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NHL’s four-conference realignment


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  1. 1. Do you like the new possible arrangement?



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Saturday night on CBC, Elliotte Friedman gave some insight into the latest proposal, and the slight updates the NHL has made to their realignment plan:

East

Conference 1

Hurricanes

Blue Jackets

Devils

Islanders

Rangers

Flyers

Penguins

Capitals

Conference 2

Bruins

Sabres

Redwings

Panthers

Canadiens

Lightning

Senators

Maple Leafs

West

Conference 3

Blackhawks

Avalanche

Stars

Wild

Predators

Blues

Jets

Conference 4

Ducks

Flames

Oilers

Kings

Coyotes

Sharks

Canucks

Friedman adds that some kind of wild-card is being discussed for the two eight-team conferences, probably to deal with those slightly higher playoff odds out West.

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@Polaris922

I don't really like it. I think it stupid to have the two teams in Florida in the same conference as the Canadian teams. I don't know why it was such a problem to have each East / West with a 7 and 8 team grouping? It also means that if there is expansion both expansion teams would be in the West.

If we have to have two 8 team conferences in the East then they should be divided more for geography than rivalry.

I would prefer :

Conference 1

Canadiens

Maple Leafs

Senators

Bruins

Sabres

Rangers

Redwings

Islanders

Conference 2

Lightning

Panthers

Hurricanes

Capitals

Flyers

Penguins

Blue Jackets

Devils

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It is a bit more fair to the Wings and Jackets, less west coast trips.

The drawback is the unfair advantages for the west coast teams come playoff time. 4 out of 8 in the eastern conferences will make the playoffs, 50 percent. 4 out of 7 will make it in the west, 57 percent. A small quible, and not worth throwing it out over. I think the conferences will be too big and unwieldy but we will get used to them, I also wish the Wings could be in a division with the Pens and Flyers, I think it would be quite a rivalry. But again that is only a minor quible.

For anyone who feels the current plan is fair, let me just say as a Wings fan I am sick of the west coast trips, staying up til 1am watching the games. Anyone from the east who would be willing to simplify the schedule by just trading with the Wings let me know.

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@Polaris922

@hf101

@Polaris922

I don't really like it. I think it stupid to have the two teams in Florida in the same conference as the Canadian teams.

FIXED!

As a Flyers fan I love to hate the 3 New York teams, but therin lies the problem (from a Northeasterner's perspective) in balancing traditional rivalries with competitive balance. With Philly and NY you basically have 4 teams that you can't break up, so that limits your options on slicing up the rest of the East into logical groups. Not only on a geographical basis but based on long histories of playoff battles, these teams need to play each other as much as possible. It's what makes this fun. Plus take the Flyers or Rangers away from the Devils and that's a couple more games in Newark being played to 65% capacity. The Islanders need that attendance boost too; they'll still suck in Brooklyn even if they are a little more accessible. Can't separate the Pens from that group either, not after Lemieux made those rivalries relevant. Of course based on history Boston and the Rangers are almost inseparable, and you know you can't have Boston without Montreal....wait don't the original 6 belong together anyway....how do you draw a line? Unenviable task to be sure.

Thumbs up on the Wings in the East based on common sense alone, but I can't say the rest of the East will be doing cartwheels :) And don't Detroit and Chicago belong in the same conference....sorry, rhetorical question

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@hf101

I hate it. That said, with 16 teams in the Eastern Time Zone there is either going to be a team from the EST making regular trips way way WAY out West....or unbalanced conferences.

Expansion does solve the problem. Two of the three most talked about options are Seattle and Kansas City and most of the relocation candidates are in the East (Florida & Columbus). I'm assuming (and fairly certain) that the Coyotes are never moving and Hamilton is never getting a team.

So put teams in Seattle and KC. Quebec has dibs on the 1st team to move. Presto - problem solved.

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So put teams in Seattle and KC. Quebec has dibs on the 1st team to move. Presto - problem solved.

Well, except for the "problem" that there aren't 30, much less 32, NHL quality hockey markets in North America.

And there certainly aren't 224 NHL quality defenCemen (7 for each of 32 teams).

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I say yes to the proposal because I'm a huge fan of the Wings moving out east. That's the biggest concern of all...however, I have a couple issues which are just my own preference...

1) Losing Chicago. Detroit and Chicago hold the record for the most games played against each other. The two clubs are very competitive as it is, but always manage to turn it up one more notch when facing each other. The games are hugely exciting, spirited, and incredibly well-played. I would sincerely lament seeing six times a year whittled down to just two.

2) Too few games in New York area. I live in New Jersey. I'm a Wings fan. I would have preferred a relocation plan that put Detroit in the same conference as the three NY-area teams as it would give me that many more opportunities to grab a seat. However, I won't complain about a total of three games out this way every season. Those tickets cost money, ya know!

I do have to say that I would be pretty excited to see the Wings play Boston, Toronto and Montreal a lot more. The Original Six rivalries would certainly flare up again, and (personally) I enjoy seeing hockey games at the TD Garden more than I do at Prudential Center or MSG.

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@hf101

I had very similar thoughts to you when I looked at the proposed alignment. It just seemed extremely silly to me to have all of the northeast and eastern Canadian teams and then throw the Florida teams in there with them.

But then, I have no real good way to get around it. What you came up with is, again, very similar to what I thought about briefly. Your Conference 1 makes sense to me. Strictly geographically speaking, your Conference 2 makes sense, but as a Flyer fan I would hate it. Outside of the Penguins, Devils and maybe Capitals, that conference would be a snooze-fest for me. The idea of playing the Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, and Panthers (and even the Bolts) that many times leaves me immediately wondering what reality tv show featuring farm animals would be on another station--because it would be equally interesting to me.

This doesn't really fly for me, either, but I would just as soon stay with what was proposed but exchange the Red Wings with the Hurricanes. It works from the Hurricane perspective because it puts them with the Florida teams and makes 8 games, or whatever, less of a trip for both them and the Florida teams. As a Flyer fan, playing the Wings more often would be fun. From the Wings and the NHL perspective, it will never happen (and probably shouldn't) because it's clear they're trying to put Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and Detroit together--which makes great sense (no sarcasm).

So, I guess if they're going to do this as just four conferences, leave it as is.

But what about 4 conferences each with two divisions (admittedly, this would get as ridiculous as NCAA basketball)

EAST

Conference 1

Division A

Flyers, Penguins, Canadians, Bruins

Division B

Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Sabres

Conference 2

Division C

Red Wings, Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, Senators

Division D

Capitals, Hurricanes, Panthers, Lightning

WEST

Conference 3

Division E

Stars, Predators, Blues, [Kansas City]

Division F

Jets, Wild, Black Hawks, Avalanche

Conference 4

Division G

Ducks, Kings, Coyotes, Sharks

Division H

Canucks, Oilers, Flames, [seattle]

The top two teams from each division go to the playoffs. No wild card, no pass from the homeroom teacher, just the top two teams. Cross seeds with the other division in your conference (Winner A vs. Runnerup B; Winner B vs. Runnerup A). Winner plays for the conference. Conference winner from Conference 1 plays winner from Conference 2. East Vs. West. Champion.

If an East team is playing the west at all, then just once per season. That's 16 games.

Teams from Conference 1 would play each other 6 times. That's 42 games

They would play Conference 2 each 3 times. That's 24.

For a total of 82.

If you want each team to play all others home & away, then

East team vs West twice each. That's 32 games.

Your own division 6 times. That's 18 games

Your intra-conference division 4 times. That's 16 games

Your partner conference (the other eastern conference from the Flyers' perspective) twice each: That's 16 games.

For a total of 82.

All of this would be predicated upon awarding Seattle & KC a team. It won't work with only 14 teams out west.

If none of this nonsense works, then just go with the proposal (or leave it as is and just flip-flop Winnipeg and Detroit)

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Wild Thought: I wonder if putting Detroit in the same conference as Steve Yzerman's Lightning is anything more than a coincidence.....

If that's the case, they really should have put the Flyers and the Kings in the same division and then just sat back and laughed their asses off

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Try this on for size...

When the NHL was considering this a couple years ago, I put together a fun little exercise to see if I could get the Original 6 teams in a Division by themselves. Now I haven't figured out the regular season or playoff structure for this yet, but since there are five divisions, it will obviously have to include a wild card situation. But anyway here is the arrangement for preliminary review and approval....

Original Six

Montreal

Toronto

NY Rangers

Chicago

Detroit

Boston

Atlantic

Buffalo

NY Islanders

New Jersey

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

Ottawa

Southeast

Washington

Tampa Bay

Florida

Carolina

Columbus

Nashville

Central

Minnesota

Dallas

Phoenix

Colorado

Winnipeg

St. Louis

Pacific

Vancouver

San Jose

Anaheim

Los Angeles

Calgary

Edmonton

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Well, except for the "problem" that there aren't 30, much less 32, NHL quality hockey markets in North America.

And there certainly aren't 224 NHL quality defenCemen (7 for each of 32 teams).

Agree on the defenCeman, You can probably say the same about quality centRe iceman, too. I'd rather that than the unbalanced conferences. It's diluting the talen pool a bit or giving almost half the teams a pretty nice advantage over ther other half.

Or the Blue Jaquets can just move West. Literally.

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@ruxpin

I was curious how the new conference set up and playoff seeding would have impacted last year's post season. The obvious change is that with Wings moving East, the 8th seeded Senators would not have qualified. In the West, the Flames would have made it sans Wings. With last year's actual seed in parentheses....

East

1 - Rangers (1)

2 - Bruins (2)

3 - Penguins (4)

4 - Flyers (5)

5 - Red Wings (5 - West)

6 - Panthers (3)

7 - Devils (6)

8 - Capitals (7)

West

1 - Canucks (1)

2 - Blues (2)

3 - Predators (4)

4 - Blackhawks (6)

5 - Coyotes (3)

6 - Sharks (7)

7 - Kings (8)

8 - Flames (NA)

Other than moving a perennial cellar dwellar West (Jets) and a perennial contacted East (Wings) and giving the teams in the East a few extra opponents to deal with...yeah, it's OK. At least they gave us the Bleu Jacquets to pad our win totals.

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Wow who thought of these division names? Isn't Boston on the Atlantic Ocean??

East

Atlantic- Rangers, Islanders, Flyers, Devils, Penguins, Blue Jackets, Capitals, Hurricanes

Central- Bruins, Leafs, Senators, Wings, Canadiens, Sabres, Lightning, Panthers

West

Pacific- Sharks, Coyotes, Kings, Ducks, Flames, Oilers, Canucks

Midwest- Hawks, Wild, Aves, Stars, Blues, Jets, Predators

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East

Atlantic- Rangers, Islanders, Flyers, Devils, Penguins, Blue Jackets, Capitals, Hurricanes

Whatever didn't fit elsewhere- Bruins, Leafs, Senators, Wings, Canadiens, Sabres, Lightning, Panthers

West

Pacific- Sharks, Coyotes, Kings, Ducks, Flames, Oilers, Canucks

Midwest- Hawks, Wild, Aves, Stars, Blues, Jets, Predators

Better?

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@ruxpin

East

Atlantic- Rangers, Islanders, Flyers, Devils, Penguins, Blue Jackets, Capitals, Hurricanes

WTF?- Bruins, Leafs, Senators, Wings, Canadiens, Sabres, Lightning, Panthers

West

Pacific- Sharks, Coyotes, Kings, Ducks, Flames, Oilers, Canucks

Midwest- Hawks, Wild, Aves, Stars, Blues, Jets, Predators

much better!

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