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The Most Important American Team In NHL History?

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01-15-2013, 08:51 PM
  #1
Rorschach
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The Most Important American Team In NHL History?

I was buying tickets online a few days ago for the Kings home opener and on the Stubhub website there was a few paragraphs describing the home team. There is a statement there that basically says flat out that the Los Angeles Kings are the most important American hockey team in the history of the NHL.

My reaction was "REALLY?!". So thus this thread...

Thoughts on what US team is the most important? Agree or disagree and if latter, what team really is?



(I could have made this a poll but I would like more discussion and let people state other teams.)

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01-15-2013, 08:54 PM
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fly4apuckguy
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I am not sure how you guage importance. But I think I know what they are getting at. Gretzky going there in '88 solidified the franchise and made hockey in warm climates a normal thing, where some others had failed (Atlanta, Oakland). I think it opened the door for expansion into other warm climates.

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01-15-2013, 08:54 PM
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FissionFire
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Rangers clearly. Benchmark O6 team that helped establish the league in a major American market and are now one of the largest revenue teams in the sport. Can't really see any way to debate this.

Think of it like this.....which US team could the NHL least afford to have vanish overnight? Sorry Pens, Kings, Hawks, Wings, Bruins, etc etc fans but New York is clearly the most important.

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01-15-2013, 08:55 PM
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theicebox
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Atlantic Division says hello.

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01-15-2013, 08:56 PM
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Rorschach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fly4apuckguy View Post
I am not sure how you guage importance. But I think I know what they are getting at. Gretzky going there in '88 solidified the franchise and made hockey in warm climates a normal thing, where some others had failed (Atlanta, Oakland). I think it opened the door for expansion into other warm climates.
I'm not sure either so I'm just throwing this out there...let people here hammer on it.

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01-15-2013, 08:57 PM
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needzmoarcleary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FissionFire View Post
Rangers clearly. Benchmark O6 team that helped establish the league in a major American market and are now one of the largest revenue teams in the sport. Can't really see any way to debate this.
Even as a Wing's fan I would put Boston and Chicago ahead of the Rangers. Just my opinion though.

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01-15-2013, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rorschach View Post
I was buying tickets online a few days ago for the Kings home opener and on the Stubhub website there was a few paragraphs describing the home team. There is a statement there that basically says flat out that the Los Angeles Kings are the most important American hockey team in the history of the NHL.

My reaction was "REALLY?!". So thus this thread...

Thoughts on what US team is the most important? Agree or disagree and if latter, what team really is?



(I could have made this a poll but I would like more discussion and let people state other teams.)
One of the original Six IMO would take it maybe Detroit as they have the most cups of any American teams..

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01-15-2013, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by datsykiandeke View Post
Even as a Wing's fan I would put Boston and Chicago ahead of the Rangers. Just my opinion though.
The Rangers alone pull in almost as much revenue as the Hawks and Bruins combined if I am recalling the numbers correctly. The Rangers revenues are necessary to keep the league from collapsing. Probably one of only 2 or 3 teams that have the economic power to collapse the entire system by themselves.

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01-15-2013, 09:08 PM
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Lshap
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From a business standpoint: New York

From a hockey standpoint: Detroit

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01-15-2013, 09:14 PM
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kmad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitsfan67 View Post
One of the original Six IMO would take it maybe Detroit as they have the most cups of any American teams..
Having Cups doesn't make a franchise important. Without the Rangers franchise, the NHL doesn't survive the great depression.

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01-15-2013, 09:19 PM
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Killion
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The Rangers. Absolutely. The largest & most important city in the United States throughout the 20th & early 21st Century's. Absolutely critical. In the early days the media & corporate centre of the country, still being so in numerous sectors. The centre of media, advertising, still a heavy in TV, film; the nexus from which dreams are dreamed, plans are made and much money flows, mass immigrations fanning out all over the country. Fact is its almost too bad the Rangers instead of Detroit, Montreal & Toronto were winning all those Cups in the 50's & 60's because had it been New York, the game would be far greater ahead throughout the US than it is today... Id rank Chicago in 2nd place; L.A. 3rd and sadly, despite the Triple Crown & Vachon years, Gretzky, despite the SC last spring, still nowhere nearing its potential in terms of hockey & the NHL. Winning & winning big consistently absolutely critical in that market.

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01-15-2013, 09:35 PM
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Rangers or Wings depending if you're talking on-ice success or financial success.

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01-15-2013, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
Rangers or Wings depending if you're talking on-ice success or financial success.
Not talking about success...we're talking about historical importance to the league.

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01-15-2013, 09:46 PM
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Killion
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I really dont know why people keep bringing up Detroit. Id rank them in 3rd place pre 67/68 Expansion behind Chicago & New York, post Expansion a Top 5-7 US based franchise depending on era or decade.

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01-15-2013, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by theicebox View Post
Atlantic Division says hello.
It may be just because I can't stand this particular meme (it's a nonsense statement), but did the Atlantic Division say anything else? Anything of value?

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01-15-2013, 09:51 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Boston was the first US team, right?

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01-15-2013, 10:00 PM
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Killion
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Boston was the first US team, right?
Yes. 1924.... and you an American, Brooklyn even, a Moderator on a History of Hockey Board.

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01-15-2013, 10:01 PM
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01-15-2013, 10:06 PM
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sawchuk1971
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
The Rangers. Absolutely. The largest & most important city in the United States throughout the 20th & early 21st Century's. Absolutely critical. In the early days the media & corporate centre of the country, still being so in numerous sectors. The centre of media, advertising, still a heavy in TV, film; the nexus from which dreams are dreamed, plans are made and much money flows, mass immigrations fanning out all over the country. Fact is its almost too bad the Rangers instead of Detroit, Montreal & Toronto were winning all those Cups in the 50's & 60's because had it been New York, the game would be far greater ahead throughout the US than it is today... Id rank Chicago in 2nd place; L.A. 3rd and sadly, despite the Triple Crown & Vachon years, Gretzky, despite the SC last spring, still nowhere nearing its potential in terms of hockey & the NHL. Winning & winning big consistently absolutely critical in that market.
what about the New York Americans?.....

they predate the rangers though....

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01-15-2013, 10:12 PM
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I'd have Boston over the Rangers with Bobby Orr being a big reason why. Most casual fans know Orr and the goal. Ny had some good players don't get me wrong but I read in an interview with Andy Bathgate I believe it was where he said most people didn't even know NY had a hockey team back then.

The goal was very important. Cup winning goal Orr falling whilst celebrating it's one of the most memorable images in NHL history, American or Canadian.

NY, didn't really have that kind of player that Joe Blow would recognize, and I think that has to come into play. Chicago had Hull, Mikita, Detroit had Howe, Boston had Orr, Esposito.

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01-15-2013, 10:17 PM
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"The team that makes the most money". How predictable a response. Unless you're an NHL owner, or make your living directly from the league, why are you concerned about this?

I'm going with Boston. The American half of the NHL's oldest, most sustained rivalry, that being Bruins-Canadiens of course. The Bruins have iced competitive teams for pretty much their entire history. The 60's was the only decade where they weren't at least decent for the most part. The Rangers, Hawks, and Red Wings have all had long stretches of futility. Plus there's Bobby Orr. While you can debate whether or not he was greater than Detroit's Howe as a player, I don't think there's any doubt he was more iconic.

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01-15-2013, 10:59 PM
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Not saying they are the most important, but the Philadelphia Flyers were the glue that allowed the 1967 expansion to succeed (St. Louis as well possibly). They quickly became a force in the NHL and were the first expansion team to win the cup. They provided hope for the other expansion franchises that were not doing so well on the ice and at the gate. They have consistently iced competitive teams and are as solid a franchise as any.

Having said that, this idea should really be broken down into eras as it is difficult to measure the newer teams against the 06 era teams.

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01-15-2013, 11:38 PM
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Yeah, I'd probably say the Los Angeles Kings are the biggest "game changers" out there as far as US teams are concerned if that means important. In the sense that the Rangers, Flyers, Wings, Bruins and Hawks are all a part of a certain old guard image of hockey while the Kings in the 80s with Wayne Gretzky really marked a sea change in the league that set the stage for all that western and southern expansion.

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01-15-2013, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
I really dont know why people keep bringing up Detroit. Id rank them in 3rd place pre 67/68 Expansion behind Chicago & New York, post Expansion a Top 5-7 US based franchise depending on era or decade.
Chicago and New York were largely irrelevant entities in the NHL for the majority of their existence before 1968, so I don't know why they'd be ranked ahead of Detroit which had star power and championships and a dynasty run.

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01-15-2013, 11:47 PM
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I feel that it's a toss-up between the Rangers and Wings. The Rangers financial success is obviously a cornerstone. They lead the Northeast quadrant of the country. Detroit however, and in no small part due to its success and the way the economic turbulence has spread Michiganders all over the US, draws in the rest of the country [outside the NE quadrant]. No matter where the team plays, you see a rather large contingent of Wings fans in the crowds.

I know this is anecdotal, but having moved to the Pacific NW recently, I notice 'hockey' things. I've seen a few Wings jerseys and caps in general, saw someone with a Sharks jersey recently and not much else NHL-wise. Does that mean anything this far from Detroit?

You also can't ignore that VS/NBC always takes the maximum number of games possible for broadcasts of the Wings. (The only Western team that that has the standing of the Eastern bloc.)

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