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01-28-2013, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by KingsFan7824 View Post
I don't think the league really works with the 6 divisions they've had since 98. It's a nice number and size of divisions in theory(so are 4 conferences...what isn't good in theory?), but one of the divisions in the East barely registers, and the entire Western Conference is a bit of a train wreck. It's great for the NE and Atlantic divisions though (travel, start times, rivals), and since they have the big ticket teams, everything revolves around them.
I'm not 100% sure in which way you mean the West is a "bit of a train wreck", but in general I have to challenge that. It's not the first time that I've heard something similar, if you're specifically referring to alignment issues; though again it's not a perspective that I hold even in that regard.

The West does have an issue, yes, but I'll get to that in a moment, and I'm sure you know what it is anyway. But alignment in the West, specifically referring to 6-Division alignment, has been pretty much totally ill-effected by the alignment of one team, Vancouver. If Vancouver had been or could be forced to be part of the Pacific Division then the majority of the alignment issues would be solved. Of course, someone will argue then that Vancouver would have an alignment issue,... but if Vancovuer were in fact in the Pacific, and had been there since the beginning of the 6-Division format, I'd dare say that there wouldn't be nearly as many people today claiming alignment chaos in the West. Just as many believe today, many would look at Vancouver in the Pacific Division and not see that as a serious issue.

If Vancouver were in the Pacific, we all know then how the other Divisions would look. Which western teams then would have a serious alignment issue? Sure, Minnesota might still be complaining, but the sympathy factor would be much less.

And what about before Winnipeg came along? Vancouver in the Pacific, Chicago in the NW. Then Minnesota's complaints would likely be minimal if at all. Oh, but then Chicago would've complained,... separated from Detroit. The thing is though, we all know that Detroit would take that separation in a flash if it could be in the East. Therein actually lies the biggest issue in the West, and an issue that won't go away no matter how the West is aligned. Status! The West has little status in the League and in the eyes of many fans.

Perhaps the worst thing that happened to the West was when Toronto was allowed to be put in the East. If Toronto had stayed in the West, the West would at least have more economic influence in the League.

And what happens when or if Detroit goes into an extended period of slump, as the franchise lived through in the 70s and 80s, and heaven forbid at the same time Chicago isn't the strong team that it recently has become? Again, therein lies the real Western issue and why Detroit is being held onto for dear life to be kept in the West (and primarily because the Red Wings became a powerhouse in the 90s which has lasted for about 15 years). Minnesota, Dallas,... they want a better Time Zone alignment, but just like St Louis and Nashville, they want to be in a Division with the likes of Detroit and Chicago,... That's where the hockey status is. And the East hasn't been sharing any of it. They took a big piece away when they took Toronto.

And of course there's the scheduling issue for teams like Detroit and Columbus. But without some very special alignment or scheduling format to resolve that, the 6-Division structure alone isn't primarily responsible for that issue.

Last edited by MoreOrr: 01-28-2013 at 01:51 PM.
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