i’m literally going to defend ‘bandwagon’ and new hockey fans until the day i die. every hockey fan has to start somewhere. every hockey fan gets pulled into hockey one way or another, and if it’s because of a popular team or a popular player or a successful team or a successful player then so be it.
you can’t make all of this noise about wanting more hockey fans and wanting hockey to get bigger and then go “well you have to do X and Y and be able to list off these three things and not be a fan of this team to count” like that’s not how it works. you can make efforts to (politely, not condescendingly!) explain more about the rules and teams to new fans (if they want! don’t force it on them, lord. some people just are casual fans, and that’s fine too.)
i’ve been dealing with gatekeeping regarding hockey my entire life , and i’m so tired of it, and i’m going to do everything i can to make sure that nobody else has to deal with it.
if a person likes a team because they’re popular or successful or because of a certain player, let them. sometimes these people turn into multi team fans who pay super close attention to stats and standings and rumors and stuff. and sometimes they don’t, and that’s okay too.