Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
lafountain

NHL Considering realignment

Recommended Posts

According to an article on ESPN the NHL is considering realigning the divisions. The divisions would be reduced from 6 to 4 and the top 2 in each division would be the top 4 seeds in the playoffs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2706469

I don't really like the idea of realigning, the current setup works just fine and keeps setups somewhat geographical.

Here is one persons opinion on the subject too.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/stor...&id=2706503

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all for this idea for many, many reasons.

First, the league now is set up with some really unfortunate situations. Primary example is the Minnesota Wild in a division with Vancouver, two full time zones to the west. It would make much more sense to divide the country more vertically for divisions along time zones. This would put Vancouver in with the California teams as well as Phoenix and finally allow Minnesota to play against teams with much better geographic and historical rivalries such as old foes Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit, as well as former North Stars team in Dallas. This would also mean far less games on TV that start later, like we have now with Colorado, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver - NONE of whom are even in our time zone! Our travel, as well as Vancouver's would certainly be less.

The next benefit would be they could now adopt my preferred schedule for the regular season. With four divisions of 7 and 8 teams, you could now play each team home and away every year. That's 29x2=58 games. Then play the other 6 teams in your new, larger division four more times each, 2 at home and 2 on the road. There's your 82 games. Simple. (In the 8 team division, you'd play 5 teams the same four more times and the other 2 only two more times, home and away, on a rotating annual basis.) This way you'd play 6 different teams 6 times each, not just 4 teams a redundant 8 times each, PLUS every team would come to town once a year. That would be heaven.

Then, adopt the AHL playoff format.

The first two rounds of the playoffs are in your division. 1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3. The two winners advance to give you a "division champion". This would ensure that year after year, you'd have playoff series against your closest rivals and, no matter what the NHL thinks, rivalries are made in the playoffs when you can end someone's season, not from meeting again and again and again in the regular season.

After that, you can either stick with the old East/West deal and have the division champs meet for the conference champion as they do now, or get really radical and reseed the remaining four teams by points. This would prevent two 85 point Western Conference Cinderella teams from meeting to go to the finals while two 100+ point Eastern teams are forced to meet in the semi-finals. The other added benefit of this plan is the potential for some finals matchups like two Eastern teams such as the Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers that are not possible now with one team having to come from the West. Think how much the TV networks would love having that come true!

Ahh, if I ruled the world, things would be different. I'd get to see Marin Brodeur and Mats Sundin every year and I wouldn't have to wait unitl 2008 to see Sydney Crosby for the first time.

"Am I crazy, or am I so sane that you just blew your mind?!" - Kramer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm starting to think this could be a good idea. But JeffB, the playoff format you describe would be AWESOME. I have hated this 1-8 thing for years. You would definitely build some division rivalries that way. They should have never changed the playoff format to begin with IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There would still be 8 playoff teams per conference, it is just set up to where 1-4 would be the top 2 in each division so the Northeast Division would not be able to place 3 teams in the top 4 even if 3 of the top 4 are in the division. The playoffs would as a whole not be changed.

I don't think you could get league approval or players union approval to get rid of 4 playoff spots in each conference, too much money involved for the owners to agree to have them give up 4 playoff spots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I've heard in the last week that I really, really, really like is the idea of moving the Caps to the Atlantic and Nashville to the Southeast, assuming the Penguins relocate to a western city. I can give or take the 4-division realignment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think you could get league approval or players union approval to get rid of 4 playoff spots in each conference, too much money involved for the owners to agree to have them give up 4 playoff spots.

Under my plan you'd still have the same amout of playoff teams. 4 teams from 4 divisions would still equal 16 teams as it is now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Under my plan you'd still have the same amout of playoff teams. 4 teams from 4 divisions would still equal 16 teams as it is now.

OK, I just misinterpreted what was written.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea for the most part, feel bad for Minnesota and Dallas who have been screwed over this time zone issue. However I still believe every team should play every team twice, one home and one away and then the remaining games are between conference teams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they're going to realign back to the old style, then for craps sake, go back to the divisional playoff system!

How about this idea? I was tooling around with some ideas a few weeks ago and came up with some kind of realignment on my own. Go the NFL route and have four division per conference.

Eastern Conference

Northeast Division

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Canadian Division

Montreal Canadiens

Ottawa Senators

Quebec Nordiques

Toronto Maple Leafs

Mid-Atlantic Division

Nashville Predators

New Jersey Devils

Philadelphia Flyers

Washington Capitals

Southeast Division

Atlanta Thrashers

Carolina Hurricanes

Florida Panthers

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference

Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks

Columbus Blue Jackets

Detroit Red Wings

Minnesota Wild

Northwest Division

Calgary Flames

Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver Canucks

Winnipeg Jets

Southwest Division

Colorado Avalanche

Dallas Stars

Kansas City Cyclones

St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

Los Angeles Kings

Phoenix Coyotes

San Jose Sharks

Of course, for this to work, the league would have to expand to two more cities but I don't think that's gonna happen. Still, it's scary how well it fits together this way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the NHL does not expand, the talent pool needs no further dilution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×