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The Most Important American Team In NHL History?

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01-16-2013, 01:50 AM
  #26
Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
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.
As the two most populous cities throughout the 20th & early 21st Centuries, New York the "Gateway to America", financial, media, arts & sports Capital of the entire country, the most important city in the Republic with only Chicago rivalling its weight, heft & importance in any meaningful way for over 100yrs, I fail to see how Detroit or lets say Pittsburgh, both heavily industrialized, let alone Boston, could even be compared to NYC (though their not that far behind Chicago). And Im talking in totality. Since 1920. Not just over the last 20 or 30 yrs.

In 1924, Thomas Duggan, owner of the Mount Royal Arena in Montreal held the rights to two US Expansion Franchises. He sold one to Adams in Boston, the other to notorious Bootlegger, Loanshark & Pimp Big Bill Dwyer in NYC. Dwyer bought the rights to the disbanded Hamilton Tigers HC (labour issues, they went on strike) players for $75K, naming the team initially the New York Hamilton Tiger Americans, eventually shortened to New York Americans, later on, the Brooklyn Americans.

He however soon had a rival, Tex Rickard and the Rangers, who usurped Dwyer's Americans as the pre-eminent club in NYC, Big Bill on the down slope of a short & nasty slide through the Depression over the next decade and a half that saw the Amerks gone by the time the US entered WW2. These years, with the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup in 28, 33 & 40 were indeed Golden Years in NYC for the NHL, and gave them the foothold they needed in the largest metropolis in the country, from which all things could effectively grow & flow.

Big Jim Norris entered in 1930 buying the Detroit Cougars out of receivership only after Mclaughlin in Chicago had spurned his advances in wanting to acquire the Black Hawks, and in an oath of vindictiveness, Norris then made it his Mission to not only take out the Hawks on the ice, he was going to get Mclaughlins club come Hell or High Water, so he threw money at Detroit, hiring Jolly Jack Adams, winning Cups in 36 & 37, 1943 and then by the 50's, after he'd finally acquired the Black Hawks, the Wings now a total powerhouse, winning a string through the 50's. Had Mclaughlin sold Norris the Hawks in 1930, Chicago's history would be far different than it is today, and again, as the 2nd most important economic & sociological centre in the US behind NYC, the history & development of the game farther ahead than where its at.

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01-16-2013, 01:55 AM
  #27
Morgoth Bauglir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
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.)
In Tacoma the only NHL gear you can get in the stores is Canucks and Sharks stuff. I have to order my stuff.

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01-16-2013, 02:48 AM
  #28
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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.
4 way tie between those 4 O6 teams.

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01-16-2013, 03:02 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
In Tacoma the only NHL gear you can get in the stores is Canucks and Sharks stuff. I have to order my stuff.

I meant what I see walking around malls. I haven't checked out any shops. Of course, if I head slightly north to shopping areas, the BC'ers have invaded, and they wear their Canucks jerseys (but that would be expected given the proximity).

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01-16-2013, 03:04 AM
  #30
Morgoth Bauglir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I meant what I see walking around malls. I haven't checked out any shops. Of course, if I head slightly north to shopping areas, the BC'ers have invaded, and they wear their Canucks jerseys (but that would be expected given the proximity).
Well, if you spot a couple wearing a Caps and a Devils jersey walking around it's my wife and I lol

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01-16-2013, 03:07 AM
  #31
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I think a more interesting question is which american team is most important outside the 06.

Flyers? Penguins? Kings? Islanders? You could make an argument for quite a few teams, though maybe not the islanders recently.

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01-16-2013, 03:16 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
Well, if you spot a couple wearing a Caps and a Devils jersey walking around it's my wife and I lol
I've gone to a couple of Tips games, and seen Wings jerseys every time. I thought I'd be more isolated but I should know better from watching all the away Wings games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freakydallas13 View Post
I think a more interesting question is which american team is most important outside the 06.

Flyers? Penguins? Kings? Islanders? You could make an argument for quite a few teams, though maybe not the islanders recently.
In my mind, the Flyers stand out the most of all expansion teams. The fan base is as rabid and loyal as any O-6 team's, and there's something about the franchise that makes them 'feel' like an Original Six team as well. It's an intangible, but maybe an aggregate of the success, financial support and identity the team cultivated almost from inception.

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01-16-2013, 03:39 AM
  #33
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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.
My first thought was the Detroit Red Wings but that makes sense.

I think I was actually thinking of most iconic.

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01-16-2013, 03:56 AM
  #34
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Gretz never won anything outside of Edmonton so i find the Kings importance to be minimal.

i would say Boston where Bobby Orr actually won.

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01-16-2013, 04:02 AM
  #35
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I feel like this has to be divided between Original and Expansion. The Original teams, obviously, are in a class of their own. Detroit is Detroit. New York is just huge. Boston is major as well.

I know I'll sound biased, but I rank Philly first among expansion teams. Their consistent success since the 70s is nothing to sneeze at, and they were the first expansion team to take the Cup away from the Original Six and are consistent top contenders. After Philly, I think importance depends on time period. I think claiming LA is the most important in NHL history is extreme, but right now they have a chance to become a major cog in the NHL machine. 12ish years ago, Buffalo was high on the totem pole. A good amount of kids in my southern area were talking about Hasek in the playoffs at that time, and I think it got them introduced/hooked; they're Caps fans now. Would they be fans today if they didn't see that performance?

Edit: And to stretch the framework of the question, the current most important American team for the NHL might be the US Olympic team. I saw a huge surge in interest during their run, and a lot of those people are now NHL fans. I only managed to turn one of them into a Philly fan

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01-16-2013, 12:38 PM
  #36
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Well, I beg to differ with anyone who doesnt think New York is the "Most Important American Market" cumulatively (since 1924 - Americans 26/27 - Rangers) & contemporaneously including post 67/68 Expansions in considering the whole bolt of fabric instead of piecing it out by the yard or any other standard of measurement youd care to use.

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01-16-2013, 12:43 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I've gone to a couple of Tips games, and seen Wings jerseys every time. I thought I'd be more isolated but I should know better from watching all the away Wings games.
Wings were always popular in the Seattle area as far as I can tell (and I moved away in 1995, so it's not like these were bandwagon fans).

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