So, a few months back, I was asked my opinion on why I thought the Red Wings were so hated among the fans of the other teams in the league by Jenn from Hockey Blogette for an article she was working on. What I wrote in response basically grew into another post of it's own.
However, somewhere along the line, things got mixed up, people got busy, and it just stayed in a folder on my desktop, fading into nothingness.
This is my response, my personal reasons and feelings why the Red Wings get so much hate from outside of Hockeytown.
Why do hockey fans hate the Red Wings?
I can come up with three solid, equal ideas. Some people fall into all 3 categories. Some only fall into 1. Ignorance, jealousy, and pride.
Ignorance: This is the reason I think is most applicable to the fans who hate the Red Wings. These are the fans who like their team, but don't like hockey. These are the fans who don't know the ins and outs of the game, let alone the business behind it. They think that the Red Wings are the New York Yankees of hockey. They saw the big free agent signings and the wins that came along with it and assume that the Red Wings were out buying Cups. They didn't bother to look into the deals and the inner workings of the organization to see what was really going on. They didn't see the pay cuts players took to open salary room to get the free agents to sign. And they didn't see the players ignoring larger, more lucrative contracts from teams on the bottom rungs of the NHL ladder and making less money all for a chance to win the Cup.
They never looked into our draft picks and saw that a lot of the major cogs of the dynasty were put in place by smart, tenacious scouting and excellent drafting. They never saw the trades made to bring in low key role players.
All they saw was the superstars raising the Cup.
Another major reason I think that the Wings are hated by pseudo-fans due to ignorance is because they so often get put in their place by Red Wings fans. They open their mouths in the playoffs or on message boards online-- and Red Wings fans, who are far more knowledgable, often shut them up. They like to pick out the trivial, useless things and try to attack the Wings and their fans using them. Wings fans don't back down once you call them out, so they often get labeled as "assholes" or "pricks" and that translates over to the team itself. Even if the Detroit supporters are polite, tactful, and receptive, they still get put down because they so effectively crush the dreams and spirit of the other fans. So Detroiters and the Red Wings all get thrown under the bus.
Jealousy: When the Red Wings have won more Cups in the past 20 years than some teams have playoff game wins, fans are going to get jealous. They're going to be angry that their teams just can't bring it all together like the Red Wings can. They're going to kind of revere the Red Wings, but they don't know how to show it. They get so much respect for the Wings and what they've done for the past 2 decades that it festers inside of them and turns into a hate.
Like the way you hate your neighbor for buying that nice new car or the beautiful addition he puts on his house. You wouldn't hate him if you knew how to do what he was doing right and could do it for yourself. If there was more parity in the league, the Red Wings wouldn't have so many haters.
Pride: There are, believe it or not, true fans of the other teams in the NHL. Usually, they're quiet and reserved because, well, they don't have much to cheer about. And that's because the Red Wings always put a good old fashioned ass whooping on them. They get so tired of having their teams' seasons ended or just being embarrassed by the Red Wings that they have no choice but to hate them. To them, the Wings are like that drunk guy at the party that comes in and pukes on the new couch and starts a fight. Everyone's having a good time, and then the Wings come in and spoil the mood. It's the more justified of the 3 reasons, but it still has it's ties into jealousy.
But the worst part about all of this is that the Wings are so hated across the league because they're just too good, but as soon as they slip up or don't do so great, they have all these haters digging a new grave in the hopes to start dancing on it soon.
The Red Wings literally can't win for losing.
Be sure to read Jenn's full post on the subject HERE. It's far more knowledgeable and in depth than mine is.