Hockey is huge in Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador is no different. With no NHL team even in the same time zone, what are the favourite hockey teams in Newfoundland? If you’re out and about in this province, you’re bound to see two particular logos quite often.
The Favourite NHL Teams in Newfoundland
The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, without a doubt, share the title of the favourite hockey team among Newfoundlanders. There’s no clear explanation, but we’re sure you can guess why: they’re both in the same country and are close, relative to other teams to the league.
Montreal, Quebec is far from the provincial capital in St. John’s, but Quebec does share a border with the Labrador portion of the province.
Toronto, on the other hand, has had a large presence in Newfoundland. Their affiliate in the AHL, a league one step below the NHL, was the St. John’s Maple Leafs from 1991 to 2005. Currently, the Toronto Maple Leafs are affiliated with the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL. The Montreal Canadiens also had operations in the province. They were partnered with the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps from 2015 to 2017.
Both cities are two of only three outside of the province which are accessible via direct flights year-round. The third, by the way, is Halifax.
Which NHL Team Is in Third Place?
Though the Leafs and Habs are the undisputed favourites, the Boston Bruins are the undisputed third place.
There’s no surprise that they’re one of the favourite hockey teams in Newfoundland. Though Boston is in another country and not as accessible from Newfoundland and Labrador, it is actually the closest NHL team to much of the province. This area includes St. John’s, which is far and away the largest population cluster in Newfoundland.
Other Favourite Hockey Teams in Newfoundland
There’s quite a big drop off after the Bruins, but there are a few teams that have some noticeable level of popularity. Choosing five more, we’d have to go with the Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
It’s interesting that the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets are not more popular in Newfoundland. Ottawa is closer to the province than Toronto is and does have direct flights at certain times of the year. Additionally, Winnipeg was affiliated with the St. John’s IceCaps from 2011 to 2015. Their ownership group also played a big role is bringing that team to the province.