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Today’s must-click link: Realignment debate runs really deep

Oct 12, 2011, 2:37 PM EST

Rick Nash, Nicklas Lidstrom Getty Images

Last night we talked about how one of the ideas being kicked around for NHL realignment involves seeing the Detroit Red Wings swapping places with the Winnipeg Jets putting the Wings in the Southeast Division and the Jets in the Central.

While that’s all well and good for getting Detroit in the East and Winnipeg in the West, it doesn’t make a lot of geographical sense to have Detroit lumped in with the Florida teams and Carolina. The issue of realignment is a big one and a convoluted one as well and it’s something the NHL Board of Governors has to get figured out in December if it’s going to happen next season.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who dropped the knowledge about the possible Detroit-Winnipeg switcheroo, spelled out all the possibilities that are out there for the Board of Governors to check out. It’s a long read, but it’s well worth your time to get caught up. There’ll be a quiz in December when the NHL’s final plan gets announced.

  1. kopy - Oct 12, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    I’d do a lot of things to get the Minnesota Wild out of the harshest traveling schedule in professional sports and into a division with Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, etc. If Winnipeg and Detroit switch places, then Winnipeg should switch with Minnesota.

    • ready4jets - Oct 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      I think what makes most sense is to move nashville to the SE, Minnesota to the Central, and drop Winnipeg into where Minnesota is now, but then again I’ve studied geography.

      As for Minnesota having the toughest travel schedule, the worst one this year is Florida. PHT had an article about this around a week ago.

  2. vondoomtmc - Oct 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Here’s a map for my proposed realignment, which includes a very tough “Original 6″ division.

    • sknut - Oct 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      I like your thought process but wouldn’t Philly fit better in the Atlantic versus Pittsburgh.

      The fact is that one team will not be happy and thats the bottom line. I sort of feel for the franchise’s sake Columbus should move east, Detroit will do no matter where they are and while they probably deserve the move it might help Columbus gain more of a foothold.

  3. donttouchthedirtypenny - Oct 12, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    2 conferences, 4 divisions

    Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia

    Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, NYR, NYI, New Jersey

    Detroit, Chicago, Winnipeg, Dallas, Columbus, St. Louis, Minnesota, Colorado

    Phoenix, LA, Anaheim, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton

  4. contraryguy - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Columbus has a pretty easy travel schedule in its current division, not sure how mgmt would want to give that up. But what would be much more popular here is to have more home and home series with teams that are nearby: Pens, Buffalo, the Caps. If plan ‘G’ from outer space or some other realignment makes that happen, hockey here in Cbus would be supported even more than it is now.

  5. quizguy66 - Oct 13, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    The 4 conference plan is still the most sensible. The playoffs would have the top 4 from each conference qualify. In the first round of the playoffs you play within your conference (1 v 4, 2 v 3) and then those final 8 are reseeded. This would both minimize playoff travel (since the first round will be within your conference) and spread the hazard of long travel equally amongst all teams. The team(s) in the most peril of moving (i.e. Phoenix) can be put in one of the two 8-team conference to minimize the chance of disruption).

    All teams will play 2 games (home and home) against each team from the other conference. For the 8-team conferences this is 44 out of 82 games, for the 7-team conferences this is 46 out of 82 games.

    All teams in the 7-team conferences will play 6 games (3 home and 3 away) against each team from their own conference (36 total games)

    All teams in the 8-team conferences will play 6 games against 3 teams in their conference and 5 games against the other 4 teams in their conference. I would suggest that they be grouped each year by standings by Odd and Even finish to determine who they play the 6th game against. (For example, the 1st place team would play the 3rd, 5th and 7th place finishers 6 times each and play the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th place finishers 5 times each).

    Patrick Conference: New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida

    Adams Conference: Montreal, Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Columbus

    Norris Conference: Detroit, Chicago, St Louis, Minnesota, Nashville, Winnipeg, Dallas

    Smythe Conference: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Vancouver, Colorado, Calgary, Edmonton, Phoenix

    So there you go. Problem solved.

    -QG

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