i understand wanting to help Detroit/Columbus by letting them come East...but if the Coyotes end up moving East or the NHL expands East, one of them will have to go back anyway! so would have been better to keep the conferences even.
So now that realignment is official for the 2013-2014 season. The Leafs have a much lower chance to make the playoffs due to 16 teams in the East and 14 in the West.
As a Leaf fan I'm happy Detroit is back in our division, but it's a joke having unbalanced Conferences.
Could not care less.
This division is amazing! Sure there are less teams to compete with in the west, but I would rather compete in a division of legendary hockey teams than in a division of WHA also rans and west coast nobodies. We run with the big dogs in TO.
Plus, we all see the writing on the wall. This is only temporary while they wait for Phoenix to sort itself out, Quebec to finish its arena, and Toronto2 to figure out the best way to make the most cash.
They're actually fixing that now. The Houston Astros are leaving the NL Central and moving to the AL West this year. so every division is 5 teams now.
I still think the dumbest idea of the NHL's proposed format is taking the 2 florida teams and wedging them into the new north east division. It's beyond brain dead especialy when you're splitting them up from the closest team to them in Carolina.
imagine if the NHL didn't waste millions of dollars fighting to save Phoenix when they could just move them to Quebec City and fix all this easily.
I suspect Florida will be on it's way to QC, and Tampa will really be the odd team out in the division. But then, there's a large snowbird contingent in the Tampa area and I doubt most Canadian teams' players will be against the idea of having an extra stop or two in Florida. Especially during the winter.
I also suspect Phoenix will be headed elsewhere in the west.
I think this maybe the perfect time to welcome Detroit into our division. Still a good team, but nowhere near as dominant as they were previously. As Datsyuk and Zetterberg age, nothing really on the horizon to replace them.
I am a fan of both Leafs, and obviously a huge fan of the Wings. Detroit has fallen from the 2008 team, but if you think they will fall to the bottom you don't know too much about the team. They have very very good players that will be coming up to help aid the loss of Datsyuk and Zetterberg (who still have a lot of years left in the NHL) and some very promising defensemen in Ouellet and Sproul, they also spend to the cap and acquire free agents.
What I don't get is why not move Winnipeg to the existing central and one of Detroit or Columbus east, doesn't Columbus sort of fit in the south east division anyways? I know Ohio considers itself a little south an little midwest and a little east.
I wouldn't worry about having 8 teams in our division as opposed to 7. I think there will be a wild card that just isn't announced yet. That was the main, and possibly only issue, the NHLPA had last year when they rejected the realignment proposal. I doubt that they now flip flop on the issue.