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Ranking every NHL team name by weight

After the St. Louis Blues bullied their way to the 2019 Stanley Cup, there is a renewed sense in the NHL that size matters.
Taylor Fedun and Bo Horvat look for the puck.

After the St. Louis Blues bullied their way to the 2019 Stanley Cup, there is a renewed sense in the NHL that size matters.

You can see that in recent acquisitions made by the Canucks: the impossibly tall Tyler Myers, the big and physical Jordie Benn, and the 216-lb power forward Micheal Ferland. Even one of their depth signings fits this particular bill: 6’5” Tyler Graovac.

There are other ways the Canucks could get bigger, but maybe there’s a psychological element to it as well. Maybe the Canucks can only play as big as their name. Maybe they're limited by the size of the name "Canucks." 

What if we ranked every NHL team by the weight of their name? Would this be exceptionally silly? Well, yes. Would it also be fun? Quite possibly.

This is related to a classic video from the inimitable Jon Bois, who people, like myself, keep trying to imitate, with mixed results. Bois ranked every Division I NCAA football team mascot by weight, starting with the lowly yellow jacket at 0.0001 lbs.

In recent days, others have been inspired to do the same for the NBA and for the NFL, but this must be done with the NHL as well.

The chart is on the left, but let’s break down each team name in detail as well.

NHL team names by weight

31 | Tampa Bay Lightning, ~0 lbs

Lightning isn't so much a thing that can be weighed as it is a process, so we’re at 0 lbs to start.

A lightning bolt is an electrostatic discharge that produces electromagnetic radiation, including the visible light that we're so familiar with. How much does it weigh? Pretty much nothing, as it's electricity and light, but one enterprising Quora user attempted to answer the question by discussing how lightning is essentially ionized air, which strips electrons off air molecules, arguably giving them negative mass. His answer: lightning weighs -360 x 10^-10 kg, which comes out to -7.94e-8 lbs. For those not familiar with that notation, that's -0.0000000793 lbs. Sure, negative mass isn't a thing, but let's go with it.

So, the Lightning are the lightest NHL team, as they arguably have negative mass. Maybe that's why they got swept in the first round.

30 | Minnesota Wild, 0 lbs

As an abstract concept, the "wild" weighs nothing at all.

29 | Toronto Maple Leafs, 0.0022 lbs

A fresh maple leaf, rather than a dry one, apparently weighs about 1 gram. That comes out to 0.0022 lbs. The Leafs are as lightweight as an actual, physical object can get in the NHL.

28 | St. Louis Blues, 0.45 lbs

Let's figure out the weight of a tossed salad and scrambled eggs. Two large eggs should produce about 0.2 lbs worth of scrambled eggs. A tossed salad for one person should come out to around 0.25 lbs.

Therefore the combined weight of the blues is 0.45 lbs, though the blues can feel a lot heavier at times.

Hm, this puts a dent in the heavy name theory, but let's soldier on.

27 | Calgary Flames, 0.66 lbs

Does a flame have mass? Yes. Fire is essentially just hot air and air has mass. According to an online physicist, who has to be trusted because they're on the internet, fire weighs 0.3 kg per cubic meter, which is 0.66 lbs. A cubic meter is a pretty generous definition of a "flame," but we'll go with it.

26 | Philadelphia Flyers, 1 lb

A flyer made of paper barely weighs a thing, but the classic PF Flyers, as famously worn by Benny in The Sandlot, do have a little heft to them. Not a lot, as they need to be light to help a kid run faster and jump higher, but still.

25 | Buffalo Sabres, 2.2 lbs

A modern fencing sabre is quite light at 1.1 lbs, but let's go with the classic 1860 light cavalry saber used during the Civil War, as that looks like the sabre in the logo. An 1860 sabre weighs approximately 2.2 lbs.

24 | Columbus Blue Jackets, 3 lbs

Apparently we’re in the Civil War section of the list. The Blue Jackets were named for the literal blue coats worn by the Union Army during the Civil War. The state of Ohio "contributed more of its population to the Union Army than any other state, while many of the Blue Coats worn by the Union soldiers were manufactured in Columbus."

While I was entirely unable to find out the actual weight of the typical union blue frock coat, I was able to estimate: assuming three yards of 16 oz blue wool was used in the construction of a frock coat, that brings us to 48 oz, which comes out to an even 3 lbs. That sounds about right, with maybe some leeway for different styles of coat and the weight of buttons or other elements.

23 | Anaheim Ducks, 3 lbs

The weight of a duck depends on what type of duck we're talking about. The biggest ducks, like the English Aylesbury, can weigh up to 12 lbs. Your basic duck, like the mallard, however, is around 3 lbs. Wild Wing, the mascot for the Anaheim Ducks, appears to be a domestic duck descended from the mallard, though he could also be an alien, depending on whether the animated series is canon.

22 | Detroit Red Wings, 20 lbs

How much does a red wing weigh? I have no idea. I could go with a red-winged blackbird, which weighs 0.187 lbs, and try to estimate the weight of one wing, but a red-winged blackbird's wings aren't even entirely red.

Instead, let's go with the weight of part of their logo: a car tire. The Red Wings name derives from the Winged Wheelers, a Montreal hockey club, and was used as an homage to the Detroit auto industry. The average passenger car tire is around 20 lbs.

21 | New Jersey Devils, 26 lbs

"How much does the devil weigh?" That sounds like a fun theological or philosophical question, but it's one that doesn't really have a hard and firm answer. Instead, let's use the weight of the Tasmanian Devil, which weighs around 26 lbs.

20 | Arizona Coyotes, 35 lbs

The weight of coyotes varies wildly, ranging anywhere from 20 to 50 lbs, but can get significantly bigger, such as coyote shot in Missouri in 2010 that tipped the scales at 104 lbs. On average, they’re around 35 lbs.

19 | Pittsburgh Penguins, 75 lbs

The particular penguin in the team logo appears to be the emperor penguin, which also happens to be the biggest and heaviest of the penguin species. The average emperor penguin weighs 75 lbs, but they can get up to 100 lbs. That pales in comparison to the palaeeudyptes klekowskii, an extinct penguin that was estimated to be around 6'7" and 250 lbs.

18 | Florida Panthers, 110 lbs

The Florida panther is part of a species of large cat that is known by many names: puma, cougar, mountain lion, catamount, and, of course, panther. It is not the same as the panthera genus, which includes the lion, tiger, jaguar, and leopard, though the "black panther" is a member of the panthera family, and is actually just a dark-hued leopard or jaguar. The Florida panther can weigh up to 160 lbs, but averages out to around 110 lbs.

17 | Ottawa Senators, 160 lbs

There are 105 senators in the Senate of Canada. The average Canadian, according to Statistics Canada, weighs 169 lbs, so the Senate weighs a combined 17,745 lbs. Of course, if we combined the weight of all the Senators for Ottawa, we'd have to do the same for everyone else. What's the weight of all the ducks on earth? I don't know and I don't care.

Besides, the average senator is 55-65, so likely weighs a little less than the average Canadian, statistically speaking. Let's ballpark it at around 160 lbs.

16 | Montreal Canadiens, 169 lbs

As stated above, the average Canadian weighs 169 lbs. However, if we take the French spelling of Canadiens to mean residents of Quebec, it's probably slightly less than that, as Quebec has among the lowest obesity rates in Canada, second only to British Columbia. Alas, I couldn’t find province-by-province records for average weight.

15 | Vancouver Canucks, 169 lbs

Since a Canuck is simply a slang turn for a Canadian, we can go with the average weight of a Canadian at 169 lbs. It's too bad that "Canuck" doesn't refer to the orca whale in the logo, as the orca can weight up to 6 tons, or 12,000 lbs.

14 | Los Angeles Kings, 170 lbs

At the peak of his career, Elvis Presley was 6'0" and 170 lbs.

13 | New York Rangers, 174 lbs

The New York Rangers were, weirdly, named after the paramilitary law enforcement agency in Texas. Tex Rickard owned the team, so the media nicknamed them "Tex's Rangers," and it stuck. While I was unable to find the average weight of a Texas Ranger, I did find the average weight of an Army Ranger: 174 lbs.

Chuck Norris, who famously played Walker, Texas Ranger, claimed to weigh 170 lbs, so we're in the right ballpark.

12 | New York Islanders, 181 lbs

According to the CDC, the average American weighs 181 lbs and there's little reason to think that residents of Long Island weigh more than that. In fact, New York as a state has one of the lowest obesity rates in the US.

11 | Edmonton Oilers, 199 lbs

Oiler can refer to a tanker ship that is used to refuel other ships. They're huge, like the Henry J Kaiser, which weighed 31,200 tons. The team name, however, appears to be referring to people that work in the oil industry, even though an "oiler" or "greaser" is, or was, a job common to any industry with heavy machinery that requires lubrication.

If we're looking at people working in the oil industry, finding average heights and weights isn't easy. I was able to find a source for off-shore oil and gas workers, however, which reported an average weight of 199 lbs. Let's go with that.

10 | Vegas Golden Knights, 247 lbs

The golden knight in the Vegas pre-game show during the playoffs appeared to be wearing breastplate and a helm over a mail hauberk, along with some sort of greaves. Some googling gives me an estimate of around 15 kg, or 33 lbs, for that combination. If that same armour was made entirely out of gold, however, it would be about twice as heavy, so around 66 lbs. That may sound like a lot, but it's actually half the weight a modern soldier lugs around. Add that to the weight of an average american at 181 lbs, and we get a total weight of 247 lbs.

9 | Nashville Predators, 485 lbs

The Yautja, the eponymous predators from the movie "Predator," are said to weigh 520 lbs in their armour. But the predator in the Predators logo is the sabre-toothed tiger, specifically the smilodon floridius, a subspecies of the smilodon fatalis. While now extinct, they're estimated to have weighed from 350 to 620 lbs. Let's split the difference and call it 485 lbs.

8 | Boston Bruins, 700 lbs

The word "bruin" generally refers to the brown bear, scientific name ursus arctos. According to National Geographic, the brown bear weighs 700 lbs on average.

7 | San Jose Sharks, 1,700 lbs

There are a wide range of sharks in the world, from the dwarf lanternshark that weighs around 0.5 ounces to the whale shark, which weighs in at around 21 tons.

Let's go with the great white shark, as that appears to be the shark in San Jose’s logo, but also because the bay area is part of the "Red Triangle," which features one of the highest concentrations of great white sharks in the world. The averagee great white shark is around 1,700 lbs, but the largest on record weighed in at a massive 2.5 tons, or 5,000 lbs.

6 | Winnipeg Jets, 23,049 lbs

The Winnipeg Jets' logo features a silhouette of a CF-18 Hornet, a Royal Canadian Air Force fighter jet that weighs in at 10,455 kg or 23,049 lbs, according to the RCAF technical specifications.

5 | Chicago Blackhawks, 536,770 lbs

The Black Hawk helicopter weighs 22,000 lbs. The common black hawk weighs around 2 lbs. The team name, however, derives from a leader of the Sauk tribe. Black Hawk fought on the side of the British in the War of 1812 and battled against European-American settlers in 1832 while trying to resettle in lands taken away from the Sauk in what came to be known as the Black Hawk War. After his capture and imprisonment, he published the first Native American autobiography in the US, which is one big reason why his story is remembered today while so many similar stories have been forgotten.

Despite knowing Black Hawk's story, we don't know his weight. There is, however, a famous concrete statue known as "The Eternal Indian" that is colloquially known as Chief Blackhawk, as it was inspired by him. The statue is 48 feet tall and weighs 536,770 lbs.

4 | Washington Capitals, 126,700,000+ lbs

The population of Washington, DC, is round 700,000 people. Since the average American weighs 181 lbs, that gives Washington, DC, a combined weight of 126,700,000 lbs and that's before considering the weight of all the buildings.

The Washington Monument alone weighs 82,421 tons, which comes out to 164,842,000 lbs. That's right, the Washington Monument alone weighs more than the entire population of Washington, DC.

3 | Colorado Avalanche, 2,000,000,000 lbs

The curb weight of a 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche is 5,840 lbs. An avalanche of snow? That's a little tougher to suss out, as avalanches can be various different sizes. According to National Geographic, "a large, fully developed avalanche can weight as much as a million tons." Let's go with that weight, which comes out to 2 billion lbs.

2 | Carolina Hurricanes, 108,000,000,000 lbs

When Jon Bois made his video on the weight of NCAA FBS football team mascots, he had the Miami Hurricanes weigh in at 108,000,000,000 lbs. That number appears to come from an NPR video, and if you can’t trust Jon Bois and NPR, who can you trust?

Hurricanes carry tons and tons and tons of water, but even that was no match for the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, the heaviest mascot in the video. A hurricane made entirely of gold would weigh over one trillion pounds: an estimated 1,182,000,000,000 lbs.

1 | Dallas Stars, 4.385 quintillion lbs

If we go by the nearest star to the earth, the sun, it is estimated to weight 4.385 quintillion pounds. A quintillion, also known as a nonillion, is a one followed by 30 zeroes. If you're looking for a big team to win the next Stanley Cup, put your money on the Stars.