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01-20-2013, 11:45 PM
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Why keep the divisions at all? Just go to two conferences/divisions of 15 teams each. Use the schedule to "recreate" the regional rivalries and go from there.

As it is, the divisions don't play much of a role in playoff qualifications, at least in my experience, since each team is competing against every team in the conference for playoffs spots and divisional opponents can never take all available playoff spots. Also, the rivalries in the NHL usually formed prior to the existing divisional structure, as a result of playoff appearances or simply due to local geography.

For example: I live in Ottawa, and the "Battle of Ontario" has NEVER been about securing a playoff spot. It was always a prelude to the playoffs or just a dull thud during the playoffs. I cannot recall a situation, even briefly, where Ottawa or Toronto was in a position to deny each other a playoff appearance.

By using the schedule to recreate the regional rivalries, that allows teams to shift the rivalries as they evolve and change over time.

Last edited by kilroy: 01-20-2013 at 11:53 PM.
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