Hockey fans are not nearly as nuts as European soccer hooligans but there are still some puckheads out there that are still pretty nuts.
Here is my quick look at some hockey fans that will seriously start to make you wonder about their own well-being.
JOE LOUIS ARENA, Detroit:
When your hockey team is as good as Detroit’s, having made 19 consecutive playoff appearances, this team really does redefine the argument whether or not teams ‘deserve’ to make it this far. Watch out for flying octopi.
MELLON ARENA, Pittsburgh
Much the same as Detroit. When you have a team that can win like Pittsburgh does most of the time, the fans are going to come out in droves.
MTS CENTRE, Winnipeg
Since they were awarded their team back a year or so ago, the Jets franchise has resurfaced and has proven to be one of the noisiest arenas in the entire National Hockey League. This apparently is due to the roof being lower to the ice surface than in most rinks. One fan was pictured holding one of those guillotine ropes with a referee doll attached to the neck. It drew a bunch of complaints of course, still ranks high on the crazy list though. It’s too bad they couldn’t do a little more damage this year (as in win a game), had the Jets pulled off a couple victories, who knows what may have gone on in downtown Winnipeg?
ROGERS ARENA, Vancouver
After a stellar showing in every way, at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver fans really put on a show the following season during the Stanley Cup, a show in the worst kind of way. People in Vancouver are probably still paying for the mistakes of the soccer-style hooligans that trashed the downtown and other areas when their Canucks lost both Game 6 and 7 of the Stanley Cup final that season to the Boston Bruins. And here we probably all thought those people were saints….
AIR CANADA CENTRE, Toronto
The Leafs have missed the playoffs every year since the lockout, except for the shortened season in 2013. This does not explain why they/we continue to flock to the games like people who have nothing better to do. This even though the average ticket price last year was $123, which is the highest in the league by 50%. It is also more than 151% of what it was 10 years ago. Somebody get this team a good head coach and that 151 will double by 2016.
UNITED CENTRE, Chicago (the Madhouse on Madison):
There is a reason why the United Centre is nicknamed the ‘Madhouse on Madison’. When the Blackhawks win, and that has been usually what they do, it gets loud in there. Blame it on the long rich history of NHL hockey on Chicago, or you could put the blame on guys like Toews and Kane, but for whatever you credit for it being loud in there, the Blackhawks have been a winning team ever since they figured out how to draft properly. If Chicago was not known as a high gun-violence city, I would definitely make more trips to the Windy City.
NASSAU COLISEUM/TARDY CENTRE, NY Islanders
What continues to bring out hockey fans in Uniondale to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is beyond me. Their owner is whack, their team for the most part has been dysfunctional (except for this year of course), and the arena itself reminds me of something I recall visiting out in eastern Saskatchewan a couple years ago, an arena’s roof was made of tinfoil. The owner of the Islanders (Charles Wang) is the same guy who gave huge contracts to 2 players who couldn’t come close to living up to them (Rick DiPietro and Alexei Yashin). Based on what I have heard, Wang is moving his team to Brooklyn for next season and the team will play in the Barclays Centre.
CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE, Ottawa
The Sens Army has become better known since Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley all played for them, in a market such as Ottawa, hockey has to be their #1 sport.
REXALL PLACE, Edmonton
A team like Edmonton that prospered through the 1980s and parts of the 1970s too, the passion from way back then still exists. Now the team is in much different shape but the fanbase is still clearly there. I don’t think there is another team in the National Hockey League with more 1stoverall draft picks that are still playing (Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov, Hall, and you can add this year’s #1 pick to that list). Despite dismal performances year after year after year, how can these legions of fans continue to support the team?
PENGROWTH SADDLEDOME, Calgary
Whatever Calgary is doing to their team, the Edmonton Oiler seriously need to try, the Flames can win (they did it again last night when they eliminated Vancouver).