Most Canadians Jump on Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Bandwagon

Toronto’s NHL franchise is the favourite team of 24% of Canadians, but 53% are rooting for them in this year’s playoffs. 

Vancouver, BC [May 12, 2023] – More than half of Canadians are supporting the Toronto Maple Leafs in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, while more than one-in-four are siding with the Edmonton Oilers, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 53% of Canadians are currently rooting for the Maple Leafs, while 26% are choosing the Oilers. The remaining six National Hockey League (NHL) teams in contention—the Seattle Kraken, the Florida Panthers, the New Jersey Devils, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the Dallas Stars and the Carolina Hurricanes—are in single digits.

“Residents of Ontario (79%) and Atlantic Canada (70%) are clearly with the Maple Leafs right now,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Two thirds of Albertans (67%) are behind the Oilers.”

Fewer than half of Quebecers (47%) and British Columbians (40%) are rooting for the Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are more likely to pick the Oilers (47%).

Canadians who are not supporting either of the two domestic franchises in the Stanley Cups playoffs were asked why they have chosen other teams to root for. One third (33%) say they just don’t like the Maple Leafs, while fewer said they have a favourite NHL team and will not root for any other (23%), dislike the Oilers (22%) or just don’t know much about hockey (20%).

When Canadians are asked about their favourite NHL team, 24% select the Maple Leafs while 22% choose the Montreal Canadiens. The fan base is smaller for the Vancouver Canucks (10%), the Edmonton Oilers (8%), the Winnipeg Jets (5%), the Calgary Flames (4%) and the Ottawa Senators (4%).

One-in-four Canadians (24%) do not have a favourite NHL team and almost half (47%) do not have a team they hate the most. The most loathed franchises are the Maple Leafs (17%, and 25% in Quebec) and the Canadiens (10%, and 27% in British Columbia).

More than two thirds of Canadians have favourable views of three former and current NHL stars: Wayne Gretzky (76%), Sidney Crosby (71%) and Mario Lemieux (67%). The rating is lower for Ken Dryden (53%), Connor McDavid (51%) and John Tavares (47%).

Former broadcaster Don Cherry is seen favourably by 45% of Canadians—a proportion that rises to 49% among both men and Canadians aged 55 and over.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from May 4 to May 6, 2023, among 1,000 adults in Canada. 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, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.