Around the League in 33 Bands

This is around the league in 33 bands. I tried to use mostly mainstream bands with universal appeal to avoid alienating readers who didn’t know what a Guadalcanal Diary or a Minor Threat was. However, for some teams, the lure to use a lesser known band was too strong. Maybe in the future I can have a look at indie hockey teams and compare the Las Vegas Wranglers to the Gun Club and the Chicago Express to Pegboy and so on. For now, these will do, even if I’m not personally a fan. If you’re unfamiliar with any of the bands you can click on the band name and go to a Youtube video to check it out. I encourage you to leave comments at the bottom if you feel your team could have been better represented by another band or if you just want to vent.

Atlanta Thrashers
are R.E.M.
They’re from Georgia and recently decided to hang them up after they realized they were no longer relevant and no one wanted them around anymore.

Anaheim Ducks are Mudhoney
They’re kind of a weird thing that only the 1990’s could have produced. Their names were taken from a movie title. They play a unique style that combines heavy pounding and technical abilities and have also been known to play kinda dirty. They weren’t really paid their dues until 15 years after their inception. They managed to carve out their own successful niche on the west coast despite not being from Los Angeles.

Boston Bruins are Motorhead
They play a fast and hard hitting style that has endeared them to their fans. You’re almost guaranteed to see a fight when you watch them live and have someone spill beer on you. They’re champions of their craft and no one can do it quite like them. They have an iconic logo that has never gone out of fashion that still manages to sell hordes of merchandise to every new generation of fan. It’s also worth noting, they’re among the ugliest people you will ever find in one group.

Buffalo Sabres are Kid Rock
They call a barren industrial wasteland home and make no qualms about their allegiances to towns that the economy forgot. They are capable of playing a variety of styles with equal success.  To the shock of many, they have managed to remain relevant for a lengthy period of time in an ever changing industry landscape and continue to thrive.

Carolina Hurricanes are Kings of Leon
They’re unpolished Southern residents who were inexplicably on top of the world in the not so distant past. Their fans are advocates of shotgunning Jack and Coke cans at Nascar events, worshiping local universities that they had no chance of getting into and bouncing cheques at Sonic.

Calgary Flames are ‘N SYNC
They’re one man shows, and everyone knows it. It’s the star that receives all the accolades and has driven their success. Without them, they would be nothing. The supporting cast are a group of professional journeymen living off the scraps handed down to them by their famous leader. The leader will continue to achieve individual success on the international stage but will never achieve anything with the group again. To be fair, their fan base is inclined to show support to the team by sexual displays of flashing or garment tossing.

Chicago Blackhawks are Arcade Fire
Once upstart indie darlings with a loyal fan base, the buzz has worn off with recent media attention and a smorgasbord of trophies. A new fan base has emerged much to the dismay of the old guard who considers the newbies a bunch of frontrunners. The old guard has moved on to new and undiscovered talent so they can be first in line to tell people they were there from day one. Most of their members are Canadian but don’t tell their fans.

Columbus Blue Jackets are Phish
You have to be high to enjoy them and even then, they still suck. They have been accused of having a negative influence on youth. You’re never sure which direction they’re heading and they usually result in a headache. Sometimes you wonder how their members get paid to do what they do.

Colorado Avalanche are The Strokes
They’re a fun, youthful and dynamic group that had a bunch of hits under their belt but took a few years off in the late 2000’s. They know how to do the uptempo thing well. They made a strong comeback in 2011 as they reinvented themselves to critical acclaim. They found a way to reconnect with their youth and do what made them so successful in the first place while managing to stay contemporary and fresh.

Dallas Stars are Soul Asylum
Everyone likes to forget they’re from Minnesota. Unfortunately, people from Texas could care less about them and are more inclined to be entertained by the activities of cowboys. At one point, they have used the colours black and gold. Oddly enough, they have been invited to events with Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. (Even more odd: Soul Asylum did a music video for “Can’t Even Tell” for the movie Clerks which features a road hockey game between the band and the actors). They have done little of importance over the past 10 years but they still poke their heads out once in a while with little to no fanfare.

Detroit Red Wings are Bruce Springsteen
Consumed with their geographic identity along with their working class ethos; they have stood the test of time and have been featured in some capacity in films (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Net Worth, The Wrestler, Philadelphia etc.). They both enjoy automobile imagery and have maintained the same style for ages. They never fail to put on a memorable show and it’s damn near impossible to say anything bad about them.

Edmonton Oilers are Mission of Burma
Came from humble beginnings and blew the roof off the scene in the 1980’s. They made their mark by playing a complex, conceptual and fast style. Developed a cult following that has stuck with them ever since. Have recently fallen back into favour and made a return to the scene by doing what made them so popular all those years ago and connecting with a new generation of youth.

Florida Panthers are the Spice Girls
They will be remembered as some of the best things to be born out of the 90’s. The similarities are clear: Ginger Spice is Tomas Fleischmann, Posh Spice is Brian Campbell, Scary Spice is Erik Gudbranson, Sporty Spice is Jacob Markstrom and Baby Spice is Jonathan Huberdeau. It can only be assumed these members will pursue other ventures once they get the chance.

Hardford Whalers are Vampire Weekend
They’re popular amongst Eastern seaboard elites and ironic hipsters the continent over. Fans of novelty and collectors items flock to them to demonstrate their individuality.

Los Angeles Kings are Joy Division
They’re a great group with incredible amounts of talent. We just don’t know if they’ll be around long enough as a group to do everything that they’re capable of doing. If not with this group, then certainly some of their members will move on to something more successful in due time.

Minnesota Wild are Bon Iver
They’re just the most boring live product imaginable. The only reason you would admit to liking either is to pick up a girl who was into them. They play slow and uninspired despite a rabid fan base. They have terrible names and both secretly wish that they were Canadian. Dany Heatley could care less about either.

Montreal Canadiens are Kiss
It’s always a bit of a surprise when you find out someone you’ve known for years is a diehard fan. They like to end their show with fireworks and you will find their logo splattered across on the strangest and most irrelevant merchandise. Their uniforms never change and had some crazy years in the 1970’s. They have a flare for the dramatic and are no strangers to a good old fashion tongue lashing.

Nashville Predators are Fleet Foxes
They’re popular amongst a Johnny-come lately fan base who enjoy systematic and steady style of play. They’re not very offensive and there’s a good chance your parents who know nothing about them will find themselves entertained when you have them on. They draw from a variety of influences and styles to produce a winning and reliable formula. They’ll only get better from here on in and their fans seem to enjoy it, so just let them be happy.

New Jersey Devils are Wu Tang Clan
They come from undesirable areas around New York. Have experience dodging caps. They are led by fearsome men with a knack for identifying talent. Reached the height of their success in the 1990’s but were often criticized for their negative influence on the game. Some of their former members have had run-ins with the law.

New York Islanders are Air Supply
They had all of their success from 1980-1985 and have done nothing since but toil somewhere between obscurity and comedy. Believe it or not both are still active today (seriously look it up – the Islanders are still an NHL team).

New York Rangers are Joe Walsh
They are a mediocre product and rely heavily on the success of years past. Are very fortunate to be part of iconic institutions otherwise they would be playing the bush league circuit. They have only achieved #1 status once in the past 50 years. They are capable of drawing an audience based on name value alone and fans leave after seeing them wondering what the hell they just paid for. They have spent big money in past years that reeks of decisions made by someone under the influence.

Ottawa Senators are The Replacements
Are capable of taking you through insufferable lows and incredible highs. They can be sloppy, disinterested and brilliant. They are guilty of having made some questionable personnel decisions in the past. When you tune in you’re never sure what you’re going to get. Had a few hits, without any real success, and a number of bombs to the great pleasure of critics who never wanted them to succeed. Their fan base is mostly comprised of disillusioned university aged kids and adults who never really cared much about anything before their arrival.

Philadelphia Flyers are The Rolling Stones
Are considered legends in their own right despite not having done anything significant since the 1970’s (Yeah, that’s right. I prefer Some Girls and Exile over Aftermath and December’s Children). Rumours abound that substance abuse and internal squabbling led to their breakups. They haven’t been affraid to trade members in the past in order to shake things up. Although they continue playing to this day, they’re still trying to maintain the play and style that once made them so successful.

Phoenix Coyotes are Celine Dion
Most of their fans are retired Canadians who need something to take their mind off their last bad round of golf. They have management that kinda makes you scratch your head and wonder what’s going on behind the scenes. Anyways, it’s only a matter of time before they return to Quebec and settle down for good.

Pittsburgh Penguins are Coldplay
Are idolized by the mainstream because of a darling with a golden image. Their leaders are no strangers to hoards of media attention about their private lives. They rose to fame in the 1990’s and can now be found everywhere with nauseating results. Their fans, largely pre-pubescent girls, are eager to attach themselves to one of the biggest acts of their time. They have proven you can be a massive whiner and achieve success. They’re beneficiaries of good luck and timing in that, if it wasn’t them, it could have anyone to have their success. They just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. You could say, they really won the lottery.

Quebec Nordiques are Led Zeppelin
It’s only a matter of time before this once popular group is reunited and comes to a town near you. Their decision to reunite will be largely based around a massive cash grab. No one will really mind since there’s a generation of fans who never got to see them play.

San Jose Sharks are Audioslave
Are a group of individual superstars who, when put together, don’t mesh and produce incredibly lacklustre results. They have all the makings to be a successful and talented group but after several years of samples, have proven to be nothing more than a gimmick aimed to lure money out of the pockets of middle to upper class West Coasters who don’t know any better.

St. Louis Blues are Jack White
People have been telling this author for years that they’re good and only going to get better. I have yet to see them do anything worthy of being dubbed as greats. Until they do something that blows my mind, I’ll continue to view them as meddlers who define themselves on the word of others rather than action.

Tampa Bay Lightning are Velvet Revolver
Another one that is better described as a collection of individual talents rather then a cohesive collective unit. They’re the product of the 1990’s where the foundation for their success was cultivated. They had their best year in 2004. Some members from 2004 have moved on to other endeavours but seem to be more interested in easy money than renewing the success of years past. Funny how something everyone told us would be so awesome is just kind of meddling and spinning its tires currently. I guess their management isn’t as brilliant as everyone thought.

Toronto Maple Leafs are U2
They’re led by outspoken and brash Irishmen who have promised to change their world’s but failed to deliver anything of substance. They’re lighting rods for criticism and a source of easy mockery due to their lavish lifestyles, media attention and outrageous tickets prices. They have done nothing but toil in their past glories in order to garner contemporary support and their fans are always late to the show. In many instances it’s more about going to the show, not so much for the product, but to achieve a certain social status that’s impressive around the water cooler.

Vancouver Canucks are Metallica
They’re sore losers who cry about being victims of their own shortcomings and failure to adapt to a changing landscape when it really mattered. It’s almost impossible to have a conversation with one of their fans since they’re so consumed with their heroes they are unable to see reality clearly. Also have a female fan base than enjoys taking off their shirts much to the chagrin of men everywhere. (Did you see that swamp donkey in the Stanley Cup finals? I’d riot too if that was the best my city had to offer.)

Washington Capitals are Meatloaf
At the end of the day, they’re a group, but we all know they’re really a one man show. Led by a large, theatrical male with a flare for the dramatic who loves the limelight. My apologies, but whenever I hear Ovechkin speak or see his head in that locker, I just picture him bursting out into “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” There’s really no rhyme or reason to this one to be fair, I just think they’re hilariously talented once in a generation characters. I would also kill to see him in a Halloween costume dressed up as a Rocky Horror Picture Show character.

Winnipeg Jets are The Tragically Hip
Most people outside of Canada have no idea what all the fuss is about (I don’t blame them) and most people in Canada are sick and tired about hearing about them. They have a loyal fan base that is more than happy to pay top dollar for a mediocre product. In 10 years, there’s a good chance neither will exist.


Bob Cole is Ozzy Osborne
They’re rockstars with a weekly television show who just mumble their way through life and no one seems to pay much attention to them anymore.

Don Cherry is the Talking Heads
(Do I really have to explain this one or is the band name evidence enough?) They rose to prominence around the same time and have managed to captivate a large audience who listens to them regularly. It’s near impossible to decipher their words and more often than not, they make no sense at all.

Gary Bettman is P. Diddy
He likes to be on television and remind people he’s extremely important. Can usually be found talking about cancelling this and that if he doesn’t get his way (he’ll do it, man). I wouldn’t trust either as a babysitter.

Pierre McGuire is Pete Townsend
They are obsessed with rough teenage boys. They were once part of large important groups before jumping ship. Will take their act anywhere for the right amount of money.

Brendan Shanahan is Kanye West
Love hearing themselves talk and have been criticized by their peers for being over the top. They often find themselves explaining their actions to the public. The masses eat up whatever they’re told and it makes for great conversation.

Ron MacLean is Iron Maiden
They are both familiar with playing with madness. They both live and die to play guitar.