. The Bay Area has 6 professional franchises when considering the big 4 leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL). The Sharks are the only team in the South Bay. They give the area an identity outside of the tech industry and the residents of SJ have great pride in this. Just take a look at attendance figures since the franchise has existed and you’ll see they remain solid (to say the least) every season even when the team has performed poorly.

    San Jose is also home to the largest ice rink complex west of Minnesota where hockey/skating tournaments and clinics are constantly taking place.

    I’m not saying that San Jose is the best (no one can truly determine who is), but just because they are in area where the weather is nice, it doesn’t mean they can’t be deemed a hockey city. Kudos to the hockey fans of San Jose.

  19. bostonbruinsfan33 - Nov 12, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    I know Canada is where hockey started and all that, but the only thing Montreal has in being the best hockey-wise is having the most annoying and crazy fans (and crazy in a bad way). Most fans, no matter who they cheer for, will agree with that statement. And no, I’m not just saying this because I’m a Bruins fan. It’s part of it, but not the entire reason.

    • pastabelly - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:56 PM

      Agree that Canadiens fans are off the wall and lack class. If booing the USA national anthem makes the “great rabid fans”, then they’re great at something. NO CLASS and their reaction to the Charra hit bordered on just being silly.

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