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Bettman: realignment vote wasn’t unanimous, but still passed easily

Mar 14, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT

Steven Stamkos shoots Getty Images

Not all 30 NHL teams voted for realignment, but according to commissioner Gary Bettman, the plan’s approval rate was “well in excess” of the three-quarters that was required.

Bettman — who held a conference call today with reporters — didn’t say which team(s) voted no, but if we were to speculate, it’s possible one of them was Tampa Bay. The Lightning will move into a division with their state rivals, the Florida Panthers, but also with six teams — the Bruins, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Senators and Canadiens — who are a significant distance away.

Lightning general Steve Yzerman said recently that the increased travel, along with the hassle associated with crossing the border to Canada, “are things that we don’t like about it for our organization.”

The Panthers, by the way, said today that they “certainly approve of and are very excited by the NHL’s realignment plan. Not only will we maintain and grow our in-state rivalry with the Lightning, but we will also be able to cultivate rivalries with some of the NHL’s most historic clubs.”

We imagine all the snowbirds that can be seen wearing Leafs and Habs jerseys at Panthers games also factored into the organization’s approval of the plan.

As for other teams that may have voted against realignment, this is pure speculation, but we wonder about the Chicago Blackhawks, who will lose their rivals from Detroit to the Eastern Conference while adding more trips to Winnipeg.

Also, how do Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix and/or San Jose feel about losing Dallas as a division mate and making more long, cross-border trips to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver?

  1. danaking - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    This looks more all the time like an excuse to expand to 32 teams. The playoff system is faulty (though the wild card idea they added will help), and teams will actually play fewer games against division rivals than they do now. How that’s going to be made up by having guaranteed home-and home match-ups with the other conference is beyond questionable. An extra Islanders-Phoenix game each year will not make up for losing a Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game.

  2. rodeoclowndc - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Maybe that is the way to expansion – first they have to screw something up (realignment and the playoff scheme) in order to present their “solution” to fix it (adding 2 teams).

    You know, like how they screwed up the first half of the season to get out from under ridiculous contracts.

  3. profsudz - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Why would the western teams care about losing Dallas? The only fans outside of the handful that live in Texas that care about the Stars are in Minnesota, due to their lingering hatred of Norm Green

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      He still sucks

  4. buffalomafia - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Phoenix moves to Seattle Quebec or Kansas City gets other team along with the Islanders moving to Brooklyn?

  5. innout10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Long trips to western Canada? It’s a 3 hour flight from phx to van and 2.5 from LA to van… They play all 3 teams on the trip, it’s pretty easy actually.

  6. ussportsfanuk - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Surely if, as rumoured, two more Eastern teams were to be added through expansion, then two teams would have to move from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference? It was hard enough keeping Eastern teams in the West, it could be even harder to get teams to move back there.

  7. mizbinboston - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Hmm, yeah well, not surprised everyone’s not jumping for joy. As a Wings fan, don’t know if I should yell QUIT YOUR B*TCHING or lean back and laugh and laaauuugh.
    I effing love the realignment plan. The NHL owes Detroit and we’ve put up with almost 2 decades of this 3 time zone travel cr@p. So cry me a river because you have to travel 2 time zones or take a trip to Canada (wtf, Stevie?). Anyone else remember a few seasons back when Detroit ended up playing San Jose, Anaheim, and I believe it was Calgary? in the play-offs? San Jose and Anaheim were our regular play-off opponents for a few years. And for some reason all those Anaheim games seemed to go into double and triple overtime… Ridiculous.

    Keep hearing the “We’ll lose the Wings-Blackhawks!” or “Wings-Blues!” and thought I actually saw a “Wings-Preds!” (seriously?). We’ll still face the Hawks twice a year. Boo hoo. I’ll gladly take the abuse I’m going to get on the T wearing Wings gear once those batsh*t insane Bruins fans start viewing us as the enemy, and facing Toronto and Montreal on a regular basis over being stuck in the wrong time zone facing teams like Nashville and Columbus on a regular basis. It’s like Christmas morning in March.

  8. hockeyflow33 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Does anyone ever like anything the NHL does or is this just a bunch of housewives on here?

    • mizbinboston - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      Housewives. My fiance left the laptop near the stove I’m chained to while he ran out to grab a Dunkin and a case of Sam’s. Finished making him a sammich early so I had a few extra minutes to kill. Hope he doesn’t beat me cuz I spelled out Datsyuk Rules with the mustard on his ham & cheese.

  9. xjokerz - Mar 15, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    As a Detroit fan …. FINALLY! Back where we belong. The east has a new beast.

  10. boltsfan777 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Sure, Tampa has more travel, but it’s only fair to Detroit and Columbus that something had to be done. The Bolts and Cats don’t appear to have it any worse than the Pacific teams, or Dallas, with respect to the new travel requirements. Once the team plane lands in Boston or wherever, they can take a bus or a puddle jumper to the other cities.

    Obviously, during hockey season, a fair percentage of the Florida population is Canadian. We always have a full house for every game vs. Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Boston, and lately for every game. The seats are getting filled with more blue jerseys every year, though. Some of the Canadians have converted.

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