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The Reasons Why The 2020-2021 NHL Divisions Format Would Never Be Made Permanent


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The Reasons Why The 2020-2021 NHL Divisions Format Would Never Be Made Permanent


I'm just stating the obvious here...


The 2020-2021 NHL Standings had four divisions. 8 teams in the West Division, 8 teams in the Central Division, 8 teams in the East Division, and 7 teams in the North Division, and if they brought back the Quebec Nordiques it would be 8 as well.


If the National Hockey League always used the Standings format from the 2020-2021 season, there would be one Canadian team in the semi-finals (final four) of the playoffs every year. The 2020-2021 format only guaranteed a Canadian team would make the semi-final, not the Stanley Cup final. With this format Canada's 29-year Stanley Cup drought could still continue. The only change that should be made if brought back would be to allow teams to play teams from other divisions as well, which is not what happened last season because of covid.


If the 2020-2021 NHL division format was brought back and made permanent, we would never see an all-Canadian Stanley Cup final again. There has not been an all-Canadian final anyway since 1989 (33 years). I doubt it will ever happen again because the U.S. teams are much more in number. The odds of it happening again are not good. At least with the 2020-2021 format we could get a Canadian team possibly winning the Stanley Cup once every five years, maybe more, or maybe not. The possibilities are endless. Nothing else would change. Goals will still be scored, records will still be broken, and 500+ goal-scorers will still exist. Next year will mark 30 years since the last time a Canadian franchise won the Stanley Cup. Although, not happening for a long time doesn't equate to never happening again. Canadian teams make up for 22% of the NHL. The odds may be low but they certainly exist. A permanent Canadian division would make the odds of winning the Stanley Cup 0.


Would it really give Canadian teams a better chance to win the Cup? Right now, three Canadian teams can make the semifinals. The 2020-2021 format would limit them to only one. Also, if that one team wouldn't have made the semifinals otherwise, how good would their chance of winning the Stanley Cup really be? This idea might give only the illusion of Canadian teams having a better chance when they're all bad and eventually cripple their chances when several of them are really good. Travel would be hell for the 7 Canadian franchises, forcing cross country playoff series' in different time zones.


The league shouldn’t grant semifinal spots based on gerrymandered divisions. There would be very little credibility to a league where “we want to make sure team with characteristic X makes the final four” is a factor in deciding the schedule/divisions. I don't want any pity spots. Maybe they could earn their spots instead.

Edited by NHL HHOF
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