2012-13 Lockout Discussion Part VI: The "What Comes Before Square One?" Edition
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11-06-2012, 08:58 AM
DROP THE PUCK
Join Date: Dec 2007
Originally Posted by
I frankly don't see how it makes that much difference.
Does Winnipeg flying to Miami really hurt them more than Washington DC flying to Miami?
I mean, it's a plane ride. Maybe a 4 hour plane ride versus a 2 hour plane ride.
I can understand you don't want teams crossing coasts all the time, but I frankly don't really care whether Columbus or Nashville is closer to the southeast, etc.
I want to whatever alignment keeps the most traditional rivalries intact.
And for what it's worth I hate the four conference idea. None of the other leagues do it. Each have two conferences with three divisions. The NHL should be the same.
The NHL and the sport of hockey are nothing like the other major professional sports.
You may hate the idea of four conferences but it retained the "traditional rivalries", it kept teams within their time zones, so for folks that are fans of the Dallas Stars, for example, don't have to wait an hour+ later to watch a divisional game against one of the California teams. It hurts their ratings. Its a problem. Can't just shift them to the Central Division. It again creates a domino effect.
The other resulting issue is parity. Parity could be lost in the realignment plan.
You risk weaker clubs in weak markets struggling to make the playoffs even more. Or continue to have some teams suffer in attendance and TV ratings because divisional games are one or two time zones away.
Again all stemming back to the real core issue.
Hockey is a niche sport. The NHL is a niche league. A regional sport. The league is either A- to big or B-there are too many teams in poor hockey markets.
There's going to have to be a realignment soon. There are some teams potentially on the move. And there's already been hints at expansion. Seattle, Quebec, Kansas City, and the greater Toronto area are all bidding for teams.
We can't continue to look at other major pro sports leagues and assume the NHL can operate or think like they do. Sadly (or not depending on your view) the NHL has more in common with MLS than the NBA (who they are constantly compared to because of scheduling).
MLS and NHL are the two leagues to compare. How does the MLS operate. Did they jump into markets blindly and rash like the NHL did? Or is the expansion they are going through more calculated.
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