As the AHL contributor to Anaheim Calling, I am allowed to rant about the teams in the minors that I hate. There used to be an entire division I hated until the AHL split into six divisions. I've only followed the league for a short while so my history and personal hate isn't that deep.
The Baby Penguins of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
The hate here begins with Sidney Crosby. A team like the Baby Pens come to town and everyone wearing Crosby jerseys, like he is a player on the team or has ever been on the roster. In fact, most "fans" probably couldn't name any other players on the team aside from Sidney and Evgeni Malkin.
The rest of the hate rests on the shoulders of their radio personality, Tom Grace. In an epic game against the Baby Pens a bunch of fights broke out. Tom Grace started calling the Admirals players 'disgraceful'. This team, along with the others on my list, play the Admirals multiple times throughout the season. That makes for good games and it's usually a tight race for division winner.
Take a look and listen: Tom Grace is the really ignorant sounding one in both videos. Note that "gutless hockey" gets tossed around after the Admirals are winning and the Baby Pens are throwing hits every where.
This fight changed the entire game, Neilson didn't win but his toughness led the Admirals to a win after being down 3-1
The Hershey Bears (they still suck)
The Hershey Bears hate from me starts with the fans themselves. They have a certain arrogance to them from the amount of championships they have won. They usually have career AHL-ers on their top lines. Last year it was Chris Borque and Keith Aucoin, until Aucoin was called up.
Hershey really doesn't develop players. In fact, the last top prospect on the team, outside of Braden Holtby - who is a nutcase - was Corey Eakins and they just got rid of him. I like players growing in their systems. Is that such a crime? Admirals fans like to chant the phrase "Hershey sucks". Well because the just do.
[Ed. Note: Hershey is the Washington Capitals affiliate.]
The Charlotte Checkers
The Checkers may not be disliked by many Admirals fans. The team, in its current form, was only in our division for one season before the AHL re-aligned and they were booted to the Western Conference. Prior to the move, they were the Albany River Rats and a tough team. As far as I can remember, any team playing in Albany plays the Admirals really tough.
Now that they are in Charlotte, they are one of the closer teams and kind of a regional rival. A lot of Admirals fans are Caps fans and Lightning fans, since they are in the same division. I want to hate the team, but they're the only team that makes it difficult to do so. Why? Well, I've never even heard of a front office that calls the visiting team's fan to ask them how they enjoyed the game, arena, and surrounding area. Also, they gave the Ads their 17th and 18th straight wins last season.
[Ed. Note: The Checkers are the Carolina Hurricanes affiliate and full of Southern hospitality.]
Honorable Mention: The
Philadelphia Glens Falls Adirondack Phantoms
Who really knows where they play? Its a mystery, but when they were in Philly and in the division the games with them were always awesome. Two hard hitting, physical teams that really just disliked each other. All in all it helped that the Admiral's had players like David Koci, Shawn Thornton, Jay Rosehill, Zenon Konopka and many other guys that who weren't the friendliest on the ice.
But wait! I have some NHL hate too!
The Colorado Avalanche. If you knew me personally, you'd know why. Since I'm new, I'll explain. I got into hockey in the late 90s and I loved the Red Wings**. The games between Colorado and Detroit were, in my eyes, some of the best games ever played in hockey. The rivalry had as much pure hatred as you could get. The players AND coaches despised each other. It made for some awesome games
[**Ed. Note: We overlook the fact that he said anything positive about the Red Wings and allow Shawn to co-exist among us. We'll just keep Chris away from him...]