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11-05-2012, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... I think youd get some serious Blowback on that one Kev. Those three 06'rs' in addition to Ottawa want more games against their traditional rivals from the Great Lakes, Central & North Eastern Seaboards. Detroit, Chicago, Philly etc, along with more frequent jousts with the Jets, Oilers, Flames & Canucks. Its' just a shame ASG went n' done what they did, as a Southeastern Division including the Caps, Canes, Preds, Florida X's 2 & Georgia did/does hold much in way of potential rivalries.
No doubt. The NHL wanted new, big markets for TV purposes… and no one wants to play them.

I've said it before, but when you add 1-2 people to a group, the join the group. When you add 8-12 people to a group, they CHANGE the group.

The new markets who've been the most successful spent the most time being "the new guy" among a group of established teams. (OTT, COL, SJ, DAL, TB). The new markets who've struggled the most spent the most time in a division full of fellow noobs.(ATL, PHX, NASH, CBJ, CAR). With the exception of CAR and FLA, making a list of "number of seasons spent in a division with each established team" pretty much shows the order of success for each of the new markets.

The Southeast may have had the appearance of "rivals" because of geographic (relative) proximity. But looking at fan attendance by opponent shows that their fans didn't feel that at all. Fans came to see WASH once Ovechkin showed up, but no one felt a rivalry with them before that. nor did they feel a rivalry with ATL ever. When CAR and TB were both good, those games were well attended. The concept of geographic rivalries only worked in pairs: FLA-TB and CAR-ATL tandems, in different divisions with northeast teams? That would have worked.

In MLB, you have division rivals that don't fit geography. Over the years...
NY Mets: St. Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Florida, and Philly and the NY Yankees.
Atlanta: Cincinnati, San Francisco, Houston, New York, Philadelphia.

They do is split up regional rivals (like Cubs-White Sox; Mets-Yankees, Baltimore-Philly, Tampa-Miami) into different leagues; but still play those games. Something similar in the NHL would work great.

Instead of TOR playing 6 vs OTT, BUF, BOS, MON, 4 vs East, 1 vs West. Play 6 vs OTT, BUF, BOS, MON, TB, FLA, 4 vs rest of East, 1 vs HALF the West, 0 vs half the West.

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