Survey says, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the country’s most hated hockey team

EXCLUSIVE POLL: Who’s dirty? Who’s admired? Who’s loved? And who likes Don Cherry?


The Canucks as Canada’s most hated team? Think again. A new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with Maclean’s has found that Toronto—not Vancouver—is the country’s most hated hockey team. It turns out Vancouver, which has worn the “hated” label since last spring’s failed Stanley Cup run, is actually one of the country’s most popular teams. Montreal, meanwhile, is the country’s favourite club.

But while Canada may respect the Canucks, it doesn’t mean they’re going to cheer for them this playoff season.

In the wide-ranging hockey poll, Canadians were asked to name their most loved—and hated—Canadian NHL franchise, to name teams they find arrogant, dirty or disrespected, and to say what they actually think of Don Cherry.


The Leafs, it turns out, are a polarizing club—both loved and hated by a large segment of the population.

When Canadians are asked to name their favourite Canadian NHL club, 17 per cent chose the Leafs. When the question was reversed, and Canadians were asked to name their most hated national franchise, a slightly larger proportion, 19 per cent, chose the Leafs.

Like the Leafs, the Habs—the country’s other Original Six franchise—are also well loved. They’re the country’s most loved club, the choice of 19 per cent of Canadians. And they are also country’s next most despised team, among 15 per cent of Canadians.

Vancouver was the favourite club of 11 per cent of Canadians, while fourth place was a tie. Both Alberta franchises, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are favoured by five per cent of Canadians.

That picture changes, however, when you ask only hockey fans.

Among fans of the game, almost a quarter of the country, 24 per cent, name the Leafs their favourite team, followed by the Habs, with 21 per cent of the votes, and the Canucks, at 18 per cent. The Oilers, rounding out the list, come in with 13 per cent of votes.


At this stage, 35 per cent of Canadians tell Angus Reid they’ll root for Vancouver, and one in five Canadians, 20 per cent, are supporting the Ottawa Senators.

Nearly half the country, 45 per cent, however, would prefer to see an American team take home the Cup over the Canucks, with Boston (11 per cent), Pittsburgh (8 per cent) and Detroit (8 per cent), the most popular choices.


Canadians not only dislike the Leafs, they hold negative views of the team. They see them as weak (48 per cent), in decline (43 per cent), arrogant (39 per cent), boring (38 per cent) and overrated (38 per cent).

In a funny finding, Canadians view Toronto much the same way as their hockey team. Both the Leafs and Torontonians are seen as arrogant, dirty, disrespected and overrated.

But Canadians don’t just see Toronto and the Leafs as one and the same. The Alberta capital and the Oilers are both seen as down to earth, while the Jets and Winnipeggers are both seen as undervalued. Vancouver and the Canucks are both seen as strong, exciting and clean. Both Montrealers and the beloved Habs are seen as dirty and in decline.

But Canadians also hold positive views of the Habs, with 49 per cent agreeing it is a classic club, and 36 per cent calling it  admired.

Canadians also see the Canucks in a positive light. They see them as strong (47 per cent), exciting (36 per cent), clean (26 per cent).


No surprise, the game’s most divisive figure is a polarizing fellow. Just 40 per cent of Canadians say they have a favourable opinion of Don Cherry. Among hockey fans, however, that number jumps to 59 per cent. But what you feel about Grapes seems to depend on where you live: Albertans love him most (53 per cent), while only one in five Quebecers (19 per cent) have a favourable opinion of him.

But that’s just Cherry. Canadians have nothing but love for the game’s stars. A huge proportion of Canadians think favourably of Wayne Gretzky (87 per cent), Sidney Crosby (80 per cent) and Mario Lemieux (78 per cent).


Survey says, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the country’s most hated hockey team

  1. I live in Quebec and I only know one hockey fan that doesn’t hate Vancouver. 0% in PQ? This poll is obviously garbage.

    • I’m in a similar situation, I’m in Quebec atm as well but I don’t know many fans who like the Leafs here.

    • Or maybe you didn’t read the headline. It says MOST hated team, and I’m sure Leaf hate in QC surpasses Canuck hate by a country mile. 

      • Exactly. I’m in Montreal, and I don’t have the energy to hate the Canucks… they’re in another conference and we hardly play them. All my hate is for the Laffs.

    • Your little circle of haters is not statistically relevant. Maybe next year Habs… haha

    •  Because you know everyone in Quebec. Idiot.

  2. Get a life. Who cares? What a waste of time.

    • Funny. I was going to say the same thing about your comment…….

    • But you read it, then took the time to post that. Je suis confused.

    • Well then that is a much more reliable measure than a scientific poll. You should be weighting opinion columns. Your method of obtaining facts is so reliable.

      • Sorry my previous post was meant for Quebec Joe.

      • I find his comment funny too. “oh the ppl i know dislike so and so …so they must be the worst team” lolol

  3. I think the poll is misleading. Fans across Canada may hate the Leafs not because they are the Leafs but because they are in Toronto. As a Torontonian living in western Canada for 25 years I have stopped telling new aquaintenences that I am from Toronto because it usually results in negative responses from them to even violent encounters. I have had to beat up a lot of Albertans because of their attitude towards Toronto. Fortunately for me that I have never lost a fight to a western Canadian who fit the pansy role quite well. Toughness in Canada decreases as you go west. I refuse to watch the Oilers or the Flames unless they are playing the Leafs and always celebrate when they miss the playoffs. I usually cheer for American teams to beat the Canucks but I will watch them play.

    • come east tough guy, lol.

    • While I am a leaf fan ,I do not dislike Toronto Ontario I happen  like Canadians and Canada

      I find your response makes you sound like a troll or a maybe child .There are many leaf fans

      through out North America “Leaf Nation” I Love the leafs but not your silly stuff “tough guy”

      Your Low Mentality is not represetative of leaf fans or Torontonians . I don’t think you are

      a “real” Canadian man after all, there……. Patches

    • Wow. You are definately a Leafs fan to be admired. Teriffic response. If only Leafs fans would do the same to Habs fans or Sens fans, or any other fan of the 29 other NHL teams who live in Toronto. Well done sir.
      Don’t mind Gerry. Personally, i think your kind of attitude is something all Leafs fans should have towards fans of other NHL teams who dare make fun of us.

    • wow your quite the tough guy. actually you sound like such a loser. so by your stupid reasoning you should get the crap beat out of you by anyone in quebec or the maritimes. and to them you are just a pansy little nancy.

      • Bah. Habs fans can’t fight. Plus Quebecers are just jealous that the Leafs have more fans than the Habs, and the habs will have a lot less fans once Quebec city gets an NHL team again.

        • Wait so…fans who can fight are true fans now? lolol are you people trying to be funny here or are you actually serious?

        • lol the broad categorization here is hilarious. As if your fighting ability is determined by what hockey team you cheer for. Hah. 

          And while I may be from BC I seriously have my doubts that Quebecers are jealous of ANYTHING Leafs related. Why would they be? The Habs have an epic history.

          • you have too be tough to be a leaf fan..those that know.know what i mean….from the west to the east..or east to the west….I am a leaf fan

      • Just speed chess…

        Getting decimated, you ran out of time!

        I am still King, you ran out of time, you have no Universe to be King in.

        You can still be God.

    • How many western girls have you beat up tough guy? 

    • Ok, so in in addition to making fun of other canadians, you are looking down very badly on other canadian teams as well. I’ve lived in toronto half my life and it’s a great city, but people like you are one of the core reasons why Toronto and the Leafs are hated on. Fighting people and/or bashing them is just plain childish. Also, “I usually cheer for American teams to beat the canucks”…seriously? So just because the Canucks are performing better you will hate on them and cheer on american teams due to jealousy? Wow..thats just low

    • I don’t believe you are all that tough. Perhaps you should try fighting adult males.

    • Telephone tough guy. Where do you hang out…..blue oyster. Highly doubt you work anywhere close to the oil patch or your tough guy image would take a beating. You sound like an idiot no matter where you come from and if you wanna see how tough you really are….come to north end winnipeg. Puss!!! Go Jets!!

    • How about choice “C”.  They hate Toronto and the Leafs.  They lose either way.

    •  Quit fighting the women and children and try fighting a man sometime.

    • Are you in grade school? I don’t know many adult males who brag about beating people up. Or calling someone a panzy. Maybe you should take some anger management classes.

    • You have made your living in western Canada for 25 YEARS and you still call yourself a Torontonian???   Sheesh….isn’t time you admitted to yourself that you moved west and didn’t return home to your beloved Toronto for a reason?  As for your ascertain that “western Canadian(s) fit the pansy role quite well”, would those western Canadians be the same kind of western Canadians you are….displaced central and eastern Canadians because I have tell you, it is almost impossible to find any one in the City of Calgary that was born here and is even close to the vicinity of your age.

    • Wow Patcashman, you sound like a total loser who relies on physical confrontation to solve his problems! And people wonder why Torontonians are hated. Its because of people like YOU buddy. 

    • “Fortunately for me that I have never lost a fight to a western Canadian who fit the pansy role quite well.” – LOL. So you’re running around Alberta trying to find pansy’s to fight? Ya, you’re a real tough guy!

      “Toughness in Canada decreases as you go west.” – Ya, I’d take a pack of Bay Street investment bankers or Quebecois government bureaucrats in a fight over a farmer or oilsands worker every day. Cause we all know that pencil pushing office workers are world renowned tough guys.

      “I refuse to watch the Oilers or the Flames unless they are playing the Leafs and always celebrate when they miss the playoffs.” – So you only watch the Flames and Oilers when they’re all but guaranteed victory? I guess it makes sense for a Leafs fan, being so used to watching your own team lose. If you’re going to watch another team, it might as well be when they’re going to win. Celebrating the Leafs missing the playoffs has got to be working out great for you though!

      “As a Torontonian living in western Canada for 25 years I have stopped telling new aquaintenences (sic) that I am from Toronto because it usually results in negative responses from them to even violent encounters.” – I’m guessing you don’t need to tell anybody where you’re from to draw a negative response (though you should probably refer to Toronto as The Center Of The Universe, people generally find that more appealing). You seem like such a nice, down to earth fellow that Western Canadians are bound to despise you for your charm and wit.

    •  In a word……IDIOT!

    •  You just proved that you have a tiny mind

    • Sure you’ve beaten up a lot of Albertans tough guy. Sounds like what you need is to book yourself penis extension surgery! Only a weenie from Toronto has an attitude like this. I dare you to confront a tough rigger from Alberta. You will be put in your place in 3.5 seconds.

  4. Great piece of objective journalism…

  5. Wow you get paid to write this crap???…where do I sign?  terrible read

  6. Who has the most passionate fans? TML, or they would not be the highest earning club. Who’s fault is it the Leafs are where they are at? The same passionate fans who will waste their hard earned money going to the games. Stay away, show you displeasure, and when the earnings drop, changes will be made

  7. It’s mostly the Western whiners, nothing new here folks. Patcashman is right. We still have people in BC and Prairies giving the finger to people with Ontario plates. Talk about 2yr. old, regressive minds. LMAO High school never leaves for some. 

    • Leafs have a good team like some players as in #81,#3, and so on but the efort is not there they need more o-fence chances and need to stop making plays like go beind your net and the golie goes to get it and then the player gets it and shots it of the back of his own golie and and it goes in STUPIED PLAYS

    • If you feel that way you should return to Toronto. Oh yeah no jobs in Ont.

    • Hahahaha. Still struggling with the fact that your team is unable to make the playoffs for how many years in a row? In the last decade Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary have each made it to the Cup finals. You guys can’t even get into the post-season. Winnipeg Jets fans took over the rink in Minneapolis for a Jets road trip. You would have thought it was a home game in Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the Leafs are sold out…. yet all I see on Saturday nights in Toronto are empty seats.

      Oh ya, and how about that apology your team issued to the fans? Do you think they decided to public say their sorry because they’re just that awesome, or because even the management understands that they suck?

      If you hate Western Canada so much, I’d suggest you go home. You might be able to find part time minimum wage work at a McDonalds in downtown Toronto. But hey, you and the growing group of people in the unemployment line can all tut-tut and agree about how Western Canadians are all a bunch of rubes.

  8. Who did they survey? Half the population of Winnipeg? Apprently being down to earth is boring and weak. Love how T.O. gets completely misjudged based on pure sterotypes and nothing factual. The Leafs are among the freshest teams in the league – not one player’s been there for more than 4 or 5 years. And WTF regarding that cities question? Did they mean, what do you think “of the city” or “of the PEOPLE who live in the city”? That was not clear.

  9. I recently watched some old leaf games on espn classic the leafs with Gilmour,Clark ,
    Sundin, Gill, Andeson,Felix, Osbourne They “again” lost to Gretz but what a great game
    I know it is off topic …but this topic was stupid……

  10. Vancouver the cleanest team? hahahaha  . Lost all credibility with that one

    • I’m not a Canuck fan but I don’t find them as a dirty team, aside from a couple players that gets on my nerves lol.

    • Canucks were the only team to not receive supplemental discipline this season (That streak ended with the suspension to Bitz last game though).

      We have lots of ‘jerkpuck’ players, but not a single player that plays ‘dirty’ with attempts to injure opposing players (unlike numerous teams in the league).

      • Still, you’re telling me that the current Leafs are the dirtier than Canucks as the article suggest? give me a break,.. just more blind Toronto hate is what this article is

        • You’re right man, the Leafs aren’t dirty. Canucks are a complete joke in this regard.

  11. What a bunch of crap. Do you morons have nothing better to do?
    Whatever happened to journalism?

    • Funny, lots of people here seem to be angry that ‘science’ is taking away their favourite toy (i.e. the irrational media-driven hatefest against the Canucks).

  12. “Among fans of the game, almost a quarter of the country, 24 per cent, name the Leafs their favourite team, followed by the Habs, with 21 per cent of the votes, and the Canucks, at 18 per cent. The Oilers, rounding out the list, come in with 13 per cent of votes.”

    Excellent. This just proves that the Leafs have more fans than any other NHL team. The Smurfs, aka the Habs, will always be second best. :) GO LEAFS GO.

    • but I’ll bet that 25 percent all lives in Toronto….so who cares.  Leafs suck!

    • It’s good to see that Leafs fans judge the success of the team strictly by the number of irrational fans they have. Because if they used any other metric, like wins, they’d be very very disappointed.

  13. I honestly didn’t expect the Leafs to be THAT hated. Well, even though as a former Torontonian I must admit the fans attitudes there are clearly classified as arrogant and classless most often.

  14. What was te size if the representative sample used? And how was weighting done provincially. Results seem to be a tad skewed.

  15. Where did this information come from? A nucks arse? 

    • I doubt it. Seems more like a Winnipegers article. Its quite accurate though if you think from a non-Leafs fans’ perspective.

  16. Seems like they just surveyed a bunch of faggots from BC.

    • Naw, more like Winnipeg. But since you’re calling BC residents faggots that alone justifies that you’re a classless fan. Hopefully you’re not from Toronto as it’ll support the article.

    • Real mental giant here. Did you graduate from high school or are you still attending?

  17. Ok so…judging from all these fans comments it seems everybdy hates each other apparently. What is this? Is NHL a highschool popularity contest or something? Cant even learn to respect fellow Canadian teams? I mean I understand those who are division rivals but why are teams in different conferences hating eachother LOLOOOL. Sounds like Leafs/Habs/Canucks ALL have childish fans.

  18. Hmmm…..”most hated”.  I guess Toronto can beat Ottawa at something everytime.  Lol…..

    • Yea no matter how anyone can look at it the Leafs would be more hated then Ottawa. As in fact the only team that really despises ottawa are the Leafs ROFL.

  19. at least the leafs can win something!!!

  20. I have heard of Sidney Crosby, but who is Sydney Crosby?

  21. learn how to spell Sidney Crosby right.

  22. Why hate the Leafs – it is Fun to see each year how BAD they can be !!  I thought they lost their minds when the Made the Trade to get Kessel but then they went out and really screwed it up and went to Calgary to get Dione P – MY GOD the Flames fans should be HUGE Leafs Fans getting him out of town !!  I LOVE the Leafs – May they stay Mediocre to Bad forever !

    Canuck Fan

  23. As a Leaf fan – I’m celebrating – we finally WON something!!!

  24. Of course the poll is wrong when you don’t agree with it.  I’m reminded yet again to never underestimate the ‘power’ of stupid people in large groups.  Go Canucks Go

  25. Garbage Poll on  Vancouver  I hope they do well and bring the Stanley Cup to Vancouver –
    I will never forget the Edmonton Media and fans acting  Morons from the City of Chumpyons-
    Guess what I cannot bring myself to cheer for that So Called Cdn team. 
    I am a Jets fan who admires good plays and Good Refs- 


  27. Canucks fans are by far the worst. Arrogant beyond words and they have never won a thing. 40 years of futility does not give you any right to speak up against anything. The team itself is a bunch of whiners and divers too. And never winning a damn thing with the Sedins as your go to guys and with a head case like Luongo.

    As an Oiler fan who lives in BC I see it all the time. Guaranteed the Oilers with Hall,Eberle, and RNH, guys with Canadian hearts, will win the cup before the Canucks ever ever will.

    • If they are a bunch of whiners, shouldn’t you be their biggest fan?  

      Like all the anti-Canucks haters, the ‘projection’ in their posts is hilarious.

      When it comes to arrogant whiners, hedgehog is an expert.

  28. I don’t hate any team though I want Oilers to win. In playoffs I back the Canucks because they are long deserving of the Cup.  If Toronto was the only Canadian team in the playoffs I would vote for them.  During their “pyramid power” days, I was a supporter.

  29. In all honestly. I lived in Toronto all my life. And I was a Montreal Canadian fan. I shared season tickets with a group of individuals which usually meant I got to go to ten Leaf home games a year. I stopped going because of the attitude, and arrogance of Maple Leaf fans. I am no longer a young man but for years I experienced the less then gentlemanly conduct and fistacuffs of fans because I just routed for the other team. Its a sport. A game. Where the athletes make way to much money for playing games. And where the fans take their violent aggressive nature out on other fans when the team fails to make their goals and objectives. Now I go to Toronto FC games. ? Where even when the team is losing the fans still cheer. And the team in general is more fan friendly. The poll is accurate in my limited opinion.

  30.  This poll makes me laugh. Maybe the non-hockey fan general public mislead this poll because in the hockey community Vancouver is the most hated across Canada, and the Western Conference. You just had to watch Game 1 to be reminded of their diving ways. That’s only half the problem though. It’s how back and forth their fan base is. I think they are confused between bragging about Luongo and booing him off the ice. Not to mention the whining from coach and GM every time a call goes against them. The fact this poll shows 0% Vancouver hatred in Quebec is such BS, not even 1% after the riots? Give me a break…this is terribly inaccurate.

  31. Well, that says it all.  Glad I live in Vancouver.

  32. This is the most misguided hockey study I have ever seen. Vancouver is by far the most hated. How many real hockey fans filled this out? How many true die hard hockey fans read Macleans?

  33. As for me I do not hate any Canadian team but there is a couple that I hate in the United States.
    My favourite Canadian Team is the Edmonton Oilers as they show the fans a good hockey game
    for their speed and finesse with a minimum of fights. About Don Cherry first of all he more or less
    started violence in hockey with his Rockem Sockem tapes. He is a mockery on coaches corner
    dressed like a clown with his smug talk and butting in frequently on Ron McLean the host of
    Hockey Night in Canada.  CBC has sponsered him long enough and should let him go for another
    that is more knowlegible in both sides of the game and not only on playing tough and fighting.What
    made me turn on him when he was in White Horse with Ron McLean watching a hockey game
    there and after the game he congratulated the team for playing the game the way it should be
    played when there was numerous fights in all three periods. This is Don Cherry’s style of playing
    the game. Will give Don Cherry’s a plus for his concern on the armed forces but as a hockey
    analyst he is not worthy of the position and it is about time that CBC lets him go.I can only add
    with his attire and rough play he should be working as a clown in the Rodeo’s

  34. I only know like 2 people who like Vancouver the rest go for the leafs and Montreal

  35. I dont refer to them as “The Leafs”, merely Toronto’s “Dirty Diving Drama Queens”.

  36. The Toronto Maple Leafs are my favorite team since 1945 and what they have given to hockey and expansion in hockey surpases Montreal and all other Canadian teams combined though l enjoy whenever Montreal gets beat as a long time Leaf fan l do have alot of respect for Montreal when l was a young boy 52-53 season Montreal won the cup so l wrote a letter to the Forum asking them for a photograph of the team which l have stlll today My son says l live to hate Montreal but l say it has a lot to do with respect so l receive your article in the same maner Leaf fans could care less what other fans think of Canada’s Team Period.

  37. Did Macleans have a survey in French? Francophones hang up on survey companies that onl have English callers. I am a francophone from Ontario and I also hang up when a unilingual Toronto based surve company calls.

  38. Gaybec should have separated when they had the chance, stupid frogs

  39. This is not hate the Leafs.  This is hate Toronto, and it is based upon envy, pure and simple.

    Apart from having a grossly obese lummox of a mayor, Toronto is the best place in the world to call home.  No other Canadian city comes second.

    I’d rather live in Toronto with the Leafs losing 82 games a year, than any other city that you can name that won the Stanley Cup.

  40. this poll must have be taken by some Vancouver fan and is tainted 

  41. I live in Saskatchewan and there are alot of devout Habs fans here and will continue to be even through a losing streak.  Which other team has won 24 Stanley cups?

  42. The financial success – second to none other in the NHL – would seem to suggest otherwise.

  43. HI i’m from PQ and i would like to know opinion of Canadians about possibly Quebec team?

  44. TORONTO & VANCOUVER are my most hated teams

  45. Weakest team, strongest city….

    How global (compliance) perception is this?

  46. I think this poll is more about timing and the emotional element it provides…if the Leafs were President Trophy winners and came of a game 7 loss in the previous year’s Stanley Cup Final, I’d like to see what these numbers would say…no doubt there’d be HUGE increases in both love and hate for my pathetic team from the centre of the Canadian universe.

  47. Canadian citizens with no hockey fandom shouldn’t matter in this sort of poll. The fan spoke, and the Leafs are the most popular team in Canada (and most hated)… I can live with that. I personally hate the Canucks the most.

  48. How are the Leafs the dirtiest team? I’ve never seen them do much involving after-whistle scrums or tripping/slashing. This poll doesn’t make much sense.

  49. The maple loaves are the worst and most hated team simply because they are LOSERS!!! Oh when was the last time that they won the Stanley Cup? 1967! That spells loser to me my friends, plain and simple. They are a waste of skin. The team has to print apologies in the local newspaper apologizing for their losses; what a laugh! L-O-S-E-R-S!!!!!

  50. Hockey

  51. seeing as how this was posted over a year ago i’m sure nobody will see this, but no matter, needed to get off chest lol funny how Leafs are always the most hated, yet has anyone who supposedly hates them ever watched them play? how can they be 43% in decline yet 38% overrated? i grew up in ontario, but have now lived exactly half my life in BC and I can tell you Canucks fans are the most arrogant and ignorant fans. They don’t even know why they hate the leafs, that’s just what they were born to do. When the Canucks win, it’s all woohoo!!! we’ve got the best goalie, we’re going to win the cup, but when they lose..it’s all what game? no i didn’t see the game last night, did we win? ugh..trade luongo, fire vignault LOL atleast Leafs fans can admit when their team sucks lol don’t get me wrong, there are definately die hards, and i totally respect them, but for the most part..if you’re gonna argue canucks vs leafs have a leg to stand on…know what you are talking about, and for the love of GOD have a fricken reason to hate the leafs other than the old “they think they are the center of the universe” crap lol or just “they suck” cause lets face it, canucks aren’t much better are they???

  52. zxc

  53. where was the survey

  54. The problem with the leafs is simple, they have more fans then any other hockey club and that’s why there is so much attention and haters. Its not the team the hate its the losing. If the leafs were leading nhl in points right now a lot of ex fans would come back. end of story!

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