Almost Half of Canadians Rooting for Montreal in Stanley Cup Run

The Maple Leafs are regarded as the most hated team in Canada, while the Oilers have the smallest fan base.

Vancouver, BC – As the National Hockey League (NHL) postseason begins, the Montreal Canadiens are decidedly the most popular team in Canada, a new nationwide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Canadian adults, two-in-five residents (40%) say they consider themselves big or casual fans of the Montreal Canadiens—by far the highest proportion in the country.

Every other Canadian NHL team is ranked lower, including the Toronto Maple Leafs (26%), the Ottawa Senators (24%), the Calgary Flames (23%), the Vancouver Canucks (also 23%), the Winnipeg Jets (21%) and the Edmonton Oilers (17%).

“The Canadiens and the Canucks are extremely popular in their home provinces, partly because there is no intra-provincial rivalry like the ones we see in Alberta and Ontario,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “But the Habs have a fan base that expands outside of Quebec, with two-in-five Atlantic Canadians and three-in-ten Ontarians and British Columbians expressing allegiance to the team.”

When it comes to the five teams that made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, 33% of Canadians say they will be rooting for Montreal the most. The Senators and Canucks are tied for second place with 14%, followed by the Jets at 10% and the Flames at 9%.

When the first and second choices of Canadians are assessed, 46% will be rooting for the Canadiens during the postseason. The Senators are second with an aggregate score of 30%, followed by the Flames with 24%, the Jets with 23% and the Canucks with 22%.


The most hated team in the country is the Toronto Maple Leafs, garnering 19% of mentions across the country—including 24% in British Columbia and 24% among Canadians aged 18-34. The Canadiens are a distant second on the “hated team” question with 12%, while all other Canadian NHL franchises are in single digits.

“The hatred in intra-provincial rivalries is definitely more pronounced in Alberta than in Ontario,” continues Canseco. “We see that 18% of Albertans hate the Oilers and 11% of Albertans dislike the Flames, but in Ontario, only 6% claim to hate the Senators, while 21% say they despise the Maple Leafs.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has fifteen full-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 14 to April 15, 2015, among 1,008 adult Canadians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points for Canada, nineteen times out of twenty. Click to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Scazon