The Most “Ice Cold” Fan Bases in the NHL  

As the NHL season skates towards the Stanley Cup Finals, fans across the entire league are hungry for victory. When the puck doesn’t drop their way, fans express their frustration through some poor behaviors like name-calling, drink tossing, or physical fights.  

While each fan base has their own opinion on who the most ‘ice cold’ or aggressive NHL fans are, we blocked out the noise and went straight to the stats. Through a nationwide survey and weighted index score, we analyzed sportsmanship behaviors of 3,000 US and Canadian NHL fans. We measured everything from the frequency of booing, cheering for the opposing team’s injuries, general lack of empathy, and more!  

Key Findings: 

  • Chicago Blackhawks have the #1 most ‘ice cold’ fans, scoring 96.9/100  
  • Out of the Canadian NHL teams, the Montreal Canadiens fans are the most ‘ice cold’  
  • Ottawa Senators fans are the ‘warmest’ or kindest in the league, with a low aggression score of 5.5/100 
  • The Central Division boast the most aggressive fans out of the 4 NHL divisions 
  • The West Conference has more aggressive fans compared to the Eastern Conference  

What the puck!? These are the most ‘ice cold’ NHL fan bases

To determine the most ‘ice cold’ fan bases, we surveyed 3,000 NHL fans on the following criteria into a weighted aggression index: frequency of booing, cheering for the opposing team’s injuries, engaging in poor behaviors, trash-talking on the opposing team’s social media platforms, unapologetic towards past poor behaviors, lack of empathy for the opposing team’s losses, and self-reflection rating on their own fan base’s sportsmanship quality.  

Chicago Blackhawks? More like Chicag-oh-no, it’s the Blackhawks fans. They’re ranked the #1 most ‘ice cold’ in the entire league, with a frosty score of 96.9/100. To drop the puck, 22.2% confessed to dropping the gloves with the opposing fan base – the highest percentage in the NHL! Another 62.7% reveal they show no empathy for the other team’s loss, plus an additional 46% feel no regrets about their past unsportsmanlike behavior. You’re definitely skating on thin ice when it comes to Blackhawks fans.  

Tumbling down the rink with their chilling behaviors are the Colorado Avalanche fans, ranking #2 overall with a score of 94. Among the 45.5% who actively engage in mischievous actions, over half (57.6%) feel no remorse for their not-so-kind attitudes. Additionally, another 45.5% admit to not emphasizing with the opposing team’s losses. About 1 in 4 (27%) fans admit to cheering when the rival player gets injured, while 72.5% enjoy booing the other team and their fans. The Colorado Avalanche truly put the ‘ice cold’ in avalanche! 

The New York Rangers fan base skates into #3 place on the ‘ice cold’ rankings, with a total score of 82.8. They earned themselves the title of the most aggressive fan base in the Eastern Conference and the Metropolitan Division. About 11% of Rangers fans admit to getting into physical altercations with the rival teams’ fans, while 44% regularly misbehave at games. Show good sportsmanship? Fuhgeddaboutdit! 

The Carolina Hurricanes rank #4 out of 32, with 78.6 points. Hurricanes fans are the second most aggressive fan base in the Eastern Conference and the Metropolitan Division. The Boston Bruins finish at #5 with an overall score of 73.7, making them the #1 most aggressive fan base within the Atlantic Division.  

The heart of hockey: NHL’s kindest fan bases

Embodying the true Canadian spirit, Ontario‘s own Ottawa Senators fans can proudly claim the title of the NHL’s kindest fan base. Scoring only 5.5 points on the aggression scale, you’re more likely to share a friendly pint than a punch with these guys. About 81.2% avoid any penalty-box behavior and a whopping 93.7% don’t indulge in trash-talking on social media – the highest percentage in the league! When asked to rate their own fan base’s sportsmanship levels, they scored an impressive 3.8 out of 5. Not bad, eh?  

One New York team that hasn’t fugeddabout their manners at the rink are the New York Islanders, the #2 kindest fans overall (8.3/100). Unlike their rowdy neighbors, only 20% partake in any funny business – a 56% drop from the Rangers. Impressively, 80% admit to regretting past bad behaviors towards other fans, and thankfully, no one’s dropped the gloves yet.  

The Washington Capitals’ fan base slides in as the #3 kindest, clocking in 10.6 points on the scoreboard. With 80.6% staying cool and classy on social media and 87% steering clear of any misconduct, their rank doesn’t come out of left field.  

Down in the entertainment capital, the Vegas Golden Knights’ fan base shines as the #4 kindest, with 15 points. Knights’ fans can also claim the title as the #1 kindest among the West Conference and the Pacific Division. As for the #5 kindest, the honor goes to the Detroit Red Wings, flying high with a low aggression score of 18.2 points.  

The most cold-blooded NHL Conferences and Divisions

“West Coast is the best coast” in ‘ice cold’ attitudes, that’s for sure! The West Conference has more aggressive hockey fans than the East Coast.  

Out of the 4 divisions, the Central Division boasts the most ‘ice cold’ fans overall (30.8%). The Metropolitan Division follows closely behind (26.7%), with the Atlantic Division in #3 place (21.4%). The Pacific Division has the kindest fans, out of all 4 divisions, with only 20.7% aggressive fans.  

Decoding NHL fan culture: Behaviors, attitudes, and loyalty 

On a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent), the average NHL fan rates their fan base’s sportsmanship levels at 3.6, just a notch about decent. This, of course, might vary depending on their team’s performance. 

You’re more likely to be hearing a chorus of ‘woo’ than ‘boo’ at the rink, as the average fan registers a 2.7 average booing frequency on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (always). Keeping the positive vibes going, only 19.2% actually go out of their way to trash-talk their rivalries on social media

On the flip side, while most hockey fans cringe at the sight of the other team’s athletes getting injured, 13.6% revel in it. Adding to the wound, 83.6% admit they don’t feel any remorse for their past poor interactions with other fans. However, to keep the hockey spirit positive, 42% do empathize with other teams’ losses

In comes the fouls in the rink, out comes the foul language in the seats! Trash-talking seems to be the #1 go-to unsportsmanlike behavior for 86.8%, when things don’t go their way. Taunting comes in as the next, where 59.3% of fans try to provoke others for a reaction. Only a mere 3.6% get sloppy by tossing food or drinks in frustration or drop the gloves for a physical altercation (2.7%).  

Interestingly enough, 48% of fans reveal they’ll stand by their team if they engage in poor misconduct or scandals. Only 37.5% feel indifferent to the situation, while 14.5% would cut their loyalty ties. Like team, like fans?  


All things considered, despite the variety of attitudes seen across the NHL league, it’s evident that fans’ reactions stem from their intense passion and love for both the sport and their team. May be best team win the Stanley Cup!  


In May 2024, we conducted a nationwide study of 3,000 US and Canadian NHL fans, asking about their sportsmanship behaviors.  

From there, we created a weighted index to analyze and weight a multitude of aggression-like factors to determine the ‘ice cold’ and kindest NHL fan bases:  

  1. Participated in physical fights – 25% 
  1. Cheers for injuries – 15% 
  1. Engages in poor behaviors (trash-talking, taunting, etc.) – 15%   
  1. Doesn’t regret poor behaviors – 15%  
  1. Lacks empathy for the opposing team’s loss – 15%  
  1. High booing frequency – 5%  
  1. Trash-talks on the opposing team’s social media accounts – 5%  
  1. Self-rated sportsmanship ranking – 5%  

The average age of respondents was 40.5 years old. The representative sample comprised of 65.7% male, 33.5% female, 0.5% transgender, and 0.3% other. 

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