Chicago Blackhawks: The Most Popular Team in the NHL

As a hockey fan, do you ever wonder which team is the most popular in the National Hockey League?  Which teams are the most popular with hockey fans?  Obviously for older hockey fans the Original Six are right up there.  For those of you that do not know, the Original Six consist of the following NHL franchises:

  1. Montreal Canadiens
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs
  3. Boston Bruins
  4. Chicago Blackhawks
  5. New York Rangers
  6. Detroit Red Wings

These teams are always quite popular with both young and new fans, so which of these teams do you think is the most popular team in the NHL?  Our initial thought would be the Montreal Canadiens.  A very storied franchise with a long and great history.  Nope it is not Les Habitants.  Well maybe its the team that seems to be in the news the most… the Toronto Maple Leafs?  After all Toronto is in the center of the Universe right?  Nope wrong again.  Well then it has to be the New York Rangers, the team that plays out of the most famous sports arena in the world.  Again wrong again.  The most popular team in the NHL is the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks:  The Most Popular Team in the NHL

It makes sense doesn’t it?  The Blackhawks are the defending Stanley Cup Champions and are the NHL’s modern version of a dynasty having won three Stanley Cups in six seasons.  But why else are the Blackhawks the most popular team in the NHL?  Well the main reason is online search activity.  The Chicago Blackhawks are the most searched for team in Google.  And not just by a little bit, the term “Chicago Blackhawks” receive on average one million searches a month in Google.  Compare that with the next two most actively searched teams the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning which receive an average of 378,000 searches per month.  For the record the Montreal Canadiens are tenth overall in terms of search activity, leading all Canadian teams with an average of 165,000 searches per month.

If we look at a ten year trend line if the search activity we see search activity peak in the years that the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup (2010, 2013 and 2015).  Prior to their 2010 Stanley Cup victory, the team had not won the Cup since 1961. At 49 years, it was the second longest Stanley Cup drought in NHL history, behind the New York Rangers, which ended in 1994 after 54 years.  The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit with a 48 year drought.Chicago Blackhawks Search Activity

The Blackhawks are the most searched for NHL hockey team in Google making them the most popular team in the NHL.  Whats interesting about the search activity for the Blackhawks is that it wasn’t too long ago that they couldn’t give tickets away to watch the lowly Hawks play.  Now it is standing room only to have a chance to hear Chelsea Dagger played in the United Center.

5 Reasons Why the Chicago Blackhawks are the Most Popular Team in the NHL

  1. They are the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
  2. They are the NHL’s modern day dynasty having won three Stanley Cup titles in the past six years.
  3. They have cool uniforms.  (They ranked #4 on our top 50 NHL hockey jerseys of all time list.)
  4. They play in the third largest city in the US, giving them a large fanbase.
  5. Their team is the envy of NHL coaches, general managers, players and owners.  With the leadership of Johnathan Toews, the scoring of Patrick Kane and the defensive talents of Duncan Keith backed by the solid goaltending of Corey Crawford, this team has it all.  They have turned over and lost great players but somehow seem to remain competitive each and every season.

For these reasons, the Chicago Blackhawks are the most popular team in the NHL.

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Want to know how the other 29 NHL teams round out in terms of online search activity?  Here is the full list.  Avg. SV is the average monthly search volume for the search query for the team name.  (Source: Google)

NHL Team Avg. SV
chicago blackhawks 1M
pittsburgh penguins 368,000
tampa bay lightning 368,000
detroit red wings 301,000
boston bruins 246,000
minnesota wild 246,000
new york rangers 246,000
washington capitals 201,000
anaheim ducks 165,000
montreal canadiens 165,000
st. louis blues 165,000
buffalo sabres 135,000
dallas stars 110,000
nashville predators 110,000
san jose sharks 110,000
colorado avalanche 90,500
philadelphia flyers 90,500
florida panthers 74,000
new york islanders 74,000
toronto maple leafs 74,000
carolina hurricanes 60,500
columbus blue jackets 60,500
arizona coyotes 49,500
calgary flames 49,500
los angeles kings 49,500
new jersey devils 49,500
ottawa senators 49,500
winnipeg jets 49,500
edmonton oilers 40,500
vancouver canucks 40,500