A question that’s been raised lately by some Canuck blogs is whether or not the Wild has a legitimate rival in the NHL. Sure, Calgary has Edmonton, Colorado has Detroit and Toronto has Montreal (and Ottawa), but the Wild have no true rival. People in these parts argue that the Canucks fit the bill, but I have to disagree here. In order to a true rival you must answer "yes" to all of the following questions:
1. Have you beaten the other team in a playoff series? The answer here is yes, and it was the high point in this franchise’s history.
2. Does the other city believe it’s a rivalry? The answer here is maybe, depending on who you read. From a quick sampling I have come to the conclusion that most Canucks fans don’t see the Wild as a rival.
3. Is there a long history of hard-fought games? Again no, not yet. Maybe in another 5 years, but not now.
Well, there you have it, the Canucks are not a rival in my opinion. However, having said that, I think they are the most likely to become a rival at some point. Colorado and Dallas also deserve some consideration, but it’s just way too early. Rivalries are built over many, many years, and at this point the Wild is still a toddler in the National Hockey League, albeit a 9-2 toddler.