Forbes poll brings good news to Red Wings, Crosby, NHL in U.S

The Forbes Business of Hockey package has made waves in the last 24 hours, from celebrating the NHL's thriftiest general managers to revealing which teams are gaining or losing value, which didn't exactly sit well some prominent owners/bloggers.

Mike Ozanian, who writes the SportsMoney blog for Forbes, added another fascinating bit of hockey news to the conversation today:

In a survey conducted by BIGresearch exclusively for Forbes, of 10,184 men and women in the U.S., 22.2% said they were fans of the National Hockey League. That is an extremely impressive figure when you consider a similar poll conducted by BIGresearch a few weeks ago found that 26.8% of those surveyed were NBA fans.

He believes this is an indication that the NHL is "not that far behind the NBA" in popularity, which may be news to a certain Raptors blog on Sportsnet.

But even more intriguing were the top five teams and players in the poll, whose sample size is rather large in comparison to typical surveys. (I used to make some dough in market research; come to the PD viewing party and I'll spin a tale or two.)

The top teams, via the Forbes poll:

The five favorite teams are the Detroit Red Wings (11.4%), Chicago Blackhawks (9.2%), Pittsburgh Penguins (8.0%), Boston Bruins (7.9%) and Philadelphia Flyers (7.1%).

Nothing all that shocking here, other than perhaps the New York Rangers missing from the list. (Thanks, Sather.) Does that Blackhawks number happen without the Cup run? And what does it look like three years from now?

As for players:

The five most popular players are Sidney Crosby(notes) (8.1%), Alexander Ovechkin (2.2%), Patrick Kane(notes) (2.1%), Jonathan Toews(notes) (1.7%) and Pavel Datsyuk(notes) (1.6%).

The spread between Crosby and Ovechkin is rather impressive; not sure how to read that. The other three names sync up with the popularity of their teams in the poll.

Does this player popularity result beg for a wider scope of promotion by the NHL than Crosby/Ovechkin? Do the team results validiate the way NBC and VERSUS program the NHL?

Stick-tap Kukla.

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