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NHL Realignment + Mock Draft (Soon)



blog-0776271001362752681.jpgHello again! Today we will be covering the confirmed, NHLPA approved plan of realignment.

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr released a statement on Thursday, saying, "After discussions with the Executive Board, the NHLPA has given consent to realignment, to be re-evaluated following the 2014-15 season."

Major moves include the aging Detroit Red Wings and the dismal Columbus Blue Jackets to the Eastern conference. while the Winnipeg Jets will move back West. The Jets have been playing in the Southeast Division since the Atlanta Thrashers franchise moved north to Winnipeg prior to last season.

Here are the proposed divisions as per TSN.

Western Conference

Pacific Division: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

Mid-West Division: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.

Eastern Conference

Central Division: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

Atlantic Division: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, N.Y. Islanders, N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington.

My initial thoughts are... well.... f$!&. Montreal is in a division with Boston, Detroit, Florida (will be a good team before you know it), Ottawa, Tampa and the Laffs (who are progressing as well. Buffalo, is, well... Buffalo. What a stinky franchise at the moment. But that is a blog in itself. Anways, another thing I don't like is the fact that the two Florida teams are in the central divison. What exactly is ''central" about Tampa Bay and Miami?

Also don't even get me started on the names of the divisions. I was really hoping they would name them after a few legends. But after thinking about it, I suppose it wouldn't have been the right thing to do, because no matter what, you could NEVER get it right. Too many great legends deserving, too few divisions. If I were to name the divisions, I'd probably go; Gretzky Divison, Roy Divison, Howe Division, Orr Division. But that would be my personal opinion. If you want, tell me what you would name the divisions in the comments.

Anyways, a good thing about this realignment would be the travel times for teams. It was really annoying for teams like Detroit and especially Winnipeg to go play games against conference rivals, which ultimately spurred the two switching sides.

One more thing I'd like to speculate on here -- I would expect that any day/week/month now, you can expect the NHL will expand to 32 teams, and plop one in Seattle and one somewhere else. I speculate this because this realignment just doesn't work with 30 teams, as the Eastern conference has 16 teams compared to the West having 14. I'd be willing to bet the 2nd team won't be in Quebec, Hamilton or Toronto (unless one of them plays in the West, which would be unlikely).

Switching gears now, some time next week I will be posting my annual mock draft. I have already done all my scouting reports, I'd just like to get a better feel of the standings so I can determine which team needs what.

Happy hockey!

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As I posted in the thread, I'm not fond of the new alignment either. I would have split up the Atlantic conference and divided more along the lines of geography.

But I do like that all teams that do not make the playoffs will pick in the lottery to gain the #1 pick.

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