I know this has been talked about before but yesterday i got into a discussion about what the NHL will actually do to the realignment after this season and while at school waiting for my class to start i written down in my eyes what would be the best thing to do for all the teams and fans.
2 conferences with 2 divisions each.
The Wales Conference
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues
San Jose Sharks
with this realignment it will fix the problems with travel and time zones..
now with the conferences having uneven teams the campbell conference will play each other more often. heres an example of how they can break down the 82 game schedule for each team using one team from each conference.
every team will play each twice each having a home and away game against one another
The Flyers will play at 4 games each against 6 teams and 6 games against 1 team in their divison(Patrick). They will play 4 games each against 4 teams and 2 games each against 4 teams in the rivial division(Adams). Then they will play 2 games each against the 14 teams in the Campbell Division.
to break the numbers down that'll be 30 divisonal games, 24 games against the other division, and 28 games against the other conference
The Blackhawks will play 4 games each against 5 teams and 6 games against 1 team in their division. Play 4 games each against 5 teams and 2 games against 2 teams from the other division(Norris). Then they will play 2 games each against the 16 teams in the Wales Conference.
that'll be 26 divisional games, 24 games against the other divison, and 32 games against the other conference
Now with the playsoffs i believe 10 teams in the Wales Conference 5 from each division should make the playoffs with the first round having the teams that won the divisons having a bye...as the other teams play a divisional best of three series (eg. 2 plays 5 and 3 plays 4) and then mix them back up, rerank them by total points in the regular season, and play the second round has normal (1 plays 8 2 plays 7.....) with a best of 5 series. then have the next two rounds be just like normal best of 7 series up till the stanley cup
Now with the Campbell Conference 4 teams from each divison makes the playoffs with the first round being divisional play (1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3) with a best of 5 series then after that round. mix both divisions up, having rerank them by season total points and then play a best of 7 series up til the stanley cup finals.
and of course the stanley cup finals will put the champions of the conferences against each other for the stanley cup.
with the Playoffs being set up this way it will make more tense rivalries and make the fans happy who want to see divisonal playoff match ups
I absolutely, positively DESPISE the idea of having unequal distribution of teams in divisions. Honestly, the best decision with the number of teams in the league would be to move Minnisota to the Central, Nashville to the SE, and Winnipeg to the NW (all while sticking with 2 conferences with 3 divisions each). Done and done.