The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Sock Index of NHL Team Popularity

Sometimes, it's funny what you find when you're looking for something else. I've been searching on the internet for a pair of hockey-themed socks, similar to ones that I bought long ago when I was in Nashville for a Predators game.

No, they're not "hockey socks", like you'd expect to see NHL'ers wear during games. I'm talking about novelty-type socks. I own a pair of white with blue heels and toes socks with the Predators logo on them, and I've been looking for a newer pair for some time now. I've concluded that there's only one pair similar to them - a pink pair by For Bare Feet, which I'm hesitant to order. 

This search confirmed something I wasn't entirely surprised to discover: not every NHL team is created equal. I was looking at available socks from one particular website (, and wondered how many different types of socks with logos of each NHL team were available - just on this one, non-hockey oriented, website.

In case you think the idea of "hockey socks" is odd, keep this in mind: there were a total of 274 different types of socks, featuring 29 of the 30 NHL teams – and one for the NHL logo itself. However - and this is where the "unequal" part comes in - not every team had the same number of items available. 

What follows is a count of how many different "socks" you can buy through Football Fanatics for each NHL team, ranked from greatest to least. It paints an interesting picture:

1.        Buffalo Sabres (20 items)
2.        Detroit Red Wings (20 items)
3.        New York Rangers (19 items)
4.        Philadelphia Flyers (17 items)
5.        New Jersey Devils (16 items)
6.        Boston Bruins (15 items)
7.        Pittsburgh Penguins (14 items)
8.        Chicago Blackhawks (13 items)
9.        Minnesota Wild (10 items)
10.     Montreal Canadiens (10 items)
11.     San Jose Sharks (10 items)
12.     Tampa Bay Lightning (10 items)
13.     Washington Capitals (10 items)
14.     Dallas Stars (9 items)
15.     Los Angeles Kings (9 items)
16.     St. Louis Blues (9 items)
17.     Anaheim Ducks (8 items)
18.     Calgary Flames (7 items)
19.     Florida Panthers (7 items)
20.     New York Islanders (7 items)
21.     Winnipeg Jets (7 items)
22.     Vancouver Canucks (6 items)
23.     Carolina Hurricanes (5 items)
24.     Colorado Avalanche (4 items)
25.     Toronto Maple Leafs (4 items)
26.     Nashville Predators (3 items)
27.     Columbus Blue Jackets (2 items)
28.     Edmonton Oilers (1 item)
29.     Ottawa Senators (1 item)
30.     NHL Logo (1 item)

You may notice there is one team missing from the list: the Phoenix Coyotes. That omission is predictable, as it wasn't certain that the team would even be playing in Phoenix on a permanent basis until recently.

What is exceptionally odd is how three Canadian NHL teams (Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton) have few items available. This is somewhat explainable in that this is a US-based web store, and as such they don't have much available.

It does indicate, though,  what teams are thought of as "most important" to NHL marketing.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Olympic Thoughts

Now that we're headed into the final week of the Olympics, some thoughts on Sochi 2014: