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Report: Realignment being discussed once again

Feb 10, 2013, 11:47 AM EDT

Jared Boll Getty Images

Now that the NHL and NHLPA have put the labor stuff behind them for the next 8-10 years, they’ve got a new project to tackle.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports the two sides are discussing realignment once again and this time they’re going to make sure everyone’s on the same page. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly tells Brooks they are working on a realignment plan for next season but nothing has been approved or finalized by the Board of Governors.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr hopes the union’s fears over extended travel for some teams as well as competitive balance worries can be allayed by being kept abreast of what the NHL wants to do.

“We expect to talk with the league on the subject this week,” Fehr said. “A year ago, when we raised the issue of increased travel for teams, the league did not have mock schedules for us to review that might have alleviated our concern.”

After going through a labor war, getting realignment figured out should be a relative walk in the park. If the league wants to stick to their “four conferences” plan and a return to divisional playoffs, however, the competitive balance issue will be tough to wrangle with 30 teams. It wouldn’t be a shock to see expansion discussed to alleviate that issue.

  1. pensfan603 - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Expansion.. Cuase ya know more teams losing millions of dollars every year is exactly what we need.
    On that I suggest, a team in Regina, and one in Quebec.

    • Jackson Scofield - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Depends on where you put them, if you do Quebec, Toronto, and Seattle, those teams are likely profitable. If you do Kansas City, Houston, and keep the Coyotes, then those are 2 more teams losing tons of money.

  2. bigbluenoser - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Regina?

    • eggserino - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      I’ve always wanted a hockey game in your Regina.

      • puckish27 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        Nothing could be fina than to be in your Regina in the mornin’

    • billsfan13594 - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      I’ll just leave this here… (hint 1:05)

  3. noozehound - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    bring back the old divisions. the Norris, Smyth etc.

    • killerpgh - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      I agree, but Bettman’s group doesn’t seem to care about tradition. I’ll guess they will name the divisions after more resent big names. Orr, Gretzky, Howe, Lemieux

      • handsofsweed - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        I hope they don’t do that. But, it would be kinda funny to watch the flyer fans completely melt down when the Atlantic is re-named the Lemieux Division.

      • stakex - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        Its more likely they will stick with the whole “North, South, West, East” type of naming system.

      • Islangers - Feb 12, 2013 at 12:15 AM

        When they agree upon a realignment, maybe they can add the Bettman Cup? Given to the biggest a**hole on the ice? Like the inverse Lady Bing?
        And yes, I realize that the ‘hated’ Bettman is just the owners’ patsy, but if it walks like a duck and takes the blame for yet another work stoppage…
        Personally I vote for Malkin for the inagural award…great player but as dirty as they come. Keep your elbows and stick down – that’s all I wantto see! (Still amazed how much Matt Cooke cleaned up his game!)
        PS-bwholl – I love the idea of every team in the league visiting every house during a season. I think it’s good for the fans to see all the talent the league has to offer.

  4. rca26 - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Divisions in a 32-team NHL are going to be messy. If Phoenix moves to Seattle and Quebec and Markham are the expansion teams, there’s gonna be some funky alignments.

    That said, Tampa Bay and Minnesota used to be division rivals, so whatever I guess.

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      They also used to be division rivals in the NFL for nearly 30 years.

      • rca26 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        Is that really a worthy counter-argument? Divisions in the NFL have basically nothing to do with travel. There’s 16 games in the season and a week between each of them. Carolina used to be in the NFC West while Arizona and Dallas were in the NFC East.

      • comeonnowguys - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:27 PM

        Easy there, slim. It was more trivia than rhetorical support.

    • bwholl - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      If Pittsburgh moves to the Northeast then the divisions practically write themselves
      Adams/Northeast
      Boston
      Buffalo
      Montreal
      Ottawa
      Pittsburgh
      Quebec
      Toronto
      Toronto/Markham

      Patrick/Atlantic
      Carolina
      Florida
      New Jersey
      New York
      New York
      Philadelphia
      Tampa Bay
      Washington

      Norris/Central
      Chicago
      Columbus
      Dallas
      Detroit
      Minnesota
      Nashville
      St. Louis
      Winnipeg

      Smythe/Pacific
      Anaheim
      Calgary
      Colorado
      Edmonton
      Los Angeles
      San Jose
      Seattle/Phoenix
      Vancouver

      Teams would play division foes 4x and other teams 2x for a 76 game schedule. That way every team in the division plays the exact same schedule, which is the only fair way of having divisional playoffs.

      (Ideally Florida would move to Hartford to bring back the Whale and Pitt would move to Patrick, but that’s just me)

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        I like your plan mostly, however I don’t think it’s fair to move Florida. As I’ve said on here numerous times, when you have a team that is as bad as Florida was, nobody in any market is going to show. Until last year, they hadn’t made the playoffs since before Minnesota and Columbus existed, and made the playoffs the last time when the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers were an expansion team. Any market won’t show (including the “top hockey markets”) when your that bad for that long. Now they are getting close to 16,000 a night when fans are supposedly bitter at a lockout and they aren’t even .500.

        But don’t get me wrong having the Brass Bonaza back would be freaking awesome.

      • ml3939 - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        They are not gonna separate Philly, Pitt, and NYR. And they are not gonna separate NYR and NJ. Those rivalries are huge. Therefore that division will stay in tact and movements will be made around it, even if it does not make geographical sense.

      • badintent - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:34 PM

        Just bring back the original 6. The rest is just fluff.

  5. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I absolutely hate that four conference idea. I think it’s one of the most illogical ideas the.NHL has come up with. There are travel issues with Detroit, Dallas, Columbus, Nashville, and Winnipeg so instead of realigning those teams in different divisions the leagues solution is to create a league where EVERYONE will have travel issues. Not to mention two “conferences” have 8 teams while the other two have 7, which creates an unfair advantage for the 7 team conferences. Plus you potentially throw out some rivalries. I’d rather see contraction than this asinine proposal come back into play. I don’t like drastic change in my sports.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      You couldn’t be more wrong. Detroit, Columbus, and Nashville have minimal travel issues compared to Dallas, Winnipeg, and Minnesota. Detroit has been in the same divison with pretty much the same teams (St. Louis and Chicago since forever) and Nashville and Columbus (since expansion) has been pretty good them. All these teams are fairly close to each. The bigger problem is Winnipeg playing divison games in Florida, Tampa, Washington, and Carolina. Dallas playing division games two time zones away in Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, and 1 time zone away in Phoenix. Minnesota playing division games 2 time zones away in Vancouver, 1 time zone away in Calgary, Edmonton, and Colorado. The NHL absolutely got the realignment right on the 2 western conferences.

      Colorado, Phoenix, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. This is basically the same Smythe division as back in the 80′s and early 90′s.

      Detroit, Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Winnipeg, Minnesota, and Nashville. This is basically the old Norris division as back in the 80′s and early 90′s. Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis made that up. Maybe there is a way to move Nashville to the eastern side and add Toronto to get this back?

      The two conferences with 7 teams easily shows they are planning on expansion. While I agree with you they should contract a couple of teams, the NHL and NHLPA will never agree to that. Espically the NHLPA, they aren’t going to want to lose 46 NHL jobs and 100 contracts. Both sides are going to want expansion. NHLPA adds another 46 jobs and 100 contracts, the NHL owners get huge expansion fees.

      As for as your comment on the NHL throwing out some rivalries, which ones are they throwing out? I didn’t see any from looking at it. I see the possibility for the NHL to expand rivalries. Currently, Winnipeg and Minnesota have no rivalries. That is a rivalry that will build as they are 850 miles apart the closet NHL teams to each other. It’s closer for people in northern Minnesota to go Winnipeg games than down to St. Paul. Winnipeg and Minnesota played the night the realignment proposal came out. You could tell the two teams started to grow a hatred for each other. There was something about that game. It got chippy and ugly at the end. The way you build rivalries in the NHL is to play them in the playoffs year after year. With this realignment your guaranteed 3 series on divisional play.

      • costmiller - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Old table from 2010-2011 when Atlanta was still in the league:
        http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_NHL_team_travels_most_miles

        The 11 fewest traveling miles belong in the Eastern Conference, the Southern teams were the 4 exceptions, and the top 10 in miles were all Western teams. Detroit was 14th fewest/16th most.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        I know you’re big on the Minnesota v Winnipeg “rivalry” but I can assure you the Winnipeg rivalries with Calgary and Edmonton (and to a lesser degree Vancouver) run much deeper and are much more natural, the rivalries actually exist between the cities not just the hockey teams.

        There’s also zero chance Toronto would ever accept coming back to the Western Conference (or in this case the two western conferences) they’re ecstatic with the games against Montreal, Ottawa, Boston and Buffalo and would never agree to give those up.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        atwater…

        explain to me how the Winnipeg rivalry with Calgary, Edmonton, and to a lesser degree Vancouver runs deeper than that of Minnesota, not that is much of a rivalry yet? As I recall, none of those teams play Winnipeg this year. Winnipeg was in the eastern conference last year, so at best they played all those teams twice, at most.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:44 AM

        Well the years of Smythe division playoffs for one but also the fact that there’s a huge number of people from Winnipeg in both Edmonton and Calgary. During the years the Jets weren’t there you’d always see people at Flames games (and just walking around Calgary) in Jets gear. It’s about more than just the current hockey teams, rivalries between the cities of Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton is just natural.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Atwater then by your logic the Wild should be rivals with Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis because of the North Star years. Plus a lot of people from Chicago move to the Twin Cities. I hope that makes them conference rivals as well, but hockey wise it’s the same logic with the new teams.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 12, 2013 at 12:05 AM

        I get that Minnesota fans are so desperate for a rival that they’re willing to create one in their minds with a franchise they’ve played once. But other than being somewhat close to each other and both having hockey teams what’s the basis for an actual Jets v Wild rivalry? There’s no history there, at all.

        There is an already existing rivalry between the cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, not just at a hockey level but at an actual civic level. Winnipeg was the big city in the western part of Canada in the 60′s and 70′s but that city has become stagnant and Calgary took over and has become the dominant city by far. There’s ill will there because of that, many Winnipegers have to move to Calgary to get jobs, there’s ill will because of that. We’re the same people, we have a shared history, we dislike each other, regardless of what you think the rivalries between Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg are much stronger than the 1 game history that exists with the Wild, that’s no disrespect, it’s just the way it is!

        Btw congrats on the SO win tonight, some exciting moments in regulation but the overtime might have been the most boring 4 on 4 hockey ever played! I think both teams combined for 0 shots in that 5 minute period. But then all 3 goals in the shoot out were fantastic!

        kaptaanamerica: frankly Vancouver’s crowd is filled with so many bandwagon fans I’m surprised if they know which other cities have teams let alone who could be possible rivals. It’ll be funny to see though, once the Canucks window closes they’ll be back to having 13,000 a game in that building just like they were before Brian Burke saved that franchise.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 12, 2013 at 12:40 AM

        Atwater your absolutely right on the boring overtime. What we saw tonight has been a normal Wild/Flames game for the past 5 years or so. Very low scoring.

        The Wild/Jets played twice last year. We aren’t “desperate” for a rival. Rivalries are built through the playoffs and undoubtly the Wild will have rivalries with Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Winnipeg should this realignment go through. I do know Winnipeg and Minnesota are the closest NHL cities to each other. That’s a start. The Wild will play the Jets 6 or 7 times a year compared to the 2 times a year Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver will.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        I know this topic is a few days old but I just wanted to let you know that I saw a report last night that the NHL might just tweak the current divisions, with Winnipeg replacing Colorado (or possibly even Vancouver) in the NW, Dallas moving to the central and then either Columbus or Nashville going east. So in that case I guess we’d both get the rivalry against Winnipeg.

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      The natural rivalry for people in Vancouver isn’t with Calgary or Edmonton or Winnipeg despite what people in those cities might think.people in Vancouver see their rivals as other Pacific time zone teams not teams on the wrong side of the rockies.

  6. ml3939 - Feb 10, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    I hope they keep the Flyers and Penguins together for the sake of this site.

    • handsofsweed - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      I hope Hockeywithdrawal and broad street bully finally stop fighting it, move to Massachussetts, get a civil union, settle down together…and become Bruins fans. The end, happily ever after, etc.

  7. echech88 - Feb 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Isn’t over-expansion why the league is constantly having lockouts in the first place? Too many teams, not enough making money, diluted talent pool and smaller slices of the revenue pie?

    How about you contract a couple teams to solve the problem instead for the long term health of the league.

    • stakex - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      The NHLPA will never let contraction happen. It would mean the loss of more then 40 NHL jobs, and perhaps even as many AHL jobs, and that will never fly.

  8. mclovinhockey - Feb 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    The 4 conference idea is like peeing in a sink…. Actually I have no idea where I was going with that..

    Expansion would kill the league. If anything we need to lose some teams. Moving them works a bit.

    Of course QC needs a team, I would not hate giving Toronto a 2nd team or Hamilton since its a hop skip and a jump away. Montreal could do a 2nd team as well but there is not much room in Montreal for a team and since Montreal is an island it does not help… Also that idea would hurt the bruins fan base since a lot of B’s fans are people from Montreal who hate the Habs.

    I have been nothing but impressed with Seattle fans in the sports they have, but that city does not seem like a hockey city at all. Saw a video where someone was calling all the sports bars, gyms ect to ask hockey questions. One person knew who Wayne Gretzky was but thought he still played… A few people knew a few things but when asked if Seattle should have a hockey team most people said no… One girl at a sports bar thought hockey was cricket… Still could be better than phx though

  9. secularhaze - Feb 10, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    they should be more worried about getting a better tv partner and beefing up advertising. i cant remember the last time i saw a tv spot hyping ANY game and i usually have to pray to allah in hopes of actually finding a game on tv. in terms of marketing…its definitely the little brother of the sports world.

  10. brklynblueshirt - Feb 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Realignment based on a purely geographic basis seems pretty simple.

    Atlantic & Northeast stay the same.

    Southeast: + Nashville, – Winnipeg.

    Central: + Dallas, – Nashville.

    Northwest: + Winnipeg, – Vancouver.

    Pacific: + Vancouver, – Dallas.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      So your going to:

      move Nashville from their closest rival in St. Louis? Nashville will complain Florida and Tampa are farther than Chicago, St. Louis, and Columbus.

      move Vancouver from Calgary and Edmonton? Yeah TSN and all western Canada would love that.

      Minnesota will complain they have to go to Edmonton, Calgary, and Colordo when Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis are half the distance.

      • daerian - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Don’t forget that by moving Nashville to the Eastern Conference, you’d be putting a Central Time city into a conference with nothing but Eastern Time franchises. That’d upset a lot of teams and fans in the East, and it’s why Columbus and Detroit are the only two logical franchises to move to the east.

      • comeonnowguys - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Nashville is building nice little rivalries with STL, CHI and DET. I’d hate to see those go. I’d also hate to see the six wins a year that Columbus provides, but given the two, I’d hate to see Nashville go.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:06 AM

        daerian – Feb 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM
        …. That’d upset a lot of teams and fans in the East,…
        ————————————————————————————————————————-

        That is exactly how fans in Minnesota and Dallas feel right now. Both teams have division games not one, but two time zones away.

  11. seanaveryrules - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Did anyone consult me before making these proposals??

  12. jessethegreat - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Contract 2 teams. For the NHL to succeed going forward, they are going to have lower supply closer to the demand levels.

    I know the NHLPA will have throw a huge fuss over the loss of jobs, but they have to understand that in order to move forward, you have to take a step back here or there.

    They can not continue to function as an entity with multiple teams losing money.

    Contract the two teams and have an expansion style draft for the rights to the players of the two folded teams.

  13. stakex - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Expansion of two teams could work fine. The problem with the NHL has never been the amount of teams, its that some of them are located in really bad hockey markets. If any possible expansion teams were placed in the correct markets… there wouldn’t be a problem.

  14. comeonnowguys - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    My $.02, assuming a lot of things, and trying to keep things within the same time zone (or two).

    Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, San Jose, Colorado, Anaheim, Los Angeles
    Winnipeg, Minnesota, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas
    Toronto Area #2, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida
    Boston, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey

  15. contraryguy - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    aw geez, not this thread again.

    Since every idea has an equal chance or being genius or crap, here’s another. Take the 4 conference idea, move Detroit to the NE+FL one, move Cbus to the Mid-Atlantic one (NY/Wash/Pitt), move Colorado to the midwest conference. The two western-most conferences have 7 teams, the eastern-most have 8, and timezones are mostly a 1 to 1 match.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      I agree with the Eastern conferences being the ones with 8 teams, the have much less travel to deal with so give them the extra team in each “conference” to compete with for the playoffs.

      If they go to 4 conferences I’d also like to see them rotate the semi finals each year, Northwest would play Pacific in semi finals in year 1, Northeast in year 2 and central in year 3.

    • unclax41 - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

      I see that very unlikely to have both 8 team conferences located in the east. In the event Phoenix relocates to Quebec or some other eastern city, it’s gonna be tough convincing C-bus or Det to move back to the “Central” Conference right as they were about to establish rivalries in their new ones. I see them leaving a 7 & 8 team conference in each the east and west for the time being until a team decides to relocate. That gives them kind of a buffer until expansion should any change occur.

  16. live4hockey - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I can’t see them splitting up Philly and Pittsburgh…

  17. capsrockva - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    NE Bring the new Hartford franchise back
    ATL same
    SE Same except move Winnipeg to Central
    Central move Dallas to this division
    NW take Vancouver out move them to the Pacific
    Pacific- add Vancouver and if Phx ever gets their situation straighten out keep them there, if not move the team to Seattle, if they do add a team in Seattle or move the Columbus team to Seattle, since that franchise is one of the teams losing mega bucks.
    They could just follow the NFL’s lead

    • vindicatus - Feb 10, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Keep it at two conferences. Switch Winnipeg and Columbus. Problem solved.

  18. puckyouall - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    I think they should realign based on alphabetical order. List all 32 teams in order alphabetically, then have the first 16 in one conference and the next 16 in the other. You could then split those into two 8 team divisions each again based on alphabetical order. See how easy that was. At least that would keep Pittsburgh and Philadelphia together which is the only way to save hockey as we know it.

  19. lionstigersandwingsohmy - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    2 conferences, both having east, midwest and west divisions, like baseball. It’s the only way for everyone to have equal travel. Play everyone in other conference twice.

  20. steelers88 - Feb 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Hopefully they don’t split up Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

  21. pastabelly - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Separating Boston and NY is and always has been foolish. Boston, Philadelphia, and NY belong together. Put NJ, Islanders, Devils, and Montreal in as well.

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Yeah, there’s going to be a painful division somewhere. This would have Pittsburgh and Toronto on the outside. Still, that could be the least painful.

  22. tightbutth0le - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    The rivalries in hockey are so heated that it’s nearly impossible to make things work geographically. Taking VAN away from the Alberta teams is a mistake, as is splitting up the NE and ATL divisions. When the 4 conference idea was released I thought it was dumb that PHI and NY teams would only play BOS 2 a year. That’s some missed opportunity for some entertaining games. The fact that the Northeast is so populated and there are a lot of major markets in close proximity to each other makes it hard for eastern conference hockey fans to understand the problems the western conference fans have and vice-versa. All in all, if the NHL never put teams in Atlanta and Phoenix, we don’t really have this problem.

  23. charleslouis99 - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    lol @ travel issues. Just play the games you billionaire Nancy boys.

  24. jimw81 - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    why fix it if it’s not broken?

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      it’s horribly broken. it makes sense i guess to have winnipeg in the “southeast division.” it make sense to have minnesota and dallas play division games at vancouver, edmonton, calgary, colorado, los angeles, anaheim, san jose, and phoenix respectfully.

      this realignement has the western conferences done perfectly.

      as for the eastern conferences, their travel may be a little longer, but nothing like the western conference. when this realignment was voted on it passed 26-4. why would that really change now? after seeing boston got burried with 30″ of snow the other day, and i’m guessing the temps in montreal, ottawa, and toronto are just lovely this time of year, they probably wouldn’t mind playing a road division game 3 or 4 times a year in sunrise or tampa bay.

      • tmoore4075 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Also this new plan guarantees everyone plays in everyone elses building. So you get the Pens, Flyers, Bruins, Rangers in Anaheim, Dallas and Phoenix (if they are still there.) You also get Detroit, Chicago and Vancouver in Boston, New York, Tampa, Carolina and Florida.

  25. xjokerz - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Here’s an idea assholes , put my wings in the east where they belong and stop using the redwings as puppets to keep attendance up in the west. God the NHL is trash

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      Wings belong in the East? Yeah because Detroit doesn’t have rivals in other sports such as the NFL (Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings), MLB (Minnesota Twins andChicago White Sox), NBA (Chicago Bulls). Wings are where they should be.

      • motownsfinest - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        How stupid are you minnesotasports? The Bulls and Pistons are in the East. The Lions play almost every midwest or eastern team bar a couple of games out west. So what the hell are you talking about exactly? The Wings do belong playing most of their games in the east, if they want to have a home and home with teams out west then that’s fine. But making multiple trips out west every season is just for money.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Your an idiot at geography aren’t you? My point is Detroit’s main rivalries lay in Minnesota and Chicago in every other sport. Just because your Dead Things feel they belong in East doesn’t necessary mean that’s where they should be. Common sense has them with Minnesota, Chicago, St. Louis, and Columbus.

      • xjokerz - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:21 AM

        the lions have a rivalry with the vikings? since when?… as for the twins…they are still around?……

        lol @ you.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        Oh yeah the Lions, that team the Vikings beat twice a year in what 9 of the past 10 years. Oh yeah the Tigers who always choke at the end of the regular season if they are lucky enough to hold on and don’t get past by the Twins on game 162 or for that matter game 163 as well? Yeah those teams

  26. ryanw822 - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    I say break the league into a North and South conference.

    South is the American cities. North is all the Canadian cities.

    Then that will give those loser Canadian teams a 50% chance at finally hosting a Stanley Cup parade.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 12, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Yes cause there’s no Canadian players on any American teams….

      Also can we compare profits at the end of the year? You take your 23 teams, I’ll take the 7 Canadian teams and we’ll see how we do.

    • xjokerz - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:17 AM

      North and south….and you accommodate for time zones…how?

  27. tmoore4075 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    The proposed realignment before was just fine. The unbalanced part we all know will be addressed with 2 more teams in 3-5 years. But even in the short term is the 7-team division of Pens, Caps, Flyers, Rangers, Devils, Isles, Canes any easier than the 8-team division of Canucks, Flames, Oilers, Avs, Yotes, Ducks, Kings and Sharks? Avs stink, Yotes are average, Flames stink, Kings are inconsistent and before this year the Ducks weren’t very good? Heck in the Pens division 5 of those teams before this year were consistently at the top of the East. It’s not the number of teams it’s quality. Plus the “advantage” of being in a 7 team division is a whole 7% better than the 8 team division. The travel I don’t think will be a big thing. East teams will travel but still not close to what the Western teams have done or will do. Midwest teams benefit from it greatly. The far West teams will probably travel about the same, maybe slightly more but will get more variety in their schedule. Plus the playoff format benefits everyone especially the West teams. You won’t get a Detroit/SJ matchup until the Conference Finals or something like that so no flying back and forth.

    The 4 conference setup doesn’t work with a different playoff format than they had proposed. Can’t go 1-8 because under this proposal the “West” is 16 teams and the East is 14. That’s just as unbalanced as 8-team vs 7-team. They aren’t moving the Preds and they won’t move the Jackets cause it would piss off Detroit who was promised to move next plus the Jackets don’t fit in the SE they fit into the Atlantic and they aren’t moving anyone out of that division.

  28. kylemcilmurray - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Though it is doubtful to happen, I would l love to see the Wings in the Eastern Conference. Nothing is more exciting than Original Six match ups. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the excitement of Original Six games.

    • xjokerz - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:19 AM

      Yup.. Gery Douchebag Bettman doesnt understand that

      all that scrub cares about is money, the wings bring in crowds to these piss teams like the blues, predators, bluejackets, he will never let that go away

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Yeah the piss teams like the Predators who eliminated the Wings?

  29. lovac2 - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    In a perfect world, NHL would have 28 teams and 4 divisions with 7 teams. But with the demand for hockey teams, I think 32 teams can operate nicely. However, with 32 teams the product will be watered down because even now with 30 teams you have a lot of players who really shouldn’t be on an NHL roster.

    I am against the proposed playoff format, as it would make the regular season less important. Instead of fighting for a playoff spot against 14 teams, a team will be competing for a playoff spot only against 6 or 7 other teams, which means by mid January you will have teams practically clinch a playoff spot.

  30. nemario - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    A buddy and I came up with an out of box idea… thought it might be worth sharing. “Clusters” of three teams aligned by geography.

    http://goo.gl/maps/EHiAD

    • nemario - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Hit enter too quickly:

      Divisions of three teams each, located in geographically close. Each team would play every team at least twice. Each cluster would alternate home and away series by time period, so 5 clusters would be at home (within their cluster) in any given week. In addition you would play within your cluster twice, and play 3 rival clusters. This would make up 84 games. By travelling to a geographic area in would reduce travel costs.

      9 other clusters x 6 gm = 54 gm
      2 Inter-cluster x 6 gm = 12 gm
      3 rival clusters x 6 gm = 18 gm
      84 games

      Each “series” would last a week (or less), so you’d need at least 28 week to complete all series, playing 3 games each week.

  31. darrelg05 - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Being a life long Red Wing fan, I would love to cut out the long west coast travel. My big wish would be a playoff schedule that would rank the teams in order from 1 to 16, where 1 plays 16, 2 plays 15 and so on. Look at the match ups if the plays offs started today!
    1-Chicago vs. 16-NYR
    2-NJ vs. 15-ED
    Skip to 8-9
    8-Detroit vs. 9-Toronto

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      You being a life long Detroit fan wants to cut out travel, yet you have a playoff matchup featuring Edmonton and New Jersey? You don’t get a whole lot further than that. At least with the new realignment, your Red Wings won’t go to the west coast except once a year. Your first two rounds are guaranteed to be inside the division, which is how you build rivalries.

      • xjokerz - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:15 AM

        no wing fan wants to see a Rivalry that contains the Blue, Predators and whatever else trash team the NHL forces us to stick with

        we want the Leafs, Rangers, Washington, Penguins, and so on

  32. hieronymous27 - Feb 12, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    Expansion? You have got to be kidding. The NHL needs to go in the other direction – CONTRACTION. Less teams, not more makes more sense. The day is soon coming when what happened to the housing market will happen to NHL teams. The market value of the team will drop so dramatically that some NHL team owners will just walk away, like people did with over-priced homes and the league will be stuck trying to keep these unwanted teams afloat.

  33. xjokerz - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    why is some Minnesota troll talking to me as if he knows about Detroit sports?… The wings belong in the west? uhhhh…………………. so we can continue to have 10PM playoff game start times?
    someone get this scrub a globe.

  34. greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Actually you’d have the first 2 series in either the eastern time zone or the central time zone. So maybe you should actually know what your talking about before shoot your unknowledgeable trap off. So no, you wouldn’t have 10 PM start times for the first two rounds.

  35. lek9898 - Feb 12, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Nothing will change in the League till Bettman and Daily are GONE !!

    They are both lying pretty low these days………. Bettman is The Ruination of Hockey !! I hope he is booed in every rink he goes into from now on……

    Markham I believe is way off in the distance…. Bettman didn’t take Hamilton , that had a Buyer with ” Lot’s of Real Money “…. I still think Hamilton is a better fit than Markham….I can see Quebec city…. Slowly but surely Saskatchewan has become one of the Have Provinces with lots of Money floating around….Lot’s of Fans Down East Also !! Lots of opportunities in Canada as well as the Northern States !! As long as Bettman and Daily are around nothing of substance will happen !! If that Russian League does happen to light up big there will be a shortage of Players again…. This is only my opinion , that opinion is open for discussion…..

  36. lionstigersandwingsohmy - Feb 12, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    How about scrapping the the conferences, shorten the number of preseason games, increase the season to 87 games and play everyone 3 times. Rotate who gets the extra home game the following season. Seed the playoffs 1 vs 16 etc. There is then the chance for any combination in the final, wouldn’t Philly and Pitt love that chance? Just seeing what sticks to the wall.

  37. xjokerz - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    Lol .. This dude is talking about MLB playoffs 4 years ago … The twins are the sewage of the al central. Can we please not talk to them as if they are relevant right now….

  38. xjokerz - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    I don’t care if the predators knocked the wings out of the playoffs. Nobody here cares about the bluejackets , blues or the predators…. This is why ” hockey town ” is more like dead hockey town. Mainly bc the wings are forced to play crap teams nobody cares about but helps the NHL look better. The NHL is a joke

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