Blog Entry

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:41 am
 

By Brian Stubits

It's been a while since our last realignment update. When last we left you, the Flyers and Penguins were sharing their displeasure with any proposal that had them in separate divisions/conferences.

All along, the reports have said the NHL was looking to do as little as possible in regards to moving teams. In a perfect world for the powers that be, the Jets would be moved into the Central, perhaps the Blue Jackets go in the Southeast and you call it a day.

But life isn't that simple. There is the pressure of the Red Wings to move East. There is also the looming uncertainty of the Coyotes in Phoenix and whether they might move to, say, Quebec City.

Throw all of the above angles into a crockpot with the other spices affecting the situation added in and you have "total realignment" cooking, according to Flyers chairman Ed Snider.

“There has to be,” Snider told Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly about total realignment. “But our traditional rivalries will always be with us no matter how it is realigned. I’m pretty confident of that.”

Perhaps the reason for his confidence in that is his belief that the Pennsylvania teams will remain together, something which the proposal that was reportedly gaining steam did not feature.

“We’ll be together without question, if under a four conference set-up,” Snider predicted of the Flyers and Penguins. “We will have all our traditional rivals and some others in a four-conference setup.”

The question begs: what is total realignment? Could that be a situation where conferences aren't divided by east and west but instead split seemingly at random like the NFL and MLB? Does it mean a return to the four-conference format, as Snider alludes to? Does it mean Florida is joining the Northwest Division?

I think about the only thing we can safely assume is that "total realignment" would include the abolition of the six-division format currently in use. I wouldn't rule anything else out at this point (OK, I guess I'd rule out that Florida-to-Northwest, too).

If I had to put money down I'd expect to see the four-conference format that we used to enjoy, and not just because Snider hinted at it. I think it could give the league the most flexibility in the case of a Phoenix move to the East.

The idea has been discussed already of having unbalanced conferences a la Major League Baseball (although it looks like that won't remain as the Houston Astros are reportedly moving to the American League). Assuming that enough franchises would be happy with that idea, the realignment starts with 15 teams per conference and then they could easily flip to the unbalanced, 16/14 look with simply switching the Coyotes franchise to the East after their hypothetical move. If they stay, then you keep balanced conferences.

When this is all said and done, I can't imagine everybody will be happy. But such is life, the teams with the most clout -- Philadelphia and Pittsburgh each fall into this category -- are much more likely to get their way.

Photo: Getty Images

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Comments

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:34 pm
 

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

To those of you who are stating that the Pens/Flyers rivalry is a "recent-born" one are obviously just cutting yiour teeth and are way too young to even comment on that issue?...To those of us in the Steel City, our biggest rivalry is and aways will be against the hated Flyers, contrary to the new-age fan that seemingly tries year after year to make the Pens/Caps rivalry the best...I am one that would be for any alignment that geographically makes the most sense, regardless of how many times we play the Flyers...
To be fair, badger, I think the rivalry was more from the Pittsburgh side of the state than the Philly side.  I can remember reading media notes at a game back in the late 1980s showing that the Penguins hadn't won at the old Spectrum for something going on 13 or 14 years from the mid 1970s to sometime around the arrival of Lemieux in 1988 or 1989.  Somebody with sick encyclopedic knowledge is going to have to fact check that one for me.  I remember it from the Flyer media guide and I was at the game when the Pens finally won one in Philly in the winter of 88/89.  It was devastating because we had dominated the Pens for my lifetime.



Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:22 pm
 

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

well the rivalry couldn't have really have strted between philly and pittsburgh until the 80's when mario lemeuix becam a penguin because the penguins didnt have any fans until then haha "....... they where bnkrupt and leaving town



Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 10:37 pm
 

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

To those of you who are stating that the Pens/Flyers rivalry is a "recent-born" one are obviously just cutting yiour teeth and are way too young to even comment on that issue?...To those of us in the Steel City, our biggest rivalry is and aways will be against the hated Flyers, contrary to the new-age fan that seemingly tries year after year to make the Pens/Caps rivalry the best...I am one that would be for any alignment that geographically makes the most sense, regardless of how many times we play the Flyers...



Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 10:14 pm
 

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Just go back to what you had before Bettman tried to make the NHL like the NBA.
4 divisions, 2 conferences all using the historical names, more games against your division rivals, the teams that know you best so you really have to play well against them rather than playing a lot out of conference games.
Plus the division games fans get into more because of rivalries and players on other teams they hate, makes for a more passionate fan base.
I can say that growing up in Boston as B's fan I would be more excited for games against the Whalers, Nordiques, Canadiens, Flyers etc than the Flames, Kings, Northstars etc.
You do what the NFL does where one division plays the other division in the opposite conference as the non division games.
I also think keeping to 4 divisions keeps tha fans focused on the division and aren't having to think about 10 teams in that division. 
Playoffs get seeded at the beginning of the playoffs and going forward the higher seed has home ice advantage for the cup finals whichever team had the better record woukld have home ice advantage, in the event of a tie it would go to record in the division, after that out of division record and after that  total points for the season as the final tie breaker. 


xiaomime
Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 8:45 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: November 15, 2011 8:29 pm
 

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Pittsburgh and Philly was not really a deep rivalry until the recent Crosby years. In the 80's it was the Rangers and Islanders. In the 90's it was the Devils. Basically, teams that have been thorns in their sides. The Devils are still my personal rival for 1995 and 2000.



Since: May 23, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 7:50 pm
 

NHL Reallignment

I realize that there is NOTHING like playoff hockey, but what if they added a bit of olympic tournament style to the playoff format???

3 TEN TEAM Divisions:
Boston
NYR
NYI
NJ
Philly
Pittsburgh
Carolina
Florida
Tampa Bay
Washington


Buffalo
Montreal
Ottawa
Toronto
Calgary
Edmonton
Minesota
Vancouver
Winnipeg
Detroit

Nashville
Chicago
Columbus
Dallas
St. Louis
Anaheim
Colorado
LAK
Phoenix
San Jose


Unbalanced schedule where each team plays there own division 4 times (36 games) and the other Divisions 2 times (40 games).  Less games in the regular season, but you take the top 5 teams from the regular season and the play and 8 game round robin.  Top 2 from each division (pool) move on + the next two overall (8 teams remaining).   Seeding for the final 8 is based on regular season standings and you have three best of seven series.  You get to add playoff level hockey in the round robin format and take away form the (i think we would all agree) long regular season.  Also because the final eight seeding is based on the regular season, you have the chance to see any combination of Stanley Cup Matchups.


  
    




Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 7:33 pm
 

Maybe I'm missing something....

But as a Devils Fan, I do not recall the Flyers and Penguins being that much of a rivalry.  Maybe recently.....but is Philly v. Pitt more of a rivalry than Philly vs. NJ or the Ranger$?



Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 7:28 pm
 

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Why would the league possibly do that when every move they make is to minimize travelling and maximizing rivalries?  Baseball has the AL and the NL because they are different leagues with different rules dating back to the 19th century.  



Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 6:45 pm
 

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Why have 6 divisions when 8 teams in each conference make the playoffs. Just split to 4 divisions/ 2 copnferences with the division winners in the top 2 seeds in each conference and the next 6 teams in each conference making the playoffs. Set the schedule so you play home and home against the opposing conference and mix the games within the conference with it weighted to more games within the division. What is so hard with that.



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