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06-27-2011, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mahopac, NY
Three facts are obvious here:
One: the prime motivator for realignment is to cut down on travel expenses.
Two: no matter what combination you come up with, some teams are going to be unhappy.
Three: there is no perfect solution. No matter how you try to shoehorn teams into groups, some teams just don't fit.
Frankly, I would be glad to get rid of divisions altogether. Face it, when we look at the playoff races coming down the stretch of a season, we always look at conference first. Except for the first place team in each division, where you sit in a division is of no import.
If we are going to have divisions, I am all in favor of a heavy division schedule and making the first round or two of the playoffs divisional play. As someone who goes back to the days of the Original Six, when there were only five opponents that you played 14 times each year and each and every game was a "traditional rivalry," and intense, the more games the Rangers play against the Isles, Devs, and whoever else ends up in their division, the better. What I could do without are mid-season games against teams we only see only once or twice or year that have no "juice" because there is no history between the teams.
The big problem is that there are just two many teams that should go into a hypothetical East Divison. Tawnos' idea of having Pitt and Phil in the south is interesting. I could deal with a division with the Rangers, Isles, Devs, Bruins, and the three eastern Canadian teams easily. Would miss the games against the Pens and Flyers, but playing the Bruins and the Canadian teams somewhat makes up for it. Putting the two Pennsylvania teams in with the Caps and the southern teams is an interesting concept.
And that what this is about; throwing out ideas without insulting each other. In my time the NHL has gone through seeming dozens of reorganizations and I've learned not to get to attached to any. Change always comes. Even MLB is talking about realignment.
We could always go to the system used in the English Premier League. Everyone is in one grouping. You can finish 1st or 20th. They don't have post season playoffs but if they did, it would be easy to identify the 8 teams to make a playoff: the top 8 point getters. Kind of fair, wouldn't you say? Never happen here but I am looking forward to a new arrangement for 12-13. There will be one.
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