I was just reading my NBC Sports e-mail previewing the Rangers-Flyers game this weekend and noticed Mike Milbury's quote: "These teams hate each other and always will."
Aah, that's what we love about rivalries, right? The hatred, the venom, the way teams bring out the best and worst of each other. The Flyers and Rangers, hate each other first because Philadelphians and New Yorkers just love to hate each other, but throw in some saucy games, especially in the postseason, and boom, you've got fabulous theater.
Now the NHL wanted to develop rivalries with their post-lockout schedule featuring all those inter-division games. My opinion, that's no fun. Great rivalries develop on their own, they're not forceably created. Take the Avalanche-Wings rivalry, born in the 1996 postseason when Claude Lemieux rearranged Kris Draper's face with the help of the boards. Ooh, it was all nasty, and it lasted for many a year and postseason. (shameless plug: My good friend Adrian Dater of the Denver Post wrote a book about it a few years ago called Blood Feud)
So let's discuss, kids: What makes a good rivalry to you, and what are your favorites, old or new?