Because they are the bestf****** team in hockey
Exactly. I mean, I'm not Canadian, but I was born and raised in California, and so were my parents, so if you want to talk about out-of-market fans, I'm about as out-of-market as they come. My city (San Diego) doesn't have a hockey team, so I got to pick whatever team I wanted when I started watching hockey. I could've picked the Ducks, which are the closest team to me, but do they have the history, tradition, class, and passion of the people involved with the Wings organization? I don't think so.
On one hand, I appreciate the league expansion because it means I can go see an NHL game without having to drive 1,000 miles to the north or 2,000 mi to the east. On the other, I think the NHL undervalues its roots and the rich history that come with Original 6 teams like the Wings. This might just be me, but in a city where not a whole lot of things are more than 50 years old, I really like being able to be part of something that stretches back almost to the beginning of the last century for a change, instead of cheering for a team that started when I was 8.