I live in Illinois and I think the Hawks/Wings rivalry is way more important to Hawks fans.
That's definitely true. Chicago has always been a regional rivalry; they beat us up, we beat them on the scoreboard and badly. It's always been an important one, albeit lopsided.
I think fans of a lot of teams feel that way about the Wings. My buddy lives down in Nashville and talks about how much of a huge rivalry the Wings have with the Preds, and that he thinks if is one of the biggest rivalries in the NHL. He thinks I am lying or just trying to bust his balls when I tell him that people up here don't really think of the Preds as a big rival, let alone our main rival.
Yeah, that rivalry ain't happenin'. It could have developed into one, but that chance is missed with the Wings going East. The Preds fans will just have to have fantasies about somebody else.
You know you're old when you still think of Toronto as an old rival and not new.
Amen. Toronto will always be our biggest rival as far as I'm concerned.