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PHT Morning Skate: Where we look at realignment, Olympics, Leafs

Mar 1, 2013, 7:16 AM EDT

NHL realignment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Rather than move Detroit or Columbus from the East to West to fix the Conference size imbalance, would it be better to make the conferences geographically neutral like the MLB or NFL? (Rotoworld)

Don Cherry criticized Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf for declining to fight Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust during the Leafs’ 5-2 loss on Wednesday. “I knew they were going to lose when he didn’t answer the bell,” Cherry said. (Sportsnet)

Anaheim Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri looks back on Wednesday’s hat trick. At 22-years-old, he became the second-youngest Ducks player to ever accomplish that feat. (

37-year-old defenseman Francis Bouillon was afraid that the lockout would end his playing career. Now that the work stoppage is behind us, the Montreal Canadiens’ blueliner is reaching some meaningful milestones. (Montreal Gazette)

Forward Aaron Volpatti is looking forward to bringing his physical game to the Washington Capitals. (Washington Times)

Former head coach Ron Wilson figured the Maple Leafs firing him a year ago “was kind of inevitable,” according to his friend and current Capitals assistant coach Tim Hunter. He thinks Wilson, 57, would also take another coaching position if the opportunity presented itself. Wilson had a 648-561-101-91 record with Anaheim, Washington, San Jose, and Toronto. (Toronto Star)

New Jersey Devils forward Ryan Carter confirmed that he sustained a concussion on Feb. 18. On the plus side, he thinks he might be able to return Saturday. (New Jersey Online)

On the anniversary of Sidney Crosby‘s golden goal, Steve Yzerman reflects on Canada winning gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics. (

Top New York Rangers prospect Chris Kreider is back in the minors. (New York Newsday)

  1. comeonnowguys - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    Is that the most recent “leaked” alignment?

    I’m starting to lean towards preferring geographically neutral divisions. It will never happen, because there are too many eastern teams that enjoy easy travel, but there are some really terrible things about this setup.

    — Florida teams in the Northeast
    — Chicago, St. Louis and Nashville losing nearby Detroit and gaining “nearby” Colorado.

    And they screwed up perhaps what was potentially the biggest upside of the whole four-division realignment!

    By having wild cards, there’s still the possibility of Vancouver/Nashville, Los Angeles/Chicago, Phoenix St. Louis matchups. (I’m not looking at standings right now, just travel and 9pm starts)

    You’re never going to completely solve the spread of the teams in the western U.S., but you can at least better balance it out so that it’s not as ridiculous as this.

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      No, that image is recycled. Notice the eight team western conferences.

  2. mclovinhockey - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Is there really any problem with the simple solution of trading the jets with the jackets or wings?

    • ThatGuy - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Main problem is that there are a couple other teams that are getting screwed over with the current set up as well. Dallas and Minnesota for instance are both the only team in their division in the same time zone. Makes travel hell and TV times for road games always ending at midnight. Same complaint the Red Wings have, but its for their division games which are a lot more common then conference games.

      • tmoore4075 - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Yes this. Also neither Detroit or Columbus fit into the SE division either. I mean you could swap Detroit or CBJ with the Jets and then go to two divisions and keep the playoffs 1-8 but then the complaint would still come from either the Wings or Jackets, whichever one didn’t go East.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 1, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        The Jets who have division road games in Tampa and Florida travel less miles this year than Minnesota does…

  3. illogic87 - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    As a MN fan im sick of playing scrub teams like phoenix and calgary. Need this alignment to happen!!!

    • woodstakes - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      illogic87 as a fellow MN fan, i’m surprised you’d use the term ‘scrub’ to describe either of these teams considering:

      Since The Wild came into existence:

      Coyotes since 2000: 4 playoff appearances & 1 Conference Final

      Calgary since 2000: 5 Playoff appearances & 1 Conference Final & 1 Stanley Cup final

      Wild since 2000: 3 playoff appearances & 1 Conference Final

      Saying crap like what you just said makes the rest of us informed fans looks stupid!!

  4. ussportsfanuk - Mar 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I have done a new four conference realignment plan on my blog where each conference has teams across two time zones to even out travel. It also limits the number of times to a minimum that teams would trave further than one time zone away whilst still playing everybody on the road. It also keeps all the main and historical rivalries.

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