Hockey is one of those sports that I should be more into. The contact, fast pace, and toughness of the sport have been attractive to me. However, since it is not football or basketball, I never brought myself to dive into it, until now.
Over the last few years, the NHL has introduced expansion teams in Las Vegas and Seattle. A big part of the reason I want to get into the NHL is that I feel like the marketing from these two teams was phenomenal when they first came onto the scene, and those that know me know that I appreciate a good marketing strategy.
Whether their inaugural season was set up or not, we cannot dismiss the fact that the Las Vegas Golden Knights earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season. However, for the sake of wanting to enjoy the sport, I will say that this was not set up and the Golden Knights just did everything right to make it that far. To do this with expansion draft players is impressive. This tells me that the talent gap in hockey is not as wide as it is in other leagues like the NBA or NFL.
So, the issue at stake here is who do I go for? What hockey fandom should I insert myself in? So, here are the Top-5 teams I am considering in no particular order.
I've put the Predators on this list because I visit Nashville more than any other city that hosts the other teams on this list. In addition, the Predators have the fifth-best record in the NHL at .558 since 1998. Currently, they have the sixth-most wins this season. The downside is they have no Stanley Cup appearances and, therefore, no Stanley Cup Titles that I can brag about.
Thanks to my love for the Chicago Bears, I've always had a bit of a bias towards Chicago sports. The Cubs can thank the Bears for making me a Cubs fan. On one of my previous attempts to pick out a hockey team, before I created Ok Listen Here, the Blackhawks were my team. This period lasted for not even half a season. Perhaps they could redeem themselves, but I'll keep my options open.
The Hurricanes are my home team, technically, but there is something about teams that play in Raleigh that I cannot get behind (coughNCStatecough). During the 2019 post-season, the Hurricanes fandom reminded me of the 2015-2016 Carolina Panthers fandom. So for a hot second, I went for the Hurricanes. But again, I found it challenging to stick with the team.
Vegas Golden Knight
As I mentioned before, I thought how the Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken marketed themselves leading up to their inaugural season was phenomenal. Without knowing much about hockey or having that much interest, the Golden Knights are one of the few teams I watched because of their marketing. Since they are a young team, and I am a "young" fan, the Golden Knights are a viable option.
The Kraken, I feel, is one of the best matches for me because they are the new kid on the block. They have a clean slate. Their minor league affiliate is the Charlotte Checkers, so that is a plus in my eyes. Here is the kicker. The Kraken have not been impressive this season and it may be difficult to stay interested.
So, those are my thoughts on my final five teams! What do you think? Who should I go for?