NHL Realignment - Flyers
There are some who want to completely shake things up in the NHL. I love some of the ideas I am hearing
1. Switch to 4 divisions (8,8,7,7)
2. Change to "divisional playoffs". Four winners of divisional playoffs are in the semi-finals for the Stanley Cup. So each year you see the teams in your division in the first couple of rounds. Makes the winning of the second round much more dramatic.
Group teams by geography where possible:
1. All Canadian Division:Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton - Quebec City could round them out to 8
2. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, NY, NY, Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey, Washington
3. Florida, Tampa, Nashville, Carolina, St. Louis, Chicago, Columbus,Detroit
4. Anaheim, LA, San Jose, Phoenix, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota
1. Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, LA, Phoenix, San Jose, Anaheim
2. Winnipeg, Minnesota, Chicago, St. Louis, Colorado, Dallas, Nashville
3. Florida, Tampa, Carolina, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Washington, NJ
4. Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, Detroit, Boston, NY Isles, NY Rangers
30 teams and 82 games.
Play each team twice (58 games) + 4 games against divisional opponents (24. 8 team divisions would not play each divisional team four extra times, but close enough)
Any ideas/thoughts? Our Division would be STACKED in scenerio 1 but man it would be fun to play the divisional playoffs each year, get through that division and that trophy means A LOT. Interesting discussion this time of year.
It doesn't make sense to group all the Canadian teams together since if they play each other more, it'll require more traveling. I'd say when Winnipeg is made a Western Conference team, move Columbus, Nashville, or maybe even Detroit to the East to balance it out. It doesn't make sense to totally shake up the NHL, but I'd like to see it happen anyway just for the sake of novelty.
I strongly dislike the idea. If you have an exceptionally difficult division, like we historically have, you'd be severly handicapped. If you're the best team in the league, you've earned what should be the easiest path to the cup, imo. It would suck to draw one of the better teams just because they are in your division. You've already managed to secure the top spot while playing in that division all year.
Unless there's some other changes coming around (expansion to 32 teams, for instance or some other team moving), I'd be more for the idea of simply swapping a few teams but mainly keeping the current divisions intact.
Winnipeg to Northwest, Colorado to Central and Nashville to Southeast, how does that sound?
I agree the Time Zones causing too much travel kills the All Canadian grouping.
One problem with Divisional play-outs is what occurred in the NHL a few decades back... to often there were the same teams going up against each other in the opening rounds -- remember Flyers/Smurfs yearly match ups? -- and the lack of getting other division match ups meaning never getting to see them in the Postseason... Same old crap each year and boredom... and possible dominance by one club over another; kinda nice to have the luck of the draw come into play rather than familiar foes that know each other inside and out... although there are some entertaining values in that. Bad thing is that it may/often become old hat seeing, let's say, the Flyers vs the Pens each opening round.
Also, IMO it would be a crime to break up some rivalries... Imagine for only one example breaking up the Boston/Montreal/Buffalo grouping.
I must say though that I'd love to have Washington join the Atlantic... Back when the last realignment occurred and the Pens were added I had wanted the Caps instead. The Pens at that time really were not arch rivals with the Flyers although the Pittsburgh fans wanted at he Philadelphia cross state people who forced them into a secondary position in so many things non-hockey related... I like the NY to Washington corridor and felt Washington a natural rival to Philly where the Pens were more a forced one with only the state as the tie... I felt Pittsburgh more of a Midwestern city than an Eastern one. Over time though the Pens/Flyers rivalry reheated and became a great one... But I believe the Flyers/Caps one suffered greatly. Adding Washingon while keeping Pittsburgh is ideal.
Besides breaking up natural rivals... and that aside... I do agree that OVER THE COURSE OF TIME new rivals will develop when ever Divisions are established. IMO realignment should only be done when positively required and rarely... and always with natural and established rivalries a the forefront in any decision.
Oh, and a perfect example of how you never, never EVER break up a great rivalry is that over many decades The Dallas Cowboys in the NFL have never been moved out of the East since they are such strong rivals with all the other teams... but I do realize that the NFL with its one game a week scheduling causes relatively little travel disruption as compared to more active leagues.
I think the NHL should stay with the eastern and western conference but go with two divisions each.
If you try to keep some rivals together and geography the divisions could look something like this...
3) st Louis
4) San Jose
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