All 30 NHL teams maintain Facebook pages that gives them a platform to announce news, encourage discussion, occasionally hold competitions and generally attempt to create a fan community. Every team maintains their Facebook presence in a slightly different way, and every team seems to place a different value on Facebook’s role in their social strategy. Regardless, there is little doubt that all NHL teams accept that maintaining a Facebook page is an important part of staying connected with their fans.
The success of a Facebook page does depend in large part on the fan base it caters to. It’s not fair to expect the Phoenix Coyotes to put up follower numbers that rival the likes of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, have you ever wondered what the NHL standings would look like if they were based solely upon a popularity contest scored by Facebook ‘likes’? Take a look:
1. Detroit Red Wings : 1,344,172 likes
2. Chicago Blackhawks : 1,215,936 likes
3. Vancouver Canucks : 794,059 likes
4. *San Jose Sharks : 499,784 likes
5. Colorado Avalanche : 384,656 likes
6. Los Angeles Kings : 331, 674 likes
7. St Louis Blues : 267,547 likes
8. Edmonton Oilers : 248,272 likes
9. Anaheim Ducks : 202,407 likes
10. Calgary Flames : 198,996 likes
11. Minnesota Wild : 182,977 likes
12. Dallas Stars : 173,323 likes
13. Nashville Predators : 130,288 likes
14. Phoenix Coyotes : 110,356 likes
15. Columbus Blue Jackets : 94,324 likes
1. Boston Bruins : 1,292,877 likes
2. Pittsburgh Penguins : 1,241,431 likes
3. Montreal Canadiens : 993,333 likes
4. New York Rangers : 887,783 likes
5. Pittsburgh Penguins : 846,940 likes
6. Toronto Maple Leafs : 640,792 likes
7. *Washington Capitals : 495,082 likes
8. Buffalo Sabres : 338,117 likes
9. New Jersey Devils : 320,729 likes
10. Tampa Bay Lightning : 262,784 likes
11. Winnipeg Jets : 185,293 likes
12. Carolina Hurricanes : 172,680 likes
13. Ottawa Senators : 158,139 likes
14. New York Islanders : 111,640 likes
15. Florida Panthers : 81,990 likes
The first obvious take from these standings is the incredible divergence in Facebook likes. Florida and Columbus haven’t even reached 100,000 ‘likes’, while Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit and Chicago all have eclipsed the one million mark.
The Southeast division comes in as the least liked division in the NHL with their most-liked team, Washington, only ranking seventh in the Eastern conference. Four of their teams make up the bottom six Eastern conference teams in terms of ‘likes’.
Elsewhere in the East, there is good news for suffering Montreal and Toronto fans, who long to see their teams return to the playoffs if the standings were judged upon Facebook ‘likes’.
Detroit may be considered a waning power in the league, but they still command the top spot in the Western conference based on fan ‘likes’, accompanied by fierce Central division rival Chicago. All three divisions are represented in the top four teams and bottom five teams suggesting that Facebook support is fairly evenly split amongst them.
Another Canadian team, Edmonton, would be making a run for the Stanley Cup if the NHL standings were determined by Facebook ‘likes’.