For the second year in a row, we decided to poll our readers and Flames fans to get a sense of which teams they dislike the most. We saw some sizeable changes for a handful of teams this year but most have pretty clear explanations. The teams were ranked from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, and we have included the average score for each team as well as their ranking from last year.
We have broken things down into 8 tiers of teams. Thank you to those who took the time to vote, here are the results:
Tier 8 - The Buffalo Tier
#31 - Buffalo Sabres - Average Score: 1.45 / Last Year: #31 (Even)
The vast majority of voters had the Sabres at a 1 for the second straight year as Buffalo again struggled to be relevant at any level this season. With their 11 year playoff drought, there really isn’t any reason to dislike this franchise, but with things potentially looking up, perhaps they rise after this year.
Tier 7 - “Would Probably Cheer for You in the Playoffs”
#30 - New Jersey Devils - Average Score: 1.62 / Last Year: #29 (Down 1)
In the same vain as Buffalo, there just isn’t really much reason to dislike the Devils either as they’ve missed the playoffs in four straight years and nine of the last ten overall. Perhaps if you’re looking for something to dislike about them, you can point to them once again winning of the lotteries for the draft as they moved up to #2 to draft Simon Nemec. New Jersey certainly has the pieces to become a good team, but they still reside in a fairly stacked Eastern Conference.
#29 - New York Islanders - Average Score: 1.73 / Last Year: #30 (Up 1)
Pretty much ditto for the Islanders as well, although perhaps Flames and Isles fans can bond now about superstars abandoning them to move back home. On another note, thanks for letting us get Nazem Kadri, although that’s mainly directed at Lou and his decisions to basically not release anything. Maybe the Isles might hate Calgary more considering the Flames spoiled the opening of their new arena.
#28 - Detroit Red Wings - Average Score: 1.73 / Last Year: #24 (Down 4)
#27 - Arizona Coyotes - Average Score: 1.74 / Last Year: #22 (Down 5)
Not a particular shock to see the Coyotes falling down the rankings as they are now two years removed from being divisional rivals and really don’t provide much reason to dislike them. They were pretty bad again this season and their arena drama provides perhaps maybe the only rival to Calgary. Still, not much reason to dislike them now unless you think they are hurting the game as a whole.
#26 - Washington Capitals - Average Score: 1.79 / Last Year: #26 (Even)
#25 - Seattle Kraken - Average Score: 1.81 / Last Year: #18 (Down 7)
The Kraken take a big fall after their inaugural season likely due to how they never really came close whatsoever to being a competent hockey team this season. With the potential of adding Matthew Beniers and Shane Wright to their lineup next year, there could be improvement in Seattle, but likely still not enough to create that animosity towards them. Perhaps a reason to dislike them is the Flames have somehow already lost two trades with Seattle.
Tier 6 - “Random East Teams”
#24 - Ottawa Senators - Average Score: 1.84 / Last Year: #16 (Down 8)
A year separated from the Senators being in the Canadian division results in them falling back down the hatred rankings. There may have also been some additionally love for the Sens after seeing Brady Tkachuk get fully behind Matthew during the Flames playoff push, but sadly we won’t see that again.
#23 - Carolina Hurricanes - Average Score: 1.92 / Last Year: #17 (Down 6)
#22 - Philadelphia Flyers - Average Score: 1.99 / Last Year: #23 (Up 1)
I don’t know, personally I kind of dislike the Flyers a little more considering that they either chose not to or were unable to create room to sign Gaudreau this summer. If he couldn’t be ours, we wanted him to be yours!
#21 - Pittsburgh Penguins - Average Score: 2.00 / Last Year: #21 (Even)
#20 - New York Rangers - Average Score: 2.17 / Last Year: #20 (Even)
Despite the merciless booing of Adam Fox during a Flames 6-0 win back in November (one of the highlights of the regular season), there isn’t a lot of particular dislike for the Rangers as a whole. Fox is back in town on February 18 this year if you want to be part of the chaos.
Tier 5 - “Basically the Central Division”
#19 - Boston Bruins - Average Score: 2.36 / Last Year: #13 (Down 6)
#18 - Chicago Blackhawks - Average Score: 2.36 / Last Year: #14 (Down 4)
Their run of dominance in the 2010s coupled with all of the off-ice crap surrounding this franchise is really allowing me to enjoy their current demise. Their pending tank job for Bedard has been really impressive to watch so far, but their are so many more problems in Chicago than he can solve alone.
#17 - St. Louis Blues - Average Score: 2.38 / Last Year: #19 (Up 2)
#16 - Florida Panthers - Average Score: 2.40 / Last Year: #28 (Up 12)
Seeing the Panthers make a massive jump up the hatred rankings this year was no shock but perhaps only having them jump to 16 was a bit of a surprise. It appears that there was far less disdain for Matthew Tkachuk than Gaudreau as he gave the team a number of trade options and ample notice to make a deal. These two franchises will be tied at the hip for a considerable timeframe due to the blockbuster trade they made.
#15 - Nashville Predators - Average Score: 2.41 / Last Year: #25 (Up 10)
The Flames and Predators played some highly entertaining hockey this season and nearly met in the playoffs after a wild final day of the season. All three games between the teams went to overtime this year, and it always seems to be entertaining when they meet. Still can’t really explain a ten spot jump for them though.
#14 - Minnesota Wild - Average Score: 2.41 / Last Year: #15 (Up 1)
Tier 4 - “Some Redeeming Qualities”
#13 - Colorado Avalanche - Average Score: 2.70 / Last Year: #11 (Down 2)
As the pain of 2019 continues to fade further into the past, Calgarians can instead look at the Avalanche as a team to like after local boy Cale Makar won his first Stanley Cup and brought the trophy back to Calgary this summer. He definitely needs to play for the Flames one day.
#12 - Montreal Canadiens - Average Score: 2.81 / Last Year: #9 (Down 3)
#11 - Winnipeg Jets - Average Score: 2.88 / Last Year: #8 (Down 3)
#10 - San Jose Sharks - Average Score: 2.96 / Last Year: #10 (Even)
The Sharks are the lowest ranked of the Pacific teams with the exception of Seattle who is still in the early processes of forming a rivalry. For San Jose, I expect them to fall further down the list as the team embarks in what could be a painful and long rebuild. They moved on from Brent Burns this summer, but there is still a lot of work to do for new GM Mike Grier.
Tier 3 - “We Wish You Zero Success”
#9 - Columbus Blue Jackets - Average Score: 3.21 / Last Year: #27 (Up 18
This image feels like a crime. While emotions may not be as fiery as what they once were in this saga, I still expect mixed reactions from Flames fans when Gaudreau makes his return this season.
#8 - Los Angeles Kings - Average Score: 3.26 / Last Year: #7 (Down 1)
#7 - Dallas Stars - Average Score: 3.43 / Last Year: #12 (Up 5)
The two teams meeting in the playoffs for the second time in three years contributed to Dallas rising back into the Top 10 of the hated teams list. If Jake Oettinger had managed to pull off the steal of the series, I’d imagine they would’ve even climbed into the Top 5. What an entertaining series that was, but also the stresses were unparalleled.
#6 - Tampa Bay Lightning - Average Score: 3.69 / Last Year: #4 (Down 2)
Once again, it was in. Also thank you for Blake Coleman and for beating the Leafs in 7 lol.
#5 - Toronto Maple Leafs - Average Score: 3.89 / Last Year: #5 (Even)
#4 - Anaheim Ducks - Average Score: 3.90 / Last Year: #3 (Down 1)
Anaheim falls back after another year of struggles as their rebuild continues. With Ryan Getzlaf moving on, the Ducks are squarely into their new era. Perhaps they take a step forward towards playoff contention this year, but are likely still a year or two away from becoming threats in the division.
Tier 2 - “Your City Starts with V”
#3 - Vegas Golden Knights - Average Score: 4.06 / Last Year: #6 (Up 3)
Vegas continues to climb the list as they treat their players like garbage and continue to look for the shiniest prizes. They acquired Jack Eichel this past season, beating out an offer from the Flames and yet turned around and missed the playoffs. While they are unlikely to have as many injuries this year, they will be without Robin Lehner for the season and there are a lot of questions circling the franchise. Good.
#2 - Vancouver Canucks - Average Score: 4.45 / Last Year: #2 (Even)
The Canucks finally looked like they figured things out last season after canning Jim Benning and bringing in Bruce Boudreau to be their head coach going forward. The team caught fire but weren’t able to bring themselves back into the playoff picture. Vancouver has a solid forward core and an elite goalie in Thatcher Demko, but their defense core leavs a lot to be desired as the Canucks try to get back into the playoffs.
Tier 1 - “Edmonton”
#1 - Edmonton Oilers - Average Score: 4.99 / Last Year: #1 (Even)
No way around it. We absolutely hate the Edmonton Oilers. We finally got a Battle of Alberta in the playoffs last year, and with both sides looking to be favourites in the Pacific again this year, we should be well positioned for another one. The rest of the hockey world feasts while this province goes full fledged Civil War on itself. Also what a garbage franchise for bringing in Evander Kane and Jake Virtanen. Makes them really easy to hate, not that we ever had a problem doing that.