Skip to content

Flyers and Penguins opposed to latest realignment proposal

Nov 1, 2011, 8:47 AM EDT

Evgeni Malkin, Chris Pronger Getty Images

The latest realignment proposal that’s been making waves across the league doesn’t exactly have everyone feeling giddy about things. Two teams in particular seem to be highly opposed to it because it’s going to make their rivalry almost fade away.

The Flyers and Penguins are both opposed to the latest proposal because it would see the number of meetings these intrastate rivals reduced to just four games a year. That’s something Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, at the very least, is very much against as he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari.

“There’s such a good [intra-state] rivalry with Philly,” he said. “We need to play each other. We need to keep the battle hot.”

The Penguins are the main team speaking up against this and for them, the new proposal sees them lose the Flyers as a divisional foe and gain Boston, Montreal, Buffalo, Toronto, Ottawa, and Detroit or Columbus. Losing the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, and Flyers makes for a drastic change and one that the Penguins aren’t all that thrilled about.

Although Penguins CEO David Morehouse declined a request to discuss realignment, a team executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the franchise has informed the league of its opposition to a plan that would place it and the Flyers in different divisions.

They might be rivals on the ice, but seeing the Penguins and Flyers (to a lesser degree) stick together on this issue it proves that keeping your friends close and your enemies closer even has a place in hockey.

  1. kellyb9 - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Of course they are… a lot of revenue and fan interest comes out of this rivalry.. on both sides.

  2. alexg114 - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    No the Flyers will not lose on revenue if they lost the penguins.. they Flyers can survive on their own..

    If you are a true flyers fan from before.. you will know the Rangers are the more heated rivalry!! With the rangers it started in the 70s. With the Islanders it started in the late 70s.. With the Devils it started in the mid 90s…

    With Pittsburgh it didnt start till mid-2000s. Give me a break.. the penguins need the flyers.. the flyers could care less.. Yes its a big rivalry now.. But I’ll take the games against Rangers devils and islanders as the true rivalry…

    • hockeyfan9170 - Nov 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      Penguins – Flyers rivalry started 6 years ago? lol You must be young. Flyers fans hated Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr all through the late 80’s and 90’s.

      • kellyb9 - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        I was briefly considering responding to alexg114, but he clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. Thanks for jumping in here. Also I might add, they were both part of the big expansion in the 60’s and there’s a natural rivalry from being from two very different parts of the same state. And there’s also a wikipedia page:

      • emoser - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM

        alexg is an idiot, but to be fair the rivalry kind of died down in the early 2000s. When a team’s as bad as the pens were for those five years having a rivalry with them would be like a dad talking trash after dunking on his 5 year old son.

      • alexg114 - Nov 2, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        Hockeyfan.. kelly.. and emoser!!!

        I know what the heck im talking about, I have been a fan since early 80s. Now lets look at some facts!

        Rangers: Playoff meetings: 1974, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1995, 1997
        Islanders: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1987
        Devils: 1995, 2000, 2004
        Penguins: 1989, 1997, 2000, 2008, 2009

        Diviosn races:
        Patrick division years:
        81 /82 Isles / rangers / flyers / pens –
        NYI ran away with the division flyers and rangers were seperated by one point Pens barely made it

        82/83: flyers / Isles / Caps rangers. sorry no pens
        83/84: isles / flyers / caps / rangers – no playoffs for pens division race: 9 points seperated 1st and 4th place..
        84/85: flyers / caps / islanders / rangers ( no pens)
        85/86: flyers/ caps / isles / rangers (no pens)
        86/87: flyers / caps / isles / rangers
        87/88: isles / caps / flyers / devils.. ahhh welcome Nj. sorry no pens
        88/89/: caps / pens / rangers / flyers.. finally after 6 years of patrick division rivals of the 80s the pens went back to the playoffs.. (and 1st playoff meeting

        let’s sum up the 80s.. yes pens had lemiux for half the decade but they still stunk.. the expansion didnt lead to a huge rivalry between flyers and pens.. flyers had early success.. pens had early failures.. flyers and rangers and isles were in intense playoff battles in 70s and 80s…

        lets look at 90s:
        89/90: rangers / devils/ caps / isles both pens and flyers stunk…
        90/91: pens / rangers / caps / devils (pens start to win.. flyers stink still no rivalry
        91/92 rangers / caps/ pens / devils (pens win it all flyers stink)
        92/93 pens / caps / isles / devils flyers still stink

        93/94 No more division rivals for pens / flyers.. hello atlantic and North East division
        Flyers still stink in their division and pens win theirs

        94/95 : pens 2nd in NE flyers and devils fight for 1st in atlantic (rivalry with devils start)
        95/96: pens win NE flyers and rangers fight for 1st in atlantic
        96/97: pens 2nd in NE flyers and devils fight for 1st in atlantic (2nd playoff meeting)
        97/98: pens 1st in NE flyers and devils fight for 1st again in atlantic
        98/99: pens come back to division devils 1st flyers 2nd pens 3rd…

        So let’s sum up the 90s.. flyers stink at the begining pens good and win titles
        When flyers get good. pens flee the division… division titles were being won by flyers and devils.. trading titles for the divison until the end of the 90s.. still don’t see a big rivalry with the pens yet.. yes we hate lemieux and now jagr.. but we stunk .. when we got better it was the hatred of broduer and stevens and the other devils…

        99/00: flyers 105 / devils 103 / pens 88.. division was between two teams not pens (playoff matchup with pens and devils)
        00/01: devils 111 / flyers 100 / pens 96 now we are getting close to a rivalry
        01/02: flyers 97 /isles 96 / devils 95 – – pens hahaha 69..
        02/03: devils 108 / flyers 107 pens…65
        03/04: flyers 101 / devils 100 pens.. 58….. (stocking up those draft picks…) or maybe moving out of pitts.
        04/05 – lock out
        05/06 – devils 101 / flyers 101 / rangers 100 pens 58
        06/07 devils and pens. flyers have bad year
        07/08 pitts / devils / rangers / flyers ahhh and we have a playoff matchup
        08/09 nj / pitts / flyers another playoff match up and the rivarly is in full swing
        09/10: nj / pitts/ flyers – division race mostly for nj and pitts we got in last game of year
        10/11: flyers and pitts – 106 flyers win division with tie breaker..

        As you can see the rivalry did not really start to be intense until really 07/08

        Please tell me how you can deny these facts!!!!

    • steelwarriors55 - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:43 PM

      The thing is you have the impression that they didnt have a heated rivalry before the mid 2000’s because 1) The Pens sucked a lot after the Mario era and 2) they moved to the Northeast division for a while so they didnt have to play that much until they moved back to the Atlantic Division

  3. bcjim - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    I have honestly never found this to be a particular rivalry, more of a recent media hyped rivalry maybe.

    And what difference would it make? They would still see each other pretty often.

    The Capitals and either are more interesting than Flyers-Pens.

  4. canucks18 - Nov 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    The flyers don’t need the pens? Let’s see how you feel about that when Crosby and Malkin come back how much you miss them after that. You’d have to be a fool to think that you won’t miss those extra games. I’m sure you can still draw fans but it’s ridiculous to say you would be better off playing the isles and Devils in comparison.

    • jcantwell82 - Nov 1, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      Why would they need the Pens? Flyers attendance is historically high, no matter who they play. Even when they were the worst team in the league, they still had the 7th highest attendance and had over 98% capacity over the season. Outside of that year, they average over 100%. So, yeah, they don’t need the Pens at all for attendance.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        I agree. We don’t need the Pens to survive. The Flyers have the highest average ticket prices for all teams in the USA. Us fans fill the Center night in and night out. Do don’t need the Pens to enjoy watching our team play. But every Flyers fan loves having the Pens come to Philly.

  5. alexg114 - Nov 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Yes I say again.. the flyers do not need the penguins!!!! See you think the rivarly is between the name on the back of the jersey….

    But the flyers and rangers.. have been a heated rivarly because of the front of the jersey..

    The crosbies and malkins will come and go. the players dont make it a rivalry.. its the teams.

  6. somekat - Nov 1, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    The Pens definitely need this rivalry more than the Flyers do. Lets be honest here, even when the Flyers are bad (like when they were the worst team in the NHL 5 or so years ago), they are still near the top of the league in attendance. They still have a very good (by NHL standards) local TV contract (with comcast, who owns them), and are one of, if not the, most followed team in the league nationally.

    When the Pens were bad, they almost left the city so few people showed up (I know the igloo was a pit, but the spectrum wasn’t exactly the presidental suite of arenas either). They always sell out the Flyers though (Little brother syndrom, most Pitt fans hate anything Philly). The Pens need the income.

    The rivalry does help the Flyers, and it is a rivalry, maybe not on par with NYR/NYI/NJ/Leafs, but it is still a rivalry, but it is exponentially more important for the Pens

    That being said, it is a good rivalry, and shouldn’t be killed off for this realignment idea, even if the other stuff didn’t matter as much, top 4 from each division going to the playoffs is stupid. Not having any chance to play a team outside of your divsion until the semi-finals is even dumber

    • dbick - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      I think at the moment the rivalry with the Pens is way above the other rivalries you mentioned. Yeah I dislike/hate all those teams, but quite honestly all 3 are not on the same level as the pens or flyers. And I know a lot more Pens fans than I do nyr/nj/nyi and especially leafs fans. So at least for me I get more riled up for the Pens than I do for the other ones. At least for now, rivalry intensity changes all the time depending on who’s good and who isnt.

  7. hockeyfan9170 - Nov 1, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    I guess since the Flyers are usually fighting for 8th place they developed a rivalry with the Rangers..

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 1, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      When was the last time the Flyers finished in 8th?

      • hockeyfan1701 - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        They tied with Montreal for 8th in 2009-10 with 88 points. Got the nod for more regular wins. Something to be proud of!!!!! They can keep living the 1974-75 season over and over again forever…….

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        We came in 7th. It’s called a tie-breaker buddy haha.

      • somekat - Nov 1, 2011 at 3:18 PM

        wow hockeyfan, get proved an idiot much?

        talk less trash and do a little research. I know it is impossible for you to NOT look like an idiot (a midget can’t be tall, no matter how much he tries), but try not to make it look so obvious

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    And they should be opposed to it. It makes for great TV and fans on both sides of the State get up for these games. The NHL would be dumb to break up this rivalry.

  9. hockeyfan9170 - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Not sure of the year but they won a shootout in their final game to get in.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:11 PM

      Flyers came in 7th. The Habs came in 8th (2009-2010).

  10. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    “They always sell out the Flyers though (Little brother syndrom,most Pitt fans hate anything Philly). The Pens need the income.”

    Typical Philly arrogance. The Pens are on a run of something like 218 straight sellouts. It’s not just games against Flyers.

    Most Philly fans I know hate everything about Pittsburgh, must be trophy jealousy.

    The reason everyone hates Philly fans is the arrogance they display. When their team actually wins something it is even worse.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:08 PM

      Haha then you don’t many Philly fans. Most people in Philly have no idea where Pittsburgh is. You have to remember that outside of the Pens, Philadelphia really has no link to Pittsburgh. Philly has the East Coast vibe while Pittsburgh is a Mid-West-like town. And Pittsburgh is little brother to Philadelphia in the big picture. I can assure you that.

      • bsputnik - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:55 PM

        Most people in Philly don’t know where Pittsburgh is? Doesn’t speak very highly of your school systems over there. Is the concept of, “west” or, “directly on the other side of the state” a hard concept for all of you to grasp?

    • somekat - Nov 1, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      I go to Pittsburgh on a monthly basis. They are selling out for 218 straight games because they are one of the better teams in the league. Pitt fans are notorious front runners. Mario had to come back and save the franchise from moving to Canada, or are we going to pretend like htat didn’t happen?
      The Pirates are annually among the least attended teams
      The only team with any real support in Pittsburgh is the Steelers, and they were even getting weak for a while there when they weren’t contenders (aka, Kordell QB)

      I do hate the Pens, I’m a Flyers fan, I’m supposed to. But I (and 99% of the Philly fans I know) could not care less if they made a surpreme effort about the other Pitt teams. This isn’t even close to being true of Pitt fans. It’s like how Philly fans feel about New York, but 5x stronger

      • bsputnik - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        HAHAHAHA!!!! I invite you to check out the Phillies attendance numbers in years which they were terrible (that is, most years).
        Philly supports all of its teams even when they aren’t very good huh? What are the numbers for the Sixers? Oh yeah, awful. Pretty much at the bottom of the NBA, even in playoff years. Teams in far, far smaller cities constantly beating you out.

        Sure you generally have no problem, your metro are is THREE times the size of Pittsburgh. When the Pens were awful, if twice the people showed up, the Civic Arena would have been packed. The Pirates have one of the worst attendance figures because of a generation of being a joke….an absolute disgrace. If ANY team in Philly were that bad, NO ONE would be going and your crazy a**es would have burned the stadium down or filled it with batteries or whatever it is you people do over there. It is a miracle anyone shows up at PNC all.

        I hate the Flyers because we are division foes. But to say the Pens NEED the rivalry is insane. It is worth keeping because it is the greatest of the Expansion 6 rivalries. It was a great Patrick Division rivalry, but we can have a rivalry with Montreal or Detroit or Columbus. Especially if the divisional playoff rounds come back. Back-to-back Cup finals has already heated up the Detroit rivalry. That can be just as good if not better. We will sell out anyway.

        You think Pittsburgh fans care about the other Philly teams? The Eagles aren’t worth caring about and no one here cares about baseball anymore. We aren’t in the same division and even when we were, rarely good at the same time. The Phillies current domination (along with everyone’s) of the Pirates really doesn’t lead to a rivalry. So don’t put yourselves on too big a pedestal, the Flyers are the only one any of us care about. And even so, the Capitals rivalry is better now anyway. That’s why we played them in the Winter Classic and not you.

        And please, the Steelers support getting weak in the Kordell years? Never was there any issue with selling out in that time. We have had an expectation of excellence for 40 years for this team. So yes, three years of not going to the playoffs tends to raise questions. Not unlike the Philly issue with McNabb who was a FAR superior QB.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 2, 2011 at 10:47 AM


        your kidding right? the SIXERS? pittsburgh does not even have a basketball team.

  11. hockeyfan1701 - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:16 PM


    • somekat - Nov 1, 2011 at 3:23 PM

      Very predictable from someone who’s hockey knowledge/ability to talk smack was completely trashed on the last post

      epic fail

  12. hockeyfan1701 - Nov 1, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Hey somekat, 1975

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      I’m assuming you are a Pens fans? You are really passionate about defending the Pens with age-old ‘score board’ taunt haha. I know you can do better. We all know when the Flyers last won the SC.

  13. greynraney - Nov 1, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    West Pacific – ANA LA SJ PHX COL
    West Central – DET DAL CHI NAS STL
    West North – VAN WIN CAL EDM MIN

    East Atlantic – WAS FL TB CAR ISL
    East Northeast – TOR OTT BUF MON BOS
    East Central – PIT PHI NYR NJD CBJ

    Take Colombus and move them to the East leaving Detroit in the West
    Take the Islanders and move them to the SE allowing Pittsburg and Philly to stay in the same division.

    • balewsquare - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM

      Yeah I don’t get why something like this isn’t popular. One team moved…why are we all of the sudden discussing scrapping the whole system?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1800)
  2. P. Kane (1438)
  3. M. Richards (1300)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1291)
  5. N. Backstrom (1148)