2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: The NHL ...

2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: The NHL Does Not Need a Total Realignment

There are 6 comments on the BleacherReport story from Jun 2, 2012, titled 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: The NHL Does Not Need a Total Realignment. In it, BleacherReport reports that:

The beginning of this season was a buzz with the possibility of a conference realignment that would have created 4 new conferences based on regions throughout the league.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at BleacherReport.

Katy Perrys Leather Pants

San Jose, CA

#1 Jun 4, 2012
Uh, yes it does.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#2 Jun 4, 2012
I think the league atwater needs to align teams in there correct region. No more west coast teams in a supposed eastern division
Katy Perrys Leather Pants

San Jose, CA

#3 Jun 6, 2012
It's very unfortunate that the NHL has so many Eastern Time Zone teams (16 out of 30) to the point that at least one of them has to play in the West while the other can swap with Winnipeg (of the Central Time Zone) any day now. Compare that with the NBA, which has 13 out of 30 Eastern Time Zone teams, thus allowing two Central Time Zone teams (Milwaukee and Chicago) to play in the East.

Of course, cutting down on the number of Eastern Time Zone teams in hockey is long term that also requires lots of luck, and it certainly doesn't help when cities like Quebec City is in a great position to get another one (and they deserve one too), while certain teams out West are having problems making it work out there. Thus going back to four divisions/conferences for the first time since the 1997-1998 season (which was also the last time the NHL schedule had every team play everyone else twice a season, more on that in a moment) is not a bad idea even though I'm more of a six division guy myself.

The NHL definitely needs to bring back the scheduling that would allow every team in the league to play everybody else at least twice a season. It amazes me that when the NBA went to six divisions in 2004, they made sure that every basketball team would still play each other at least twice a season, but yet the NHL can't do that? The NHL restoring the play everybody at least twice a season scheduling would help them so much.

So yes, going back to four divisions/conferences with the play everybody at least twice a season scheduling is a great idea that I fully embrace, but a well realigned six division set up with the play everybody at least twice a season scheduling can work too.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#4 Jun 7, 2012
I think that maybe if they get away from all of the three and five game series they could probably extend their travel schedule out and maybe play everyone at least twice the only thing that stinks about that is if you live anywhere but in the middle of the US you have to stay up extremely late or watch a very early game if you're trying to watch your team while they play the teams on the other coast regardless of what conference or division there from
Katy Perrys Leather Pants

San Jose, CA

#5 Jun 14, 2012
Here's my six division set up based on current locations at the time of this writing:

Pacific Division:

Vancouver
San Jose
Los Angeles
Anaheim
Phoenix

Midwest Division:

Calgary
Edmonton
Colorado
Dallas
Winnipeg

Central Division:

Minnesota
St. Louis
Chicago
Nashville
Detroit

Snowbelt Division:

Columbus
Pittsburgh
Buffalo
Toronto
Ottawa

Northeast Division:

Montreal
Boston
New Jersey
New York Islanders
New York Rangers

Atlantic Division:

Philadelphia
Washington
Carolina
Tampa Bay
Florida

Of course, this realignment won't happen as division realignments are dictated by whoever holds the strongest influences.

Perfect examples:(Then) Dallas Cowboys GM Tex Schramm and the Chicago Cubs.

Tex used his political clout in order to make sure the Cowboys played in the NFC East where the big market Eastern Time Zone teams (Washington, Philadelphia and New York) were located and to also avoid playing in a division with two Pacific Time Zone teams (San Francisco and Los Angeles) even though Dallas is the western most Central Time Zone team in the NFL and thus forcing the Atlanta Falcons to play in the West for over 30 years. Tex's philosophies continues today inside current Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who also has a strong political clout as well.

In the case for the Chicago Cubs, when MLB had the big division realignment of 1969, the plan was to put St. Louis and the Cubs in the NL West but the Cubs didn't want to have three Pacific Time Zone teams (San Diego, L.A. Dodgers and San Francisco) as division rivals since it would mean plenty of 9:30 PM start times back in Chicago. So the Cubs used their strong political clout to get themselves and the St. Louis Cardinals (their biggest rival) into the NL East and thus forcing the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves into the NL West until the big division realignment of 1994.

So I personally think that in the end, the NHLPA will end up changing their stance on the four division set up most likely after the CBA negotiations are completed, otherwise Detroit is going East next ahead of Columbus unless the Coyotes move to Quebec of course. Because at the end of the day, it's all about how much political influence you have and not what's doing right for the League that determines things.
Katy Perrys Leather Pants

San Jose, CA

#6 Jul 14, 2012
Another alternative is a division realignment based on the National/American League setups used in baseball and football. Here's my idea, again, based on current locations at the time of this writing:

National Hockey Conference West:

San Jose
Los Angeles
Calgary
Dallas
St. Louis

National Hockey Conference Central:

Chicago
Columbus
Detroit
Toronto
Pittsburgh

National Hockey Conference East:

Montreal
Boston
New York Rangers
Philadelphia
Tampa Bay

World Hockey Conference West:

Vancouver
Anaheim
Phoenix
Colorado
Edmonton

World Hockey Conference Central:

Winnipeg
Minnesota
Nashville
Buffalo
Ottawa

World Hockey Conference East:

New York Islanders
New Jersey
Washington
Carolina
Florida

As always, this alignment is pure fantasy, as teams like, say the Sharks and Rangers for example are not gonna agree to sacrificing nearby rivals for more interdivisional games against each other. Which is too bad as this type of alignment is perfect for leagues that have way too many Eastern Time Zone teams (*cough*NFL*cough*NHL*cough*).

The only way the NHL would have gone with a National/American alignment is if a lot of WHA teams didn't fold before the merger (ditto with the NBA/ABA merger), but instead, only four teams survived, which is not enough to switch formats. Oh, well.

I also think its ridiculous that the New York City/Northern New Jersey TV/Radio market has three teams. Let's face it, that market wasn't big enough to support three baseball teams and they are definitely proving that they can't support three hockey teams, because last time I checked, baseball was way more popular than hockey in that market. Point is, that market is over saturated when it comes to hockey, and so is the entire northeast for that matter. Of course, you can't just move teams wherever one pleases to move them, but optimists can remain just that in hopes for a more balanced realignment someday.

And that is all I will say on the matter, but for me personally, I feel the return to four divisions is the best and most realistic solution out there, even if I prefer a six division National/American league format.

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