Thoughts on Realignment
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03-08-2013, 01:15 AM
Only a 2 year window
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Crested Butte, CO
Originally Posted by
The issue with the unbalanced schedule seems to be based on the insistence that each team play more than just a home-and-home with the teams from the other division in their conference. I think Pocket Nines' Option #1 makes perfect sense:
: Play home and home with each eastern conference team (2x16 = 32 games) + six division games against six division opponents (6x6 = 36 games) + a home and home with the Pacific teams (2x7 = 14 games).
If the playoffs are going to be based on divisional standings, I would hope that there would be more divisional games. Sure, it might get repetitive seeing some of the same teams over and over again, but at the same time, those are the ones you want to play down the stretch in order to beat them and assure your team of a playoff spot.
When the realignment gets "re-visited" in 2015 (i.e. when the NHL adds two more expansion teams to get four 8-team divisions), I can see something like this (using P9's Option 1 as a framework):
For scheduling purposes, each division is broken into two 4-team geographically-adjacent "subdivisions" (cue the Rush song)
Play six division games against three subdivision opponents (6x3 = 18 games) + four division games against four opponents in other subdivision (4x4 = 16 games) + a home and home with the rest of the NHL teams (2x24 = 48 games).
The only thing is that that same deal in the East would be 2x14 = 28, plus 2x8 =16, plus 38 games divided by 7 teams (some 5, some 6), so it's not as clean over there. The other thing that makes me think it won't be Option 1 as I had it listed is that for teams in the West there would be no difference during the season between fellow conference mates and the east. You'd just play everyone else twice and your division 6 times. I would actually be fine with and prefer this system but only if they were going with the originally described format that I really liked – four division games, you have 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 and then a division champion who is in the NHL Final Four. If you're going to have to face conference companions in the playoffs then you have to play conference companions more than opposing conference teams.
What I liked about the insular division format is it really would spark intense rivalries. That was one of my favorite things about the 80s Blues games was all those rivalry games with Chicago, the North Stars, the Wings, the Leafs. You'd play 8 times a season and then you'd have to reign supreme in the playoffs against the same teams. So much more natural hate developed between teams, and you'd have so much more grudge physicality throughout the lineups. If it were basically like the NHL had four different leagues that every year played a Final Four for overall supremacy, that would be worth re-generating all that intense passion among fans and teams who had so many memorable division battles.
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