It is often said that the pressure on NHL hockey players is particularly strong in Montreal – so much that some players would refuse to come to Montreal. This is a consequence of the disproportionate media attention they receive and there is every reason to believe that this is not an urban legend. In fact, despite the difficulties of the Canadiens in 2017 – including their elimination in the first round of the series – the team still enjoyed the 3rd highest coverage in the entire league, just behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators, who were, after all, the Stanley Cup finalists!
In the face of the American giant, the Canadian and Quebec media ecosystems seem minuscule. American media output is about 32 times greater than Canada as a whole, and 243 times greater than that of Quebec.
However, we note that Canada generates 35% of all the news on the NHL, while less than a quarter of the league teams are installed there. Evidently, Canadiens’ love for their national sport has a quasi-religious fervour.
How About Those Habs, Eh?
When we consider this coverage team by team, we note that the Montreal Canadiens (CH) contribute substantially to this situation. In 2017, they had 7.39% of the total media coverage of NHL teams! This, despite a year in which the Montreal team received a significantly smaller Media Prominence Score in the Quebec media than in previous years; the lowest since 2012, in fact. Its share of overall Quebec sports coverage was also the lowest in 10 years.
Despite all of this, compared to other teams in the NHL, the Canadiens received a disproportionate share of attention, as shown by the ranking of all media coverage of the NHL teams in 2017:
This CH omnipresence in the news is even more significant in the print media (newspapers, magazines and internet) than in the electronic media. With an MPS of 5.17%, CH is on par with the New York Rangers among the most covered teams; the Rangers, however, are based in the largest media market in the NHL. Another score for the Habs!