1997 expansion approval
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12-28-2012, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Originally Posted by
The sad thing is the alignment they made in 98 was probably their best option if they had to realign. If the league could've put Vancouver in the Pacific, for example, they would have. They couldn't, so Dallas drew the very, very short straw.
I've always been a fan of the bigger groupings. I was a kid in the late 80's when I got into hockey, so I'm sure I'm a little biased, but those divisions had some character to them. To add teams to those core groups, I thought was great. Then they broke it all up, and just started hiding teams in the SE, and the Pacific was a similar experiment. I wouldn't say Washington and LA have been the most relevant NHL franchises in their histories. To break them away from other teams that the Caps and Kings had formed some sort of identity with, and then group them with so many recent expansion and relocated teams, it was just weird. There are now 5 Cup champs from those two divisions since 98 though.
As for the uneven divisions, to that I say just beat the teams that you're in a playoff race with, don't worry about other groups if you don't have to, and there's no crying in baseball anyway.
I think all the whining about uneven divisions is just strategy on the PA's part; from 1980-1995, all but one year had divisions and/or conferences with a different number of teams;
from the WHA merger until the san jose sharks joined the NHL in 1991, there were 21 teams with one division having an extra team (therefore 1 division had 2 teams miss the playoffs compared to the other 3 having 2) 1993-1995 had the eastern conference having 2 more teams than the west and up until the re-alignment in 1998, there were two 7 team divisions and two 6 teams (6 team ones had an advantage due to less competition for the division title).
The players are merely holding it as a card to play later
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