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Will realignment end Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry?

Apr 12, 2013, 9:19 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

Tonight’s game between Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings is well underway, but it could very well be the end to what has been a fierce rivalry between the two Central Division teams.

The NHL’s new alignment, which will be implemented for the beginning of next season, will move the Detroit Red Wings to the new-look Eastern Conference. The Blackhawks will remain in the West.

Under a breakdown of the new alignment, the Blackhawks and Red Wings will play each other twice next season – once at home, once on the road. But will it ever be the same?

“I don’t mind the new realignment that the league decided to go with,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp told MLive.com. “But the one thing that does suck is not playing the Red Wings a number of times. I think the fans will always appreciate the rivalry and when we do see them it will be a special time.

“I like going to Detroit and playing in their building and I like it when they come here. They’re fun games to play in. Sometimes, when you play a team six or eight times, that builds rivalries. Sometimes, it kills them. You see the same faces over and over.

“Seeing those guys once or twice a year, the fans will be fired up for that game.”

  1. bubblehead22 - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Yes. Familiarity breeds contempt.

  2. jacketsfan7 - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    I hope not

  3. ynothockey - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    The end could come if standing stay the same and #1 Blackhawks play #8 Red Wings in the 1 st round of the playoffs? That would be a more fitting end maybe?

  4. mclovinhockey - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    The new alignment kills most rivalries by taking games away. It’s hard to hate a team you see 4 times a year.

    Also I think all but 3 teams now travel a lot more than they have been with this realignment so every franchise loses more cash.

  5. mule93 - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    I think at least one of Detroit or Columbus will be back out West before long (say 5 years) when the NHL expands, relocates to Quebec, etc.

  6. thehighcountrybear - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    DetroitHockey.net states:

    In the regular season Wings have 363 wins and Hawks 278 with 84 tied.

    In playoffs Wings have 35 wins and Hawks 39.

    Truly a great rivalry that will be missed!

  7. comeonnowguys - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Of course it is. Look at what happened with Toronto when it was moved as the Norris done got blowed up.

    I couldn’t help but watch Datsyuk vs. Keith last night in overtime and think, “Thanks for nothing, Bettman.”

  8. sampulls - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Rivalry is better between hawks / Canucks.

    • clefty1 - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      The Wings/Hawks rivalry is better and it has been around much longer plus the 2 cities are close together and have rivalries in other sports……

  9. clefty1 - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Maybe the NHL will schedule back to back games. I am happy the Wings are headed east there will be alot less travel and no more late playoff starts…Actually the teams have only met 3 times in the playoffs going back to 1992 the other years were 1995 and 2009.

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