5. Mike Comrie (3,389)
4. Wayne Gretzky (3,481)
3. Mario Lemieux (3,600)
2. National Hockey League (3,670)
And at No. 1 …
1. Al Montoya (8,110)
What the what?
Seeing New York Islanders Al Montoya top a list of the most popular hockey pages on Wikipedia is seeing a Bobcat Goldthwaite comedy win the box office. It begs for investigation into what find of nefarious "Vote For Rory"-esque campaign may have influenced these tallies.
Unfortunately, Montoya's popularity on Wikipedia likely has nothing to do with his skills on the ice. In reality, Montoya's popularity might be due to confusion with the character from "The Princess Bride", Inigo Montoya. Searchers hunting for the infamous Inigo Montoya quote ("Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.") likely stumbled on the goaltender for the Islanders by mistake.
Well, that's one theory.
Here's another: The ranking is actually just for March 1, 2012 through March 31, 2012. Hence, Comrie's in the top five for the arrival of the Duffrie baby. Randy Carlyle is at No. 8 as the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Alex Radulov (No. 24) is ranked ahead of Gordie Howe (No. 45). And so on.
But that doesn't explain "why Montoya?" and "why such a enormous margin between him and the NHL in terms of daily views?", considering he hardly played in March. One theory: Consider NASCAR driver Juan Montoya had a busy March, including a crash in practice. Consider he's from Colombia. Now, consider that the majority of the search traffic for "Al Montoya" originated in Colombia over the last 12 months. Maybe there was some stumbling upon Al Montoya's page.
We want to believe Al Montoya is the most popular player on the Internet. Alas, he may have to settle for being second best goaltender on the Islanders. Maybe third when DiPietro's healthy. Ha! What do we mean "when" …