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Divisional pairings across conferences. (MOD: Playing Matrix)

That's why I like mine the best ... 4 divisions x 8 per

West Coast teams + Edmonton, Calgary & Colorado
Nashville, Detroit, Winnipeg, Dallas, Minnesota, Columbus, St Louis & Chicago
QC, MON, BOS, OTT, TOR, TOR2, BUFF, CAR
NYI, NYR, NJ, PITT, PHIL, WAS, TB, FLA

Quote:

Originally Posted by LARGECAT DAMPHOUSSE

Dude...this is CORRECT!

And until the expansion:

West Coast teams + Edmonton, Calgary & Colorado
Nashville, Detroit, Winnipeg, Dallas, Minnesota, St Louis & Chicago, Phoenix
MON, BOS, OTT, TOR, BUFF, CAR, Columbus
NYI, NYR, NJ, PITT, PHIL, WAS, TB, FLA

Phoenix placed in Central in case they are moved somewhere other than Seattle or Portland. The Coyotes can be in Quebec under this alignment quite easily, for one year.

West Coast teams + Edmonton, Calgary & Colorado
Nashville, Detroit, Winnipeg, Dallas, Minnesota, St Louis & Chicago, Phoenix
MON, BOS, OTT, TOR, BUFF, CAR, Columbus
NYI, NYR, NJ, PITT, PHIL, WAS, TB, FLA

Phoenix placed in Central in case they are moved somewhere other than Seattle or Portland. The Coyotes can be in Quebec under this alignment quite easily, for one year.

Think this through financial-wise from the BOG's perspective ... do we want to pillage Seattle OR do we want to pillage Toronto & QC ... hhhmmm ... no brainer answer in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Think this through financial-wise from the BOG's perspective ... do we want to pillage Seattle OR do we want to pillage Toronto & QC ... hhhmmm ... no brainer answer in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

I have been thinking this through for a year, now, and i keep coming to the same conclusion:

1) The league has 3 teams for sale (that's if they really are expanding, and I hope they don't - the whole league is not stable enough for that....). Anyway, 3 teams for sale. 2 expansion plus the Coyotes. The league owns them all.

2) Since the league owns them all, why is there is a difference in price for any of them?

3) Further, there are only 3 markets right now with any hope of being ready for a team in the next 5 years - SEA, QC and TOR2 (Although I have lots of hope for Markham, but there is a long way to go there. And, Hamilton seems to get lots of noise on this board, but I am not aware of a push in the city itself.)

4) 3 teams. 3 markets. Each market has a value. The league owns all 3 teams.

Conclusion: There is no windfall in expansion fees. If the league does sell 2 expansion teams, they won't make any more off them than off of selling the Yotes.

Can someone explain why I am wrong? I keep asking this, and no one ever answers. It seems like we all just assume that "EXPANSION = BIG BUCKS for the league."

I have been thinking this through for a year, now, and i keep coming to the same conclusion:

1) The league has 3 teams for sale (that's if they really are expanding, and I hope they don't - the whole league is not stable enough for that....). Anyway, 3 teams for sale. 2 expansion plus the Coyotes. The league owns them all.

2) Since the league owns them all, why is there is a difference in price for any of them?

3) Further, there are only 3 markets right now with any hope of being ready for a team in the next 5 years - SEA, QC and TOR2 (Although I have lots of hope for Markham, but there is a long way to go there. And, Hamilton seems to get lots of noise on this board, but I am not aware of a push in the city itself.)

4) 3 teams. 3 markets. Each market has a value. The league owns all 3 teams.

Conclusion: There is no windfall in expansion fees. If the league does sell 2 expansion teams, they won't make any more off them than off of selling the Yotes.

Can someone explain why I am wrong? I keep asking this, and no one ever answers. It seems like we all just assume that "EXPANSION = BIG BUCKS for the league."

Help me out here.

Yes, MNN, that does make sense. Actually, once I thought about it, it made sense on two levels. First, why actually should an expansion franchise cost more to obtain that a relocated franchise? The relocated franchise is generally already in full development, a finished product, so-to-speak. But in this case, as you say, the League owns the team, so it's as if they own all 3 of those locations that are available to be bought up.

I guess, someone will still say that regardless of the fact that the League owns the Coyotes, it's still a problem that they might eventually want taken off their hands, so generally the reduced cost is for taking that problem away. Nevertheless though, I'd still think that because of the added value of a developed franchise compared to an expansion one, that the cost should more or less even out, when taking the "help with a problem situation" into consideration.

1) I think the likely thing is a playing schedule like was offered a year ago in December, with playoffs being 1-8 in the East and in the West (Move QC to the East I think is most likely, but if that doesn't happen, then Columbus...)

However, there is a slight variation that MoreOrr will like on one level and hate on another. It goes like this:

2 15 team conferences. Each with an 8-team and a 7-team division. The playoffs will be Top 8. Now, MO doesn't like having lots of games against teams with whom you are not contending for the Playoffs (the current matrix is great for that...). So, start with a home and home versus everyone. Now, modify it: Remove 1 game from one division in the opposite conference, and add it to the other division in your own conference. You would get, for example:

PAC teams: 3 games vs CENT, 2 games vs EAST, 1 game vs ATL. The rest against their own division - the Pacific.

That makes either 59 or 60 games every year against those you are competing with for playoff spots. It also makes it so that 57 - 59 games on your schedule are the same as everyone else in the conference (Measured by opponent).

Of course, MO will hate that this matrix has odd numbers of games against lots of teams.

1) I think the likely thing is a playing schedule like was offered a year ago in December, with playoffs being 1-8 in the East and in the West (Move QC to the East I think is most likely, but if that doesn't happen, then Columbus...)

However, there is a slight variation that MoreOrr will like on one level and hate on another. It goes like this:

2 15 team conferences. Each with an 8-team and a 7-team division. The playoffs will be Top 8. Now, MO doesn't like having lots of games against teams with whom you are not contending for the Playoffs (the current matrix is great for that...). So, start with a home and home versus everyone. Now, modify it: Remove 1 game from one division in the opposite conference, and add it to the other division in your own conference. You would get, for example:

PAC teams: 3 games vs CENT, 2 games vs EAST, 1 game vs ATL. The rest against their own division - the Pacific.

That makes either 59 or 60 games every year against those you are competing with for playoff spots. It also makes it so that 57 - 59 games on your schedule are the same as everyone else in the conference (Measured by opponent).

Of course, MO will hate that this matrix has odd numbers of games against lots of teams.

LOL... Don't have to be satisfying me, MNN. But thanks anyway for the consideration.

But ok, let's look at this on two levels, sincerely considering a 4-"Division" structure, and 8-team Divisions, which is the ultimate result, plus a scheduling structure...

If somehow, with 4-Divisions, the scheduling structure could still have 6 games against Division opponents, then:
42 games = 6 x 7
48 games = 2 x 24
90 games
That just doesn't work! 4-Divisions nor 4-Conferences. And with the 4-Conferences, that's more than 1/2 the games outside the Conference where teams are competing in the Standings. So, on a 4-Conference level, it doesn't work or make sense.

So what other options exist? Still with the 4-Divisions as the first priority.
28 games = 4 x 7
48 games = 2 x 24
76 games
Hmmm, there's still 6 games left over (I'd also still consider the possibility of 84 games MAX in a 32-team league, so that could be 8 more games).
So yes, as you said above, that could be 1 extra game against teams in the other in-Conference Division. But still, as you said, I don't think an odd number of games, against teams that are directly competing against each other in the Standings, would be a good thing. So in fact, one could argue that such a scheduling format might be better with 4-Conferences, the teams in each Conference getting 6-8 teams outside the Conference in which it plays an extra game against. BUT HELL, wait,... Teams would already be laying more than 1/2 the games outside the Conference. Regardless of where you put those minimum 6 other games, the number of games outside the Conference is already totally out of whack Conference Standings realities. (*I'm thinking that this is a big part of what the PA aren't happy with.)

So, back to the drawing board...
It looks as though those 2-games against all teams in the League is a problem. So, let's go for at least 2 games against at least 3/4 of the League:
28 games = 4 x 7
32 games = 2 x 16
8 games = 1 x 8
That leaves us with 14 - 16 games (again considering the possibility of an 84-game Season with 32 teams).
So another 2 games against another 8 teams, and voila... there is an 84-game Season with 4 games against teams in two Divisions, 2 games against teams in one Division, and 1 game against teams in the other Division. Now of course, those 2 games and 1 game against wouldn't have to be strictly Divisional, it could be just 2 games against random teams and 1 game against 8 random teams. And if the League doesn't want 84 games, then it could be 2 games against 6 teams and 1 game against 10 teams.

Now, that worked out, but could there be another option?
There's this:
42 games = 6 x 7
32 games = 2 x 16
8 games = 1 x 8
82 games
There you have it. The perfect 4-Conference scheduling format

I still choose the previous one, and you know why. I don't want 4-Conferences. I don't want a top-4, I want a Top-8. I don't want a minimum two Rounds of Divisional/Conference Playoffs; I want one Round of Divisional matchups, nothing more. (Of course, who cares what I want, right.) But furthermore, I don't think that such a structure is beneficial to PT/MTZ teams, cutting them off from primary important games with CT/ETZ teams and the TV audiences in those areas.

Now 4-by alignment is a whole other issue, with another group of possible gripes.

LOL... Don't have to be satisfying me, MNN. But thanks anyway for the consideration.

But ok, let's look at this on two levels, sincerely considering a 4-"Division" structure, and 8-team Divisions, which is the ultimate result, plus a scheduling structure...

If somehow, with 4-Divisions, the scheduling structure could still have 6 games against Division opponents, then:
42 games = 6 x 7
48 games = 2 x 24
90 games
That just doesn't work! 4-Divisions nor 4-Conferences. And with the 4-Conferences, that's more than 1/2 the games outside the Conference where teams are competing in the Standings. So, on a 4-Conference level, it doesn't work or make sense.

So what other options exist? Still with the 4-Divisions as the first priority.
28 games = 4 x 7
48 games = 2 x 24
76 games
Hmmm, there's still 6 games left over (I'd also still consider the possibility of 84 games MAX in a 32-team league, so that could be 8 more games).
So yes, as you said above, that could be 1 extra game against teams in the other in-Conference Division. But still, as you said, I don't think an odd number of games, against teams that are directly competing against each other in the Standings, would be a good thing. So in fact, one could argue that such a scheduling format might be better with 4-Conferences, the teams in each Conference getting 6-8 teams outside the Conference in which it plays an extra game against. BUT HELL, wait,... Teams would already be laying more than 1/2 the games outside the Conference. Regardless of where you put those minimum 6 other games, the number of games outside the Conference is already totally out of whack Conference Standings realities. (*I'm thinking that this is a big part of what the PA aren't happy with.)

So, back to the drawing board...
It looks as though those 2-games against all teams in the League is a problem. So, let's go for at least 2 games against at least 3/4 of the League:
28 games = 4 x 7
32 games = 2 x 16
8 games = 1 x 8
That leaves us with 14 - 16 games (again considering the possibility of an 84-game Season with 32 teams).
So another 2 games against another 8 teams, and voila... there is an 84-game Season with 4 games against teams in two Divisions, 2 games against teams in one Division, and 1 game against teams in the other Division. Now of course, those 2 games and 1 game against wouldn't have to be strictly Divisional, it could be just 2 games against random teams and 1 game against 8 random teams. And if the League doesn't want 84 games, then it could be 2 games against 6 teams and 1 game against 10 teams.

Now, that worked out, but could there be another option?
There's this:
42 games = 6 x 7
32 games = 2 x 16
8 games = 1 x 8
82 games
There you have it. The perfect 4-Conference scheduling format

I still choose the previous one, and you know why. I don't want 4-Conferences. I don't want a top-4, I want a Top-8. I don't want a minimum two Rounds of Divisional/Conference Playoffs; I want one Round of Divisional matchups, nothing more. (Of course, who cares what I want, right.) But furthermore, I don't think that such a structure is beneficial to PT/MTZ teams, cutting them off from primary important games with CT/ETZ teams and the TV audiences in those areas.

Now 4-by alignment is a whole other issue, with another group of possible gripes.

More:

I suspect what you would really like (and, I don't think it will ever fly....) is:

2 16 team conferences in 2 8-team divisions:

4 x 15 in your own conference = 60

Leaves 22 or 24 games (24 works perfect here, but it could be tweaked a little)

Opposite conference:
2 x 8 = 16
1 x 8 = 8
=24

If you want 22, just cut the 16 to 14 and do a little more rotating.

But it won't fly unless there is some way to get half of the league or more to be out of the ETZ. Right now, that doesn't seem to be in the cards....

Now, what if there were only 30 teams??

Then,
4 x 14 = 56
2 x 15 = 30
=86.

That's too many games by 4. So, cut that down to:
2 x 10 = 20 +
1 x 5 = 5 using some geographical grouping that stays constant (like a remnant of the current divisions - it doesn't matter, really)
And then add 1 game back among those teams. This takes 15 years to even out, but in no case would any one be more than one game off.

I suspect what you would really like (and, I don't think it will ever fly....) is:

2 16 team conferences in 2 8-team divisions:

4 x 15 in your own conference = 60

Leaves 22 or 24 games (24 works perfect here, but it could be tweaked a little)

Opposite conference:
2 x 8 = 16
1 x 8 = 8
=24

If you want 22, just cut the 16 to 14 and do a little more rotating.

But it won't fly unless there is some way to get half of the league or more to be out of the ETZ. Right now, that doesn't seem to be in the cards....

Now, what if there were only 30 teams??

Then,
4 x 14 = 56
2 x 15 = 30
=86.

That's too many games by 4. So, cut that down to:
2 x 10 = 20 +
1 x 5 = 5 using some geographical grouping that stays constant (like a remnant of the current divisions - it doesn't matter, really)
And then add 1 game back among those teams. This takes 15 years to even out, but in no case would any one be more than one game off.

That's it, MNN, that's the 3rd matrix that I described in my post that you quoted.

Now my question is: You said that you don't think such a format will fly. Fine, but then which of the other 3 matrices do you think will be most likely? And if it is the 4th one, then how can the League avoid having a 4-Conference setup? In your recent posts, you seem to be also leaning towards the likelihood that it'll be 4-Divisions rather than Conferences (or am I confusing you with another poster).

Or is there some other possible matrix (with a 32-team League) and not with a majority of the games outside the Conference (whether the Conferences are 2 or 4), and not with an odd number of games against Conference opponents, that I didn't think of and that you can show me?

That's it, MNN, that's the 3rd matrix that I described in my post that you quoted.

Now my question is: You said that you don't think such a format will fly. Fine, but then which of the other 3 matrices do you think will be most likely? And if it is the 4th one, then how can the League avoid having a 4-Conference setup? In your recent posts, you seem to be also leaning towards the likelihood that it'll be 4-Divisions rather than Conferences (or am I confusing you with another poster).

Or is there some other possible matrix (with a 32-team League) and not with a majority of the games outside the Conference (whether the Conferences are 2 or 4), and not with an odd number of games against Conference opponents, that I didn't think of and that you can show me?

You are right. I am leaning toward a 4-division, 2-conference format, simply because:
1) The players want equal teams in each group who is competing for playoff spots, so the 7 and 8 thing won't work with them. They have the right to reasonably withhold acceptance of changes, and that's reasonable, so....
2) The teams in the CTZ, MTZ, and PTZ all would prefer 4 groups rather than 6.

Now, the scheduling matrix is a bigger problem, because I think that the following will happen:
1) PHX goes to QUE.
2) No expansion. Now, many here disagree with me on that. I still think it is not time yet for that.....
3) That means a 7/8/7/8 situation, with 2 ETZ teams in the Central Division of the Western Conference.

My guess is the 2 ETZ teams won't want to play a 4 x 14 arrangement, because they want to avoid the PTZ as much as possible.

So, while I don't think it's best for fairness, I think the likely thing is:
Home/home versus everyone in the League.
Other games filled in your own division.

In other words, I think the likely playing matrix is exactly the December proposal, but the playoffs will be 1-8 in the East and West.

Now, you and I would disagree with that, maybe. We might say, "Wait a minute. You are competing with 14 teams for playoff spots, and playing some of them 6 times, and some of them twice. That's nuts!!!" And, in one way, we would be right.

But, I think that the fine points of any other arrangement for a 30 team league are too numerous:

Like my 4 x 14, 2 x 11, 1 x 4 matrix. It's too complicated to explain the 11/4 split.
Or, my 3 x 7/8, 2 x 7/8, 1 x 7/8. Too complicated.
And, division crossovers. Too complicated.

So, I think it will end up a straight 1 - 8 in both east and west. Even though the west especially could retain 3 or 4 intradivisional first round matchups in most cases. (I would never mandate 1a v 6a, 2a v 5a, 3a v 4a, 1b v 2b if the top 8 came out that way). That's too complicated, too.

You are right. I am leaning toward a 4-division, 2-conference format, simply because:
1) The players want equal teams in each group who is competing for playoff spots, so the 7 and 8 thing won't work with them. They have the right to reasonably withhold acceptance of changes, and that's reasonable, so....
2) The teams in the CTZ, MTZ, and PTZ all would prefer 4 groups rather than 6.

Now, the scheduling matrix is a bigger problem, because I think that the following will happen:
.....

.....

But, I think that the fine points of any other arrangement for a 30 team league are too numerous:

Like my 4 x 14, 2 x 11, 1 x 4 matrix. It's too complicated to explain the 11/4 split.
Or, my 3 x 7/8, 2 x 7/8, 1 x 7/8. Too complicated.
And, division crossovers. Too complicated.

So, I think it will end up a straight 1 - 8 in both east and west. Even though the west especially could retain 3 or 4 intradivisional first round matchups in most cases. (I would never mandate 1a v 6a, 2a v 5a, 3a v 4a, 1b v 2b if the top 8 came out that way). That's too complicated, too.

Ok, I'll omit the Quebec part because that has more to do with align, IMO, and we're focusing on scheduling here, and since we're both with the idea of 4-Divisions rather than Conferences...

*Understand that I want to look at this as a potential 32-team, 4-Divisions...

So, you're saying that:
60 games = 4 x 15
12 games = 2 x 6
10 games = 1 x 10
82 games
OR
60 games = 4 x 15
16 games = 2 x 8
8 games = 1 x 8
84 games
Neither of those options will fly, but that something like a:
.
.
Hey wait, I read more closely and all you said was "Like my 4 x 14, 2 x 11, 1 x 4 matrix. It's too complicated to explain the 11/4 split. Or, my 3 x 7/8, 2 x 7/8, 1 x 7/8. Too complicated."
You didn't actually show me what scheduling format you think would be used in a 4-Division setup. ??

You know, MNN, that 4th scheduling option truly doesn't make sense (not if we're thinking 1 x 8 and 1 x 16 at the Conference level). So then, I'm still at a loss as to how a 4-Conference scheduling format, with 32 teams, could be structured to make sense.

IF the 4 conference thing happens with 30 teams. Here is how I see it:

You play the teams from the other 3 conference twice each. 46 games for teams in a 7-team conference. 44 games for teams in an 8-team conference.

7-team conferences. Teams play each other 6 times, for 36 games. Combined with the 46 non-conference games you get 82.

8-team conferences. Play each team 5 for a total of 35. With the 44 out of conference games, that gives you 79. Play 3 teams IN your conference an extra game. So you will play 3 teams 6 times and 4 teams 5. I know, I know that isnt fair if a team has to play the tough team an extra game and misses the play-offs by a point. TOO BAD. Rotate when teams play the extra game, base it on standings of the previous year, heck make it the last 3 games of the year and make them as TBD. Let 1st place play 2nd, 3rd play 4th and then mix it up a bit. 4th play 5th as the 2nd wild card game. Doubt they would ever do that and have TBD games, but it would shut everyone up about "fairness."

You know, MNN, that 4th scheduling option truly doesn't make sense. So then, I'm still at a loss as to how a 4-Conference scheduling format, with 32 teams, could be structured to make sense.

More,

32 teams:
I like
4 x 15 = 60
2 x 8 = 16
1 x 8 = 8
For 84. If you want 82, then in the 2 x 8, just leave out on game with 2 teams. You play that division mostly h/h every other year, so in 4 times or 8 years you are back to parity.

But, I am not sure whoever of the ETZ teams ends up in the West conference would really like that - too many games on the west coast.

For 30 teams (which I think is still likely - I am not sold on this "expansion is imminent" idea):
Fair to me would be:
4 x 14 = 56
2 x 11 = 22
1 x 4 = 4.
The 2s and the 1s are in the other conference. You rotate the single games. It takes a long time to come out even, but it does after awhile.

Now, numbers make sense to me. I understand this. So do you. But, trying to explain it all is a big problem. It doesn't quite have as neat a feel as "home and home with all the league, and the other games in your division." Adding to the complication is that there is no clear explanation as to why the Wild, for example, are playing Toronto, Buffalo, Carolina and Tampa only once this year.

That's what I mean by "too complicated." The 32 team setup is easier. Even if you do 82 games, the 2 odd single games there are from the same division, and it's easier explaining.

32 teams:
I like
4 x 15 = 60
2 x 8 = 16
1 x 8 = 8
For 84. If you want 82, then in the 2 x 8, just leave out on game with 2 teams. You play that division mostly h/h every other year, so in 4 times or 8 years you are back to parity.

But, I am not sure whoever of the ETZ teams ends up in the West conference would really like that - too many games on the west coast.

For 30 teams (which I think is still likely - I am not sold on this "expansion is imminent" idea):
Fair to me would be:
4 x 14 = 56
2 x 11 = 22
1 x 4 = 4.
The 2s and the 1s are in the other conference. You rotate the single games. It takes a long time to come out even, but it does after awhile.

But then, my friend, those numbers don't make sense if you want to have 4 Divisions and not 4 Conferences.

And what I'm arguing on the other side, just to cover that base, is that with 4 Conferences, it also doesn't work to have a home-and-home against every team in the League (so that's a knock against that idea for those who want the home-and-home... It can't happen and still have balance inside in the Conference where it counts more.)

But then, my friend, those numbers don't make sense if you want to have 4 Divisions and not 4 Conferences.

And what I'm arguing on the other side, just to cover that base, is that with 4 Conferences, it also doesn't work to have a home-and-home against every team in the League (so that's a knock against that idea for those who want the home-and-home... It can't happen and still have balance inside in the Conference where it counts more.)

Not sure what you mean by the part I put in blue. Do you mean that this is really a 2-conference system? If that's what you mean, I agree.
If you mean there is no way to make it work on a spreadsheet, i haven't done it all, but i think you are wrong.

Not sure what you mean by the part I put in blue. Do you mean that this is really a 2-conference system? If that's what you mean, I agree.
If you mean there is no way to make it work on a spreadsheet, i haven't done it all, but i think you are wrong.

I mean that if you're playing every team outside your Division all only 2 times, then how do you logically combine two Divisions into one Conference? It seems more logical that you then just have 4 Conferences.

But then, my friend, those numbers don't make sense if you want to have 4 Divisions and not 4 Conferences.

And what I'm arguing on the other side, just to cover that base, is that with 4 Conferences, it also doesn't work to have a home-and-home against every team in the League (so that's a knock against that idea for those who want the home-and-home... It can't happen and still have balance inside in the Conference where it counts more.)

And, for this part - you are the one who keeps arguing this on the basis of 'balance' and 'fairness.' What neither of us seem to mention is that balance and fairness in scheduling for the sake of determining the Stanley Cup means less to the owners than $$$$$$$.

And, you know it.

The players disagreed with the 4 conferences on the basis of 7/8, not the playing matrix. Give them 82 games, and they will be happy.

If you want 'balance' then you are going to have upset players, because the season is going to be longer. Even now you don't have 'balance.' You have 15 teams competing for playoff spots, and they don't play the same schedule. You have differences in the 4/6 and also in who plays who at home in the other conference.

That "perfect fairness" isn't going to happen.
Now, take the current setup. Minnesota plays a difference schedule than Columbus. It's 8 games different within the conference, and maybe 3 games different outside, as well as the home ice thing with the east. All across the West, it's like that. I ran a Bradley-Terry of the whole season last year. It's a mathematical ranking model that simply evaluates results. It's not predictive, it's simply a ranking system for use in unbalanced schedules. Now, this 'loser point' messes it up, so I called all OT results ties. You know what I found??? In spite of the imbalance in the schedules, in both conferences, the right 8 teams were in the playoffs. That leaves me less worried about that than lots of people here are.

I think, like I said, the players will be fine if everyone has 82 games. But, there can't be any 7/8 stuff in their minds....

I mean that if you're playing every team outside your Division all only 2 times, then how do you logically combine two Divisions into one Conference? It seems more logical that you then just have 4 Conferences.

Oh, that's a different question. That's a question for this matrix, right?
h/h with everyone. Rest of games in division/conference or whatever you want to call it?

Am I right about what you are asking, before I answer?

And, for this part - you are the one who keeps arguing this on the basis of 'balance' and 'fairness.' What neither of us seem to mention is that balance and fairness in scheduling for the sake of determining the Stanley Cup means less to the owners than $$$$$$$.

And, you know it.

The players disagreed with the 4 conferences on the basis of 7/8, not the playing matrix. Give them 82 games, and they will be happy.

If you want 'balance' then you are going to have upset players, because the season is going to be longer. Even now you don't have 'balance.' You have 15 teams competing for playoff spots, and they don't play the same schedule. You have differences in the 4/6 and also in who plays who at home in the other conference.

That "perfect fairness" isn't going to happen.
Now, take the current setup. Minnesota plays a difference schedule than Columbus. It's 8 games different within the conference, and maybe 3 games different outside, as well as the home ice thing with the east. All across the West, it's like that. I ran a Bradley-Terry of the whole season last year. It's a mathematical ranking model that simply evaluates results. It's not predictive, it's simply a ranking system for use in unbalanced schedules. Now, this 'loser point' messes it up, so I called all OT results ties. You know what I found??? In spite of the imbalance in the schedules, in both conferences, the right 8 teams were in the playoffs. That leaves me less worried about that than lots of people here are.

I think, like I said, the players will be fine if everyone has 82 games. But, there can't be any 7/8 stuff in their minds....

That 7/8 stuff is all about competitive "fairness" as well. I don't see the difference.

Whether it's 7 teams in one Division and 8 in another, or 16 teams in one Conference and 14 in the other, or whether you play 5 games against some Division opponents and 6 against other Division opponents... It all comes down to the same imbalance in competitive "fairness".

I can accept imbalance outside the Conference or outside the Division, but especially not inside the Division. And the PA doesn't seem to want imbalance between the Conferences.

Oh, that's a different question. That's a question for this matrix, right?
h/h with everyone. Rest of games in division/conference or whatever you want to call it?

Am I right about what you are asking, before I answer?

Yes, MNN, I thought that's what was central to our discussion here.

31 x 2 => 62
2 x 7 => 14
this'll blow your minds ... tie breaker at the end of the season ... home & home with teams in similar position as your team ... 2 x 3 => 6
that's 82 total games ladies & gents

Yes, MNN, I thought that's what was central to our discussion here.

Sorry, I thought you were commenting on the 4 x15 etc schedule....

FAIRNESS:
If you are concerned about the home/home; rest within division matrix. That leaves 24 games that are not balanced. If you put the PTZ/MTZ teams' division with the CTZ teams' division as an example, and choose top 8 from that, you have 24 games on the schedules that are not the same. That is about twice what there is now.

I would comment thus: 24/8s = ~30%. Do you know how much the NFL's schedule is imbalanced? Answer: Always at least 44%, possibly more than 75%. And, they still have the 2 wild cards. Do you know about baseball? At least approximately 30% and some times more. (I don't want to take the time to do all the math, and MLB has some inconsistencies that are hard to count because it's not the same for each team).

So, now my 30% doesn't seem so bad. It is twice what is the imbalance at present, though. Did you catch my earlier post about my Bradley-Terry calculation? That 15% that is different now in the 2 conferences made no difference if you do the calculation about who should be in the playoffs. In fact, comparing across the entire league, where the imbalance now would be 75% or more, the only difference between Bradley-Terry and the NHL's points standings could be attributed to overtime and shootout results.

So, now that 30% really doesn't seem so bad.

Which, I know, you will say it's 'justification.' I do think, however, that it is justification that the owners would like, because they want the home/home.

I've said before, I liked the alignment the nhl proposed last year.

One thing to consider is there will almost definitely be some form of a play in round. So you could do a deal where the top three in each of the four conferences are automatically in the 16 team tournament.

Each fourth place team hosts a play in game. You play the fifth place team from your conference unless the sixth place team from another conference with more teams has more points. In that case, the sixth place team from conference "a" would play the fourth place team in conference "d" for the spot in conference "d"

That way it helps even the odds for each division to make it. Its still not perfect though, because you could end up with a team like LA playing through new york's division. Which would be a nightmare for travel. But it would only be temporary until they get to 32 teams.

Sorry, I thought you were commenting on the 4 x15 etc schedule....

FAIRNESS:

I stopped it there, though I looked at the rest of your post just to confirm... Hey, MNN, you don't seem to be getting my point.

You prefer the 4-Division structure, as do I, and it seems as does the PA. However, you said that:
60 games = 4 x 15
16 games = 2 x 8
8 games = 1 x 8
84 games
OR
60 games = 4 x 15
12 games = 2 x 6
10 games = 1 x 10
82 games
OR HELL
56 games = 4 x 14
22 games = 2 x 11
4 games = 1 x 4
You said that you "don't think it will ever fly."

Now I'm asking you what 4-Division scheduling structure would "fly"?

And you haven't answered. You said you wasn't sure what I meant.
I'm assuming that you'd suggest something like this:
42 games = (6 x 7) or (36 games = 6 x 6)
36 games = (2 x 18) or (46 games = 2 x 23)
4 games = (1 x 4)
82 game Total

But I'm saying, How can such a schedule not justify a 4-Conference structure, rather than a 4-Division structure? You play everyone outside your Division only 2 times (or less), so how to you combine two Divisions and call them a Conference?

I stopped it there, though I looked at the rest of your post just to confirm... Hey, MNN, you don't seem to be getting my point.

You prefer the 4-Division structure, as do I, and it seems as does the PA. However, you said that:
60 games = 4 x 15
16 games = 2 x 8
8 games = 1 x 8
84 games
OR
60 games = 4 x 15
12 games = 2 x 6
10 games = 1 x 10
82 games
OR HELL
56 games = 4 x 14
22 games = 2 x 11
4 games = 1 x 4
You said that you "don't think it will ever fly."

Now I'm asking you what 4-Division scheduling structure would "fly"?

And you haven't answered. You said you wasn't sure what I meant.
I'm assuming that you'd suggest something like this:
42 games = (6 x 7) or (36 games = 6 x 6)
36 games = (2 x 18) or (46 games = 2 x 23)
4 games = (1 x 4)
82 game Total

But I'm saying, How can such a schedule not justify a 4-Conference structure, rather than a 4-Division structure? You play everyone outside your Division only 2 times (or less), so how to you combine two Divisions and call them a Conference?

Hey, now this is getting down to brass tacks.
When I say something won't fly, I mean the owners and the PA won't be able to agree on it. That doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. And, I totally agree, if you do a home/home with everyone and the rest in your group, that's really 4 conferences, not 4 divisions/2 conferences.

But, here is what we know:
Owners seem to want h/h with everyone.
Players don't seem to mind that - it seems to make travel more or less equitable. There will likely have to be care taken when scheduling road trips, etc, but it seems 'equal', so the PA will be ok with it.
Owners want the rest to be played in the group. TV start times and the money that goes along with that. Players seem to be on board here.
Playoff structure: Players say 'no way' to 7/8 issue.

Conclusion: It doesn't really make sense to do it this way (but when did this league ever make sense??), but it will be the December proposal with some tweaks of teams, like TB, Flo to the ATL to make that 8 teams, and CAR and CMB being split between the NE and CENTRAL, and PHX going to QUE. Anyway, it will be Pacific = 7, Central = 8, Eastern = 7, Atlantic = 8. So, 7/8/7/8 and they will call them the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, even though the Central actually has no more connection to the Pacific than they do to the Atlantic.

That's what I think. There are too many teams getting what they want not to find a way to make that happen, even if it really doesn't make sense to label it that way.

Oh, and one more word: Even if they do that, Logic would indicate it would go like this:
Top 8 qualify.
First Round: Maximize intradivisional play. That means:
If the teams are 4/4 then play all intradivisional matchups
If they are 5/3 then give the top 4 home ice, and have one crossover series. It might go in order of seeding: 1a, 2a, 1b, 1c, etc: Then (home ice first) 1a/5a, 2a/next worst team, 1b/(whoever is left in their division), 1c/(whoever is left). You can't really know. But, the top 2 in points should get the bottom 2 in points. More likely is 1a/5a, 1b/3b, 2a/4a, 2b/3a and home ice in the last one goes by points. It might also go: 1a/5a, 1b/4a, 2a/3a, 2b/3b. But, one of those.
If the teams are 6/2, which is unlikely, but possible, then it should be simply 1/8, 2/7 , etc.
Second Round: Since the Top 4 seeds had home ice, no need to re-seed. The original bracket would make this round 1v4, 2v3. If there are upsets, just plug those teams in...

But, it won't go that way. That would be too 'fair', but too hard to explain.

So, the playoffs will go: Top 8 qualify. 1/8, 2/7, etc...