Say goodbye to some of the longest-standing rivalries in the game, and say hello to some of the most manufactured rivalries in the game. The NHL, NHLPA and NHL Board of Governors approved the new realignment to be put into service starting next year, lasting a minimum of three seasons.
The new plan is contingent on some ridiculous rotation because of lopsided divisions of eight teams in the east, and seven teams in the west. Thanks to the strange geographical landscape that the NHL has employed, teams have had to be at the mercy of some wide open swaths of the United States and Canada that are uninhabited by NHL clubs.
The poor Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. Now the...
This week, the NHL announced a brand new format to accommodate certain scheduling issues that have risen the West, and thanks to the Winnipeg Jets. By now I’m sure that you’ve seen the details of the new four-conference format, so I’ll spare you most of the details, but it's needless to say that more than a few people are on the fence about it all.
What’s relevant to the subject matter here is that the Montreal Canadiens will essentially play with the same Northeast Division opponents they’ve known for years, with one little twist. The new mini-conference will also add the two teams from Florida to th...
It wasn't news to anyone that the NHL would be setting up a new realignment plan for the 2012-2013 season. Plenty of speculation went into this idea as to how it would effect the current Eastern and Western Conferences. The Winnipeg Jets, although presently in the East, seemed to be a team that would make much more sense in the West. Rumors began to run that the Detroit Red Wings would move to the Eastern Conference, or even quite possibly the Nashville Predators.
The bigger question, and one that still looms over the hearts of many fans out in the desert, is whether or not the Phoenix Coyotes will still be in any Conference next year. They are currently in what seems to be the final year of their lease agreement after almost being relocated this past summer. There's still a good possibility that they might be relocated in the near future as well, but all of that remains in limbo as the 2012 season moves forward.
However, the NHL and it's Board of Governors could not wait to see what happens in Phoenix and passed a very dramatic change to the current alignment. The Eastern and Western Conferences will ultimately be removed next year; the standard two conferences that consist of 15 teams will become four conferences with either seven or eight teams in each one.
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).
According to a source at the NHL Draft this past week, there has been a drastic idea to change the divisions for the 2012-13 season.
An NHL executive that was quoted annonymously said that Gary bettman has proposed a system where there are still the Eastern and Western Conferences, but each conference will have only two divisions.
The West would have the Pacific and Midwest, and the East would have the East and the South.
In this scenario it was said that both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings would move to the Eastern Conference, which makes you wonder what the divisions would look like next year. Obviously with an odd number of teams, a division in each c...