What did the Vancouver Canucks ever do to you, Alabama?

Dimitri Filipovic
August 04 2014 04:08PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 2.45.47 PM

A census in 2013 estimated that 4,822,023 people resided in the southern state of Alabama at the time. In a far less scientific and likewise accurate study (*), those near-5,000,000 individuals appear to hate the Vancouver Canucks more than any other team in the National Hockey League. 

The natural question to a piece of news like this - beyond "who cares", to which the answer is "it's August 4th" - is "what did the Vancouver Canucks as an organization ever do to Alabama? It still remains unclear, but it must've been something, because they appear to have been bestowed with this honour in a landslide (small sample size disclaimer aside). There generally don't appear to be many ties between the state and the league, with only 2 players ever having made the league after having been born there.

This got me thinking to how differently the results would've come in had this vote taken place, say, 3-4 years ago. There was once a time where the Canucks, whether it be because of strategy or because of their personnel, attracted all sorts of ire from their opposition

And that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. One tangentially hidden benefit of the 'Jerk Puck' era was how frequently the Canucks used it to unnerve their opponents, goading them into shooting themselves in the foot. They drew a lot of penalties, and they capitalized on them accordingly:

PP Opportunities NHL Rank
08-09 357 9th
09-10 325 6th
10-11 296 11th
11-12 288 8th
12-13 282 13th
13-14 257 22nd

Times have obviously changed. For whatever it's worth, out of their top 9 players in penalties drawn back in '10-'11, only 3 of them are still on the team. The same goes for the following season.

Even if the team has lost a lot of its luster on the man advantage, it still goes without saying that drawing penalties and getting to play with the extra man is a beneficial event, even if you're converting at a lower rate than before. There are plenty of hockey metrics being thrown around online these days, but honestly, one of the more oft-overlooked yet simple ones that I tend to always look into is a player's penalty differential. It has legitimate hidden value, and it's one that team's should be definitely be looking into and exploiting. 

As you can surmise from the graph above, generally speaking the more successful teams are the ones that tend to be despised the most outside of their local area. Nobody really has the time or energy to get too worked up about mediocrity, in any form. 

Maybe the actual question isn't what the Vancouver Canucks did to the state of Alabama, but rather: what do the Vancouver Canucks need to do to get their logo back on more of these states in the coming years?

(*)The source of the vote is Reddit, so take this with an exceptionally large grain of salt. For all we know Wyoming and North Dakota actually do in fact still hate the Vancouver Canucks, and all is well. 

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 PB
August 04 2014, 07:19PM
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Given that there aren't any pro leagues in Alabama anymore and the days of the WHA/ECHL/CHL are long since past there, I doubt that more than 10 people are even aware of hockey.

What is gratifying to see is how widely hated the Bruins are across the US. And that the Kings are despised throughout most of California and Chicago hated throughout the Midwest. Our inferiority complex tends to see the Canucks as "most hated" etc but really it's not much compared to the rivalries between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia fans or the deserved hatred that the Bruins get once you get out of the Northeast.

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#2 Dan
August 04 2014, 07:50PM
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Not sure how the Senators are going to sleep at night knowing Wyoming has it in for them.

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#3 Lemming
August 04 2014, 10:20PM
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I've got some friends from Alabama who got a kick out of this.

One of them had a dad that took him to minor league games in Alabama because they were cheap, but I guess any team has long since abandoned Alabama.

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#4 YeahHeDid
August 04 2014, 11:00PM
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Why the "large grain of salt" warning about Reddit? It has a subscription base of over 100k and who knows how many more active users who aren't subscribed, and then the lurkers on top of that too.

Why would their opinion on which teams they hate be any less valid than anyone else's?

Considering this content came from there, and lots of other content as well, the cautionary note is puzzling.

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#6 Ted
August 05 2014, 12:31AM
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Wow. You know someone has a lot of time when you see an article like this. I think I heard 6 of my neighbours yelling they hated the Canucks. I am about to author an article based on this. I will call it: "Why Does Vancouver hate the Canucks." Stay tuned, True Believers!

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#7 YeahHeDid
August 05 2014, 12:47AM
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@Dimitri Filipovic

Fair enough. I'd suggest a warning on 332 votes rather than target reddit as a bad resource though. But I'm biased as I spend time in that subreddit and a lot of good information is produced there IMO.

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#8 Daniel W.
August 05 2014, 01:38AM
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To your PP Opp point:

Something I really don't understand is why I don't read more on the benefit of getting PP Opps on a team basis. Patrick D. wrote an excellent article mentioning Score Adjusted PP Opp% on fearthefin. ( http://www.fearthefin.com/2013/7/9/4420326/special-teams-part-i-pp-pk-opportunities-and-time )

Now there is obviously value in having players who provoke penalties and don't take a lot on their own, but I feel like someone should look at whether this is something that can truly be driven at a team level, if it's something where players can drive it for their team when on the ice as a whole or if it's just a matter of individual player skill. (Something along the lines of comparing repeatability of On-Ice PP Opp% and the repeatability of Individual Penalty Differential).

Maybe there are players who drive PP Opp% for their team when they're on the ice but don't show it as much on the individual penalty diff? That should be significant value as well then, shouldn't it?

Anyway, just an idea...

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#9 Chungus
August 05 2014, 09:00AM
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@YeahHeDid

Reddit is a bad resource... Same reason why good schools tell you not to use wikipedia as a source.

Don't get butt hurt.

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#10 cyclone
August 05 2014, 10:58AM
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Funny picture but -in reality- there's probably fewer than 20 people in Alabama who have ever heard of the Vancouver Canucks

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#11 Steve
August 05 2014, 12:04PM
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No Leaf hate? You can tell right there that this stuff is worthless

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#12 PB
August 05 2014, 01:56PM
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@Steve

People in the US don't really know the Leafs (or most of Canada) enough to hate them/us. Now if Mexico had hockey teams...

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#13 PB
August 05 2014, 01:57PM
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@PB

I stand corrected. I am currently looking for jerseys for the Mayan Astronomers, the Teotihuacan Priests, the Aztec Eagle Warriors and the Zapotec Totems

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#14 TheShadierTwin
August 06 2014, 09:42AM
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Steve wrote:

No Leaf hate? You can tell right there that this stuff is worthless

People don't hate teams like the Leafs. People pity teams like the Leafs.

Give us time, though. (The summer hope hasn't quite worn off yet.)

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#15 North Shore
August 06 2014, 10:15AM
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Apparently the only state that still sees the Canucks as relevant doesn't pay any attention to hockey...

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#16 Steve
August 06 2014, 12:31PM
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TheShadierTwin wrote:

People don't hate teams like the Leafs. People pity teams like the Leafs.

Give us time, though. (The summer hope hasn't quite worn off yet.)

I pity the city of Vancouver, this coming season everyone will pity the 'nucks.

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#17 Steve
August 06 2014, 12:35PM
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TheShadierTwin wrote:

People don't hate teams like the Leafs. People pity teams like the Leafs.

Give us time, though. (The summer hope hasn't quite worn off yet.)

Hey remember the time you guys traded Cory Schneider for Bo Horvat...

Yeah...

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#18 Ted
August 07 2014, 05:21PM
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Steve wrote:

I pity the city of Vancouver, this coming season everyone will pity the 'nucks.

I'd rather live in Vancouver than just about anywhere else. Go crawl back under your rock. Also, maybe get a life if hockey impacts your life that much.

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#19 Ted
August 07 2014, 05:21PM
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Steve wrote:

Hey remember the time you guys traded Cory Schneider for Bo Horvat...

Yeah...

Yup. Sure do. What of it? Did you forget or something?

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#20 Oye
August 08 2014, 09:16AM
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I took part in the voting, you could literally say you were from anywhere and take the poll more than once.

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#21 Ted
August 08 2014, 10:07AM
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Oye wrote:

I took part in the voting, you could literally say you were from anywhere and take the poll more than once.

Yeah, that's the problem. That poll is extremely flawed but various bloggers are still going with it. It's a shame too. This reminds me of that B.S. column Sekeres did a few years ago suggesting Canucks were one of the most hated teams. Despite numerous confounding factors, he ran with it. It got him attention and his name got out there so mission accomplished by him - he has become a gossip columnist...dream accomplished. :)

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#22 BURROWSHASCRABS
August 08 2014, 12:34PM
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Remember when you're Casucks amlost won a cup.......yeah

Wooooooo go Kings Suck it Casuck fans!!

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#23 Victoria Flames Fan
August 08 2014, 12:44PM
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If you go to the website, you can see the Canadian map there too. Boston is the most hated team in every province but Alberta where Vancouver is.

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#24 Steve
August 08 2014, 01:18PM
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Ted wrote:

I'd rather live in Vancouver than just about anywhere else. Go crawl back under your rock. Also, maybe get a life if hockey impacts your life that much.

Go get a life? This is Canada you moron.

Vancouver is like San Francisco but without the nice areas, exact same type of people though.

Just wanted to make sure you remembered the trade, so I could remind you how horrible your organization is.

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#25 admiralmark
August 08 2014, 07:27PM
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Ted wrote:

Yeah, that's the problem. That poll is extremely flawed but various bloggers are still going with it. It's a shame too. This reminds me of that B.S. column Sekeres did a few years ago suggesting Canucks were one of the most hated teams. Despite numerous confounding factors, he ran with it. It got him attention and his name got out there so mission accomplished by him - he has become a gossip columnist...dream accomplished. :)

Ha ha keep tellin yourself that. That's rich.

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#26 Ted
August 08 2014, 07:35PM
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Steve wrote:

Go get a life? This is Canada you moron.

Vancouver is like San Francisco but without the nice areas, exact same type of people though.

Just wanted to make sure you remembered the trade, so I could remind you how horrible your organization is.

Hey, Jacktard, I'm not that hell bent over hockey where it ruins. Think about it. Canada has more than hockey you piece of crap.

I could care less what you think of Van. You matter to me as much as the shat on your face.

I remember the trade. What's done is done. I didn't make the deal. What happens, happens. Seriously, get a life. Get out of your mom's basement and do something...anything...

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#27 Ted
August 08 2014, 07:35PM
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admiralmark wrote:

Ha ha keep tellin yourself that. That's rich.

I am.

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#28 LoweBlow
August 09 2014, 09:03AM
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This'd be money if they could do this in Canada. I wonder how far Leaf hatred would reach.

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#29 Steve
August 09 2014, 12:08PM
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Ted wrote:

Hey, Jacktard, I'm not that hell bent over hockey where it ruins. Think about it. Canada has more than hockey you piece of crap.

I could care less what you think of Van. You matter to me as much as the shat on your face.

I remember the trade. What's done is done. I didn't make the deal. What happens, happens. Seriously, get a life. Get out of your mom's basement and do something...anything...

Hey, Guess what, anyone in Canada who isn't a hockey fanatic is probably just a nancy boy who couldn't play sports. Anger. I get it, but remember how idiotic that sounds when you're posting on a hockey website.

Worst trade in history, Schneider will be sick for years and years to come and Bo Horvat is only known because of how horrible the trade was.

Don't project your miserable life onto me, I'm sure that living in your mother'a basement sucks but try and get out of the house.

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#30 Ted
August 09 2014, 02:22PM
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Steve wrote:

Hey, Guess what, anyone in Canada who isn't a hockey fanatic is probably just a nancy boy who couldn't play sports. Anger. I get it, but remember how idiotic that sounds when you're posting on a hockey website.

Worst trade in history, Schneider will be sick for years and years to come and Bo Horvat is only known because of how horrible the trade was.

Don't project your miserable life onto me, I'm sure that living in your mother'a basement sucks but try and get out of the house.

Yeah, ok, Captain Redneck. Gay slurs on top of your already evident stupidity. High school, in the sticks, must've been the best 10 years of your life. Keep up the good work and hopefully you're never in Vancouver. :)

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#31 Steve
August 09 2014, 03:08PM
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@Ted

Ht a nerve did we?

Stupidity would be willingly living anywhere couver and being proud of it.And thanks, I'll made sure to stay away from that glitter fest. Enjoy all the attractive young men!

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