NHL hints at HUGE realignment in 2012-2013 [With Link]
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07-11-2011, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
As I said in another post, there are 9 teams strung out
(but not necessarily on) the US east coast...
Pittsburgh wants in to whatever division Philadelphia is in, and Philadelphia wants them, so you're looking at a natural cluster of 10 teams. Since 4 divisions implies 7 or 8 team divisions, something has got to give, somewhere. This is why people are looking at moving 2 of Boston/Pittsburgh/NewJersey into the NE division (which I prefer to call the Great Lakes division), in order to get down to 8 teams.
Here's something I've though abought, but haven't seriously posted yet. With the departure of Atlanta, the 2 Florida teams are out in the middle of nowhere as far as other teams are concerned. Howsabout moving them to the Midwest (aka Central division)? They'd be only one hour out from Central time, and get Dallas as a rival. Actually, the western part of the Florida Panhandle is Central Time already, so it's not that radical. Here's how things would work out.
I don't see Phoenix hanging around after this coming season. If there were any serious feelers from Houston or KC or Portland, there is no way Winnipeg would've gotten the Thrashers (call me paranoid if you will). So I'll assume there wasn't any ownership interest there.
At best, they may not have been on standby, and ready to take a team on short notice. If Gary Bettman works the phone, he might have an outside chance at talking Les Alexander or Paul Allen prepared into taking the Coyotes. But I think the chances of either one wanting an NHL franchise
are slim. The best hope is if the NBA totally implodes, and Portland and Houston realize they have a permanent 45-date hole in their winter schedules. The NHL might sneak in almost via the back door as "the only game in town".
Failing that, the only option I see is folding Phoenix, and awarding an expansion franchise for 2015-2016 once the new Quebec City arena is ready. Interestingly, the Nordiques new logo, had they stayed 1 season longer, would've been
. How does this look?
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