in general, hockey is still relatively unpopular in the U.S, mainly being enjoyed in areas/states such as Alaska, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin. Though NHL teams such as the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks enjoy fairly widespread followings. The NHL lockout a few years back also didn't help. However, new stats show that hockey is actually gaining on the NBA, with fewer people watching the NBA Finals each years, and more people watching the Stanley Cup. Add the fact that the NHL is occasionally having games covered on networks, besides playoff games that is, hockey is gaining in popularity here in the US. But, Americans in general will always gravitate towards games that are easy for us to play, soccer being the exception. We can walk outside and play catch or throw a baseball around, or go to one of our many local ballfields to hit, or go to a basketball court. Only certain towns have hockey rinks, and most people don't want to drive just to learn how to skate and play hockey. But yes, more Americans are catching on to the speed and excitement of professional hockey. This is probably the biggest period of growth in popularity since 1980 when the US team beat the Soviets, and Finland to win the gold.