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Thread: NHL Realignment

  1. #1

    NHL Realignment

    I'm sure by now pretty much everyone is aware that the NHL is looking into realigning the teams between the divisions and conferences. As things currently stand Winnipeg surely has it the worst. This is the current proposal that was sent to the NHL teams:

    2 divisions within 2 conferences:
    Western Conference
    Pacific Division
    Anaheim
    Calgary
    Edmonton
    Los Angeles
    Phoenix
    San Jose
    Vancouver

    Mid-West Division
    Chicago
    Colorado
    Dallas
    Minnesota
    Nashville
    St. Louis
    Winnipeg

    Eastern Conference
    Central Division
    Boston
    Buffalo
    Detroit
    Florida
    Montreal
    Ottawa
    Tampa Bay
    Toronto

    Atlantic Division
    Carolina
    Columbus
    New Jersey
    NY Islanders
    NY Rangers
    Philadelphia
    Pittsburgh
    Washington

    Most notably, the current idea is that Detroit and Columbus both move to the east and Winnipeg goes west. Also, the Eastern Conference would have 8 teams in each division and the Western Conference would have 7 teams in each division.

    Playoff formats and further details can be found in this article from TSN: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=416887
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  2. #2
    That would be heavenly.
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  3. #3
    Quite honestly I don't see it being a fair proposal for every team. Columbus and Detroit would both get their wishes granted by moving to the east, but the conferences would be lopsided having 16 teams in the east and 14 in the west. By having an equal number of playoff spots in each conference, the odds of making the playoffs would be different between the east and west. Plus the playoffs would determine determine divisional champions who are then paired in a conference final. By having 3 guaranteed divisional playoff seeds and 2 wildcards for the conference, 5 teams could make the playoffs in one division and 3 teams in the other. Then when it comes to the playoffs for the division seeds #1 & #5, #2 & #4 would play a series and #3 would get a bye. The same with the other division with #1 & #3 playing a series and the winner playing #2 - who also would have had a bye.

    In these few points above, it shows how the Stanley Cup would be awarded on an unfair playing field. If I were any team in the east (except the proposed Detroit & Columbus), I would reject the proposal. If I were in the west (and especially a team that tends to finish around #7-#9 in the conference), I would likely accept the proposal.
    Last edited by flemingc04; 02-27-2013 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Corrected seedings
    Collecting: auto's and game used patches of Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey and other 80's Oilers. Also looking Ed Belfour autos. For all players, it doesn't matter what team they are shown with.

  4. #4
    Personally, I strongly favour the return of division playoffs.... and I think the NHL needs to do everything it can to abandon the 1-though-8 format they're doing now. It was a bad idea when they put it in place, and it's still a bad idea today. Let the NBA keep it.

    That being said.... they need to jump to 32 teams to make it work, so what ultimately needs to happen is expansion. Tell Detroit and Columbus to suck it up, and stay in the West. They can play in the Mid-West division.... shift Colorado to the Pacfic.

    Expansion would presumably happen in Toronto (Markham) and Quebec City. Both of them would head to the east.



    I understand why Detroit and Columbus want to move to the East..... but unfortunatly for them, there isn't enough western based teams to make two evenly sized conferences, so they're stuck with being 'western' teams by being part of the half of the league the farthest west.

  5. #5
    The biggest problem with realignment is that everyone wants to keep focusing on geography. As long as geography and minimizing travel are the two main focuses of divisional alignment, no-one will be happy. There simply aren't enough PST/MST cities able and willing to support a hockey franchise to make it "fair."

    I propose we abandon the idea of geography altogether. Make two conferences with an even number of teams, continue the current 1 through 8 playoff bracket, without the "auto-in" for division winners. Throw out this idea of having to play a certain team a certain number of times during the season, and try to make the travel as equitable as possible.

    This would result in the PST/MST teams having to play their games in a much more homestand - roadtrip - homestand format, but it is pretty much the only way to have any realignment result be "fair" to everyone without adding about 8 teams to the PST/MST time zones.

    Also, there would be less argument over this I think if they didn't try to change the playoff format at the same time. With a 1-8 bracket, there is really no "better chance" of making the playoffs, because they are still playing the same number of games and there's still the same number of playoff spots. It's not like they're proposing a major shift in the level of competition here, they're trying to make the geography and time zones fit the tv schedule.

    Minor tweaks, people. Realign, see how it goes, and consider adjusting the playoff format later.

    Either that, or drop the geography altogether.
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  6. #6
    As a guy that has always enjoyed the all-too-rare Montreal/Detroit games over the years, I'm a big supporter of them coming to the Eastern side of things. I know that it may be tough for some teams in the West who relied on the appeal of the Red Wings to help sell tickets to their own home games, but the potential for new rivalries to be established and old ones to possibly be re-ignited is one that I'm sure the NHL wants to tap into.

    Columbus coming east....meh.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by flemingc04 View Post
    Quite honestly I don't see it being a fair proposal for every team. Columbus and Detroit would both get their wishes granted by moving to the east, but the conferences would be lopsided having 16 teams in the east and 14 in the west. By having an equal number of playoff spots in each conference, the odds of making the playoffs would be different between the east and west. Plus the playoffs would determine determine divisional champions who are then paired in a conference final. By having 3 guaranteed divisional playoff seeds and 2 wildcards for the conference, 5 teams could make the playoffs in one division and 3 teams in the other. Then when it comes to the playoffs for the division seeds #1 & #5, #2 & #4 would play a series and #3 would get a bye. The same with the other division with #1 & #3 playing a series and the winner playing #2 - who also would have had a bye.

    In these few points above, it shows how the Stanley Cup would be awarded on an unfair playing field. If I were any team in the east (except the proposed Detroit & Columbus), I would reject the proposal. If I were in the west (and especially a team that tends to finish around #7-#9 in the conference), I would likely accept the proposal.

    Just wanted to touch on the subject of seeding. NHL has stated no byes will be had. How it will work is the wold card team with the least amount of points would play the division leader with the most points. The wild card team with the most points would then play the other division leader. #2 and #3 in a division will always play each other that way even is one division has 5 teams that make the playoffs one of them would just crossover into the other division.

  8. #8
    If this happens the NHL will be adding two Western Teams, which is a farce. There should never have been more than 16 total at any time.

    This means probably Seattle, and somewhere else on the other side of the Mississippi.

  9. #9
    Expansion is the last thing they need

  10. #10
    While I'd love to see the Wings playing in the East, the idea of expansion turns my stomach.

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