Canada is home to some of the most successful franchises in the National Hockey League but it isn’t all about on-ice glory. Building an extensive and varied fan base is key to future development and brand enhancements, especially for those Canadian teams who are lucky enough to play in front of mass crowds.
Fortunately, most of these stadiums are glorious venues and are worthy of hosting NHL games on a weekly basis – here are our favourite arenas in Canadian hockey.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre has space for over 18,000 spectators and it truly is a stunning arena to host sporting events. Capable of hosting basketball and lacrosse matches as well as ice hockey, it is a venue for all weathers and sports – making it one of the best multi-purpose establishments in Canada.
The Maple Leafs were one of the strongest teams in the NHL a few decades ago but their last Stanley Cup success came way back in 1967. Toronto, priced at +5000 in bet365 NHL odds to end that run this season, is still very much in contention and the home crowd will be cheering their men on as the playoffs draw closer…
Edmonton Oilers – Rogers Place
Rogers Place might not be the biggest venue in the NHL but it is certainly one of the loudest, and Edmonton fans are always up for a laugh at home games. The Oilers haven’t been the most successful side in terms of trophies in recent years but their intense atmosphere at home gives them an edge every time they take to the ice.
The new venue has been in use for less than a year after it was officially opened in August 2016 and Oilers fans are still getting used to their new surroundings. For a state of the art, fresh hockey experience, Rogers Place is the stadium to visit. You might even see an Oilers win if you’re lucky!
Montreal Canadiens – Bell Center
Historically, Montreal has been Canada’s most successful franchise, winning the Stanley Cup a record 24 times – although their last came way back in 1993. Since then, the Canadiens have struggled to inspire confidence but their home venue Bell Center is breathtaking, to say the least.
With a capacity of just over 21,000 passionate supporters, Bell Center is an intimate arena but it is still very fierce. Montreal fans are renowned for their ability to develop a hostile feel around the stadium and visiting supporters will be intimidated from start to finish. It is well worth a visit if you find yourself in the local area.
Ottawa Senators – Canadian Tire Centre
As a venue, the Canadian Tire Centre may not sound much but it is a spectacular arena that is capable of hosting both hockey and music concerts. With a capacity of just over 20,000 when you include standing, the Ottawa Senators are lucky enough to play in front of sell-out crowds on a weekly basis – that is how popular they are.
The Senators lost in their only Stanley Cup appearance to date but a second appearance in hockey’s showpiece series could be on the cards in the near future. With the Canadian Tire Centre crowd giving it hell for leather, Ottawa may be able to put a run of form together as the postseason approaches and you wouldn’t bet against them at home.