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02-26-2013, 01:23 PM
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Sorry, recap:
Originally Posted by Icedog2735 View Post
Per the latest tweets by McKenzie it seems that for the last spots in each conference, the two "western" conferences will be grouped together and the two "eastern" conferences will be grouped together. This would avoid the issue of say Boston playing Vancouver in round one.
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
That's why there should be two Conferences with two Divisions each. And especially if all the ETZ teams are actually going to be in the East, then there'd be no risk of an ETZ matchup with a PTZ team in that Western Conference.

This alignment, with a Playoff crossover allowed, screams for a 4 Division, 2 Conference structure.
Originally Posted by redwings8831 View Post
Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun

According to NHL memo sent to 30 teams, no longer is the idea to go to 4 conferences, but rather 2 conferences with two divisions each.

Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun

The Eastern Conference would have the Atlantic and Central divisions, the Western Conference would have the Mid-West and Pacific divisions
Recap Summation:

So, the original scheduling matrix was a win, but the Top 4 per conference caused the players to balk. So, when proposing a wild-card system, everyone realized cross-country playoff series were no fun. Now, the "conferences" are coming back for the purposes of a (quasi-)combined playoff bracket. And so now we come full circle and re-examine the scheduling matrix to see if it fits our revised playoff system.

I think the western divisions could very well go ahead with the 6-2 scheduling matrix, and allow the best #5 to replace the worst #4 if needed, ala the CFL. These divisions are still widely separated geographically and reducing cross-over series can still be a priority. Someone before mentioned taking the top teams but putting a priority on avoiding PTZ vs. CTZ series ahead of divisional pairings.

The eastern divisions, with 16 teams (hmm, why not 15 teams?), could do all sorts of things. They could go to 2, 3, or 4 divisions, because their playoffs are combined and they might as well toss the idea of having two highly segregated divisions in favor of something more spread out, mixing every one up.

I'd still throw a line to the 8-6-16 three conference proposal, where half of each conference makes the playoffs and a 16th team is put in the centrally-located Central Conference playoff.

Unless you are locking the Pacific division to 4 playoff teams, no more / no less, there is ALWAYS the risk of a playoff series crossing multiple timezones before the SC Semis. These last two proposals limit that to a maximum of 1 PTZ/CTZ series each round.

In the end, I think Bettman would be in favor of only two conferences for marketing purposes. The 4 conference scheduling matrix was great for the regular season, but a strictly divisional playoff will not fly. Myself, I think risking a single PTZ/CTZ series rather than a single PTZ/ETZ series is a rather minor victory and the league should continue forward with the "Top 3 + 4 wild-card" proposal and keep a winning scheduling matrix.

Last edited by Crayton: 02-26-2013 at 01:33 PM.
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