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01-27-2013, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthJerseyRanger View Post
I think the great thing about the current setup is the fact that you have divisional rivalries AND conference rivalries. NYR-NJD, PIT-PHI, DET-CHI, EDM-CAL... yea, all obvious and would be retained with the proposed 4 conference realignment, but without the conference playoff format you are missing out on DET-COL, WSH-PIT, PHI-BOS, VAN-CHI, etc. Quite frankly, I'm against the idea of the Rangers only playing Boston or Montreal only twice in a season. So we pick up a game against the West. So what? I'd much rather play established conference rivals 4 times a year than pick up a game against Calgary.

And to those saying that division are pointless without divisional playoffs: every other of the Big 4 has divisions without a strict divisional playoff round. Plus, the division are there to;

1. promote rivalries


2. give the winner a top 3 seed in the conference and a guaranteed home-ice advantage playoff round.

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
Yeah, Dallas gets left in the Pacific... but in reality there's no where for them to go without throwing the entire league out of whack. Vancouver has had some battles with SJS and LAK, and they'll retain conference rivalries with the Oilers and Flames, so it shouldn't make too much of a difference to them. It's not like attendance will suffer.
I don't think Toronto would move out of the East.

The East and West are just two different worlds. That the Dallas situation could be made worse for Dallas seems incredible, but that would do it. It may not be a huge deal to the players, but the fans are the ones who get the shaft. You can't build and sustain a good fan base when every divisional road game starts so late, or so early, or when so many conference games start late or early. In the East, you can't start a game later than 7pm. Have to get to work and school tomorrow. But in the West...meh, whatever, put the teams together by throwing darts, nobody's watching anyway.

NYR, NYI, NJ, Phi, Pit
Bos, Mtl, Ott, Tor, Buf
Was, Car, TB, Fla, Clb

Det, Chi, Nas, StL, Wpg, Min, Dal

Van, Edm, Cal, SJ, LA, Ana, Col, Phx

Everything stays the same in the East, and a 1-8 conference playoff format. The West goes top 4 in each group in the playoffs, a divisional playoff format, and a schedule to reflect that.

I think this alignment focuses on the different problems the East and West face in relation to each other. The reality of one is completely different from the other. What the NHL did in 1998 was take a model that works just shy of perfectly for the East(the SE still has to get a playoff spot, even though nobody really cares about the SE), and forced the teams in the West into the same model. That's why you have a conference that spans all 4 time zones, and why there could be two divisions that span 3 time zones.

One more thing, the Atlantic division must stay together, but Vancouver can be split from Calgary and Edmonton because those 3 teams will still keep their conference rivalry. Can't split up Pittsburgh and Philly though, even with 6 divisions, because it would only be a conference rivalry. I get it, popular kid in school and all that. Like I said, just two different worlds.

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