Skip to content

Just what are they going to name these new conferences anyhow?

Dec 6, 2011, 9:23 AM EDT

Realignment

Now that we’re all settled on realignment now it’s time to get down to the serious stuff:

What the heck do we name these new conferences?

The old fashioned 1980s traditionalist in all of us wants to see a throwback to the way things used to be before the NHL got all corporate and NBA-ified. Bringing back the names of the old divisions (Patrick, Adams, Norris, Smythe) has everyone’s nostalgia up and really, why not? It goes back to that whole “embracing your uniqueness” we talked about yesterday.

Naming the conferences after the founders of the league gave the NHL its identity and gave us all a reason to look up just who the heck these guys were that the divisions were named after. It might not be as fun as Paul Bissonnette‘s idea for naming the conferences after rappers, but I don’t know that we’re ready for the Biggie Smalls Conference just yet.

NHL.com Red Wings reporter Bill Roose throws some water on our historical hopes saying he’s hearing that the conferences will be named geographically just how they are now going with Atlantic, Northeast, Central, and Pacific Conferences.

Not only would this solution be boring but it’s completely inaccurate for the Northeast Division. Unless both Florida and Tampa Bay are relocating to Quebec City and Hamilton, Ontario there’s little chance for them to be confused with being northeast teams.

If you want to go historical and new school, the suggestion of naming the conferences after Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux, and Gordie Howe is out there as well. Only issue there is naming a conference after a current owner (Lemieux) is probably a big no-no. Good luck picking an appropriate fifth person for that honor.

Sadly enough, the boring geographical way to name the conferences is probably viewed as the easiest way to handle things. At the very least they could just name the Northeast Conference the “Snowbird Conference” to honor their two Florida teams.

  1. comeonnowguys - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    If they wanted it to be named geographically, they should have swapped the NY metro teams for the Florida teams.

    They’ve come surprisingly close to getting it right… finish it by bringing back the old division names.

  2. hank10 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, Chico?

  3. philliesblow - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Old School choice: Adams, Patrick, Norris & Smythe

    Current reality choice: Bettman Sucks, Bettman Stinks, Bettman Blows and Bettman Bites

  4. cshearing - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Patrick, Adams, Norris, Smythe. It is the only way.

  5. beerjunkie - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    1) Budweiser
    2) Miller High Life
    3) Labatt Blue
    4) Coors

    • philliesblow - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Drop the Miller and put in Molson.

      • dcal4282 - Dec 6, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        drop the coors and put in Yuengling

  6. beerjunkie - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    1. Budweiser
    2. Labatt Blue
    3. Coors Light
    4. Miller High Life

    • nhlbruins90 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      Given the way they slap an ad on everything and anything in sight, … who knows.

  7. nhlbruins90 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    They could go with the trend to hyphenate names – Adams-Northeast Division, and so on. Then people could refer to them either way they want. Logic and nostalgia combined.

    On the other hand, I kinda like the Dunlop Division, Hanson Division, Ogilthorpe Division and the McCracken Division.

  8. guypatsfan - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Gretzky Division – LA Kings, Oilers, etc.
    Howe Division – Detroit, Chicago, etc.
    Orr Division – Boston, Montreal, etc.
    Lemieux Division – Philly, Pittsburgh, etc.

    Name each division after a great player of the past.

    • comeonnowguys - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      The fact you’re a probable Boston fan has no impact on this, I’m sure?

    • philliesblow - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      Is Lemieux definitively the 4th best player? What about the Rocket or Beliveau? Maybe it should be Sawchuk, Plante or Roy to have a goalie in the mix.

    • bcisleman - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      Name the Islanders division after Lemieux? I don’t think so. I suspect Flames fans would have a problem with being in the Gretzky Conference, MTL fans with being in the Orr Conference, etc, Has to be either regional names like Atlantic or Pacific or founders names.

  9. treydogg97 - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    If we’re going by relatively recent names of the past, perhaps Housley, Coffey, or Bourque…?

  10. dutchman1350 - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    I’m sure Detroit will demand their input.

    • philliesblow - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

      Howe, Yzerman, Lidstrom and Konstantinov (personal favorite all time Wing) Conferences.

  11. rupertslander - Dec 6, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    A bit of a dilemma here – the only geographical name that makes sense for the NE + Floridian teams is “Eastern Conference” but they probably don’t want to reuse “Eastern” and “Western” for the new format.

  12. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Based on the behaviour of top league officials and their egomania? Bettman Division, Daly Division, Phoenix Coyotes Division, Your-Ad-Here Division

  13. quizguy66 - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    They should name the Atlantic Division the Stevens Division. It would put a whooping on any of those other divisions. Keep your head up Gretzky Division!
    -QG

  14. unknowneric - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    If they let the Internet vote on it, the conferences may be named: Butts, LOL, Rick Astley, and Kitties.

  15. Jeff - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    If you’re a real traditionalist, you would choose geographic names, because they pre-dated the Patrick, Adams, Norris, and Smythe names. Look it up. In addition, those names mean nothing and are confusing to new fans, which the NHL is trying to get.
    My choices: West, Central, East, Northeast.

  16. researchrants - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    How many years now have we spent with these lame geographic names? How many new fans did we get because of it? Stop trying to be the NBA and go back to the old division names.

  17. baldingerspinky - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Howe Gretzky Orr Messier!!!!

  18. bmmayhew - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    It will all make more sense when the lightning and panthers are moved to Quebec and Wisconsin, respectively.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (1457)
  2. D. Kuemper (1346)
  3. S. Bennett (1315)
  4. P. Rinne (1279)
  5. J. Drouin (1249)