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Whatever happened to the old rivalries?

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02-23-2005, 07:30 PM
  #1
Chili
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Whatever happened to the old rivalries?

I see alot of topics on what's wrong with the game, some of it valid. But I seldom see rivalries mentioned. With 30 teams and the current playoff format, they are just not the same for me.

Those who remember the The Patrick & the Norris, The Adams & the Smythe divisions should understand what I'm talking about. Your playoff rivals were all within your division. To make the playoffs you had to finish ahead of them. If you made the playoffs, then you had to get out of the division. Some incrediblely good rivalries were built over that period.

Personally, I was following the Pens for most of the '80's, early '90's and the Patrick. You really learned to loathe the Flyers, Isles, Rangers, Caps & Devils. It almost seemed like their was a specific style of play for each division.

Then along came Mr Bettman who changed the playoff format and took away the identity of the divisions by replacing them with Northeast, Atlantic, Pacific, Central, etc. Honestly, I would have a hard time naming all of the teams in there correct divisions now.

The standings displayed by divisions are confusing for me. Unless your team is a division leader, you want to know where they rank among the top 15 in the conference.

To me, this has combined to reduce the number of true rivalries around the league. There are still a few good ones...the battle of Alberta, Habs/Bruins, Wings/Avs, battle of Florida, battle of Ontario but it is still a far cry from the old days.

I'd really like to see them address this. If nothing else bring back the division names. I used to get a kick out of Chris Berman talking about about the 'Chuck Norris' division. The current names are too bland. I would also like to see them bring back a similiar playoff format to what it was.

I'd like to see the NHL bring back the intense rivalries as part of the effort to rebuild the sport.

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02-23-2005, 08:40 PM
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Malefic74
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I'm with you. I consider myself a big traditionalist (which is why this is my favorite place on HF) and have always considered it an injustice that the names of hockey's past were unceremoniously stripped so that some American TV executives could understand how the divisions worked. (Please note that I did not say Americans in general. Thank you.)

As for the playoff format. Well I'm with you there too, but I can see the other side. If you go back to the 80s you will find a number of instances were a deserving team didn't make the playoffs because they were in a strong division (like the Adams or Patrick) while doormats would sneak in, sometimes with records under .500, because they played in a weak division (like the Smythe or Norris). At the time I considered this the greater evil, but I have since changed my mind.

That is a price I would gladly pay to get some kind of emotion going during the regular season. And the more interdivision games the better. Because there is nothing going out there now. Sure the commentators tell you it's a 4 point game and the opponent is "in their conference" (along with 15 others) and do everything they can to pump the game up and then the puck drops and more often than not both teams play a pretty lifeless game.

I say start the season with 10 inter-division game and end it with 10 inter-division games. Get some kind of intensity to these games.

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02-24-2005, 06:03 PM
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Yeah, I miss the old conference and division names too, I couldn't even tell you now what the names of the newer ones are.

There really were alot more rivalries back then, or at least they were more intense, but with 30 teams now instead of 21, that was bound to happen regardless of who played who in the playoffs.

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02-24-2005, 06:42 PM
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Agreed loved the old division names.

Question? Who would you name the new divisions after?

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02-24-2005, 06:45 PM
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im gonna say this again. CONTRACTION!

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Old
02-24-2005, 06:48 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skittles.TML
im gonna say this again. CONTRACTION!
Strange name for a division, but it might work for the Southeast

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02-24-2005, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasbro
Strange name for a division, but it might work for the Southeast

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02-25-2005, 01:28 PM
  #8
Chili
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasbro
Agreed loved the old division names.

Question? Who would you name the new divisions after?
Bring back the old ones...or...it would be easy to honour some of the past greats.

The Gretzky division, The Lemieux division, The Howe Division, The Bowman Division, etc.

And I agree Malefic, I would also be willing to trade off the possibility of missing the playoffs to a team with fewer points for the increased intensity the old divisions brought (it was seldom that it actually happened under the old format).

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02-25-2005, 01:39 PM
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Malefic74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasbro
Agreed loved the old division names.

Question? Who would you name the new divisions after?
They usually named the divisions for builders of the game. And you'd only have two to name.

My nominees would probably be Sam Pollock and Al Arbour, although Bowman is the other natural. Sather would have been included had he retired in the early 90s but I think his reputation has taken a big beating lately.

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02-25-2005, 02:00 PM
  #10
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The rivalries dies when they went to the current playoff format.

In my ideal and never will happen, NHL, there would be 28 teams, and 4 divisions of 7.

Wales Conference

Patrick Division

Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
Washington Capitals
Atlanta Thrashers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Florida Panthers

Adams Division

Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Quebec Nordiques -- moved from Anaheim
Buffalo Sabres
Pittsburgh Penguins
Boston Bruins

Campbell Conference

Norris Division
Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Blues
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
Dallas Stars
Columbus Blue Jackets
Chicago Blackhawks -- original Blackhakws (Wirtz) contracted ... New Jersey Devils moved to Chicago

Smythe Division
Edmonton Oilers
Calgary Flames
Vancouver Canucks
San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Kings
Phoenix Coyotes
Colorado Avalanche

Carolina Hurricanes & Chicago Blackhawks contracted
Anaheim moved to Quebec City
New Jersey moved to Chicago

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02-25-2005, 02:03 PM
  #11
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^That would be a great NHL.

The only change I'd make would be to bring back the Whalers somehow

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02-25-2005, 02:11 PM
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I don't think the names have anything to do with it, and the playoff format is only a minor factor. Rivalries were created in the regular season when teams played each other 9 times a year and created a healthy hatred for each other. If they met in the playoffs that only added to it. To bring back rivalries, I'd eliminate interconference play or greatly reduce it.

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02-25-2005, 02:15 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloed
I don't think the names have anything to do with it, and the playoff format is only a minor factor. Rivalries were created in the regular season when teams played each other 9 times a year and created a healthy hatred for each other. If they met in the playoffs that only added to it. To bring back rivalries, I'd eliminate interconference play or greatly reduce it.
IMO it was much more the repeated playoff match-ups than the regular season meetings.

Interconference play is already greatly restricted, and as a season ticket holder, I'm very much against removing it altogether.

Under my 28 team NHL my schedule would be:

1 game vs. opposing conference = 15
3 games vs. conference = 21
7 games vs. division = 42

78 game season

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02-25-2005, 02:24 PM
  #14
Dr Love
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John, I love your idea, simply because it eliminates the Devils.

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Old
02-25-2005, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Love
John, I love your idea, simply because it eliminates the Devils.
Doesn't eliminate them, just moves them to Chicago. Had to find a way to get rid of Wirtz ... and Chicago was a great hockey market ... and would be again with a quality organization.

Also IMO New Jersey is the worst market for hockey in the NHL. IMO all 29 other markets would be selling out on a regular basis if they had the team the Devils have had the last decade,

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02-25-2005, 02:32 PM
  #16
Dr Love
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Doesn't eliminate them, just moves them to Chicago.
New name, new place, new division. Good enough for me to count as elminated.

It would never happen though, since they just signed a deal for a new arena.

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Old
02-25-2005, 02:36 PM
  #17
John Flyers Fan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Love
New name, new place, new division. Good enough for me to count as elminated.

It would never happen though, since they just signed a deal for a new arena.
Agreed, it will never happen.

With Hitchcock around, I don't fear them at all like it used to be. I think we're the better team now, and positioned to stay that way in the future.

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02-25-2005, 02:51 PM
  #18
Chili
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloed
I don't think the names have anything to do with it, and the playoff format is only a minor factor. Rivalries were created in the regular season when teams played each other 9 times a year and created a healthy hatred for each other. If they met in the playoffs that only added to it. To bring back rivalries, I'd eliminate interconference play or greatly reduce it.
I think you misread the intent. The division names are cosmetic but there was still some sense of what that division represented. Saying the Central division doesn't mean alot to me but referring to the old Norris division represented all the teams it comprised and the rivalries within. So I guess I'm saying I'd like to see them brought back for the fans more than anything.

And I disagree about the playoffs. These are where some of the best rivalries are either created or enhanced. And with the old playoff format, the odds of recurring rivalries was much greater.

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Old
02-25-2005, 03:59 PM
  #19
MiamiScreamingEagles
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For the sake of ease, let's say there was a 28-team NHL (the numbers would change slightly with a 30-team League). Four divisions of 7 teams. You play the other 6 teams in your division 6 times (36 games there); you play the other 7-team division in your conference 4 times each (28 games); then you alternate playing the two divisions in the other conference by season -- you'd play 2 games against each team in one division (14 games) and none against the other division on a season-by-season rotating basis. So, 36+28+14+0 = 78 game season.

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Old
03-07-2005, 11:54 AM
  #20
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Having more home and home series would rekindle a few rivalries, and maybe even start some too.

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