Personally, I don't see this mystery 4-5 million people that you claim to be actual fans...
Call me crazy, but if a team had THAT many fans, then the stadium would be full, regardless of how a team is performing... but that's just me.
Unless about 4.5 million of those fans are only fans when the wind blows the right way, which sounds about right.
Who said anything about actual fans? Are you dense? When you market hockey tickets, you don't just market them to hockey fans, that would be dumb. You market them to people who have backsides that can be put in seats and money to buy popcorn, corndogs and beer. Which is (in case you can't figure it out) the entire population of the area. In Atlanta, that figure is right around 5M people.
Not surprising since Bud Selig makes Gary Bettman look like a prince.
This. I am not a big Bettman fan, but at least he's not singlehandedly ruining baseball like Selig has been doing.
Anyway, back to the OP. If the NHL stays with its current 6-division system, which it probably will, here's one possible setup. My thinking was to, in this order, (1) Reduce the range of intra-division time zones, which is a MAJOR problem in the Western Conference, (2) Preserve local rivalries, and (3) minimize intra-division travel distance. So do the following moves:
PHX HAM-> Atl
BOS -> SE (the hardest of the moves to figure out; see below)
ATL -> Cent. (see below why I think it may work)
CHI -> NW
DAL -> NW (time zone issue)
VAN -> Pac.
COL -> Pac.
and you get:
Due to its sheer east-west distance, the PHX->Hamilton move would create havoc for divisional alignments. If it was something simpler, such as PHX->Winnipeg, they could just move that team into the Northwest and move Vancouver into the Pacific to compensate. But unfortunately, the NHL is gonna have to move teams all over the place to compensate. Placing us in the Central would at least give us two other Eastern-Time divisional opponents. It would also open a rivalry with Nashville. The biggest drawback would be all those late-night games on the West Coast, something I do not look forward to.
That leaves all the other moves to do...
I just can't see Pittsburgh wanting to leave the Atlantic. Even if it means being with Detroit, the long-standing intrastate rivalry with Philly is probably going to be too much for them to depart. Since this puts three Canadian teams in one division, and a fourth city (Buffalo) is right nearby, the odd city out is Boston. So send them to the Southeast. Then swap some teams around the Pacific and Northwest, and the changes are complete.
ALTERNATIVELY, there's another way to not have this mess in the East: Send Pittsburgh to the Central and Philly to the Southeast. Don't know how well that would go over, though.
Again, I would rather not leave the East. But with the exception of some of the West teams' moves, this is closer to what I *think* would happen, not what I *want* to happen.
well 1, we will prob fold soon, we suck, 2, how is jim balsili evil? cuzz he wants another team in canada? 60% of the revenue from the nhl is from the canadian teams, hockey is a canadian sport and canada deserves more than 6 teams... im from hamitlon and they "could" be moving here, which would be awesome
60% of the revenue is NOT from Canadian teams. Melnyk said 40%, the NHL said closer to 30% so lets say it's 35% that means 65% of the revenue comes from the United States.