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01-28-2013, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Grudy0 View Post
And one has to remember how the Leafs ended up in the Eastern Conference back in 1998:

With the four franchise expansion in 1997 came the need to realign. The proposed realignment looked almost exactly as it currently is, except that Columbus was to be in the Northeast and Toronto in the Central, until either the 2003-04 season or until Columbus first made the playoffs. At that point, the two franchises would swap places.

Somehow, Ken Dryden (President of MLSE at the time) managed to convince the Board of Governors when it came time to approval a new alignment that Toronto should be switched to the Northeast immediately upon implementation of the six-division system, leaving Columbus in the Central.

So there were definitely a few franchises, specifically Columbus and probably Detroit, that may have been "promised" spots in the Eastern Conference if the possibility arose. There were defintely franchises that weren't happy with the six-division alignment in 1997.
I did not know that. Very interesting. I'm guessing Toronto being the only Canadian team in what would be the Central division played a part. With the Leafs and Jets being together in the Norris in the 80's, until the Rockies moving to NJ forced Winnipeg into the Smythe, then eventually back to the Norris/Central with expansion, then moving to Phoenix, it just became time to get out.

Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Now it makes me wonder how the NFL, NBA, and MLB got their 8 and 6 Division alignments approved, and if all those teams are happy with their alignment. Compromise would seem to be a key element, I'd expect. The NHL didn't really make fair compromises for some of its teams when it formed the 6 Divisions, that's certainly part of the issue.
The NFL and MLB have two different leagues that merged together, which I think makes their situation a little easier in terms of alignment. A different schedule too. One game a week, or a 3/4 game series.

The NBA, it's pretty different from the NHL. The south isn't a curse word. One team in Canada. 3 teams in Texas, and now in Oklahoma, and NO. Dallas and Denver aren't as isolated as in the NHL. The NBA has 13 teams in the ETZ, and 17 west of it. They have to steal from the CTZ to fill out the Eastern Conference. Although they still have a division spanning 3 time zones. Nothing is perfect I guess.

Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
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.
Can't argue there.

Back in the day, Gretzky and the Oiler dynasty were in the Smythe. There were 3 O6 teams in the Norris.

Now, with free agency and free agents that gravitate toward the northeast, and Toronto getting out, and Detroit willing to leave everyone behind for the same reasons as Toronto, teams hardly ever on NBC, the West certainly has an image problem. Too much travel, nobody is up late enough to watch, little history, etc.

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