Die-Hard NHL Fan? Plan the Road Trip of Your Dreams
Catch a game in one (or more!) of these great hockey towns
Follow the puck to the home games of the “original six.” Depending on your starting point (and your die-hard fan level), you can jump in the car with some pals and drive between a couple of these iconic cities—all for that good ol’ hockey game.
Embrace the joie de vivre in the city with the longest-operating professional team and the most Stanley Cup championships ever—with a total of 24 Cup wins. Draped in red and white, Habs fans head downtown to the Bell Centre, within walking distance to bustling St. Catherine Street, Crescent Street and all the poutine you could ever want.
The Habs’ famous blue-clad rivals were founded in 1917 as the Toronto Arenas. Though they haven’t won a Cup since 1967, they do have a brag-worthy 13 under their belt along with a seriously dedicated fan base—there is up to a 20-year waiting list for season tickets. The Maple Leafs play their home games at the Air Canada Centre, close to the downtown core and a quick walk to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Motor City’s Red Wings have won 11 Stanley Cups, the most of any American team. They’ve also made the playoffs for 25 consecutive years. No wonder it’s dubbed “Hockeytown.” Construction is underway for a new $650 million USD mega complex, scheduled to open for the 2017–18 hockey season, but until then, watch the game at the city’s largest indoor venue, the Joe Louis Arena, situated downtown along the Detroit River.
With six Stanley Cup wins and Canada’s own Jonathan Toews leading the team, it’s worth heading to this fine city to catch a game. The United Center—home of the Blackhawks—is easily accessible from downtown by express bus and if you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite near the forum, there are plenty of pub-style restaurants along Madison Street. Also, those in the market for a jersey can head to the two-storey Blackhawks store downtown.
Another renowned sports city, Boston is a beauty and the Bruins are the oldest American team in the league. Catch the game at the TD Garden and then wander through the Sports Museum on the fifth and sixth floors. Integrate yourself in the local culture at one of the many sports bars in the area for a hearty pre-game bowl of clam chowder or a post-win pint of Sam Adams.
New York, New York
Bright lights, big city, mega hockey. The Rangers have played every home game since their first season in 1926 at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden. In the heart of the Big Apple, there is no shortage of nearby sites to check out. Go to the top of the Rockefeller Center, visit the Madame Tussauds wax museum and check out the Empire State Building, which is also nearby.