Ed Mangano can repeat himself multiple times on Twitter, stating that he is doing everything he can in his "ongoing plans" to keep the Islanders in Uniondale, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has made it clear: the Islanders will be leaving Nassau County in 2015.
A front page article was released in Newsday this weekend that had Bettman's words put directly on paper, making the harsh reality of the Islanders Coliseum problems look even more hopeless. He was quick to say that the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County have done a terrible job of trying to come up with a new plan to renovate the 40-year old arena. As a result, he is looking into other possible destinations for the New York Islanders.
A few weeks ago, Kyle Busch posted his view on the seeming inevitable realignment of teams in the next couple of years. The NHL’s thought process seems to be focused on cleaning up the time zone distribution of its teams and making the TV scheduling (and the advertising that goes with it) more convenient for fans. It has to be an improvement over the current divisions, right?
I made a case in the comments section of that post for a 16-14 East-West split (below) that made exceptions to the time zone rule in order to maintain current rivalries (Detroit – Chicago) and build new ones (Nashville to the East with other relatively new franchises in Carolina and Florida).