Hockey gets no respect from SI

To determine hockey’s popluarity in the US media, I’ve examined every cover of Sports Illustrated and tabulated the result by team and by year.There have been 77 cover stories about the NHL since SI began publishing in the mid 1950’s. Of those, 18 were about the playoffs. Gretzky made the cover 16 times, the most of any player or team. There were no cover stories about hockey in 2003. SI’s disinterest in hockey is not limited to the NHL. There has only been one cover story ever on an NHL prospect, and of the 30 times the Winter Olympics has been featured on the cover, hockey has been the sport only once.

For MLB, NBA and NFL, SI will write multiple stories per season about the playoffs and will write about any team or star with a long winning streak. SI reserves stories about the NHL for either once a year playoffs or top superstars. The only players still in the NHL about whom SI has done a cover story are Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier and Brett Hull. Sports fans have not been properly introduced to any of the current top NHL players.

Gordie Howe made the cover four times. He was featured once each in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80s and was the only WHA player ever to make the cover.

NHL compared to other sports:

MLB 515

NFL 404

NBA 275

Golf 168

Tennis 90 (Anna Kournikova 1 cover, Sergei Federov 0.)

NHL 77

Horse racing 65

Auto racing 16

Bowling 2

NHL cover stories by decade:

00’s 5

90’s 11

80’s 17

70’s 23

60’s 16

50’s 5

NHL Cover Stories by team:

Montreal 12 None since 1993.

Boston 10 One since the Orr and Esposita era

Rangers 10 Last was a 1994 story “ Why the NHL is hot and the NBA is not.”

Chicago 10 None since the days of Hull and Mikita.

Edmonton 8 All of Wayne.

Detroit 6 Steve Yzerman has none.

Los Angeles 6

NY Islanders 5

Pittsburgh 4 All of Mario.

St Louis 3

Vancouver 2

Colorado 2

New Jersey 2

Philadelphia 2

Columbus 1 Sadly, a story aboot the death of fan Brittanie Cecil.

Atalanta 1 A post 1980 Olympics – Atlanta Flames story about signing goalie Jim Craig.

Buffalo 1 None about Hasek.

Hartford 1 A story on the return of Gordie Howe to the NHL with the Whalers.

Dallas 1

Phoenix 0

San Jose 0

Anaheim 0

Nashville 0

Tampa 0

Washington 0

Florida 0

Carolina 0

Senators 0

Leafs 0 The only Original Six team with none. The Blue Jays have nine.

Minnesota 0

(Some covers were shared by two teams.)

48 Responses to Hockey gets no respect from SI

  1. beefer says:

    Ever time I get a mailing or a call to subscribe, I let them know that their hockey coverage is horrible and I’ll stick to reading my Hockey News. I’d have to say there is really only one issue I’d even bother opening each year. Anyone want to venture a guess as to switch one that might be?

  2. Leaf_Expert says:

    Weren’t the Leafs on the cover of Sports Illustrated last year as “the most hated team in the NHL?”

  3. GeniushockeyKID says:

    You are absolutely right. i say the same thing every darn time I get an issue. not even one mention most of the time. this year the devils lost the cover to a story about diving after winning the cup. SI is completely ignorant…but their football coverage is good. and one more thing, the hockey news is great but its way to expensive to subscribe.

  4. habsoverserver says:

    It was a feature story, not a cover story, I think in April 2002.

  5. adambuffalo says:

    good article. must have taken a long time to research. if i were to get an all around sports magazine like SI i would go with ESPN magazine. they at least have one page every issue about hockey. not sure about their cover stories though.

  6. wheresthesoda says:


    go rangers

  7. Kashin says:

    ESPN magazine which over the past 5 years has become SI closest rival has good hockey coverage. They have articles from their hockey experts regularly. They put effort into their preview issues just as much as they would for any other sport.

    SI this year was better for hockey then it has in past years. They are pretty good during the season. They usually have an article every week during the season. But during the offseason they have had only 1 article so far.

  8. Johnny_Blaze says:

    The amount of times I’ve read Sports Illustrated…2

    00’s – 0 times

    90’s – 1 time

    80’s – 1 time

    Who cares, SI sucks! They only print old stories that everybody knows anyways. They’re like the enquirer of sports or something, GARBAGE!!! I’d rather read Martha Stewart. At least you know some crazy S.O.B. is behind her writing for some excitement.


  9. tmeyers says:

    thats because SI is more of a preppy type mag. run by psuedo-facists. Hockey is a workingmans sport and i believe there is a bias there. kinda like union vs. salary type b.s. This is why places like Connecticut wouldnt build a new rink to save the whale…but creamed their pants to build a college football stadium.

  10. Heinzee57 says:

    Isn’t it bad luck to be on the cover of SI??


  11. Gforce says:

    As a Hockey Fan it Blow my mind to find out that the leafs don’t have one and Vancouver does…Si SUX ….

  12. jofa says:

    Yeah, when you pick up an SI in the doctor’s office or at the gym, you’ll typically find one page of hockey right at the end in a sort of “news and notes” format. Pretty ridiculous.

    Its funny though, as you think there would be a lot of potential in hockey for the magazine, considering some of the best sports and athlete stories seem to come from hockey, and it is definitely more photogenic than sports like baseball. I mean, a picture of A-Rod hitting a ball, or a picture of an open ice Scott Stevens hit… which is going to be more interesting?

    But, alas, I am biased. And Canadian. I won’t fault SI for not covering hockey as I am sure they have found it doesn’t sell that well to their target audience. There’s always The Hockey News…

  13. G_Money says:

    of course a habs fan would know, seeing how they never have the playoffs to think about. Thats all they do, is find dirt on the Leafs.

  14. Overtime says:

    You’re right. The Hockey News is probably the best source of hockey articles around. SI doesn’t really go in depth with many of their articles. It’s sort of the People Magazine of the sports world.

  15. wrightstuff77 says:

    Just to back up the point of how biased and crappy SI really is, when Donovan Baily won Gold in the 100 meters at the Summer Olympics in 96, he should have been crowned worlds fastest man right?

    Nope Micheal Johnson who is American and won Gold the 200 meters was given that title on the cover of SI. What a crock of shit, I know this is not a site about track, but I think it ties together, SI covers sports in the way it feels is most appealing to American’s, instead of telling the truth. For that I won’t buy any of their articles, not even the “special ones”.


    By the way when Baily did race against Johnson in a 150 meter race he killed him (Johnson pulled up when he realized he was beat)!

  16. HOTROD17 says:

    Its not only with SI, ESPN was doing the daily 1 hour Sportscenter show and about 40 mins into the show Rich Eisen (who I hate!) said “well heres the NHL highlights, we’re only showing them cause we have to” and then proceeded to get every players name wrong!!! All ESPN is intereseted in is Baseball & Basketball (which both SUCK!) I get the NHL package so I can watch the Canadian coverage! ESPN & SI SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Habfan1234 says:

    If you live in America that is why The Hockey News is costly to subscribe to and if you live overseas than It really won’t be financially prudent to subscribe to it. The price for the subscription in Canada is $58.80 (incl. GST) for 42 issues and the Yearbook is thrown in for free. In America the cost is $54.95 US, which is $77.20 CDN and I think the yearbook is also included. The price for it in Europe is 159.95 British Pounds, which is $252.00 US and $351.70 CDN. Outside Europe and NA the cost for the subscription is $269.95 US, which is $376.65 CDN.

    I currently subscribe to The Hockey News and am quite happy with it. Not all articles concern what’s happening on the ice, some of the articles show the true character of the player. The best example is the article about the antics of Marc Bergevin (Funniest Man in the NHL) and the pranks he has pulled over the last few years (can be found in this years yearbook).

  18. great_one98 says:

    Look at vancouver with 2. More than pheonix, san jose, anaheim, nashvile, tampa, florida, washington, carolina, ottawa, minnesota, and TORONTO. HAHAHAAH.

  19. scintilating says:


  20. MantaRay says:

    Great research.

    Your right SI does suck. Its seems there target audience are nerds and fat old men….oh wait, that the baseball demographic.

  21. TheMinister says:

    I’m a guessin’ Bure, and….expansion? Nope, Bure and Bure.

  22. TheMinister says:

    Kentucky Derby?!?

  23. TheMinister says:

    Holy Shit! I think he has it!

    Hockey players are said to be described as the most courteous athletes in pro sports by hotel staff. Carry their own luggage and everything.

  24. TheMinister says:

    That acting scene was more transparent than a Pascal Dupuis dive.

  25. j2digit says:

    SCREW SI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    if it wasn’t for their annual hard bound copy of NHL championship, I wouldn’t even be reading it.

    its a disgrace, Sports Illustrated MY ASS!!!!!!!!

  26. Zig_Zag_33 says:

    It really sucks how no sports show/magazine gives a damn bout hockey, the game should get more respect, the players do soo much & dont get any credit. maybe if they promoted hockey in SI it would get some credit, specially out here in CALI

  27. Flamesfan_7 says:

    I totally agree. I hate the coverage SI gets, especially because their self-proclaimed hockey expert, Michael Farber, has to be the worst hockey writer on the planet! Anyone who writes an article proclaiming that “Everyone hates the Leafs”, while only getting the opinions of about 4 NHL players (who didn’t even have the guts to mention their names, might I add), then follows it up by praising the New Jersey Devils for killing hockey as we know it by using the trap, goes down in my books as an idiot. Somehow, obscure college sports find more coverage than the NHL. And by the way, the pre-season review edition SUCKS. They barely take the time to fully analyze the teams, however, when it comes to baseball, they have projected stats, starting lineups, and a whole pile of crap that doesn’t interest me. When reading the review for my beloved Flames last year, the writer seemed to figure the only player the Flames had was Jarome Iginla. He seemed to forget that there are 20 guys on a NHL team. If SI pulled their act together and hired guys who actually know the game (get Farber OUTTA THERE!!!!) the coverage wouldn’t be so bad. But considering they have a bunch of morons, the coverage, just like the quality of the writers is poor.

  28. defenestrate says:

    You are an imbecile.

  29. DG says:

    Do not do that again.

    -DG (Vice-Admin)

  30. OldNord says:

    You’re not enough hard in your threat. Use your contacts with the mafia and put a contract on the guy, that might work. Call Joe Pesci!

  31. FNGretzky says:

    Screw Sports Illustrated!

    We got The Hockey News!

  32. scintilating says:

    Did I do something wrong? I was just trying to praise author for what I thought was a great post. Positive feedback is a good thing. We need more of that around here.

  33. scintilating says:

    Why are you constantly trying to pick fights with me? Buzz off!!

  34. cwthrash says:

    It’s not worth it, D.

    Their devices have been laid bare. Everyone now sees them for exactly what they are, each additional post makes it more and more obvious.

    Sad attempts at attention and recognition.

    What more is there to say, really?

  35. defenestraete says:


  36. big-booty says:

    SI isn’t to blame for lack of respect for hockey, it is because it is a canadian sport and canadian’s are the niggers of modern day society. They are nothing but a SARS infested boring bunch of blockheads and have contributed nothing to the world except for hockey.

    From a hockey perspective, the pendulum has not fully swung in the Americans direction in fully adopting the sport, yet. America is gradually dominating the sport of hockey and absorbing hockey into our own culture. Until marketing of the sport identifies hockey as American, there will be few covers of SI relating to the NHL.

    We are starting to erase the notion of Canadian from hockey and in my humble opinion we should erase and nuke the entire nation. Is there anyway we can seperate from them? Turn that place into a huge parking lot? You find me a Lance Armstrong in the NHL and I will give you SI. F%#K Canada!

  37. TheMinister says:

    Man for man, or pound for pound we have you beat, and you know it. Of course, you have more men AND more pounds. Actually, a lot more pounds.

  38. defenestrate says:

    That’s not BBooty. The hyphenate is is the giveaway. It’s those jackasses trying to stir up trouble again…

  39. defenestrate says:

    Read the name carefully, Nord. It’s not me. I know how to use punctuation.

  40. mattf says:

    this post actually made me laugh (at how ignorant and idiotic a person can be)

    it must be fun to have that kind of hatred that you can only unleash upon the internet. you may take your medication now (i suggest anti-depressants)

  41. defenestrate says:

    It’s not the person it is pretending to be. Check the user info.

  42. TheMinister says:

    Regardless, for those members in the audience who actually feel this way, and I happen to know there are quite a few…my statement stands.

    BTW, defenestrate, you’ve gone around picking fights and now you’ve found yourself in a war, and have dragged the rest of us along with you. Sounds like US-Canada politics doesn’t it? How ironic for you.

  43. defenestrate says:

    I’ve gone earound “picking fights”? Care to provide a few examples?

    Btw, my birth certificate says “Montreal”…..

  44. scintilating says:

    Now who the Hell are you? What’s going on here?

  45. scintilating says:

    I can’t believe you would post something like that. Having a rough day?

  46. TheMinister says:

    Your comments say Washington.

  47. defenestrate says:


  48. OldNord says:

    scintilating, go play your childish games elsewhere.

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