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01-21-2013, 07:33 PM
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My perfect expansion teams and post-expansion format is simple, expand up to 36 teams. 4 conferences, 9 teams each conference. 20 teams playoff format. Pipe dream of mine below:

Expansion teams: Seattle, Portland, Houston, Kansas City and Quebec City, Toronto 2,

Conference games:4x8=32 games
Non-conference games 2x27=54 games
Total games: 86 games

Expansion teams in bold.

Conference A: Vancouver, LA, Anahiem, SJ, Phoenix, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland.

Conference B: Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Winnipeg, Houston, Kansas City

Conference C: Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Ottawa, Buffalo, Columbus, Detroit, Quebec City, Toronto 2

Conference D: Tampa, Florida, Carolina, NYI, NJ, NYR, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

My reasoning for choosing expansion teams is following, to get more western cities as much as possible and get extra Canadian teams for extra revenues. Seattle and Portland is logical choice because they have a strong junior market and could translate into the successful NHL franchise and saves Vancouver from logging highest travel mileage in the league to a reasonable level. With those geographic advantages in the west helps cut down their travel.

It leaves Colorado an odd man out to the Conference B and their closest city is Kansas so it makes sense for KC to have its own team and Colorado saves their travel to the pacific every time and makes no difference if Colorado travel to Winnipeg or Houston as it is roughly equal travel if they stayed in Conference A as in Conference B. Dallas gets its natural rivalry with Houston and leaves pacific division and they'd be happy to play in Conference B. Conference B is all CTZ except for Colorado and it should not be a huge difference.

For Conference C, Detroit and Columbus join the conference where they can play their conference games in the east time zone rather than CTZ for their road games. It allows Montreal retain their heated rivalry with Boston and Buffalo will be happy to keep Boston as their rivals and Detroit will rekindle their Original six rivalry and Chicago will sorely miss Detroit as their rivals. A second Toronto team is needed because of the extra revenue for the league and makes for an interesting time and Quebec City deserves to have their team back after the success story that Winnipeg experienced last season. Columbus potentially get some extra away fans in Detroit and 5 Canadian teams when they visits Columbus with their extra revenue needed during the regular season.

Conference D, all teams is happy that their rivalry will be kept intact and Washington will also be happy to play extra games against their closest rivals in Interstate highway 95 corridor. Carolina, Florida and Tampa will be happy with this conference set-up.

I believe that Chicago will be only team that oppose this realignment with expansion team just because they will lose their natural rivalry with Detroit.

Playoffs format: top 5 in each conference makes the playoffs for extra revenue for bottom teams a shot for the extra playoff gate revenue for struggling revenue teams however, this 4 vs 5 schedule must be toughest possible so that the fresh teams can shake off their rust quickly and short layoff possible. For regular season finale, all teams playing on Thursday night. First game of 4 v 5 will be held two days after their final games and it must be back-to-back games that include travel. 4th place team host the first game while the 5th place will host game 2 and if necessary, 4th place host game 3. Rest day is between game 2 and 3.

Regular season finale: Thursday

Game 1, Saturday
Game 2, Sunday
Game 3, Tuesday
Game 1 of next round, Wednesday.

Game 1, Saturday
Game 2, Sunday
Game 1 of next round, Tuesday.

This will allow top teams enough time to rest and start their playoff campaign without losing much rust and huge advantage for the top team facing the winner of the 4/5 series with punishing 3 games in 4 nights or 4 playoff games in 5 nights with this set-up. I use the Saturday and Sunday schedule because some teams has their arena booked due to basketball and they could play hockey instead in the afternoon, giving them scheduling flexibility. This guarantees the 5th place team get one home gate revenue while 4th place team gets 2 games.

This is a conference playoff set-up, 1 v 4/5 and 2 v 3.

Last edited by coolboarder: 01-21-2013 at 07:38 PM.
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