Realigned!!! [3/7 update: CHI - COL - DAL - MIN - NSH - STL - WPG; NHLPA approves]
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06-27-2011, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
I actually dig a lot of stuff about this idea.
Going to geographic divisions as well as divisional playoffs should make things a lot more interesting in the playoff rounds. I also dig that they will be able to align teams more closely with their time zones.
But how are regular season games going to be split up? If it's a balanced schedule across the league, that doesn't make any sense. And if there are unbalanced divisions of 7 or 8 teams, that also screws up the numbers.
I could also see some things getting screwy with the top four teams of a 7 vs 8 team division getting fans upset. Some team will get screwed out of a playoff spot or whatever.
But if they try and make it work, let's think about the divisions:
Pacific - VAN, SJS, LAK, ANA
Mountain - EDM, PHX, COL, CGY
Central - WPG, MIN, DAL, STL, CHI, NSH
Eastern - DET, CLB, TOR, PIT, BUF, OTT, MTL, BOS, NYR, NJD, NYI, PHI, WAS, CAR, TBL, FLA
If they group the Pacific and Mountain teams together, that's an eight team division, which makes sense. But there are only six teams in the Central.
One idea would be Colorado with the Central, which probably wouldn't be bad if the league wants to keep Detroit and Columbus out east. But then you'd have two 7 team divisions in the West and two 8 team divisions in the East, and that would skew things if they re-seed the teams East vs West after the first round (which makes sense).
Or you could move one of Detroit or Columbus to the Central, which also wouldn't be a bad move. Probably Detroit to keep some NHL interest in the rest of the country.
So my guess would be:
Western Division - ANA, CGY, COL, EDM, LAK, PHX, SJS, VAN
Central Division - CHI, DAL, DET, MIN, NSH, STL, WPG
Northeast Division - BOS, BUF, MTL, NJD, NYI, NYR, OTT, TOR
Southeast Division - CAR, CLB, FLA, PHI, PIT, TBL, WAS
I actually think that looks pretty good. Everyone's happy but Detroit, but if they balance out the schedule somewhat so there's more inter-conference play, then who cares. You'd have some pretty good rivalries too.
Using this past season's points, here's what the playoffs would have looked like:
WAS vs TBL
PHI vs PIT
BOS vs NYR
MTL vs BUF
VAN vs PHX
SJS vs ANA
DET vs DAL
NSH vs CHI
Actually Los Angeles would have missed the playoffs in favor of Dallas. But a lot of great matchups in that mix. And give it five years of divisional playoffs and you'd have some great rivalries IMO.
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