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Blog Entry

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Posted on: December 4, 2011 12:11 pm

By Brian Stubits

In the next few days, we might actually have some serious progression in the realignment talks. The Board of Governors are going to discuss that (among other things) in the next few days in Pebble Beach, Calif. ... assuming they can stay off the links.

Entering the meetings, there appeared to be two principle ideas at play in the realignment talks. The first was the simplest, moving Winnipeg to the West and putting Detroit in the Southeast, a one-way swap and that's it. Simple, clean-cut, but a bit messy when it's done. Teams in the West don't want to lose the Red Wings and they don't exactly seem to fit with the Southeast Division.

That led to a lot of people favoring a more "total realignment" in which the six-division format would be blown up in favor of a four-division look and balanced schedule. Heading into the meetings, this was considered to be the proposal for the four-division look. But the Penguins and Flyers weren'texactly on board with that one.

Now we have another idea floating, according to Elliote Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada. This one is the same concept as the previous four-conference (notice the change in language) look, it just moves the teams separately. Notice how the Flyers and Penguins stay together along with the New York-area, Atlantic Division teams while Washington and Carolina join them. That leaves the five Northeast Division teams to join the two remaining Southeast Division teams in Florida, the Panthers and Lightning.

What's interesting to notice is that, in continuing to view it as an East and a West, the West becomes the bigger "conference." The two divisions with eight teams would be made up by the teams already in the West and Winnipeg, the reason for the card shuffling.

There is only so much you can do with the teams in the East while trying to keep the ones smack dab in the middle, geographically speaking, together. It does seem a bit inconvenient to put the two teams from Florida with the Canadian and Northeast teams. They already travel a lot, this would probably only increase that.

But they might fit a little better than you would originally think. There are large snowbird populations in Florida during the hockey season, and having lived in South Florida for nine years, I can tell you a lot of them hail from Quebec. Try and get tickets the day before a Canadiens-Panthers game at the BankAtlantic Center. You can't (at least through traditional means), the game will be sold out.

So this now begins to look like a slam dunk, right? The Red Wings at least get their home-and-home series with every team in the league, the Stars get into a more time-zone friendly "conference" and the playoffs return to their old divisional format and there is flexibility for a possible move of the Coyotes. All is good, right?

Not entirely.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that while they don't actually have a say in the matter, the NHL Players Association isn't fond of the plan. The reason? This will increase travelling for just about every team. That's one argument.

The other is the unfair nature of two divisions of eight and two divisions of seven. The teams in the seven-division format have greater odds to make the postseason. That's one reason why baseball recently flipped the Houston Astros to the American League West, to even out the odds of postseason play.

But something has to get done. No plan will sit well with every team involved, that's obvious. Remember, they just need to get a 2/3 majority among the BOG to push through a plan.

This one here seems as good as any. You could be looking at the future alignment of the NHL.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Jul 19, 2009
Posted on: December 4, 2011 7:55 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

All the NHL has to do is move Detroit and Columbus to the Eastern Conference and move the Jets to the West. So what if there's 16 teams in one conference and 14 in the other? Baseball survived for a long time that way, and no one complained about it until the Astros were forced to join the American League for 2013. Detroit and Columbus are made happy for going to the East and Winnipeg goes where they belong.

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 6:25 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

8 teams in a division, 7 in another...  hahahaha  BUSH league... and I don't mean "George"...

Bye the way, Obama just blamed George Bush for the NHL's loss of common sense...

FOR THE LUZ... how did you slip "FUCK" by them????

I shouldn't be reading bad words like that...

March of the Penguins... maybe they'll put San Jose, Vancouver, Boston and Florida in a division... or Conference...  That makes about as much sense as the other sh t they're proposing!      
;     &nbs

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 6:20 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

It's dumb as!

Just move Winnipeg out west and put Nashville in with the Caps, Tampa, etc...  Either Nash or Columbus...  The NHL can "rocks, paper, scissors" it to decide... seems that's their mentality anyway over this crap... 

Why the schuffling... F Detriot... they need to stay out west and sell tickets for Bettman and Phx.... hahaha


Since: Dec 14, 2010
Posted on: December 4, 2011 6:20 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Just have Winnipeg and Nashville swap divisions and conference.  Very simple.

Since: Jan 31, 2010
Posted on: December 4, 2011 6:07 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

While total realignment in theory looks wonderful, too many politics surrounding it all so we know it won't happen. Enough is being made of the talks of the western conference losing Detroit. I'm one of those who would like to see Detroit stay in the west, maybe because I'm a Blackhawks fan and love the rivalry. More than that though, the west is getting Winnipeg, we all know that. The franchise hasn't exactly made a splash in its history, a few decent seasons and that's about it. So with that said, if the west is getting a team which has been decent at best in its history, why would it make sense for one of the most storied franchises in the NHL to be the team moved to the east?

Even though they've been a good rival recently with the Blackhawks, I would like to see Nashville moved to the east. Decent and competitive, would be a fair trade off and geographically speaking would seem to make the most sense. Of course no matter which team ends up moving east, there will be those opposed but just not as many like if moving a team with a huge following like Detroit.

Since: Sep 15, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:51 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Since it didn't come out clear, here are my proposed conferences and divisions again.

Prince of Wales Conference

Adams Division

Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Carolina Hurricanes
Montreal Candiens
Ottawa Senators
Quebec Nordiques
Toronto Maple Leafs

Patrick Division

New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals
Tampa Bay/Florida

Clarence Campbell Conference

Norris Division

Chicago Blackhawks
Detroit Redwings
Dallas Stars
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues
Winnepeg Jets

Smythe Division

Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
Vancouver Canucks

Oh right! Somebody is thinking old school. I like your style.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:38 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Oops! Forgot four teams...

Never mind then, it doesn't matter since most teams make the playoffs anyway 

Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:36 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Any plan which gives a team more or fewer opponents to compete with than other teams for a playoff spot is unacceptable to me. Currently, the conferences and divisions are balanced. Don't fuck with that. Swap the Jets and either Columbus or Nashville. Done.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:35 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Should Be:
WEST  Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado, Phoenix, LA, Anaheim

MIDWEST Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, Columbus, Winnepeg, Toronto

SOUTH Nashville, Dallas, Florida, Tampa Bay, Washington, Carolina

EAST  Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, New York, Montreal, Ottawa 

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:14 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Have to agree with .  Even though I would love to see Atlantic rivals stay together, and adding Washington would be great fun to watch.  I just can't agree with screwing over another division, and 2 teams that are going to have even worse travel as a result of it.

Couple people have said it.  No possible way do you make everyone happy.  The best you can try to do is try not to screw anyone over to badly.  Try to make it as even as you realisticly can for every team.

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