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: Apr 12, 2010
Posted on: December 4, 2011 3:49 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

How stupid is it to inconvience the entire northeast divison and screw over the 2 Flordia teams just so the Pens and Flyers can stay in the same division. The whole 4 divisions with uneven amount of teams is crap anyways. this is so simple ppl you keep the six 5 team divisions. You send winnipeg to the west and slide nashville over to replace them in the southeast.

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:52 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

That is similar to what they had before the '99-2000 expansion. And those divisions are terrible. Why can't they just switch Winnipeg and Columbus? 

Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:28 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

Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:18 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Here's my personal opinion, what they have here is close, but needs some tweeking. Here are the changes I would make to this proposal.

1) Move the Phoenix Coyotes to Quebec City, Phoenix is averaging 10,672 fans for haome attendance. This is 6,453 fans short of the arena capacity of 17, 125. A team in Quebec City will sell-out every game.

2) Shink the league by 2 teams, Bettmen caused this problem by over-expanding the league and putting NHL hockey in places that couldn't support it. My suggestions, eliminate one team from the state of Florida, the state can't and won't support 2 teams, even when they're winning, they have trouble selling out. Then eliminate the Columbus Blue Jackets, they're the next team headed towards financial problems and the city won't support a losing team.

2.1) Hold a 2 round dipersal draft. With a 23 man roster form each team making 46 roster players and 28 teams making picks, for a total of 56 picks this ensure that almost all players and prospects will get new homes.

3) This leaves 28 teams and 4 divisions of 7 teams. At this point the tradition NHL divisions can be reformed and renamed with the historically significant names rather then direction names. The Prince of Wales Conference will consist of the Patrick and Adams divisions and the Clarence Campbell Conference will have the Norris and Smythe divisions. And the divisions would breakdown like this:

;Prince of Wales Conference    &
;     &nbs
p;      Clarence Campbell Conference

;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp; Adams      
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;   Norris      
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;    Smythe
New Jersey Devils     
;   Boston Bruins     
;     &nbs
p;   Chicago Blackhawks     Calgary Flames
New York Islanders    &n
bsp; Buffalo Sabres     
;     &nbs
p;  Detroit Redwings    &nb
sp;    Anahiem Ducks
New York Rangers    &nbs
p;  Carolina Hurricanes    &
nbsp;  Minnesto wild     &
  Edmonton Oilers
Pittsburgh Penguins     Montreal Canadiens     St. Louis Blues     
; Los Angeles Kings
Philidelphia Flyers     
;  Ottawa Senators    &nb
sp;      Nashville Predators    &n
bsp; Colorago Avalanche
Wahington Capitals     Quebec Nordiques    &n
bsp;   Winnepeg Jets     &
  San Jose Sharks
Tampa Bay/Florida    
  Toronto Maple Leafs     Dallas Stars     
;     Vancouver Canucks

4) Regular season schedule would shrink by 4 games with the following format. A home-and-home with all out of division teams (21 teams, 42 games). Then 6 games, 3 home/3 away against divisional opponents (6 teams, 36 games). Total games 78.

5) 4 teams from each division make the playoffs, with division semi-finals and finals (thus the heavy divisional schedule). Followed by conference finals and the Stanley Cup final.

So that's my idea, let me know what you think.

Since: Sep 23, 2007
Posted on: December 4, 2011 1:06 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Maybe the expect Phoenix will move east (Quebec?) then move one of the central teams to the east(Southeast) and you'll have even teams in each division.

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 12:52 pm

New realignment proposal keeps Atlantic together

Nobody is going to be happy, regardless of what happens. Here, the FL get teams screwed royally. The West also get screwed and the East gets free playoff "nooky"- which the media will love.

My suggestion? Put Nashville in the SE. We're done. If you're going to move DET to the East (CBJ is further east though), then make it so that everyone plays at each venue each year like the NBA.  

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