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Daly: NHL will address how expansion/relocation impacts realignment if it happens

Feb 26, 2013, 11:34 PM EDT

Bill Daly AP

As details about the NHL’s potential realignment trickle in, many wonder if it’s all a sign that the league will expand or see teams relocate.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly opted not to lay out those plans (if they currently exist) to RDS’ Renaud P. Lavoie on Tuesday.

“We have to deal now with our current realities, not with hypothetical situations in the future,” Daly said. “If and when we have to reconsider alignment in light of changes in franchise make-up and location we will address the relevant issues at that time.”

While he took the wait-and-see approach regarding relocation/expansion, Daly told that he hopes to make a larger announcement about realignment soon.

“We have been in discussions with the Players’ Association for the past several weeks on the issue of realignment and we are trying to get to a solution that everybody can live with,”  Daly said. “There are no perfect answers here, so we have to do the best we can in trying to adequately address a number of competing concerns. Once we get to a point where we have the Union’s go-ahead, we will present it to our Board of Governors for its consideration. We certainly hope to be in a position to announce something in the relatively near term.”

  1. killerpgh - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    And this is the hill we die on….

    • valoisvipers - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      That’s getting old killerpgh.
      Bet you are glad the Pens didn’t trash Paul Martin. He has been playing very well.

      • 950003cups - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:04 AM

        Paul “Glass” Martin is a pansy. He actually mentioned that he was upset with the Devils for the diagnosis the team doctors had on his broken arm that eventually cost him a chance to play in the Olympics. Very classless. As if Lou Lamoriello would scheme a plot to keep him from playing in the olympics. What a child!!

  2. mrwings787 - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Put another team in Canada, one in Seattle and next relocation goes to KC or GTA

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:30 AM

      I think with the 2 open spots in the west, I think Seattle is the leader in the Pacific division to get a team making 8 teams in that division.

      Logically, (and I disagree) Kansas City looks to be the second leader. They would fit right in with Dallas, Colorado, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, and Winnipeg.

      Of course a team relocating can change all of that. Columbus from what I’ve heard, would be the candidate for relocation. If they move to either Quebec or GTA, then they could be moved to the central division with Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, etc. while Boston gets moved to the Atlantic with the Rangers, Devils, Isles, etc.

  3. greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    I see expansion coming soon.

    However, I don’t see relocation, unless its Columbus or Nashville.

    You can forget both Florida teams moving. Tampa now has solid ownership who is committed to keeping the Lightning in Tampa. Florida has an average attendance of 17,240. Not terrible for a last place team coming off a lockout where fans are supposedly pissed off. That’s a building that’s 90% full on average

  4. 950003cups - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Who cares what the divisions are and how they divide them. Only one team wins a cup. That’s the only thing we, as fans, care about.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      It matters to the fans of Detroit, Minnesota, and Dallas. More so the later 2. Both Minnesota and Dallas have the majority of their division road games 2 time zones away.

      It matters because rivalries are built by playing teams in the playoffs. Your guaranteed at least 4 series and up 12 playoff series a year versus division rivals. When that happens, the fans get more excited. For instance my Wild, don’t have a rivalry with anyone in their division. The closet they came was Vancouver back in the early 2000’s. since the wild stopped winning they don’t have one. Now they have natural rivals with Dallas (who stole the North Stars, lets be honest), Winnipeg who’s the closets NHL city to St. Paul (even if atwatercrushesokye disagrees if its a rival) and will become a rivalry, Chicago and St. Louis rivalries can be traced back to the old Norris division days with the North Stars. It blows Detroit won’t be there, but it’s a small price for the Wild. Detroit has been good to the NHL for being in the west and they are getting their dues going to the east.

      Point is, someone is going to be unhappy, it’s about making the majority happy. If owners are truly that mad, they have 3 options. Complain every waking moment and suck it up, sell their team, or relocate.

      • clefty1 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        The Wings moving east means plenty to their fans.

    • hockeyflow33 - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:30 AM

      What a beyond stupid thing to stay. Divisions and Conferences are incredibly important to seeding, strength of schedule, travel, etc.

  5. jonkchar - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    bring back the Metropolitans

  6. mclovinhockey - Feb 27, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Move phx to QC, they are building an arena already and have a stronger fan base than all the western candidates combined.
    Then just switch the jets to the west and the QC team to the east am call it a day.

    • desertfan - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Forget QC.

      Ever try to get there-from anywhere???

      The culture of Francophone in QC will kill chances-hard to find players to live there.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 27, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Nonsense desertfan, Eric Lindros says he’d love to coach a team in Quebec.

      • mclovinhockey - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        I know what you mean, but somehow they already have a bigger fan base than most teams… the “blue wave” attended more games than the Panthers and Coyotes fans did last year. the League needs money and that would help

  7. bcjim - Feb 27, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Arent the Eastern teams at an inherent disadvantage as far as making the playoffs under this system?

    There are 2 more teams but the same number of playoff spots.

  8. prov1x - Feb 27, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Nashville has sold out every game this year and 22 in a row going back to last season. Yeah, makes sense for them to be relocated when they have been at 97% capacity for the last two seasons. Geez.

    Perhaps you should concentrate more on your local team’s future. Since the boy prince bought the wild they haven’t made the playoffs, won’t again this year after spending $200 mil on two players, and attendance is down.

    Preds aren’t a team that should be in that discussion.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      May want to check your facts again…

      Attendance is down? Yeah 18,703 last night in a building that holds 18,064. 19,117 the game before that. 18,822, 18,806, and 18,352. That’s your attendance the month of February. I’m too lazy to check January but I’m assuming its the same.

      I’m going to chalk up your comments as a bitter Preds fan who hates Leipold because he sold your team and bought the Wild when he had a chance. Oh and paid 98 million for your defenseman and caused your team to match the Flyers huge offer for Weber or lose both of their top defenseman.

      If the playoffs started today, and they don’t, the Wild would be in. Maybe you should worry about your Preds who have won just as many games as the Wild “who won’t make the playoffs” but have played more than the Wild

      • thailer35 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        I’m going to chalk up your math schools to the public school system. 18,703 > 18,064. 650 people over capacity? I think not.

      • thailer35 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        Whoops, math skills*.

        You can chalk that up to not having my morning coffee yet.

      • manchestermiracle - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Or should we just blame the public school system again? Minnesota currently tied for 12th in attendance, averaging 18,506 per game, 102.5% of capacity.

    • desertfan - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Selling tix is easy- but at what price?????

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 27, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        Cheap seats I believe are $38 and lower level center ice are $88

  9. rushledger - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Just because you’d like one team to move doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen. Expansion to 32 would make this work Quebec and an American city either Seattle/Kansas city/ or Hartford then 8 8 8 and 8 divisions work better

    • desertfan - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      If you were an owner would you pick QC or GTA????

  10. manchestermiracle - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    “We have to deal now with our current realities, not with hypothetical situations in the future,” Daly said.

    Isn’t that the kind of short-sighted attitude that resulted in a shortened regular season? Short, a perfect word for describing Daly.

    • tmoore4075 - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      I agree with you about the CBA but they don’t know with 100% certainty where franchises will be. I mean Quebec is a given but maybe Seattle comes up with big money and the NHL would rather go there than Toronto because it has more “potential.” Not saying they would but they don’t know if they’ll expand for sure and they sure don’t know where yet.

      If the players didn’t throw a fit a year ago we wouldn’t be in this situation. Detroit and Columbus would be in the “Midwest” and they would have an opening in Quebec and Markham. But the players felt it was “unfair” for teams in a 7 team division over an 8 team division which lead to this wild card stuff which (in my opinion) lead to Detroit and Columbus moving. Under this format a Midwest team could face a Pacific team in the playoffs which those teams had a big issue with. The last proposal was more future proof than this one but it’s the PA that shot it down, not the NHL.

  11. therealjr - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I missed the memo where it was decided players had a vote in this. Last I checked they were employees and the men cutting the checks are the ones who decide how the NHL operates with regard to schedules, divisions, etc.

    Can’t imagine the world of sh*t we average joes would be in if we acted like this towards our employers.

    • hockeydon10 - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      You missed the memo? That’s most likely due to you missing the memo about how to use Google to look up stuff yourself. We could throw in the fact that they’re not just employees, that the CBA specifically gives them the right to be in on the discussion, but that might be throwing too much information at your brain.

      • therealjr - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        It was sold out in collective bargaining, that I understand. How we got to this point is another story. Next the NHLPA will be requiring input on franchise relocation and expansion?

        Name someone associated with the NHLPA that didn’t receive a guaranteed contract last year. More than just employees, not really, just glorified ones.

        PS – GFY

  12. tmoore4075 - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Daly makes a point here. While I believe they probably will expand and they have talked about it you don’t know what the final decision, or final locations will be. So you can’t make decisions based on that. Heck, they thought Seattle would have a team sometime during the expansion of the 90’s and that didn’t happen for a number of reasons. Seattle, Quebec and Toronto are your most likely candidates. If there is expansion out East to those two cities I expect Detroit and Columbus to move back to the “Midwest”. I mean you could try for a southern division with Dallas and Nashville but you start putting those teams grouped together that division will stink compared to the rest. I agree with him though, you address the problems you have now as best you can and deal with the future in the future. Especially when all of it is hypothetical.

  13. ussportsfanuk - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Well with Quebec and Markham both rumoured to be potential places for an expansion or relocated team, this plan seems to cause potential problems with that. On the realignment plan on my blog, I still have the Red Wings in a Western Conference division (joined by the Maple Leafs in a new Norris Division) but they wouldn’t play the teams in the far west anymore than they would play the Eastern Conference teams. They would essentially be a Western team in name only, would have more games in the Eastern time zone and have far less travel.

  14. Anthony Maiorana - Feb 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Reblogged this on Evening the Score.

  15. prov1x - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    10th place doesn’t make the playoffs, chief. Could care less about Suter, you will find out soon enough, Preds kept the right d-man and Peks, were never gonna be able to keep all three. My point was Nashville is a thriving franchise and shouldn’t be in any discussions of relocation.

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