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It’s official: NHL realignment approved for next season

Mar 14, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT

The National Hockey League will have a decidedly new look in 2013-14.

source:

On Thursday, the league officially announced realignment had been approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors, the final step required after the NHLPA agreed to realignment seven days ago.

The most notable changes are Detroit and Columbus moving to the Eastern Conference and Winnipeg moving to the West. Dallas, Minnesota and Colorado will all stay in the Western Conference, but move into “more geographically appropriate and time-zone friendly” divisions.

The other notable change? The new new alignment ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once a season for the first time since 1997-98.

Here’s the breakdown:

source:

As for the postseason…

The Stanley Cup Playoffs will still consist of 16 teams, eight in each conference, but it will be division-based and a wild-card system has been added as a new wrinkle.

The top three teams in each division will make-up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season points and regardless of division. It will be possible, then, for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.

The seeding of the wild-card teams within each divisional playoff will be determined on the basis of regular-season points. The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the lowest number of points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second fewest points.

The teams finishing second and third in each division will play in the first round of the playoffs. The winners of each series will play for the divisional championship.

As for the reaction to realignment? Responses have varied, though you can count Columbus among those pleased by the development.

“[This realignment] would help us in so many ways that it’s really hard to exaggerate how much it means to us,” Blue Jackets president Mike Priest told the Columbus Dispatch.

The club is anticipating bigger rivalries against the likes of regional foes such as New York, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Toronto, and is happy to be playing 68 games in the Eastern time zone (rather than 50-53 in previous seasons.)

For more on the new schedule matrix and breakdown of the alignment plan, click here.

128 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mclovinhockey - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Am I missing something, cause this was the worst idea I ever heard for the league and someone the board, NHL and NHLPA all agreed to it?

    Hooray move travel, less rivalries, uneven conferences and no chance for QC, Markam/ Hamilton to get a team. Smart

    • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Another swing and miss from McLovin
      LOL @ the clueless who think realignment dictates expansion or relocation.

      • mclovinhockey - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Love how less than 4 hours later another post hits the site about expansion.
        nice try but I am right.

    • lateroundgem - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      A team from the East (your guess as good as mine) relocates to Seattle, expansion team to QC?
      Expansion teams in Seattle and Kansas City to even it out?

      Ahh who the heck knows with the NHL it feels like they flip coins for these decisions anyway!

    • cweez2 - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      Chill, mclovin. It’s only been approved for 2 seasons.

      • 950003cups - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        So, I don’t fully understand this. From what it looks like, we will never see a Montreal vs Boston or another Devils vs Rangers Conference Final?

      • ikillchicken - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        Well, technically, if one of those teams ended up in the wildcard spot they could be shifted to the other division. So if they then won that division, they could face a regular division rival in the conference final. Admittedly that is pretty unlikely though. But on the upside, while you’ll see less conference match ups between rivals, this means you will see those same match ups virtually every year in the first two rounds. Sounds like a worthwhile trade off to me.

      • 950003cups - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        So its possible if one ends up to be the wildcard who goes to the opposing division… NICE!!! As long as its a possibiilty its gcool. I mean a Rangers Devils ECF happened just 2x in history and were 18 years apart

      • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        From the original expansion playoffs in 1967 until 1994 the playoffs were divisional…The 1-8 conference playoffs were something Bettman brought from the NBA…The palyoffs were all-out wars when the were divisional

  2. richc111 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I like this, maybe the a few teams could have been moved around but as a part time season ticket holder I was getting tired of seeing the same four teams 8 times a year. Now at least we get to see a few more teams now.

    • nhlol12345 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      richc111, if you are a season ticket holder, then you know that division rivals only played 6 times a year under the previous scenario.

  3. mclovinhockey - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Yup rather than seeing 14 teams for a good portion of the season you see 6 if you are in the west.

    • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      WRONG you will see ALL 29 teams play at least once in your team’s arena…You’ll see only 3 division teams 3 times at your place, and 6 or 7 teams twice

      • mclovinhockey - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        ummmm no, rather than seeing your entire conference 4-6 times a year you will see even some divisional opponents only 4 times. That means Flyers vs pens, Montreal Vs Boston can happen only 4 times a year sometimes. Not very fun since 4 games is very had to keep a rivalry strong.

      • dieseldeej - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        mclovin’- They didn’t have a problem with rivalries when there was 4 divisions before the 2000-01 season

  4. Stiller43 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Hate it. All they had to do is switch columbus and winnipeg and pretty much call it a day…maybe switch one or two teams here and there, but i like the 3 5 team division format better…

  5. philly06 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    gonna miss blackhawks vs redwings.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Now we can see them play in the Finals.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      I remember saying Ill miss Wings vs Leafs

      • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        Now you get the chance to see 4-5 games between them each season

  6. mclovinhockey - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    There is a chance that Pitt vs Philly and Montreal vs Boston will only happen 4 times each the same season. So the two biggest rivalries in the game rather than meeting 8 times a year to develop the rivalry will meet half that.
    This idea is horrific.

    I don’t know if I can watch Philly play the blue jackets more in a year than the pens. How could this have been passed?

    • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      give it time, new rivalries may bloom

      • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        and frankly, right now, those would probably be pretty good, even games…

        sigh

    • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Need some Cheese?

      • mclovinhockey - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        why, cause I am exspressing a pretty big flaw with the realignment. no thank you

    • basedrum777 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      He’s right but that’s not the full reason to not like this plan. If the league wants to move say PHX to the eastern time zone are they just going to push a team back where they came from? Det. is the closest to the west if that happens so do they just move back? And then you still have the unbalanced set of teams which makes the East harder to make the playoffs % wise. Its ridiculous.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        It isn’t harder to make the playoffs in the East. Last I checked all 30 teams play 82 games…

      • mclovinhockey - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        exactly, I have several posts on this topic and that was something I did talk about. It just does not work for many reason. Not to mention every team actually has to travel more. Most people do not see it but fact is now the division are larger, so teams travel more for divisional games, we also have to travel to every place in the other conference every year. this is going to cost everyone more money.

      • dieseldeej - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Division D is a bus division, except to go to Columbus of Raliegh

      • mclovinhockey - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM

        division D may be a bus division, but its still more travel. Not to mention they all have to travel to play all 14 west teams as well now.

      • dieseldeej - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        mclovin’- I’m assuming from your comments that you’re a Flyers fan…2011-12 was the 1st time since Philly’s new arena opened that Detroit played there…Home-and-home between the 2 conferences is a GOOD thing over seeing 4 teams 6 or 8 (the 3 seasons after the 04-05 lockout) times

    • scoocha - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Getting dumber with each post. Maybe they only play 4-5 times but then they’ll have a 4-7 game series on top of that. If this gets approved past first 2 years, they’ll probably play at least 8 times a year on average.

      • mclovinhockey - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        so what you are saying is that all the big rivalries will meet in the playoffs no matter what. So despite playing only 4 times a year no matter what Pitt Vs Philly, Montreal Vs Boston and Cal Vs Ed will happen in every playoffs. Glad to hear that. If I was a flames or oilers fan who has not made the playoffs in so long, I would be ecstatic since you say they will meet in the playoffs.

  7. nunan - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Love the fact that another original 6 team is coming east, in the same division with Boston, Montreal, and Toronto. Still a little confused about why Florida and Tampa are in that division as well. Just based on proximity, would have made more sense they be in the other eastern division. My only explanation is that they wanted to spread out the competition more evenly.

    • jovocop2112 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      It seems like the NHL just had it out to give Floridian fans the shaft with this. Both teams now have what looks like the most travel of all the Eastern teams and now they have to play The Wings, Bruins and Habs more. Those two things put together don’t make one optimistic about the future for the teams in the Sunshine state.

      It’s pretty clear the NHL is done with the Panthers and expecting them to move up North soon (There’s your Quebec City team, guys) but there is no excuse for why Tampa gets so screwed here considering how insanely high attendance at the St.Pete Times Forum has been lately.

      • ikillchicken - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        Ya know, it’s true that the Florida teams will be travelling more than any other eastern team. But it really is not so bad in the larger scheme. I mean, nobody thinks anything of the fact that the western teams have to fly all up and down the coast. That’s actually seen as an improvement for us. Of course, that’s because there really isn’t any better way to align the western teams. I recognize that. You could put the Florida teams with other teams closer to them. But my point is that ultimately Floirda’s complaints come more down to “it’s not as good as it could be for us” rather than it actually being so bad. You’re no worse of than anyone out west.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        The Wild log more miles than the team in your division in Winnipeg.

    • hockeydon10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Snow birds.That’s why.

  8. sjsharks66 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    East divisions have 8 teams and the West has 7? That seems fair… We will take Columbus and Detroit out of the west and give you back….Winnipeg.

    Later Sharks-Wings/Hawks-Wings rivalry it was fun.

    • wingsandthings19 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      truelly will miss those games sj. both rivalries.

      • dieseldeej - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        There’s still 2 SJ/DET and CHI/DET games a season

  9. manchestermiracle - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    There might be other minor issues to quibble about, but that huge gap in the “C” group really stands out. Carolina and the Florida clubs not in the same division makes no sense to me, but hey, I’m a Kings fan, what the hell do I know.

    • philliesblow - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      Agreed. Should flip TB & FLA with Philly & Pittsburgh.

      • ml3939 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        They are not going to split up Philly, Pitt, NYR and NJ.

      • cantstopme1006 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        that makes even less sense

      • ikillchicken - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        No. They’re never going to split up the five current Atlantic teams. A better solution though would be to put Columbus and Washington up in the C division. Both are technically south of NY and Penn. but only by the slightest margin and both are actually super close to the rest of the C division. Both are losing virtually all their former division rivals under their current alignment anyway as well. Then the Florida teams can play with Carolina and the NY teams which is at least a bit closer.

    • wayoffpiste - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      You launch a hockey team in the swamps of Florida, you should expect this. But then again, I think we should contract those teams.

      • nunan - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Agreed. Quality over quantity.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Tampa has the 7th best home attendance in the league so far this season. The Rangers are averaging 2000 less fans per home game to give you some comparison there. The fans and the talent are there, it’s just not a natural market since so many people down here are minorities or transplants. It’s hard to market ANY sort of sports team in Florida, for that reason. I think they do a pretty decent job for a place that doesn’t ever see real ice.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:14 AM

        Or the fact that a last place in Sunrise averages over 15,000 a game

  10. lovac2 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I don’t like this format at all. Can someone explain to me what happens when Quebec gets a team? Where do they place it? Or even worse what if phoenix moves to Quebec or Toronto? Or even worse what if they relocate phoenix east after next year and they are committed to this thing for two years? Would they have phoenix/quebec playing with Vancouver and LA?

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      That’s what I want to know. There is plenty of room for a Seattle team, but then they need one more in Division C. Lord knows North Dakota isn’t getting a team, though that would be interesting.

    • hockeydon10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Really?

      Ok. I’ll play Mr. Obvious.

      If QC gets a team, the NHL and NHLPA discuss what team gets moved into the B Division and adjust accordingly. It’s not like this crap is carved into granite and is inviolate and can never, ever, ever, ever be adjusted.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      We send back Detroit. That’s what happens.

      • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        You meant Columbus, right?

    • JoeAvg - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Anybody ever hear the phrase “cross that bridge when I get there”?

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        It’s not like Seattle, Quebec, Toronto2, Kansas City, Atlanta (okay maybe not them), and any other city is guaranteed to either get an expansion team or get a team via relocation…

  11. acovey10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I guess it is an alright realignment, I’m just going to miss Detroit being in the west.

  12. filadelphiaphlyers - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    So the teams in Division D don’t need a plane.

  13. wayoffpiste - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    As a Wild fan, I love it. Less travel and we get back some divisional rivals. I hope they call the divisions something unique…A, B, C…etc.? lame. Bring back the Norris Division!

  14. iamcline - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    I’m a fan. Then again I am biased. As a ‘Canes fan, I’m bored with Florida and Tampa. The Hurricanes finally get to play in real arenas on the road now. The rivalry with the Devils can finally happen outside of the post-season. Really interested to see how games against the Rangers and Philly develop in the future. Very exciting time to be a Hurricanes fan, we can really see if our team can handle playing real franchises instead of those two heaps of junk in Florida.

    • storminator16 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      +1, my friend.

      • storminator16 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        Although I wouldn’t call “Tampa and Florida heaps of junk”, I just won’t miss playing them all the freaking time. Die, Southeast Divsion, die.

    • tbbolts91 - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Wow look everyone, a ‘canes fan! This is rare. I heard they didn’t exist actually.

      • hojo20 - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:45 PM

        I would be a Canes fan if my team was still in Hartford.

    • sunking1 - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Well clown, that “heap of junk” franchise in Tampa is kicking your arse this year. Carolina has ZERO wins and three losses against the Bolts this year. Geez, if the Bolts could play that crappy team in Carolina all year, they might go undefeated!

      Face it, Carolina is Tampa’s beyatches this year!

      Now grab your ankles while Tampa kicks your ass again!

  15. joeyashwi - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Change was needed geographically. The playoff format is stupid though. As a Wild fan it sucks having to watch most of our division games at 9:00 pm start time. I’m glad that has been fixed.
    As far as the uneven conferences, it’s obvious that expansion is coming and it will even out.

    • nhlol12345 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      I just hope you dont get stuck watching 2 straight playoff rounds with 9 or 930 start times. Its a possibility under this new scenario.

      • nhlol12345 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        Actually, 3 straight rounds.

      • hockeydon10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        How is that? The Wild are in the Central Time Zone. All their division foes are in either the Central Time Zone or the Mountain Time Zone. The latest their games will start is 8:30, and that’s when playing one team (Colorado) that is not in the Central Time Zone.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:22 AM

        The Wild is impossible to play 3 straight series in the Pacific time zone. Even if they are a 2nd Wild card, they would the pacific winner, and if they win that series they would play the 2 or 3 in that division. Then should they win that series they play the winner in their own division

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:24 AM

        You know what having to play 2 play series in the Pacific time zone is called for the Wild?

        A good problem to have since they are still 1 of 8 teams still alive for the Cup

  16. shortsxit34 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Am I missing something? If five teams can make it from one division, there’s no guarantee that the second round will be for a division championship.

    A1 vs. A5
    B1 vs. A4
    A2 vs. A3
    B2 vs. B3

    If B1 gets knocked out, there’s only one team left from Division B after the first round.

    • nhlol12345 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      If A1 has the best record, and the worst wild card team is from the other division, that means that the team with the best record is rewarded with a non-divisional round 1.

      Looking at todays standings, if the Blackhawks won the Presidents Trophy, they would be rewarded with…possibly having to travel to the west coast for round 1.

      Terrible.

      Either do divisional playoffs right, or dont do them at all.

      • nhlol12345 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Not to mention, lets say the worst wild card (From Division A) Has to travel to Division B for the first round. If they win….they play the winner of B2 and B3…

        So, LA could play the Blackhawks in the first round, then St Louis in the 2nd round…..then since the OTHER wild card team came from Div B, they could play Nashville in the third round.

        So stupid.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM

        If your still playing hockey in the second round, that’s a good problem to have

  17. bmscalise - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Personally, it isn’t the new regular season format that irritates me – it’s the divisional playoffs. The same teams will play in the playoffs every stinking year. It’s dull. Not to mention that the money-laden divisions will always be far harder to make it through. Good luck with ever making the playoffs, Columbus, cause it ain’t happening this decade.

    • ikillchicken - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      Yeah. Because Columbus was totally gonna make the playoffs under the old format.

      • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        Columbus would have an easier chance to make the playoffs if they were in Division B

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:28 AM

        Columbus would have a better chance at making the playoffs in division b? Since when is playing the Islanders an extra time as opposed to possibly be playing Minnesota, Chicago, and St. Louis an extra time each?

      • dieseldeej - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        greatminnesotasportsmind- Division B is the CHI, MIN, WIN, etc. division, much easier to win than the GIFT CBJ got of being in Division D, playing PHI,PIT, WAS, and the 3 NYC teams

        Columbus should not have been put in the East in the 1st place

    • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Divisonal playoffs are a GOOD THING…Bettman SCREWED up by bringing the conference playoff format with him from the NBA

  18. nhlol12345 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Real divisional playoffs are awesome. This ridiculous wild card scenario destroys divisional playoffs. Hopefully they will either expand by 2 or contract by 2 teams so that the divisions are equal and we have REAL divisional playoffs for the first 2 rounds.

    • bmscalise - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      So you’d rather have 1-2 good teams from “D” (or “C” or whatever division) sitting on the sidelines – despite having more points – because divisional playoffs are traditional and therefore automatically cool (even when the actual match-up isn’t that great)? We can disagree, but I won’t ever understand that – just like I don’t care about “Original 6″ match-ups unless the teams are both relevant and good. Traditional isn’t automatically better.

  19. turdfurgerson68 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    This is awful, plan and simple…ugh.

  20. The Baseball Gods - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    They should really contract Florida and Tampa Bay and then move Carolina into division C. That will never happen though.

    • The Baseball Gods - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      Actually probably would make more sense to move Columbus to division C than Carolina.

  21. bru308 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Could this alignment be the future writing-on-the-wall for some teams?

    QC Lightning?
    Hamilton Panthers?

    • nhlol12345 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      I dont see the Ligntening going anywhere. Florida, maybe. But doubtful.

      • hockeydon10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        The organization that owns Florida also owns the arena and charges the team to play there. They make a ton of money owning the arena. They also have a requirement with the city to continue playing there for a LONG time. They’re not going anywhere either.

  22. jetmetfan - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Shortstix, that’s not how it works. They’re just not explaining it very well.

    1. You’re guaranteed a playoff spot if you finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in your division (6 teams/conf)
    2. The teams with the two best records *after* that are the wild card (2 teams/conf)
    3. The best 1st place team in a conf. plays the worst WC from its conf. in rd. 1
    4. The other 1st place team gets the other WC team from its conf.

    What they’re saying about five teams from a division can make the playoffs just means if the two teams that don’t get the automatic slots (1-2-3 in each division) happen to be the 4th and 5th place teams in a division, they both make the playoffs.

    It kind of eliminates what used to happen in the 80s and 90s when good teams in stacked divisions would miss the playoffs because they only took the top four teams in each division.

  23. jetmetfan - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    So…I typed all that then realized I misunderstood the comment. Sorry about that. You’re right. They did kind of FUBAR the whole division championship aspect of things.

  24. boltsfan777 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    In these types of threads there’s always some ridiculous hatred for Florida teams. Why, because we can wear shorts to the rink? Tampa Bay Lightning are #7 in average attendance this year, and all 11 home games have been sell-outs. http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance.

    Not bad for an underachieving swamp team. I think being in the new conference will help keep the seats full for almost every game.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      I envy wearing shorts to the rink. I hopefully will be down there for next season, attending games as your division rival

  25. scoops1 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Yzerman vs his former team will make for a great riverly….

    until Holland gets fired and yzerman joins the wings

    • wingsdjy - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Holland will never get fired. The more likely scenario is that he’ll be asked to step aside (maybe into another front office position) to make room for Yzerman.

    • rodeoclowndc - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      Honestly, I can totally see this happening.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      “riverly.” go home, you’re drunk.

      …swear I’ve said that during a night of hockey and beer before.

  26. storminator16 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    NHL should just go back to Campbell (West) and Wales (East) for the conferences and Smythe (A), Norris (B), Adams (C), Patrick (D) for divisions. That would be the best common ground in regards to re-naming the divisions. With relocation (possibly) and expansion (allegedly) around the corner, naming divisions after regions should be done away with.

    • kopy - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      That would work well. As long as Florida teams are outcasted from their neighbors, geographic names won’t make sense.

  27. kevindunn21 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    worst plan ever. make’s the NHL look like a bigger joke than it already is, doesn’t address disparity in chances of making playoffs between conferences. Could’ve accomplished the goal of having more geographically-appropriate divisions by moving Columbus to SE, Winnipeg to NW, Dallas to Central and Colorado to Pacific and then changing the schedule matrix to 5 vs Division, 3 vs intraconference, 2 vs interconference

    • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Liked your schedule matrix idea

      Don’t like your idea of Columbus moving instead of Detroit, the team that DESERVED to move to the East

  28. govtminion - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    So, ah, did anyone think to wait and see if Phoenix has to move before approving this? Won’t we just have to shift things around all over again if they go to Quebec?

  29. ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I will only like this if the west get expansion teams

  30. buffalowned - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    2 more teams in the east competing for the same amount of playoff spots in the west…how is that fair and how does that make any sense. the brilliance of bettman continues

  31. mclovinhockey - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    @misterchain
    Actually the NHL has been talking about expansion and this realignment was a big part of it. The reason the league wanted to make it 16-14 was for expansion purposes.

    Anyway my “swing and a miss” was only in case there is an expansion. So try again if you want but everything I said is on the ball.

  32. lovac2 - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    You have to really love the wild card scenarios. It reminds of MLS few years back when New York red bulls won the western conference.

  33. drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    How can there be an article about this without one mention of the murder of one of the oldest rivalries in sports?

    • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      haven’t the Wings and Hawks been separated once or twice before? I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s dead… NHL will prly have to fix this alignment when they expand to 72 teams. ::snicker::

    • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      But it was ok to murder the Detroit-Toronto rivalry in 1998, which was a bigger rivalry than DET-CHI

  34. jpat2424 - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    This sucks. Losing one of the best rivalries in hockey(red wings) and guaranteed points everytime we play Columbus. Hawks fan here.

  35. massconn72 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Boy, do I feel sorry for CBJ. They are screwed big time.

    • kicksave1980 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Good teams aren’t good forever, and neither are bad teams. They’ll struggle, but they’re making some good moves down there, starting with the Davidson hire. Look at what he did with a terrible Blues team.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      The Jackets are LOVING this, actually. The move stands to be a huge revenue generator for them.

    • dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Getting what they cried about is NOT getting screwed…CBJ should be in Division B

  36. navyeoddavee9 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Stupid: easier to make playoffs in the west, as 2 less teams, just leave it alone, it’s fine as is

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      It’s not easier. Would it be easier for Nashville to have to potentially play Minnesota, Chicago, and St. Louis an extra time over the Rangers who get extra games with the Islanders, Blue Jackets, and Hurricanes

  37. kicksave1980 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I keep reading in comments sections all over the internet about Tampa moving or being contracted. I don’t live in Florida, and I’m completely neutral on the Lightning, but even I know that they’re 7th in the NHL in attendance this season and are at 97% capacity…which is higher than the Rangers. It’s not fair to look at a map and make ridiculous assumptions.

    • kevindunn21 - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      Rangers attendance numbers are skewed because they are basing it on old capacity levels before renovation. They are at 100% attendance every game.

      • kicksave1980 - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        I was actually shocked when I saw that they were under capacity, but I didn’t know that about the renovation skewing the numbers. Thanks for pointing that out.

        And Ranger fans, I wasn’t trying to pick on you. They were just one team under TB that stood out when I looked at the numbers.

  38. hockeydon10 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I notice a lot of people complaining about the Wings/Hawks rivalry being gone here.

    That “rivalry” was dead and turned to dust for the better part of two decades. It’s only once Toews, Kane, etc. made the Hawks relevant again that the games became worth watching again. During more of those two decades, the Wings had a greater rivalry with the Avalanche.

    Also, like the Hawks’ owner says, now Chicago gets to see five of the “Original Six” teams every year, instead of Wings x3 plus one (maybe two sometimes) other O6 team each year.

    Oh, and seeing Wings thrash the Hawks in the Stanley Cup Finals would be well worth separating them into different divisions.

    • kicksave1980 - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      That’s true from a Detroit fan’s perspective, but we (Hawks fans) always saw you, and will continue to see Detroit as our biggest rival. The only team that has/will ever come close is the Blues.

      Even in the late 90s/early 2000’s when no one cared about the Hawks, the 3 times Detroit came to the UC each year were insane. It’s true that a lot of people in the stands were Detroit fans, but it was still a white-hot rivalry as far as true Hawks fans were concerned. So no, it was never dead and it never turned to dust. Not to us, anyway.

  39. klownboy - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I think if the NHL would have swapped just Nashville and Winnipeg without having to scrap the 6-division format. Oh well…
    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-Bu

  40. dieseldeej - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    The GOOD: 1) Every team plays at least once in every arena…2) The return of divisional playoffs…These 1st 2 things are something the league is returning to, killing 2 hare-brained ideas by Bettman…3) The travel problems facing DET, DAL and MIN were addressed…When Atlanta moved to WIN, you knew they would be in the West…The move happening after the schedule was complete for 2011-12, and the lockout this season prevented it…I’ll discuss CBJ in the next paragraph

    The BAD: 1) The 16-14 imbalance…This is where CBJ comes in, they should be in Division B, and toil in the West because of lack of senority and competitiveness, while being “Next”, just like Detroit was forced to be for 15 seasons…2) The Florida teams in Division C…The East should’ve been split in a North/South manner with the NYC teams either with the 5 northern-most or southern-most teams…Then the other division would fall into place…The Florida teams in either scenario would’ve been in the South with CAR and WAS

  41. DesertEagle1776 - Mar 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Anyone else think the Predators will move to KC?

    • calithirteen - Mar 18, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      I find it funny that everyone keeps mentioning KC……i guess people forget that the Islanders played a pre-season game there a few years ago where maybe 400 people showed up for the game. How anyone thinks KC is a more viable area to for an NHL team vs the Toronto area or Portland is amazing to me! Hell I’d rather see a team up in the green bay area before KC!

  42. canucks30 - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    I LOVE the fact every NHL team will visit every other NHL city at least once a season every season.

    • dieseldeej - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      The NBA had no problem doing it with a 30-team league in a 6-division set-up, never understood how the NHL couldn’t…Only 18 games against the other conference SUCKED

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