What NHL Team Should I Root For? Picking Guide

The exhilarating world of ice hockey and the dynamic energy of the National Hockey League (NHL) make the choice of which team to support both thrilling and significant for me as a fan. For those like me, who are yet to find that one team to root for, the process of choosing can be quite enjoyable.

And for fans contemplating a shift in their loyalties, considering new factors can be incredibly insightful.

Here, I’ll be discussing several key points:

  • The decision to support an NHL team is deeply personal and influenced by my own preferences, values, and what I expect from the sport.
  • Teams with a rich history and numerous Stanley Cup victories bring a sense of prestige and legacy.
  • Rooting for a local team can greatly enhance my fan experience, offering easier access to live games and fostering a sense of community belonging.

My aim is to navigate through various factors that should be considered when picking an NHL team, ensuring that my choice aligns with my personal preferences, values, and expectations from the sport.

Team History and Legacy

The history and legacy of an NHL team can be a compelling reason to offer your support. Teams with a storied past, legendary players, and multiple Stanley Cup victories carry a sense of prestige and glory. Rooting for such teams allows you to be part of a legacy that has shaped the NHL’s history.

Team Founded Stanley Cups Won Notable Players
Montreal Canadiens 1909 24 Maurice Richard, Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau
Toronto Maple Leafs 1917 13 Dave Keon, Tim Horton, Mats Sundin
Detroit Red Wings 1926 11 Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom
Boston Bruins 1924 6 Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Patrice Bergeron
Chicago Blackhawks 1926 6 Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Jonathan Toews

Historical teams often have rich traditions, iconic moments, and a lineage of star players that have left an indelible mark on the sport. Supporting these teams means embracing their past triumphs and challenges, creating a deeper connection with the sport’s history.

It’s about wearing a jersey that represents decades of hockey excellence and being part of a fan base that has witnessed some of the most memorable moments in hockey. These teams often have a large, established fan base with high expectations for performance and success.

As a fan, this can mean experiencing the highs of victory and the lows of defeat more intensely. But, it also means being part of a community that shares a deep, passionate bond with their team, united by a rich history and a hunger for continued success.

Geographical Considerations

Hockey Teams

The geographical proximity to an NHL team plays a pivotal role in shaping your experience as a hockey fan. Supporting a local team comes with a host of benefits that can significantly enhance your enjoyment of the sport. One of the most apparent advantages is the ease of access to live games.

There’s nothing quite like being in the arena, feeling the energy of the crowd, and watching the action unfold right before your eyes. This direct engagement with the game allows you to fully immerse yourself in the hockey atmosphere, creating unforgettable memories and experiences.

Being close to your team also means you’re part of a larger community. Local teams often become intertwined with the identity of their communities, fostering a sense of belonging and regional pride.

This connection extends beyond the ice rink, with fan clubs, local game-day traditions, and community events all contributing to a sense of unity and camaraderie among fans.  Local media coverage of home teams is usually more comprehensive, offering in-depth analyses, player interviews, and regular updates.

This can deepen your understanding of the team and its strategies, enhancing your overall fan experience. The advent of digital technology has made it easier than ever to follow a team from afar. Online streaming services ensure you can watch games live, no matter where the team is based.

Social media platforms and online fan communities provide spaces for fans to connect, discuss, and share their passion, regardless of physical distance. This digital era has opened up new possibilities for supporting teams, allowing you to choose a team based on factors other than location.

Current Team Performance

The current performance of an NHL team is often a decisive factor for many fans in choosing which team to support. Teams that are excelling in the current season or have a track record of consistent success in recent years provide the thrill of following a winning squad.This success often translates into a strong possibility of playoff contention, adding an extra layer of excitement to the fan experience. Supporting a high-performing team is exhilarating. These teams typically boast top-tier players, showcase dynamic gameplay, and have a significant chance of progressing deep into the playoffs.

For fans, this means being part of an electrifying experience filled with the highs of victories and the hope of seeing their team compete for, and possibly win, the Stanley Cup. The experience of following a successful team is often marked by a sense of pride and a communal celebration of each triumph.

It’s important to acknowledge that teams with high current performance can attract a substantial number of bandwagon fans. While this can bring a surge of enthusiasm and expand the fan base, it may also be viewed less favorably by long-term supporters who value sustained loyalty.

The expectation to maintain top-level performance can create intense pressure, both for the players and the fans, leading to heightened disappointment during periods of loss or underperformance. Conversely, supporting a team that may not be leading the standings currently can be uniquely rewarding.

Being a part of a team’s journey through its struggles and growth towards success can be fulfilling. Each victory, no matter how small, feels significant, and the experience often fosters a deeper sense of loyalty and connection with the team.

This path is characterized by a more intimate fan experience, where perseverance and steadfast support are cherished.

Underdog and Rebuilding Teams

Underdog and Rebuilding Teams

There’s a unique appeal in supporting underdog or rebuilding teams in the NHL. These teams, often in the process of developing their roster or strategy, offer a different kind of satisfaction for fans who enjoy rooting for the “little guy” and witnessing a team’s growth and potential future success.

Aspect Underdog Teams Rebuilding Teams
Embracing Challenges Supporting through tough times and celebrating small victories. Focusing on transformation and growth of the team’s roster and strategy.
Surprise and Excitement Unpredictability leading to unexpected and satisfying wins. Witnessing the development and rise of future stars in the team.
Close-Knit Fan Communities Strong camaraderie with hope and loyalty driving the fan base. Being part of a long-term journey requiring patience and faith in the team’s growth.
Unique Thrills Experiencing the excitement and pride in being part of the team’s resurgence.

Choosing an underdog team means embracing the challenges and celebrating the small victories along the way. It’s about being part of an experience where each game can be a surprise, and every improvement is a step towards a brighter future.

These teams often have a close-knit fan community, where hope and loyalty are prevalent, and every fan’s support is valued highly. Rebuilding teams, on the other hand, are in a phase of transformation, often with a focus on nurturing young talent and building a strong foundation for future success.

Supporting these teams allows you to witness the development of future stars and be part of a narrative of growth and resurgence. It’s a long-term investment in a team, where patience and faith are essential.

Team Style and Star Players

Team Style and Star Players

The playing style of a team and the presence of star players can significantly influence your decision to support an NHL team. Some teams are known for their fast-paced, offensive play, while others might excel in defense or have a reputation for physical play.

Choosing a team that aligns with your preferred style of play can enhance your enjoyment of the game. Star players also play a crucial role in attracting fans. These players, with their exceptional skills, charisma, and on-ice presence, can be a major draw.

Supporting a team with one or more star players offers the excitement of watching top-tier talent in action, witnessing breathtaking plays, and celebrating individual achievements alongside team success.

While star players can be a huge attraction, hockey is a team sport, and the overall team dynamics, chemistry, and strategy play a crucial role in the game’s outcome. A well-rounded team that may not have big-name stars but plays cohesively can be just as exciting to support.

Bandwagon Fans: Pros and Cons

Bandwagon Fans

The concept of bandwagon fans – those who start supporting a team only when it is doing well – is often debated in the sports community. While some view it negatively, arguing that it reflects a lack of loyalty, others see it as a natural part of sports fandom, where the excitement of the playoffs or a team’s sudden success can attract new supporters.

Pros of Being a Bandwagon Fan Cons of Being a Bandwagon Fan
Freedom to choose any team that catches your interest. Potential lack of deep connection with the team and its history.
Excitement of jumping into a winning streak. Being seen as less of a “true fan” by long-term supporters.
Opportunity to enjoy the playoffs with a vested interest. Missing out on the experience of following a team through its ups and downs over time.
Fun, low-commitment way to engage with the NHL, suitable for new or casual fans.

Ultimately, whether to be a bandwagon fan or not is a personal choice. It’s about what you want from your fan experience – whether it’s the thrill of immediate success or the deeper connection that comes from long-term support.


Is 23 too old to start hockey?

No, 23 is not too old to start playing hockey. While most professional players begin at a younger age, hockey can be enjoyed at any age for fitness, skill development, and enjoyment. Adult leagues and classes are available for beginners.

How do I aim better in NHL 23?

To aim better in NHL 23, practice using the right stick for precision shooting. Focus on your player’s position, the goalie’s position, and the timing of your shot. Utilize training modes to improve your aiming skills and try different shooting techniques.

Can you fight in NHL 23?

Yes, you can engage in fights in NHL 23. The game includes a fighting mechanic that allows players to drop the gloves and engage in fisticuffs, similar to real-life NHL games, adding to the realism and intensity of the gameplay.

Can a 17 year old play NHL?

In the real NHL, players typically must be 18 years old to be drafted or play in the league. However, there are junior leagues and development programs for players under 18 to develop their skills and prepare for professional play.

The Bottom Line

Selecting an NHL team to support is a deeply personal experience, influenced by a variety of factors such as my geographical location, the team’s history, their current performance, and your preferences in playing style and star players. It is important to note that there’s no right or wrong way to choose a team.

It’s really about discovering the team that resonates with people, brings joy, and enhances their experience of the NHL, making it all the more thrilling and enjoyable.