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02-04-2013, 04:28 PM
  #311
kvladimir
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Here's another totally imperfect idea (that might be somewhat realistic?):

Division A: Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver (4 Pacific + 4 Mountain TZ)

Schedule:

(7x4 Div. A teams) + (6x3 Div. A teams) = 46 games + 3x7 Div. B teams = 21 games + 1x7 Div. C teams = 7 games + 1x8 Div. D teams = 8 games = 82 games

Division B: Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg (6 Central + 1 East TZ)

Schedule:

5x6 Div. B teams = 30 games + (2x1 Div. C team) + (3x6 Div. C teams) = 20 games + 3x8 Div. A teams = 24 games + 1x8 Div. D teams = 8 games = 82 games

Division C: Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto (All East TZ)

Schedule:

5x6 Div. C teams = 30 games + (2x1 Div. B team) + (3x6 Div. B teams) = 20 games + 3x8 Div. D teams = 24 games + 1x8 Div. A teams = 8 games = 82 games

Division D: Florida, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington (All East TZ)

Schedule:

(7x4 Div. D teams) + (6x3 Div. D teams) = 46 games + 3x7 Div. C teams = 21 games + 1x7 Div. B teams = 7 games + 1x8 Div. A teams = 8 games = 82 games

Playoffs:

Top 4 from each Division make the playoffs and play 1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3.

However, crossovers by sub-4 teams in each division with better records than top-4 teams in certain other divisions can happen like this:

A ==> B <===> C <=== D (Any series between A+B will be 2-3-2 format)

In other words, the 2 divisions with 7 teams can have teams from 2 other divisions take their spots with better records, but for teams in the 8-team divisions, if they are top-4, their spot is secure. An idea to help balance this problem of uneven divisions, plus the schedule is designed to have teams in contention with each other (via crossover or otherwise) for playoff spots play each other more often in the regular season. On top of that, the crossovers can reduce the repetition of post-season matchups, and does so by placing teams that are likely to be outside-division rivals together (including rekindling some of the rivalries that exist between Div. B + C).

2nd Round will be 2 winners from each division bracket in a Division Final, then 3rd Round will be 4 division bracket winners reseeded and matched up 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3.

It's hardly perfect (what is?) but it has some ideas I thought might be interesting. Columbus certainly might not like it, but they get a schedule with only 4 games played outside the East/Central, and 3 games each season against their usual rivals + Pittsburgh. Obviously, all bets are off if Phoenix moves to Quebec City, so yeah...

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