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Brooks: NHL & NHLPA to meet on realignment

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Old
02-10-2013, 02:40 PM
  #26
No Fun Shogun
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All I know is that, as a selfish fan, my priorities with realignment are as follows:

1) Keep Chicago with Detroit and St. Louis, and
2) Add Minnesota and/or Winnipeg to Chicago's division.

I actually did like the core concept of the four conference realignment, so hope they either more or less fine tune it in some way, particularly with the way they proposed uneven conferences and the playoff format. If the NHL is planning to expand to 32, then I'm cool with the four conference format. If not though, keep it at six divisions.

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02-10-2013, 02:52 PM
  #27
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I love the idea of four conferences with divisional playoffs. It's all about rivalry. Having teams run into each other year after year is what creates rivalry. I didn't like the Florida teams with the northeast, but I can live with that if we get more rivalry.

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02-10-2013, 03:15 PM
  #28
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I love the idea of four conferences with divisional playoffs. It's all about rivalry. Having teams run into each other year after year is what creates rivalry. I didn't like the Florida teams with the northeast, but I can live with that if we get more rivalry.
How are teams creating new rivalries? They'll just be playing teams they've already been playing for the last 20 years. The four conference format limits rivalries.

I asked this before but I guess it got overlooked: if the four conference format of the 80's and early 90's was so great, why did the NHL eventually move away from it?

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02-10-2013, 03:43 PM
  #29
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And financially, I think the PA likes the increased premium teams in the west have to pay for the added travel.
Not seeing the logic. Any "premium" offered by WC teams is simultaneously a "discount" offered by EC teams.

 
Old
02-10-2013, 03:53 PM
  #30
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I asked this before but I guess it got overlooked: if the four conference format of the 80's and early 90's was so great, why did the NHL eventually move away from it?
Probably for the same reasons people are against it as an idea now.

The NHL has changed playoff formats a few times though, so whether it's great or not, it changes. Since it was just the O6, the current playoff format might be the longest running one. The league hasn't added or moved teams for a decade either, until Atlanta/Winnipeg, which is also a fairly lengthy time for that to happen based on history.

It's been a while since a relocation went from the south to the north, which is one reason it opened up such a big can of worms. The last time teams moved from east to west, Toronto saw the opportunity to get out of the West. Detroit and/or Columbus see this as their chance.

Because of the geography of teams though(Toronto only went east after Quebec and Hartford left the northeast corridor), Detroit and Columbus understand that it's not as easy this time. Toronto had a new provincial rival in Ottawa to want to connect with, and it's going to much harder to split anyone from the Atlantic division, because Crosby is in Pittsburgh, Philly has one of the most powerful owners, and the 3 NY area teams are joined at the hip.

Detroit has the seniority, but Columbus needs the help more. Trying to figure out which franchise to screw more isn't an overnight decision. All Detroit and Columbus want to do is not go to the west coast as much. If they play more ETZ teams, that's great, but that's not the primary reason. So they came up with the 4 conferences as a compromise. It comes at the expense of conference rivalries mostly in the East, which again, is why the Atlanta/Winnipeg relocation has opened up such a big can of worms.

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02-10-2013, 03:53 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Shockmaster View Post
How are teams creating new rivalries? They'll just be playing teams they've already been playing for the last 20 years. The four conference format limits rivalries.

I asked this before but I guess it got overlooked: if the four conference format of the 80's and early 90's was so great, why did the NHL eventually move away from it?
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02-10-2013, 04:09 PM
  #32
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Not seeing the logic. Any "premium" offered by WC teams is simultaneously a "discount" offered by EC teams.
If you can make $1 million dollars a year with little travel as part of the job, or $1 million with a lot more travel as part of the job, which do you choose? It's the same exact job, just with more or less travel, depending on where you choose to go. What would it take to get you take the job with more travel built in? More money.

I can't imagine agents don't love being able to try and get more money from teams. Having some teams with better travel as part of the job, and other teams with worse travel as part of the job, bid for the same talent, for the same type job, allows for an increased bidding war. Level out the travel, and some teams lose that edge. Keep the travel as it currently is, and the players have sort of a safe haven, where they can make top level money, and have better travel at the same time.

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02-10-2013, 04:13 PM
  #33
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If I am a single guy, I take the travel with the guys.

Married with kids? I take being home as much as possible.

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02-10-2013, 04:25 PM
  #34
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If you can make $1 million dollars a year with little travel as part of the job, or $1 million with a lot more travel as part of the job, which do you choose?
That's not the choice under discussion. Your claim was that the WC offers a "premium" over EC due to <insert reasons>. My counter statement is that saying the WC pays a premium is equivalent to saying the EC pays a discount.

Especially under a linked-era CBA, there is no salary-reason for the PA to prefer one realignment over another.

There may be HRR reasons to prefer one or another, but that is a different discussion.

 
Old
02-10-2013, 04:29 PM
  #35
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How are teams creating new rivalries? They'll just be playing teams they've already been playing for the last 20 years. The four conference format limits rivalries.

I asked this before but I guess it got overlooked: if the four conference format of the 80's and early 90's was so great, why did the NHL eventually move away from it?
It was changed in the early 90's. It used to be that you played the first 2 rounds within your own division, but unfortunately for the Flames in the 80's, they were in the same division as the powerful Oilers and were out in round 2.

I think one of the reasons for the switch to seed teams 1 to 8 was to give fans a chance to see new matchups and for the top seeded teams to get a more favorable matchup (on paper). I remember one year, Montreal, Quebec and either Boston/Buffalo had all had 100 points (before the OTL was in place) and Quebec fell in round 1 to the Habs.

Now that tv dictates the schedule and timing of games, it makes more sense to move it back to divisional format. But, the drawback is that you might get the same matchups for a few seasons. Plus, there are now 30 teams, not just 26.

As for NHL teams, I don't think there are 32 financially viable cities that can at least break even. We see that the current 30 don't all break even, some lose big money.

See what happens when the Isles move to Brooklyn and the Phoenix issue gets resolved. For me, I don't understand the NHL's desire to expand rather than relocate to Markham/Quebec. They charged the Jets $50 million or whatever in relocation fees. So, couldn't they do the same thing for the Markham team? Charge them $250 million or whatever to move a team into that market, on top of the price to acquire the team? That makes more sense than over extending the talent. I mean, every season, teams are searching for a top 6 forward/top 4 Dman at the deadline? Means that there currently aren't enough of them to field 30 teams, but to find another 12 top 6 forwards and 8 more top 4 Dmen is going to be easy? Doesn't compute.

So, playing the first 2 rounds within your own division appears to be the way to go. Then what happens next?

How do they determine round 3?

Used to be the Smythe winner played the Norris winner. Ie. Pacific/Mountain time zone versus Central time zone. So, the western conference. Likely to still be the case (ie. all star game format).

Or could they alternate, by re-seeding the divison winners and say that Vancouver plays Montreal, while St. Louis plays Philadelphia in round 3. Or does Vancouver play St. Louis, and Montreal play Philly?


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Old
02-10-2013, 04:29 PM
  #36
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If the Rangers offer $7 million per year to a player, and the Kings offer $7 million, why wouldn't the player go to NY? For the Kings to get that player, they'll have to make it worth the player's while, and offer say $8 million per year, or an extra year at $7 million, something more. If the Rangers don't match, then the player got more money. If the Rangers do match, the player gets the extra money, and gets to sleep in his own bed more often.

Look at the history of free agency in the NHL. How many big names have ended up in Vancouver, or San Jose, or Los Angeles? Anaheim got Fedorov, by offering quite a bit for him. The Ducks lucked out with having the younger brother of an all-time great defenseman. Colorado, even when they were great, didn't really bring any free agents in, they just kept their own. Havlat got a lot from Minnesota. Of course Parise and Suter had specific reasons to go to Minnesota.

The better the free agent, the more likely they are to end up in the northeast corridor. NY, Boston, Philly, Toronto, etc, are all money printing franchises. Nobody can really compete with them in terms of money if those franchises want a player. If these teams keep their big travel advantage with the current alignment, it allows players to keep significant financial leverage come contract time.
Players are entitled to 50% of league revenue, not a penny less and not a penny more. All of this speculation as far as which teams will bid for which players depending on realignment isn't all that relevant.

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02-10-2013, 04:34 PM
  #37
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How are teams creating new rivalries? They'll just be playing teams they've already been playing for the last 20 years. The four conference format limits rivalries.
Huh? Rivalries are formed in the playoffs. The vast majority of the existing rivalries were established due to the divisional playoff format.

Look at the Flames/Oilers rivalry and compare that to the Leafs/Sens rivalry. There is literally no comparison. The Flames/Oilers is so much more intense due to all of those vicious divisional playoff battles in the 80s.

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02-10-2013, 04:43 PM
  #38
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Huh? Rivalries are formed in the playoffs. The vast majority of the existing rivalries were established due to the divisional playoff format.

Look at the Flames/Oilers rivalry and compare that to the Leafs/Sens rivalry. There is literally no comparison. The Flames/Oilers is so much more intense due to all of those vicious divisional playoff battles in the 80s.
I seem to recall almost death threats when Alfredsson crunched Tucker and busted his shoulder blades.

Does TO/OTT have a big rivalry now? No, but when they were meeting those years in the playoffs they was absolute hate between the teams. Oil/Flames were intense no doubt, and viscious, but I would give credit that those years between Leafs/Sens was the nastiest rivalry this side of Detroit/Avs. Please note not mimizing oil/flames, they were NASTY-but I think "no comparison" is a bit unfair

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02-10-2013, 04:50 PM
  #39
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Huh? Rivalries are formed in the playoffs. The vast majority of the existing rivalries were established due to the divisional playoff format.

Look at the Flames/Oilers rivalry and compare that to the Leafs/Sens rivalry. There is literally no comparison. The Flames/Oilers is so much more intense due to all of those vicious divisional playoff battles in the 80s.
Okay, you're talking about rivalries that already exist. How does it form new rivalries if you're playing the same teams over and over again?

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02-10-2013, 04:54 PM
  #40
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If Columbus ever makes the playoffs, it will be more likely they form rivalries because they will be likely to play the same couple of teams.

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02-10-2013, 04:55 PM
  #41
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How does it form new rivalries if you're playing the same teams over and over again?
By regularly meeting in the playoffs. Eg, Canucks-Blackhawks.

However, it's zero sum, you can't add a new Most Hated Rival without getting rid of the existing Most Hated Rival (obviously doesn't apply to teams that don't really have rivalries of that intensities).

 
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02-10-2013, 04:58 PM
  #42
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If teams in the west who travel more want a realignment so bad, they should be the ones with the extra team in their divisions. Why should eastern teams have to pay for a western team that decided to start a franchise that doesn't have any team relatively close to them? Obviously if there's an expansion, this would be a moot point.

When Vancouver came into the league, their closest team were the Golden Seals.

As long as the Rangers are in a division with 7 teams, I'll be happy with the proposed realignment.

Perhaps the NHL cannot cram all 30 teams into the NE quadrant, or at least just into the Eastern Time Zone.

Oh, then there's that entire impetus to wanting to expand to become a truly "national" league having the appropriate footprint to be taken seriously by broadcasters and sponsors.

The established (and mainly Eastern teams) took the expansion money. They should also pay some of the cost for making the league work. Always demanding to be coddled in their little corner of the world where they can have limited travel time and cost is beyond unfair or rational.

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02-10-2013, 05:24 PM
  #43
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Perhaps the NHL cannot cram all 30 teams into the NE quadrant, or at least just into the Eastern Time Zone.

Oh, then there's that entire impetus to wanting to expand to become a truly "national" league having the appropriate footprint to be taken seriously by broadcasters and sponsors.

The established (and mainly Eastern teams) took the expansion money. They should also pay some of the cost for making the league work. Always demanding to be coddled in their little corner of the world where they can have limited travel time and cost is beyond unfair or rational.
I agree that the East teams should be willing take a little more time/money to travel like the West teams do so it's more equal (then again, I'm one of those nuts who think the playoffs should be league rankings, not conference. That means of course a lot of transcontental playoffs, but both sides should be willing share the costs IMO)

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02-10-2013, 05:33 PM
  #44
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By regularly meeting in the playoffs. Eg, Canucks-Blackhawks.

However, it's zero sum, you can't add a new Most Hated Rival without getting rid of the existing Most Hated Rival (obviously doesn't apply to teams that don't really have rivalries of that intensities).
I don't think the "most hated rival" of any team will change regardless of what format is used. That's why I prefer the current format. It allows the stronger playoff teams (1 and 2 seeds) to play the bubble teams that just squeaked into the playoffs.

Quote:
I agree that the East teams should be willing take a little more time/money to travel like the West teams do so it's more equal (then again, I'm one of those nuts who think the playoffs should be league rankings, not conference. That means of course a lot of transcontental playoffs, but both sides should be willing share the costs IMO)
I get what you're saying, but it can't be all about fairness. I'm not sure it's good for the NHL if everybody has to share the misery.

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02-10-2013, 05:45 PM
  #45
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Western Conference:

Midwest/Central Division:
Detroit, Chicago, Winnipeg, Nashville, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Columbus

Western/Pacific Division: Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose, LA, and Colorado.

Eastern Conference:

Northeastern Division:
Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Boston, Montreal, Buffalo, Florida, Tampa.

Southeastern/Atlantic Division: Pittsburgh, Philadephia, Washington, Brooklyn, New York, New Jersey, Carolina.

Minor adjustments may have to be made for the addition of Toronto II and Seattle.

Teams play within their division 5 times, (30-35 games) Inter-conference 4 times (28-32 games) and Cross-Conference once. (15 games)

Leaves an additional 4-6 games open for rivalry games. (Example, Detroit/Toronto, Chicago/Vancouver, etc. Get an extra game against each other.

Top eight from each conference make the playoffs, just like it is now.

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02-10-2013, 05:46 PM
  #46
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Good question. Why are Detroit and Columbus made to pay for it?
Because the eastern teams voted to let western teams in and happily accepted their share of the expansion fees in doing so.

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02-10-2013, 05:55 PM
  #47
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There aren't 32 cities in North America that can support NHL hockey. That is a major problem. Heck, even 30 is a stretch.

We're also reaching the point of Canadian saturation as far as TV is concerned. The last thing the American networks want is even more Canadian teams. I think it's Quebec or Markham, not both. Quebec might be a lock, but 8 Canadian teams is probably the absolute maximum.
Maximum for who ?

Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Videotron...they all hockey hungry but are not getting enough of it.

May be a maximum for American networks who feel the right to push Saturday and Sunday afternoon games thru our throats but it ain't like it in Canada.

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02-10-2013, 06:06 PM
  #48
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Because the eastern teams voted to let western teams in and happily accepted their share of the expansion fees in doing so.
I think you have that backwards. The League voted to let too many ETZ teams in and thus not allowing room for Detroit and Columbus to be put in the East.

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02-10-2013, 06:13 PM
  #49
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How are teams creating new rivalries? They'll just be playing teams they've already been playing for the last 20 years. The four conference format limits rivalries.

I asked this before but I guess it got overlooked: if the four conference format of the 80's and early 90's was so great, why did the NHL eventually move away from it?
The old format was flawed because each division had just five teams (six in the Patrick), and there were too few permutations that the top four teams could pair off into. The rivalries were fierce, but the variety was too sparse. Not only that, but with just five teams per division, you had to suck just a little less than the last place team to qualify - if one team had a string of bad years (think Quebec in the late 80s, and Toronto a few years prior), you instantly had the same four teams qualifying every year.

The current format goes too far in the opposite direction - there are too many permutations that the top eight out of fifteen teams can pair off into. We've been fortunate to see some repeat matchups over the years, but it can't be counted on, and more often than not, teams with no common hitory meeting in the playoffs is the rule, not the exception.

I think that even/eight teams per division is the perfect middle ground - it's a small enough set that you get repeat matchups with sufficient regularity, but still large enough that you have some variety over a number of years of which teams pair off.

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02-10-2013, 06:20 PM
  #50
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Quote:
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I think you have that backwards. The League voted to let too many ETZ teams in and thus not allowing room for Detroit and Columbus to be put in the East.
you're forgetting, Detroit was promised the next time realignment happens, they go to the East, just as Toronto did going from their division to the Northeast, I never bought either Columbus or Nashville as realistic options to the SE, once ATL (WPG) leaves.... you keep forgetting Detroit is in the ETZ, just like Vancouver bullied its way into the Northwest, when the current alignment was adopted, shafting Dallas from being in its natural time zone, rather than be w/ Glendale and the 3 CA Teams.

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