With the rampant speculation of Atlanta and Phoenix almost certainly moving, along with other franchises in financial difficulties, the NHL will have to consider some realignment in the next few years. I think they should take this time to consider a REAL overhaul, and right a few wrongs that were made in the past. So, here's my thoughts on how the divisions should look by, let's day, 2015:
*Really sets up a NY/Boston rivalry, and who wouldn't love that?*
Quebec (from Atlanta)
*No big changes here, except adding Quebec and subtracting Boston*
*Big Change. Gets Detroit out the west, continues to give NASH and CBJ the rivalry with the Wings they want, and gives TOR and the other orignal six teams more games with Detroit. This Eastern realignment also cuts down most teams travel costs by a huge margin.
*If Atlanta doesn't move, they go here, Chicago goes to the Central, and Detroit moves to Northeast.
*Only change is Colorado replaces Phoenix.
*Restores the 4 Western Canadian teams old rivary, and sets up a good cross border battle between Winnipeg and Minnesota, ala Toronto/Buffalo* .
All of this, of course, is predicated on current franchise relocation predictions. But I still think that even if nothing happens, Detroit shouldn't remain in the west. It just doesn't seem right, even after all these years.
Go to the MLB/NFL style alignment. 2 conferences with 3 divisions. Each conference has a East/Central/West division.
I think this would work nicely, more Canadian teams, eliminates the three weakest franchises (no offense to fans of Florida, Atlanta, or Phoenix), and actually makes travel better for alot of teams
a few notes:
-Hamilton could be any eastern canadian city, I dont know that much about canadian cities, Im just going on population stats
-I tried to make Detroit fit in the east because I believe they have some sort of stake in the eastern conference in case of realignment, but they just dont really fit anywhere but the central, and with the southeast in existence you cant justify the central being in the east
-teams in the NE, ATL, CEN, can be swapped around, because they are so close together, but I think this is the best way.
of course all of this is speculation, because we dont really know what the league will do about this whole thing
Realigning to the old 2 conferences, 4 divisions, 4 teams make the playoffs from each division and divisonal playoff champs face each other in Conference finals would be a very good idea regardless of where teams are. Interdvisional rivalries will be enhanced during the playoffs.
Quebec City’s mayor and the province announced Thursday the two governments will split the cost of building a $400-million NHL-calibre hockey arena — furthering the hopes of many that professional hockey will return to the provincial capital........
Quebec getting an arena is happening sooner than you think.
I'd like to see something that balances out the travel inequity when it comes to the playoffs. Teams like VAN and DET with all of the West Coast travel sure seem to get the shaft come playoff time with the game wear and tear coupled with the travel time versus the East Coast teams that more often than not, can sleep in their own bed every night if they really wanted to. That has to be an advantage for the Eastern teams as the playoffs grind on. Alas, this won't happen, but hey ... I suppose that's not a bad price to pay for the players to be able to play in the NHL.