Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Florida Panthers fans celebrate a goal by Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (not pictured) against the Vegas Golden Knights in the third period in game four of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers have been playing hockey in South Florida since October of 1993. With varying degrees of success. They made the Playoffs in their third season, losing in the Stanley Cup Final to the Colorado Avalanche. They would make the playoffs the following season, but then miss out of the playoffs for 18 of the next 21 seasons. But the Cats have found success in recent history, and the growth in the fan base is showing.

Betway tracked social media growth over the last 12 months in the NHL. And the results are in… The Florida Panthers are one of the NHL’s fastest growing fan bases! Los Gatos has had a 23.3% increase across all social media platforms. And the Florida Panthers Instagram followers rise to 391,000. That’s more than 91,000 followers added in the last 12 months alone. The Florida Panthers are one of the NHL ‘s fastest growing fan bases.

So we know Florida is the fastest growing of the NHL fan bases. But who are the slowest growing? Betway has us covered there as well. The Ottawa Senators have had their Instagram account accrue a measly 1.35% over 12 months. And that shouldn’t be surprising. The Senators haven’t played a playoff hockey game since 2017. To make things worse for the Senators fans, last year was the first season since 2016/17 where they were even close to sniffing the playoffs. And they were still 6 points behind the final wild card spot. It probably shouldn’t surprise you that the Stanley Cup runner-ups fan base is growing while a team that hasn’t seen playoff hockey in a half a decade is slow to gain more traction. Here’s a list of the the 5 fastest and 5 slowest growing fanbases.

  • Fastest Growing: Florida Panthers

    We’ve already gone through all the statistical growth on Instagram. But it needs to be reiterated that the on-ice success has been what’s fueled the growth of the fan base. Not the fan base needs to turn Amerant Bank Arena into a true home ice advantage.

    NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Florida Panthers

    A young Florida Panthers fan cheers during the third period in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

  • 2nd Fastest Growing: New Jersey Devils

    The Devils have a talented young group of players led by Jack Hughes. Fun fact: Jack’s brother Luke is a Defensemen on the Devils and their brother Quinn is Captain for the Vancouver Canucks. The Devils have grown their Instagram followers by 22.16% to 491,760 followers on the platform.

    NHL: Florida Panthers at New Jersey Devils

    New Jersey Devils fans react after a goal against the Florida Panthers during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

  • 3rd Fastest Growing: Pittsburgh Penguins

    This one is the most surprising. Not because the Penguins aren’t a great organization on and off the ice. But because they’re such an established team that you’d figure most fans already have their opinion on the team. But they still managed to grown their Instagram following by 18.91% to 2.8 million! That’s the most followers any team in the NHL has on the platform.

    NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Colorado Avalanche

    Pittsburgh Penguins fans celebrate a goal scored in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

  • 4th Fastest Growing: Seattle Kraken

    I love the Krak Heads! I think it’s the most clever name a fan base have given themselves in recent memory. And it makes sense that a team going into their 3rd season is still growing their fan base. Plus they’ve had success early one with a trip to the conference quarterfinals in their 2nd season. They’ve grown their Instagram followers 13.84% to 569,500 followers.

    NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Dallas Stars at Seattle Kraken

    Fans celebrate a Seattle Kraken goal during the second period in game three of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Dallas Stars and the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

  • 5th Fastest Growing: Anaheim Ducks

    I think this comes down to one man: Trevor Zegras. The kid is a human highlight reel. They’ve grown their Instagram following by 11.7% to 461,900 followers.

    NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Anaheim Ducks

    An Anaheim Ducks fan cheers during the game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Montreal Canadiens at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

  • 5th Slowest Growing: Tampa Bay Lightning

    The Bolts have been an elite organization over the last half decade. They’ve lifted the Cup twice, lost in Finals, and had a President’s Trophy season. They have stars of the league at basically every position. They’ve only grown on Instagram by 2.9% over the last 12 months.

    NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Tampa Bay Lightning

    a Tampa Bay Lightning fan celebrates catching a puck against Winnipeg Jets during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

  • 4th Slowest Growing: Philadelphia Flyers

    The Flyers have become the red-headed step-child of the Philadelphia sports fan. The Eagles and Phillies each lost in their championships last year and are wagons this season. The 76ers aren’t on that level, but are led by one of the faces of the league and are a top-5 Eastern Conference team. The Flyers grew their Instagram following by 2.85%

    NHL: Preseason-New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Flyers mascot Gritty entertains fans before the game between the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

  • 3rd Slowest Growing: Washington Capitals

    Another franchise that has been established for the last decade and led by Alex Ovechkin. They’re not the Stanley Cup contender they once were, but they’re still a solid team. Their Instagram following grew just 2.76% over the last 12 months.

    NHL: St. Louis Blues at Washington Capitals

    Mar 17, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) tosses a puck over the glass to a fan during warmups while wearing a special Capitals Go Green Night jersey on St. Patrick’s Day prior to the game against the St. Louis Blues at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

  • 2nd Slowest Growing: St. Louis Blues

    This one is a little head scratching. The Blues have made the playoffs in 10 of the last 11 years. Although there hasn’t been a ton of success, they have lifted the cup. Their Instagram following increased by 2.47% over the last 12 months.

    NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at St. Louis Blues

    A fan holds a sign for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) during the third period in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports

  • Slowest Growing: Ottawa Senators

    We’ve gone through why I think the Senators are having a difficult time growing their Instagram following. Their season has gotten off to a good start though, so maybe the next 12 months will show more growth than the previous 12 months.

    NHL: Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets

    Senators center Chris Tierney (71) skates past fans before a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

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