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HNIC shows new potential alignment with 16 teams in "east" groupings

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02-25-2013, 12:30 PM
  #426
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Originally Posted by ChompChomp View Post
Thanks for posting this! Out of the proposals in that article, if geography is really a big deal, a conference of DAL/STL/CBJ/NAS/CAR/TB/FL makes sense. You just see it on the map. TB and FLA would be a conf with teams closest to team, Nashville and Carolina, who aren't far from each other, are geographic rivals, and really CBJ and Nashville aren't that far apart either.

Also from Dallas POV they play teams that are fairly close to them too. Ditto for STL (but STL would HATE this for reasons other than geography).

That is an alignment that would make sense. Which means it'll probably never be adopted.

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02-25-2013, 12:32 PM
  #427
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Correcton time:The big issue isn't about travel costs. Anyone who has followed this for any length of time knows it's about 1) television and 2) correcting the culmination of the issues regarding the alignment and matrix for the past 15 years.If you have to ask the question, you obviously haven't been paying attention how hard it is.This isn't about the fans of the Red Wings or Blue Jackets. This is about the business of the Red Wings and the Blue Jackets.

Maybe the idea should be to put the Boston Bruins in the Central Division. They can be division mates with the Blues, Blackhawks, Predators and Jets. And instead of the Bruins playing nine games outside of their time zone like they've done for years, they can play 8 games in the Pacific Time Zone, 8 games in the Mountain Time Zone and 16 games in the Central Time Zone.

Then you'll see how the ratings go down for Bruins away games over time. Then you'll see Bruins fans complaining about being the only Eastern Time Zone team in the Western Conference.

And that is specifically why keeping the six-division alignment is no longer an option.
I'm not disagreeing with most of that. But I'd like to ask this question: Is there no significant NHL business west of the ET-CTZ boundary?
For players, would playing in the western Conferences have any potential ill-effects on their potential for getting higher salaries? I mean, part of any products saleability is the market presence that it receives.

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02-25-2013, 12:40 PM
  #428
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Originally Posted by Grudy0 View Post
Maybe the PA agrees with the League that if the playoffs were top four for the western two conferences, with them playing six games within their conference and two games out of conference, that a strict top-four would be the right thing to do.

Which means the easiest way to fix the eastern two conferences would be to do a play-in of the worst fourth-place team against the best fifth-place team. It aligns the numbers as MNN suggests. That also means having a "cross-over" doesn't kill the starting times of the eastern teams, either.
Going back to that post, Grudy0, it's really the only explanation that makes a lot of sense (I mean, aside from the one that I gave. ).

Because they're all ETZ teams, a crossover matchup would at least not have Time Zone issues. And yes, because the 4th place team, with a worse record in the one Conference played the 5th place team, with a better record, in the other Conference only twice in the Season, perhaps then a wildcard game between them could make some sense. But still think that it's just simpler and equally as fair to do the crossover and forget the wildcard shenanigans.

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02-25-2013, 12:40 PM
  #429
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Originally Posted by Grudy0 View Post
Correcton time:The big issue isn't about travel costs. Anyone who has followed this for any length of time knows it's about 1) television and 2) correcting the culmination of the issues regarding the alignment and matrix for the past 15 years.If you have to ask the question, you obviously haven't been paying attention how hard it is.This isn't about the fans of the Red Wings or Blue Jackets. This is about the business of the Red Wings and the Blue Jackets.

Maybe the idea should be to put the Boston Bruins in the Central Division. They can be division mates with the Blues, Blackhawks, Predators and Jets. And instead of the Bruins playing nine games outside of their time zone like they've done for years, they can play 8 games in the Pacific Time Zone, 8 games in the Mountain Time Zone and 16 games in the Central Time Zone.

Then you'll see how the ratings go down for Bruins away games over time. Then you'll see Bruins fans complaining about being the only Eastern Time Zone team in the Western Conference.

And that is specifically why keeping the six-division alignment is no longer an option.
Obviously putting a team in a city on the Atlantic Ocean in a central division would be ludicrous. As to your point about this being about the business of the Red Wings and Blue Jackets. Well, the Red Wings' business is doing just fine as is (apart, maybe, from the need for a new arena.) Fans may moan about all the West Coast games, but they still watch and will continue to. It's the Columbus Blue Jackets who are the problem: If their business is entirely reliant on how they're aligned and/or at what times their games start, that is not a healthy business. Period. The people in Ohio just don't care about the team, and that's not going to change if they're playing Eastern teams more often. Although, I will concede, having Pittsburgh in for a couple extra games certainly wouldn't hurt, but they already have their regional rivals in the Red Wings, and it hasn't meant squat. They, the CBJ organization, should just accept things the way they are, or move somewhere else where maybe somebody might actually give a crap. Right now, they're just wasting space, and creating all sorts of headaches are far as re-alignment goes.

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02-25-2013, 12:49 PM
  #430
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
What the hell is that, MNN? Are you actually talking about an extra round of Playoffs? Is that the idea that some have here.

What the hell is this League coming to? 4 Playoff Rounds lasting 3 months isn't enough? And 82-game Season isn't enough to decide which teams should be in the Playoffs?
It addresses all concerns

Makes the odd of making the playoffs almost identical and adds two extra games (assuming one game play in) which generates more revenues. Also creates another big tv event which the nhl needs.

Sucks to have to play an extra game, but eventually all conferences will be doing it. And it makes up for the easy travel schedule the eastern teams have compared to the west.

You telling me a game between the wings and leafs with the winner getting in would not be good for the game?

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02-25-2013, 12:50 PM
  #431
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Originally Posted by ChompChomp View Post
Prior to 1-8 conference seeding that started with 93-94 playoffs, this is exactly how it was in the NHL (Except instead of "conferences" they were "divisions"). And I bet if you go back and look at standings pre 93-94, you'll see this very issue come up. Point is, a "purist" would say that this is the way to go since it is exactly what the NHL did prior to 93-94.
It didn't start until 81-82 (or maybe 82-83). Before that, it was a 1-16 seeding league-wide. In the 70s, when 12 made the play-offs the 4 division winners got first round byes and were seeded 1-4.
'44-'67: 6 teams, 1 league, top 4 make playoffs

'68-'70: 12 teams, 2 conferences, top 4 per conference make playoffs, first two rounds in conference

'71-'74: 14/16 teams, 2 conferences, top 4 per conference make playoffs, first round in conference, second round cross over (East vs West)

'75-'79: 18/17 teams, 4 divisions in 2 conferences, division winners get byes plus next 8 league wide make playoffs, first round non-byes seeded 1-8, second round reseeded 1-8, third round reseeded 1-4

'80-'81: 21 teams, 4 divisions in 2 conferences, top 16 league wide make playoffs, first round seeded 1-16, second round reseeded 1-8, third round reseeded 1-4

'82-'93: 21-24 teams, 4 divisions in 2 conferences, top 4 in division make playoffs, first two rounds in division, third round in conference

'94-'98: 26 teams, 4 divisions in 2 conferences, top 8 in conference make playoffs, first 3 rounds in conference, reseed after each round.

'99-date: 27-30 teams, 6 divisions in 2 conferences, top 8 in conference make playoffs, first 3 rounds in conference, reseed after each round.

edit: after deducing that from hockeydb, then I find this page on NHL.com

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=25433

Quote:
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Playoff Formats

The NHL has changed its playoff format numerous times over the years. What follows is a history of the various playoff formats:
...


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02-25-2013, 12:51 PM
  #432
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Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis have been in a division together since 1981. It is completely illogical to revert back to how things were in 1967. There's a lot of history between those 3 teams, all of which is much more recent than the Original 6 era.

And is it really great of TV? Fans of those teams should be watching the games anyways.
Detroit has been the silent, happy camper for to long. Watching a significant portion of your team's games and playoff games at 10:30 isnt fair to their fans. Detroit is closer to Buffalo and Toronto than it is to Chicago. It's made little sense they play these teams rarely anymore. Hell, they're closer to Toronto than any other team and have a storied rivalry with Toronto. That btw, was promised to continue when Toronto was moved east. They were promised 3 games a year and that lasted about a year.

There is nothing wrong with the new format. It's about as good as they could've come up with. The Florida teams are taken care of with their financial concerns and Columbus is also taken care of.

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02-25-2013, 12:56 PM
  #433
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Originally Posted by The CyNick View Post
It addresses all concerns

Makes the odd of making the playoffs almost identical and adds two extra games (assuming one game play in) which generates more revenues. Also creates another big tv event which the nhl needs.

Sucks to have to play an extra game, but eventually all conferences will be doing it. And it makes up for the easy travel schedule the eastern teams have compared to the west.

You telling me a game between the wings and leafs with the winner getting in would not be good for the game?
Hi CyNick, are we to have some more disagreements today?

So, you're saying it's the first step to an eventual 20-team Playoff. I mean, this would be a step making it kind of an 18-team Playoff.


The League should just cut the Regular Season in half and then have 8 Rounds of Playoffs.

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02-25-2013, 01:01 PM
  #434
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Obviously putting a team in a city on the Atlantic Ocean in a central division would be ludicrous.
The point is that Detroit is not a western city. It's west of many eastern cities, but that doesn't mean much when Detroit is in the ETZ.

Quote:
As to your point about this being about the business of the Red Wings and Blue Jackets. Well, the Red Wings' business is doing just fine as is (apart, maybe, from the need for a new arena.) Fans may moan about all the West Coast games, but they still watch and will continue to.
So would Boston fans then. Or NY Ranger fans. Or Montreal. Philly. Just switch which big northeastern team goes into the current central division each year. Any one of those teams make as much sense as Detroit. All their fans would still watch. Those franchises certainly have the roots needed to survive such an alignment as well.

Quote:
It's the Columbus Blue Jackets who are the problem: If their business is entirely reliant on how they're aligned and/or at what times their games start, that is not a healthy business. Period. The people in Ohio just don't care about the team, and that's not going to change if they're playing Eastern teams more often. Although, I will concede, having Pittsburgh in for a couple extra games certainly wouldn't hurt, but they already have their regional rivals in the Red Wings, and it hasn't meant squat. They, the CBJ organization, should just accept things the way they are, or move somewhere else where maybe somebody might actually give a crap. Right now, they're just wasting space, and creating all sorts of headaches are far as re-alignment goes.
The problem for Columbus is that they don't have 8 decades and multiple generations of fan history to fall back on. Columbus gets a team about a decade ago, and then gets put into one of the worst alignments in the league. On top of that, they've been poor at drafting and developing players as an organization.

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02-25-2013, 01:05 PM
  #435
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The point is that Detroit is not a western city. It's west of many eastern cities, but that doesn't mean much when Detroit is in the ETZ.
Chicago, St Louis, and Nashville aren't western cities either.

Quote:
The problem for Columbus is that they don't have 8 decades and multiple generations of fan history to fall back on. Columbus gets a team about a decade ago, and then gets put into one of the worst alignments in the league. On top of that, they've been poor at drafting and developing players as an organization.
I wouldn't quite go that far. Being in a Division with Detroit and Chicago is by far not the worst case scenario for Columbus. Plus Nashville and St Louis in that Division, and the Division itself is certainly a reasonable enough alignment.

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02-25-2013, 01:09 PM
  #436
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Chicago, St Louis, and Nashville aren't western cities either.
That is why they're going in the central conference.

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02-25-2013, 01:09 PM
  #437
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Chicago, St Louis, and Nashville aren't western cities either.
They aren't in the Eastern Time Zone either. That makes them candidates for play in what would be considered to be one of the Western Conferences, the Central Conference.

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02-25-2013, 01:11 PM
  #438
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No matter what type of realignment that is proposed by the NHL,there will always be certain people crying and complaining about it. Is the potential realignment of NHL teams perfect? No,of course not. But it is a whole lot better than what we have now. I say bring it on.

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02-25-2013, 01:15 PM
  #439
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yeah "Here Detroit, you get to play in the East for one year, but then you're going back West, so ya know, don't get too comfortable."
Anyone else "uncertain" why they would publically float the realignment before the PHO ownership issue is settled? Because if there is a relocation (I hope not), wouldn't that just cause the issue to resurface?


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I think Detroit would prefer to be in Conference III. I think they are being a good soldier for the NHL playing in Conference II to placate the NHLPA's concern about the East having the small conferences. Detroit's issue with the West aren't the CTZ teams, it's all the games on the Pacific coast.
Agree with this, except I'd bet that DET would rather be in II. They would be less travel, and they'd get more games with the Original 6 rather than the midwestern teams. They key point though is that in either Division II or Division III, I think that DET would only have 5 games in the PTZ.


Has there been any sort of "announcement" on the play-off format? Would it be all "inter-conference" until you've got 4 teams left, and then they'd "reseed" based on the number of points? Could it be of re-seeding after the first round? Would Conference I & II play in the "Eastern Final" and Conferences III & IV play in the "Western Final"? Didn't see any sort of official announcement.

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02-25-2013, 01:17 PM
  #440
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Chicago, St Louis, and Nashville aren't western cities either.
Correct. None of them enjoy going to the west coast either. However, just like Toronto, Detroit will leave them in the dust and not look back if it means they get into a better situation for themselves.

Detroit was alright with a central conference if they got the home and home, but the PA may have been the final driving force behind Detroit and Columbus going to eastern groups, if that's how it ends up.

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02-25-2013, 01:19 PM
  #441
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Obviously putting a team in a city on the Atlantic Ocean in a central division would be ludicrous.
It's about as ludicrous as the northwestern-most team in the Eastern Conference being able to fly over the entire Central Division in order to get to their Southeast Division away games...
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Originally Posted by Sunking278 View Post
As to your point about this being about the business of the Red Wings and Blue Jackets. Well, the Red Wings' business is doing just fine as is (apart, maybe, from the need for a new arena.) Fans may moan about all the West Coast games, but they still watch and will continue to.
But would more fans watch if the amount of games two- and three-timezones behind are halved? And would that increase the amount of dollars the Red Wings would receive on a new local television contract?

I bring it up, because there was a blurb here about when the Leafs started Leafs TV. Their television contract increased by a large amount when they owned the network, and in turn, that was a couple of years removed from moving to the Eastern Conference. And originally, when the six-division setup was introduced, Columbus was supposed to be in the Eastern Conference but the Maple Leafs and former president Ken Dryden was able to get the Leafs moved to the Eastern Conference...
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It's the Columbus Blue Jackets who are the problem: If their business is entirely reliant on how they're aligned and/or at what times their games start, that is not a healthy business. Period. The people in Ohio just don't care about the team, and that's not going to change if they're playing Eastern teams more often. Although, I will concede, having Pittsburgh in for a couple extra games certainly wouldn't hurt, but they already have their regional rivals in the Red Wings, and it hasn't meant squat. They, the CBJ organization, should just accept things the way they are, or move somewhere else where maybe somebody might actually give a crap. Right now, they're just wasting space, and creating all sorts of headaches are far as re-alignment goes.
The Blue Jackets aren't creating all sorts of headaches. The Jackets are just one of numerous franchises that would like a different setup.

Keep in mind the rumor was that the sixteen teams that made up the two most-western conferences in the NHL-approved alignment all voted for it. So the blame cannot certainly be cast on only the Jackets and Wings.

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02-25-2013, 01:27 PM
  #442
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Chicago, St Louis, and Nashville aren't western cities either.



I wouldn't quite go that far. Being in a Division with Detroit and Chicago is by far not the worst case scenario for Columbus. Plus Nashville and St Louis in that Division, and the Division itself is certainly a reasonable enough alignment.
The current alignment of the Central Division is very reasonable. Columbus has had 12 or so years now. As I stated before, this is not Miami or Phoenix we are talking about. Ice hockey has been played in the state of Ohio for decades upon decades. Ohio State, right in Columbus, has long had a hockey program, and some success with it along the way. Ohioans are certainly familiar with the concept of ice. Granted, the team has been terrible for, literally, its entire existence, but no matter: When a franchise is this poorly run, in a market that is not growing in population (unlike the much maligned 'Sun Belt' teams, all of which have better attendance this season than CBJ), and the locals are utterly uninterested no matter what they do, then the Blue Jackets organization has no right to complain about much of anything, or to demand the league or any of its franchises acquiesce to their demands. End of story.

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02-25-2013, 01:29 PM
  #443
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I wouldn't quite go that far. Being in a Division with Detroit and Chicago is by far not the worst case scenario for Columbus. Plus Nashville and St Louis in that Division, and the Division itself is certainly a reasonable enough alignment.
One of the worst, not the worst.

The division itself is fine, and is actually one of the 3 current divisions that works for everyone involved in it. That division's problem is that it's in the Western Conference. Two ETZ teams, two cities that border the time zone, and the 5th city is only the gateway to the west.

I would have no problem putting the 8 too late teams in one conference, and the other 22 teams in another. Split those 22 up however you want, go 1-12 in the playoffs for that conference, and call it a day.

I'm not saying all of issues facing Columbus are because of their alignment. They've barely come close to putting a decent product on the ice, and a lot of that has been their own doing. That they're in the West doesn't help though.

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02-25-2013, 01:33 PM
  #444
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Markham over QC works for me as well. But expansion absolutely will not happen to 2 Canadian teams, bank on it. It'll be a US team and a Canadian team. 8/32 (1/4) of the team Canadian. No way US media is allowing any more than that. As long as Seattle or Houston is one of the expansion locations (With the other in line for relo), I don't have a problem with that. Any other market, I agree with you. KC is too unstable a choice, don't even get me started on Vegas. Anything else in the US is too small or terrible demographics.
Can you provide some thought process behind the bolded sentence above? Just IMO - but there are PLENTY of opportunities for 2 US teams to play a televised game. You pretty much NEVER see a Canadian team on a US nationally televised game.

I guess your point could be that NBC is concerned about having an Canadian team make the SC Finals, but I don't think that the differnce between 8/32 or 9/32 would be a deal breaker from a their perspective.

Or is there something else I'm missing?

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02-25-2013, 01:35 PM
  #445
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Correct. None of them enjoy going to the west coast either. However, just like Toronto, Detroit will leave them in the dust and not look back if it means they get into a better situation for themselves.

Detroit was alright with a central conference if they got the home and home, but the PA may have been the final driving force behind Detroit and Columbus going to eastern groups, if that's how it ends up.
After 15 years of being the good soldier, I think Detroit has earned the right to leave the Western Conference in the dust and not look back.

Any system they try and realign someone would complain. We can do a complete geographical alignment but then you'd have Montreal and Ottawa complaining, Pittsburgh and Philly complaining, etc, etc.

The one floated out is pretty acceptable.

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02-25-2013, 01:37 PM
  #446
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It's about as ludicrous as the northwestern-most team in the Eastern Conference being able to fly over the entire Central Division in order to get to their Southeast Division away games...But would more fans watch if the amount of games two- and three-timezones behind are halved? And would that increase the amount of dollars the Red Wings would receive on a new local television contract?
Well, Red Wings are going to draw, basically, no matter what. If fan support were to drop, it wouldn't be because of alignments or anything of that nature, it'd be because of a severe drop in quality of play. Now, there MIGHT be something to what you're saying here, but I seriously doubt it would be to a significant degree in order to justify upending the status quo.

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02-25-2013, 01:40 PM
  #447
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Keep in mind the rumor was that the sixteen teams that made up the two most-western conferences in the NHL-approved alignment all voted for it. So the blame cannot certainly be cast on only the Jackets and Wings.
To me - this is a key point. Under a 4 "conference" system, the legacy EC teams will be traveling more. It was my understanding that getting the EC team's approval for the NHL orignal proposal required that the new Eastern Conferences were the 7 team versions to maximize their chance for P/O revenues.

Now, it seems like with both of the "new" western conferences (III & IV) being 7 teams, the NHL is attempting to maximize the travel & time zone benefits by putting the "extra" teams in eastern conferences (I & II).

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02-25-2013, 01:55 PM
  #448
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After 15 years of being the good soldier, I think Detroit has earned the right to leave the Western Conference in the dust and not look back.
And they did it while being the best overall organization in the league for the last 15-20 years too. Detroit sees this as their chance, the same way Toronto saw the door open in the late 90's. It's almost a now or never type of situation.

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02-25-2013, 01:57 PM
  #449
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Just for the hell of it, here's another realignment proposal, this one with the league expanding to 32 teams. I use Houston & Seattle here. Under this alignment, everybody has to share the pain: Most everyone is cut off from a 'rival' or two, and travel is spread out (roughly) evenly. Oh, and eight divisions of four each. Works very well for the NFL:

NORTHERN CONF.
Atlantic Div. - Boston, Montreal, NY Rangers, Toronto
Central Div. - Buffalo, Columbus, Ottawa, Pittsburgh
Midwest Div. - Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Winnipeg
Pacific Div. - Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Vancouver

SOUTHERN CONF.
Atlantic Div. - New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, Washington
Central Div. - Carolina, Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay
Midwest Div. - Colorado, Dallas, Houston, St. Louis
Pacific Div. - Anaheim, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose

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02-25-2013, 02:05 PM
  #450
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Two things.

Number 1:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunking278 View Post
Well, Red Wings are going to draw, basically, no matter what. If fan support were to drop, it wouldn't be because of alignments or anything of that nature, it'd be because of a severe drop in quality of play.
Link to mlive, with an article that contains this quote (emphasis mine):
Quote:
ANSAR KHAN

The biggest advantage for the Red Wings would be the reduced travel in the playoffs. Having at least the first two rounds entirely in the eastern time zone would keep players much fresher than if they had to make multiple trips to the West Coast, like they did in 2010 and '11, playing Phoenix and San Jose both seasons.

It would be nice for fans to be able to watch road playoff games that start at 7 p.m. Or 7:30 as opposed to 10 p.m. And 10:30. That also would result in better TV ratings for Fox Sports Detroit.

It's a win-win situation.
Number 2:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunking278 View Post
Now, there MIGHT be something to what you're saying here, but I seriously doubt it would be to a significant degree in order to justify upending the status quo.
In a realignment scenario, the two-conference, six-division model is dead. The League wants to move to a home-and-away model for all teams, and most likely a four-division or four-conference setup.

The status quo has already been upended, and it would have been in effect this year if the NHLPA just rubber-stamped it like they usually do.

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