I just don't want to see the Wild in a division with Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. Outside of that, doesn't matter what they do. 8 divisions. 4. Whatever. Just get this team in a proper division where I can attempt to care about other teams in it.
After Meaningless Win - 3/29/12 - Game 77 | SoH-"Who knows, that could have cost us a Cup tonight." | Dooohkay
Honestly I'm not sure that the NHL would like that idea either. Canadian teams screw up Bettman's precious TV ratings, because apparently the only ratings that matter are American ones. Spreading out those teams among the West would likely make things easier.
I honestly am starting to think the NHL moves away from geographic divisions in the West. It works well in the East but not so much over here. If they drop from six divisional games to four for all games in the conference, it doesn't become an issue anymore. The East won't care because travel is so short anyways.
From what I understand from my friend who works at CBC...
It's not like the NHL gets a **** ton of money from their Canadian markets... The whole "socialism" and "state owned" broadcasting thing...
Except that the Canadiens play most of their games on TSN/RDS (ESPN Canada), and Rogers Sportsnet carries most Western games. So, if ESPN and FSN/Comcast/Root/Whatever the Local Cable Affiliate is carried more NHL games, that would be bad for the TV market? The CBC's main trump card is Saturday night, and the occasional Scotiabank ($$$$) Hockey Tonight special. Simply put, people watch hockey in Canada at a greater market share per capita, and therefore, advertising pulls more for the network, which translates into more for the League. With no major national cable deal (Versus still doesn't count, as it is not basic cable everywhere like ESPN), the NHL is not making nearly as much per capita in the US. Also, it's not like the CBC doesn't have advertising. Your friend is either mistaken or not on the business side of things at the CBC.
It was just for that season as Ottawa and Tampa made it 24 teams and one of the reasons why the NHL realigned. The league has had a lot of weird divisions in the past like the Golden Seals being in a division with Toronto, Buffalo and Boston (I think the North Stars were also in that division at one point) and all six 1967 expansion teams being in the same division (stretching from Philadelphia to LA).
Blog: First Round Bust: A Cast of Thousands celebrating a rather dodgy track record of Minnesota Wild Drafting.
"Will beats skill when skill doesn't have enough will."
I always thought it was stupid the way they put the 67 expansion teams in a division and all the original 6 teams in another, making it so it was original 6 vs expansion the first year. They basically wanted to make it a joke contest for the stanley cup.
*Conferences would still exist 2 x 15
*an 8-team division and a 7-team division for each conference; Pacific, Midwest, East, and South
*home-and-home against all non-divisional teams
*top 4 from each division would make the playoffs
*Detroit and Columbus would likely get their wish to move East
I would assume that the first two rounds of the playoffs would go through the division, just like the old days. I actually think that this would work out pretty well for the West, but call it the Central or Norris division, not the Midwest This should appease a lot of the pro-Central folks on this forum and also benefit Dallas. Swap Phoenix and Colorado if the Yotes move to KC. If the Yotes move to Quebec, then I think both CBJ & DET would have to stay put. The article says Detroit would likely get their wish, but it also cites two 15-team conferences. It seems that there's an inherent contradiction there unless Gary's planning on the Isles moving West:
Pacific- van, cal, edm, wpg, sj, la, ana, phx
Central- col, dal, stl, min, chi, det, nas
As well as this alignment would work in the West, it's going to step on a lot of toes in the East, which is why I can't see this happening. I can't imagine they would cut a line through NYC with the Rangers/Isles playing up North with only a home-and-home against the likes of NJ-PHI-WAS. I think this is the best they would be able to do:
So which of these divisions does Gary plan on calling the "South"? Ideally, you would want Pittsburgh (& Columbus) in the Atlantic, but then you're either moving the NY teams or the FL teams in to the Northeast. This is probably the best arrangement possible and it results in merely a home and home for pit vs. phi, bos vs. nyr, etc.
I can't see this happening. I really think 6 x 5 with the proper Winnipeg realignment works reasonably well for scheduling purposes. If it does happen, it's probably a good indicator that we'll be seeing two expansion teams in 5-7 years.
Going to geographic divisions as well as divisional playoffs should make things a lot more interesting in the playoff rounds. I also dig that they will be able to align teams more closely with their time zones.
But how are regular season games going to be split up? If it's a balanced schedule across the league, that doesn't make any sense. And if there are unbalanced divisions of 7 or 8 teams, that also screws up the numbers.
I could also see some things getting screwy with the top four teams of a 7 vs 8 team division getting fans upset. Some team will get screwed out of a playoff spot or whatever.
But if they try and make it work, let's think about the divisions:
Pacific - VAN, SJS, LAK, ANA
Mountain - EDM, PHX, COL, CGY
Central - WPG, MIN, DAL, STL, CHI, NSH
Eastern - DET, CLB, TOR, PIT, BUF, OTT, MTL, BOS, NYR, NJD, NYI, PHI, WAS, CAR, TBL, FLA
If they group the Pacific and Mountain teams together, that's an eight team division, which makes sense. But there are only six teams in the Central.
One idea would be Colorado with the Central, which probably wouldn't be bad if the league wants to keep Detroit and Columbus out east. But then you'd have two 7 team divisions in the West and two 8 team divisions in the East, and that would skew things if they re-seed the teams East vs West after the first round (which makes sense).
Or you could move one of Detroit or Columbus to the Central, which also wouldn't be a bad move. Probably Detroit to keep some NHL interest in the rest of the country.
So my guess would be:
Western Division - ANA, CGY, COL, EDM, LAK, PHX, SJS, VAN
Central Division - CHI, DAL, DET, MIN, NSH, STL, WPG
Northeast Division - BOS, BUF, MTL, NJD, NYI, NYR, OTT, TOR
Southeast Division - CAR, CLB, FLA, PHI, PIT, TBL, WAS
I actually think that looks pretty good. Everyone's happy but Detroit, but if they balance out the schedule somewhat so there's more inter-conference play, then who cares. You'd have some pretty good rivalries too.
Using this past season's points, here's what the playoffs would have looked like:
WAS vs TBL
PHI vs PIT
BOS vs NYR
MTL vs BUF
VAN vs PHX
SJS vs ANA
DET vs DAL
NSH vs CHI
Actually Los Angeles would have missed the playoffs in favor of Dallas. But a lot of great matchups in that mix. And give it five years of divisional playoffs and you'd have some great rivalries IMO.
I've been lurking these boards for a while, and finally signed up to comment on this:
Similar to what Jarick's saying, I think the divisions should split up like this:
Pacific: VAN, CGY, EDM, SJS, LAK, ANA, PHX
Central: COL, WPG, MIN, CHI, STL, DAL, NSH
Northeast: MTL, OTT, TOR, BUF, NJD, BOS, NYR, NYI
Atlantic: DET, CBJ, PIT, PHI, CAR, WAS, FLA, TBL
The only teams in different time zones than the rest of their division are the half MST half PST in Pacific and Colorado in Central. Now you don't have the issue of Minnesota having extremely late games in Vancouver 3 times a year, or San Jose having extremely early games in Dallas 3 times a year.
It keeps most rivalries intact, and encourages new ones. Minnesota will have a chance to have regional rivalries with both Winnipeg and Chicago. Columbus will be able to develop their rivalry with Pittsburgh. The only team really cut off is Colorado.
Expansion into Kansas City or Seattle would work easily under this setup. Even QC getting a team could work out by moving Detroit back into the Central.
The season would have home and home with all teams outside the division (46 games for 7 team div and 44 games for 8 team div) with 3 home, 3 away for inside the division (36 games for 7 team div and 42 for 8 team div). The 8 team divisions would each have 4 rotating teams that they only play once to bring them back down to 82 games, or the 7 team divisions could have 4 more cross division games to bring them up to 86.
For playoffs, each division is guaranteed two teams with home ice, with the 8 highest ranking remaining teams across all four divisions getting away seeds. With the number of interdivision games, this will prevent a "weak" division from getting teams in that don't deserve it (I'm looking at you Eastern Conference). Every division still gets at least two teams in, guaranteeing there's something of interest for every division.