NHL realignment may be bigger than once thought…

By , July 13, 2011 2:51 pm
NHL talking about mega-realignment

NHL talking about mega-realignment

There’s been some talk in the last few weeks about realignment of the NHL. This news isn’t new, but I hadn’t really heard anything on it until now (it’s gathering steam as of late). Most assumed that meant that the Winnipeg Jets were going somewhere – either the Northwest Division or the Central division – and a team in that division might move elsewhere. Maybe 2 or 3 teams might move around. Well, sounds like the NHL is entertaining other ideas and one is getting some big consideration.

Remember the days of yore when there were 4 divisions and they were super easy to remember? Well, sounds like the NHL is considering going back to that based on a proposal Gary Bettman made to the NHL Board of Governors back in late June. The division names wouldn’t likely be names as they once were (Gary Bettman’s proposal suggested: Pacific, Midwest, East and South) but the NHL would consist of 2 conferences with 2 divisions in each conference again. One division in each conference will have 8 teams and the other would have 7 teams. The proposal suggests that each team would play teams within their own division five or six times and play every other team twice. I don’t know how they plan this, but somehow they figure that both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Redwings will move out east.

As for playoffs, the Toronto Sun says: “The top four teams in each division would make the playoffs. The first round would be divisonal play, the teams would then re-seed for conference play. Bettman’s idea would not affect a East-West Stanley Cup final matchup.”

The NHL Board of Governors are discussing the viability of this change.

My thoughts on divisions:
West Conference:
Pacific (7): Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, L.A., Anaheim, San Jose, Phoenix
Midwest (8): Winnipeg, Colorado, Minnesota, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville Predators, Detroit

East Conference:
East (7): Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, New York Rangers, New Jersey, Buffalo
South: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida, Columbus, New York Islanders

Optionally, Detroit moves East and plays in the East division and Columbus takes Detroit’s place in the Midwest.

Other articles on the subject:

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

13 Responses to “NHL realignment may be bigger than once thought…”

  1. Alan-NottsUK says:

    So they want to take on the concept MLB use.

    Bad idea IMO, MLB is losing it’s popularity so copying their model would be a completely retarded thing to do. Even more so when you consider the NHLs growth over the past few years.

    edit: quite drunk right now.

  2. chucker says:

    I liked the old Patrick, Norris, Smythe and Adams divisions. Maybe it’s just me, but I hated it how Bettman dumbed down the game to sell it to Americans. Bring back the Campbell and Wales conferences too.

  3. Racki says:

    Well yah, I liked the old 21 (?) team league…. that’s pretty much what made that conference/division make up good.

    Now there are just too many teams. It sucks having 30 teams with only 16 playoff spots. Barely more than 50% of the teams make the playoffs each years… pretty big difference when you consider it used to be over 75% making it. But hey, I guess that makes it more of a challenge.

  4. Alan-NottsUK says:

    my ideal would be exactly 50% of the teams making it. 32 team league. 2 conference of 4 divisions with 4 teams. Top team from each division with 4 next highest teams going into the play offs, seeding stays as it is now.

    I do prefer the historic names for the divisions though.

  5. Steve-O says:

    chucker: I liked the old Patrick, Norris, Smythe and Adams divisions. Maybe it’s just me, but I hated it how Bettman dumbed down the game to sell it to Americans. Bring back the Campbell and Wales conferences too.


  6. Racki says:

    I’m not sure why they ever did away with the names.. I guess that’s one of those American-friendly changes so that people remember better? Hasn’t worked for me though.

  7. chucker says:

    Yeah it is weird how 16 teams always madE the playoffs under the 21 team league and that this has not changed with the addition of nine more teams. Want more revenue? Let more teams in.

  8. Steve-O says:

    I’d rather not see more teams in the playoffs, 8 teams per conference is perfect and the season takes long enough as is.

    If we are talking changes that I want I’d want the following (Steve-O being commish for a day):
    – Get to 28 or 32 teams (28 would be ideal) for even divisions
    – Bring back the Campbell, Wales conferences and the Smythe, Norris, Adams and Patrick divs (more character this way than just geographic names)
    – Reduce number of games to mid-70’s
    – Each team plays home and away against each team, with extra games scheduled against conference
    – Remove instigator
    – Move Florida to Quebec and another team to Hamilton area
    – I wouldn’t mind seeing the first round going back to the best of 5 intra-div playoff round, but I could go either way on that.
    – Leave the playoffs at 8 per conference

  9. chucker says:

    Where do I vote for Steve-O?

  10. Racki says:

    I’m fine with 8 teams on each side, it just is funny when you think about how hard it is to get in the playoffs now. That’s quite a change over the 80s.

    However, you hate the season being long because the Oilers suck. You hate the playoffs being too long because the Oilers are never in it. I love 7 game rounds, and hope that stays that way.

    I have no interest in a 32 team league, but 28 would be nice. Dump Florida and Nashville… nevermind moving them.

    Mid 70s # of regular season games.. mehhhh.. I could live with that, but I actually don’t mind the long season because I LOVE HOCKEY. It’s fine by me. Why do people complain that we have hockey in June? I hate June, July, August and parts of September because there isn’t much in the way of hockey. I have really no interest in seeing the season or the playoffs shortened up. In fact, I get withdrawals bad when we have to go 3 days without Oilers hockey, let alone longer. Leave it at 82 games, or close to that number. Who wants LESS hockey?! Really? I don’t get that, Steve-O.

    Remove Instigator… duh.. unfortunately no one on the BoG wants this for some reason.

    Bringing back the old names… all for it. Like I said, they changed the names because new fans need easier ways of figuring out what team is in what div, i’m guessing.

  11. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I think I brought this playoff format up last year. My idea was to play less regular season games and more playoff games. Maybe the top ranked team would get a bye in the first round but get revenue sharing from the bottom feeders that are battling it out. Anyway you can look up my previous plan for all the details.

  12. Steve-O says:

    Nah, every year I get tired of hockey. With watching 82 games and playing my own 40 every year I honestly couldn’t give a shit by the end of the year. Playoffs are good. But really, regular season just doesn’t matter, no matter how the oilers are doing.

    You need to pick up another sport, makes the off-season better.

  13. Racki says:

    I’m starting to get back into CFL, I think.

    But really, I don’t mind the games. I actually am masochistic enough to enjoy watching every Oiler game. If I enjoy them this much when they’re a 30th place team, imagine when they actually start having a winning record…

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