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New Alignment is a Big Win for Wings


Guest WingNut722
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The NHL announced yesterday that for the 2012-2013 season, the teams would be shuffled into a four-conference league. This is a huge win for the Detroit Red Wings organization and for their fans. For years, Mike Ilitch and Company has been yearning for a ticket into the Eastern Conference, and they thought they might have their chance when Atlanta moved north. They now find themselves in the midst of a brand new 8-team conference which includes all of the current Central Division, with the addition of the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild.

Living in New Jersey, I was hoping the Wings would get reshuffled into possibly the Atlantic Division, which would get me into a lot more games, but I would have been heartbroken to have to say goodbye to Chicago. I love the Blackhawks, and I love the storied rivalry between the two clubs. I loved the Winter Classic in ’09 and I love the traditional home-and-home series to close out the season. So honestly, I would say this is a better deal.

In fact, most of the League’s best rivalries have been preserved. Boston/Montreal, Buffalo/Toronto, Rangers/Devils, Flyers/Everyone else. The interesting shift has been with the Florida teams being moved into the so-called “Northeast” conference, which doesn’t make sense geographically, but it’s still the same time zone. Plus, with so many Canadian retirees who’ve moved to Florida, this is a big chance for them to see their old favorites again on multiple occasions.

The other fun fact is that the Pacific and Central conferences are composed of eight teams, and the Northeast and Atlantic Conferences are composed of seven teams, making it “easier” for these teams to make the playoffs. Rumors are spreading that the NHL is allowing room for expansion, particularly in the markets of eastern Canada. Quebec City has been dying for a return of the Nordiques. There’s talk of Toronto getting itself a second team, and cities like Hamilton and Kitchener have been speculated for an expansion team as well. I would love to see more hockey teams in Canada (it’s their sport, after all) so I hope this is what the NHL has in mind.

A lot of time and effort has gone into this, yet there is still come question about the future of the Phoenix Coyotes and possibly the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both markets are not doing well financially, and their movement might result in another realignment. Kansas City has demonstrated a desire for a hockey team, so Columbus could move their easy enough.

The Coyotes could either move up to Quebec or even Las Vegas if the horrifying scuttlebutt is true. Las Vegas should not have a hockey team…. That’s just absurd, but it would be an easy move to preserve this new 4-Conference setup.

Overall, I’m excited for this new shift. It should be a lot of fun!

The floor is now open. What say you?

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Funny thing, when for first time I watched NHL in Russia, I became Wings fan as many russians. I think it was something to do with a bunch Russians played for this club from Soviet period.

Then before going to US I started watch Flyers because I knew I was moving to that city.

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Hamilton/Kichener will never get NHL teams and I can't see Tronno allowing their monopoly of failure to be sullied by another franchise in the area who might have a commitment to, you know, actually winning something at some point.

Good for the Wings and I like the geographic nature of the Conferences (aside from the "Florida in the Northeast" angle - but they do have direct flights for snowbirds...). Tampa not only has a Cup, but also pretty good attendance numbers, if not actual "revenue." Florida? Well, there shouldn't be hockey in Miami...

I don't like the unbalanced "conferences" at all, though.

Oh, and the national sport of Canada is lacrosse. No, really.

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most of the League’s best rivalries have been preserved. Boston/Montreal, Buffalo/Toronto, Rangers/Devils, Flyers/Everyone else.

Hey, whaddya mean "Flyers/Everyone else"???!!! lol... ok so everyone hates us, I guess I can live with that. Anyway, I think it's good for the league to have the Wings where they are. They and the Hawks are big market teams and it helps to have those teams spread out a bit rather than clustered in two divisions/conferences/whatever. I do like the new arrangement at first glance, and putting Florida and Tampa (especially Florida) in the former Northeast division suggests that the league is keeping their options open with respect to moving one of those franchises to Canada (hopefully Quebec). Adding the Caps to the same conference as the Flyers, Rangers, and Pens is also a good move.

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@phlfly I remember a lot of RUssians playing for Detroit in the 1990s. Big time for the Russian hockey in Detroit.

@radoran Hamilton has a lot better shot than Kitchener, granted. But I just know it's been discussed. And if New york can have two teams (hockey, baseball, AND football), then Canada's New York can certainly have two as well. They'd be able to fill both those arena's quite well.

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That's probably the biggest benefit for the sport JackStraw, putting the Caps, Pens and Flyers in the same conference. Obviously, the league loves to tout the Crosby/Ovechkin matchup This will give them a few more per season. And NBC will be right along for the ride to pick up the viewership revenue. Sorry for the jab at the Flyers...all in good fun :-)

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@radoran Hamilton has a lot better shot than Kitchener, granted. But I just know it's been discussed. And if New york can have two teams (hockey, baseball, AND football), then Canada's New York can certainly have two as well. They'd be able to fill both those arena's quite well.

I'm not disputing Tronno's ability to support the teams, I'm questioning whether the Leaes would allow it to happen. They're not the league's most valuable franchise despite 40 years of abject failure for nothing, you know.

Hamilton's a city of 500,000 with a Metro of under 700K. - about the same Metro size as Winnipeg except that Winnipeg doesn't have two established hockey teams (Leaes, Sabres) within a 90 minute drive.

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Winnipeg doesn't have two established hockey teams (Leaes, Sabres) within a 90 minute drive.

True enough, but then you get that whole international border hassle... I doubt that many current Leafs fans would "jump ship", and I think it would be pretty nice for both teams to have "away" games and still sleep in their own bed that night.

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True enough, but then you get that whole international border hassle... I doubt that many current Leafs fans would "jump ship", and I think it would be pretty nice for both teams to have "away" games and still sleep in their own bed that night.

The issue, again, isn't the FANS in Tronno, it's the LEAFS OWNERSHIP.. Ownership has been against a second franchise in the market for years and shows no signs of changing. Again, they're the most valuable franchise in the league and have had to win zip since expansion to get there. What's the "up side" for them allowing another team in their market?

This is the NHL. Do you really think they're doing things because the FANS want them a certain way?

You've also, respectfully, just argued both that Tronno could support another team in Tronno, but that few Leafs fans in Tronno would "jump ship" for a team about an hour away (depending where in the GTA you live) in Hamilton. I'm not sure it goes both ways - and I'm not sure that Hamilton can support a team without support from SW Tronno Metro and the Niagara peninsula.

Related - I don't think Buffalo would be terribly happy with a team in Hamilton, either. Buffalo does a lot of cross-border business - and gets a good crowd from Hamilton for Habs games because of the Bulldogs. Because of the cross-border issues you note, having a team in Hamilton c/would work to dry up a good deal of that revenue.

I was just living in Buffalo during the whole "Coyotes to Hamilton" thing blew up and these were the major reasons cited for it not happening.

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@radoran Point well taken. Sorry I misinterpreted your post. There were a number of team expansion options I was referring to, and again, it's just what I heard. These are not my original ideas. I never expected all of them, or any of them, to actually take off. It's just fun to speculate on the new regional dynamic, should anything occur.

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