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01-27-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthJerseyRanger View Post
I fully expect Phoenix to pack up and head to Quebec, and the only format I can come up with that really works is this.

Atlantic - NYR, NYI, PIT, NJD, PHI
You really can't split these 5 up. PIT-PHI and NYR-NJD-NYI are the really big ones that you can't break, but I'm also of the opinion that NYR-PHI and NJD-PHI are too important to the league to be losing any of the games. NYI-PHI would also be good if the Isles got better, and NYR-PIT is a pretty good rivalry, as well.
Northeast - BUF, BOS, MON, QUE, OTT
Only place for Quebec to go.
Southeast - WAS, CLB, CAR, TB, FLA
Makes sense.

Central - DET, TOR, CHI, STL, NSH
Keeps the DET-CHI rivalry intact and reintroduces the Leafs to their old Norris rivals.
Northwest - WIN, EDM, CAL, COL, MIN
Prevents stranding COL or MIN in an all-Canadian division and Winnipeg should be very excited.
Pacific - VAN, DAL, LAK, ANA, SJS
Listen up, ALL, I think that SouthJerseyRanger may well have stumbled upon the central explanation for last year's 4-Division alignment.

At that time, things were going nowhere with respect to the Phoenix situation, and Bettman probably saw a necessity coming down the pipeline to have the Coyotes relocated. Also at that time, Seattle wasn't really in the news at all, so Quebec City was the most likely candidate if it came to be that the Coyotes had to be relocated.

Now, as SouthJerseyRanger has demonstrated a version of, if the Coyotes got relocated to Quebec City, then potentially all 6-Divisions would unavoidably might have to get a shake up. No way such a scenario would be wanted by a lot of teams. So the 4-Division idea comes into being, not for expansion purposes but to accommodate Quebec City. Also, this explains why the Eastern Divisions were only to get 7 teams each, because with the Coyotes going to Quebec City that would mean that the West and East would again be balanced (if not the Divisions themselves). Plus it was never decided on having the East - West Conferences totally done away with. And all of that is in part why Columbus (or whichever) wasn't slotted into the East, because Quebec City was already envisioned for that spot.

Now back to the present... With the Phoenix situation apparently getting at least temporarily resolved, and with Seattle now becoming another possible relocation option if necessary, I wouldn't be surprised if the 4-Division idea gets put on the backburner for a while (maybe wishful thinking on my part). Certainly, teams like Minnesota especially won't like that at all, but many of the Eastern teams might be even less keen on the idea if they don't fear Quebec City shaking up their current alignment.

Just a theory guys, but it all seems to fit what transpired with that realignment proposal last year.

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