I guess I'll say Buffalo. I always tend to root for them in the playoffs in the East.
Having hockey without the Hawks would be a very weird situation for me.
If the Bears vanished, it wouldn't really faze me, I would continue to follow the NFL on a whole as much as I do today. If the SOX vanished, baseball would be sort of dead to me. I love baseball, but I find watching non-Sox games to be deadly boring. It's the exact opposite of the NFL, IMO. You don't watch it 1 day a week and watch as much as you can. You follow your team on a daily, it's a second job of sorts, and without the Sox I just wouldn't care. I love the Sox more than I love baseball, and football more than the Bears.
But I love hockey and the Hawks very equally. Without the Hawks, I guess I could try to follow the NHL on a whole as much as I do the NFL, but that's very tough since the games aren't 1-2 days a week, and near impossible without Center Ice or Gamecenter Live.
Id probably go back to being a Red Wings fan. I liked the Wings back when I was a kid and most likely thats who Id switch to if the Hawks went away.
I couldnt even imagine being a fan of the Minnesota Wild. I just cant go from hating the Vikings and the Gophers to cheering for the Wild.
Buffalo Sabres...I was always a fan of Pat Lafontaine in his heyday as a Sabre...right after the lockout when the Hawks were hard to watch, I really followed the team and dreamt the Hawks would be as exciting as them..little did I know we would eventually be 100X times better and actually get the job done...dreams do come true!!
Probably one of the 3 "local" teams here in south-central PA. Most likely the Capitals. I loathe the Flyers so it wouldn't be them, it would be between Pens and Caps, I prefer the Caps and they're closer.
lol i used to be like that with toronto when i was a kid, then i realized the leafs only care about profits and are owned by the teachers/pays their pension. i found a letter i wrote in grade 3/4 to the organization about how my grandfather won the cup for them in '42 and i was dissapointed that with the opening of the acc the ticket prices were going up and i wouldnt be able to go to nearly as many games. they simply replied "sorry to hear that, you can still buy tickets on ticketmaster or at our box office"...thats why i switched to the hawks in 06. but thats off topic, i'd go for the blues or avs (i liked the nordiques alot back in the day as a 2nd team to follow...)
Probably the Wolves, to be honest. I've always like the atmosphere at the Rosemont Horizon and I'd really like to cheer for a team in close proximity. If it had to be the NHL... probably the Preds, although the deep emotional attachment probably wouldn't be there in the same way.