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Your new NHL division names: Pacific, Central, Atlantic and Metropolitan

Jul 19, 2013, 1:23 PM EDT

Beginning next season, the realigned NHL will have a decidedly new look — and new division names.

On Friday, the league announced the Western Conference would be comprised of two divisions, Pacific and Central, while the Eastern Conference would be made up of two as well: Atlantic and Metropolitan.

WESTERN CONFERENCE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Pacific Division Central Division Metropolitan Division
Atlantic Division
Anaheim Chicago Carolina Boston
Calgary Colorado Columbus Buffalo
Edmonton Dallas New Jersey Detroit
Los Angeles Minnesota NY Islanders Florida
Phoenix Nashville NY Rangers Montreal
San Jose St. Louis Philadelphia Ottawa
Vancouver Winnipeg Pittsburgh Tampa Bay
Washington Toronto

Described as “more geographically-appropriate groupings,” the four new divisions will ensure that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once per season.

As for the playoff format, here’s more from NHL.com:

Playoff qualification will be primarily Division-based, with the top three finishers in each Division qualifying for the first 12 spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (and the first three “seeds” in each Division).

The two additional playoff spots in each Conference, designated as “Wild Cards,” will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each Conference, ranked on the basis of regular-season points and regardless of Division.

The League will play under this new alignment and playoff system for a minimum of three seasons, through the 2015-16 NHL season.

Under the previous alignment, the league was comprised of six five-team divisions.

Update: Here’s the NHL’s though process on naming the new divisions, as per ESPN.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said player names were considered for the division names but “dismissed rather quickly.”

“I don’t think there was any strong feeling that we needed to move away from geographic descriptors and orientations, which makes it easier for the fans to follow,” Daly wrote in a email.

“Also, while it’s the nature of any exclusive list, I’m not sure assigning division names to four all-time great players is fair to the all-time great players who would necessarily be excluded in that process.”

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Horrible! Bring back the Smythe, Norris, Patrick and Adams divisions.

    • elvispocomo - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Beat me to it. Terrible names when they had such great ones in the past. “But people won’t be able to easily look at the names and know where they’re located!” Tough, Google’s everywhere now, if you can’t figure it out you probably aren’t worth expending the extra effort on.

    • kegmen7 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Couldnt agree more, it added something and most hockey fans seem to like it. As far as casual hockey fans, I doubt having plain division names will make a difference- after all, who has ever started watching/liking a sport because of the division names?

    • dmchi2010 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      Indeed! This is just the 1993-94 NHL season format all over again, so why not bring back the names of the divisions? Two games against opponents in the other conference? Check! Three games (used to be four) against conference opponents not in your division? Check! Four or five games (used to be 5-6) against division opponents? Check!

      The lower number of games against conference opponents is due to the expanded number of teams. Not a big deal.

      Since everything else is the same, I offer this: The playoff format will be the same as 1993-94, too. Eight teams from each conference are seeded 1-8, with the division winners ranked 1-2, regardless of record. At least three teams from each division qualify, but it could be as many as five teams. After the 1-2 seeds, then seeds 3-8 are based on each team’s record.

      Check it out:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993–94_NHL_season

    • tdrusher225 - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      Who cares?

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    • joey4id - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      From a U.S. marketing perspective this makes sense. The other big 3 team sports use geographic locations for their division. Most Americains relate better to this than naming divisions with names of players/builders from the past. Most have no idea who Smythe, Norris, Adams, and Patrick are.

  2. elvispocomo - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Wow, could they have made those any more vanilla than that? A return to the old division names would have been great but standard geographical names, with ‘Metropolitan’ mixed in, is pretty terrible.

    • blackfoot11 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Agreed. I would have preferred the old divisions of the 80’s and 90’s before expansion. Funny how the “Atlantic” Division only has Boston that is actually on the Atlantic. The “Metropolitan” Division name is a joke. If the NHL was going to go plain on the names for the EC, they should have just went with East and Atlantic.

      • elvispocomo - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        Absolutely, Metropolitan is the worst of it. They could have just admitted their imaginations were stripped from them in a deal with the devil years ago and done East/Atlantic as you suggested.

  3. rodeoclowndc - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    METROPOLITAN???

    Up yours, Bettman…

    • axisofweasels - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      come one. columbus is very metropolitan.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:52 AM

        When I think of a Metropolis… I think Raleigh, North Carolina

  4. pirovash88 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Anyone else think Chicago is stuck in the easiest division?

    • chicagobtech - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      Minnesota and Nashville always give us trouble, so no.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      I think several of the teams will improve next season, but none of them will challenge the Hawks. Blues are likely #2.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      And there is a good chance one of the pacific teams will end up in the central division playoffs

      • elvispocomo - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        I think you mean the wild card spot, since it isn’t necessarily a part of the Central playoff structure. It’s even possible both Western Conference wild card spots go to Pacific division teams since I agree it’s tougher overall, which would make it a Pacific division playoff.

    • credible316 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Nope, that would go to Detroit.

      • dueman - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Lay off the pipe buddy!

  5. baywatchboy - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Great divisional names. Didn’t they know that Leaders and Legends was available now? Just go old school and be done with it. My Caps play in the Patrick Division.

  6. phillyphanatic77 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I still really dislike that the West has two less teams competing for the playoffs. I know it’s leaving the door open for expansion/relocation but it’s not exactly fair. Especially with Detroit and an improving Columbus squad moving East. But I guess we’ll see how this new format works out.

    As for the name, Metropolitan isn’t terrible. It’s weird having an Atlantic division and not seeing the Flyers in it though.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Might be as a way to make up for how much less travelling the eastern teams do? All eastern conference games ate place in the same time zone and the majority of travel between any eastern rivals can be done in less than 2 hours. Pittsburgh is actually closer to Columbus than it is Philadelphia.

      Whereas the west is so spread out, flying from Winnipeg or Chicago to Los Angeles isn’t a quick flight, and teams can go 2 time zones over for conference games.

      • elvispocomo - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Not sure why you got negged for that, when it’s true. The opposite structure was originally suggested, with the West having the two extra teams and that would have made it more difficult again with the extra travel concerns.

        Would it be better to have it balanced with one extra team in each conference? Sure, but then there’s still two divisions with an extra team that can complain. Until the numbers get evened out (and I’d prefer contraction actually) that’s just how it is.

      • macjacmccoy - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        Yea but the Easterns opponents who also mostly will be Eastern teams will have lesser travel too. Which will negate the fact that they didnt have to travel as much but still will leave teams in the East having to beat out 2 more teams to make the playoffs then teams in the West will have to.

      • girouxed - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        Stop whining about having to fly. All these guys make 6-7 figures so it comes with the job.

        Shut the heck up about that.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        And what they make is relevant to how much a team has to travel and the Eastern Conference having 2 more teams how exactly?

        I was purely speculating on why the Eastern Conference has more teams and IMO its because there’s less travel, which is a bit of an advantage, (much easier to take the train from Philly to Penn Station and the elevator up, and be home that night than it is for a team to fly from Vancouver to Dallas isn’t it?) so the Western Conference gets the advantage of having two less teams.

        Funny I don’t remember this outrage when the Patrick division had 6 teams and all other divisions had 5 teams. And as for some “elite” team from the new Patrick division missing the playoffs while some “undeserving” team makes it in another division, that happens now! Look at the standings every previous year and teams with more points in one conference (generally the West) miss the playoffs while teams with less points (generally in the east) make the playoffs. The only way to eliminate that is to rank teams 1-30 and take the top 16 regardless of conference.

    • pcote24 - Jul 21, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      Yeah some here say East will be travelling less…not true…Metropolitan will be travelling less but not Atlantic with Montreal, Ottawa, Boston north and Florida and Tampa Bay way south…makes no sense… You should get rid of those 2 markets anyway. 2 teams in Florida is 2 too many anyway!
      And in my opinion 15 teams on each side would be the preferable option so I would move Columbus to central.

  7. beerjunkie - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Doesn’t matter what the division names are. The format is GREAT!

    • bensawesomeness - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      RIGHT! Assuming you’re not being sarcastic, i love everything about this. The division names are so small in comparison to the ability to see every team every year, and even the playoff format i like

  8. kane987245 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    OTTAWA!? ATLANTIC?! ARE THEY HIGH!?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      You can easily get to the Atlantic from Ottawa! No sense of adventure? Just cruise on down the Ottawa River to the St. Lawrence and hang a left turn. Just a few hundred km and there you are in the Atlantic. It’s rather more of a trip for Detroit though!

  9. Conner012367 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    The Metropolitan looks the same as last time just added some teams.

    • Conner012367 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      oh and Metropolitan really? couldn’t come up with some thing better?

  10. elh118 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I thought Gretzky would get a division named after him first, but glad to see Glen Metropolit getting his due.

    • m1k3g - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      This needs to be nominated for “Comment of the Year”.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        PHT needs to start a “Comment of the Year” nomination procedure.

      • 19to77 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        As long as it makes damn sure no one can be nominated as both a right and left wing.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        lol nice

  11. 1337ryan - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    When I visit Detroit and get sick of looking at empty houses I just take a nice, long stroll on the shores of the Atlantic to relax. Er, wait a second…

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      I thumbed UP but must note that you can get to the Atlantic from Detroit by boat, but only if you aren’t in a really big hurry and do have a sense of adventure. If you take kids in your boat, I do recommend the Welland Canal instead of Niagara Falls. :-)

  12. 19to77 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Better suggestion: “Gary,” “Bettman,” “You,” and “Suck.”

    Also – NYC is now officially further from the Atlantic than Detroit, Montreal and Ottawa, according to the NHL Department of Creative Geography.

  13. northstarnic - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Um, I think your article is missing something.

    • philafly - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      So is your comment.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        lol i almost said it too, think he’s talking about the schedule.

  14. bellicosejeff - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    It’s a pretty bold statement to say Chicago is in the easiest division. Especially basing that assumption off of last years locked out half season. Yeah sure, based off where everyone ended last year Chicago is leaps and bounds above everyone. Thing is, teams improve and change over the offseason. While improvement is never guaranteed, it’s not something to be overlooked.

    For all we know the new central may be the toughest division next season. Probably not, but hey you never know.

    • somekat - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      it’s not a bold statement, and it’s based on the last decade, not the last season
      the only teams that were ever good in that division are Colorado, who has been terrible for 5-7 years, and St Louis who is known for making the playoffs, not doing anything there, and even that was years ago. Dallas has been trash since Belfour was in his prime. The rest of the division has always been trash

      Nothing bold in any of those statements, they are clear facts. As is the fact that Chicago is guaranteed the division for the next 4 years

  15. quizguy66 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Pacific Central Atlantic and I’m still gonna call it the Patrick Division.

    Metropolitan? Why don’t they call it the Marlin Division?

    -QG

  16. philafly - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I don’t really care about the name “Metropolitan” even though I think it makes no sense and seems out of place. That said:

    1. Why rename the original Atlantic Division and then use that same name for a different division.

    2. The new Atlantic Division has zero teams in it from the previous Atlantic Division.

    3. The new Metropolitan Division has every single team in it from the previous Atlantic Division.

    Does not make any sense. Again, I don’t really care about the names, just trying to figure out the logic here.

    • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      also the fact that….. NONE OF THOSE CITIES LIE ON THE ATLANTIC OCEAN COAST.

      also, why would they name it the Me-tro-pol-i-tan divison, with 5 freaking syllables when they know, KNOW, we’re going to call it the Metro division. shoulda just called it that from the start. like the New York Knickerbockers, Seattle SuperSonics, and ::cough:: the New York Metropolitans.

      • socialblunders - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Boston and Florida (Sunrise) may beg to differ about “none of those cities” being on the coast.

        That said, I agree that renaming the Atlantic Division the Metropolitan Division and naming the other division whose teams collectively are further away from the Atlantic Ocean the Atlantic Division is dumb.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        oh true dat

  17. kevindunn21 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I want to reiterate that the new alignment is an absolute abomination, completely unfair to the Eastern Conference and does not address divisional disparity at all — what happens when the “Atlantic” has an off year and the “Metro” has 6 playoff-caliber teams? I understand that the local ratings for Detroit and Columbus are negatively affected by their west-coast trips, but by changing the schedule matrix to the way it is now without messing with the alignment of the divisions, you would ensure that either of these teams would play a MAXIMUM of 8 games in the pacific time zone. For example, move Columbus to the former Southeast division. Winnipeg moves to the Northwest, Colorado moves to the Pacific and Dallas moves to the Central. We’ve achieved geographical proximity within the divisions. Now, Detroit would not like staying in the Central, but by having them play intra-conference opponents only 3 times a year each, you ensure that there will be no more than 8 games being played in the PST. Detroit is a preferred choice for NBC anyway, so at least a few of those 8 would be afternoon games televised nationally.

    Again, this format is an absolute joke but I guess I should expect nothing less from this mickey-mouse league.

    • porkcrisp - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Kevin, Winnipeg has a closer “geographical proximity” to Toronto than Vancouver. They are actually in the best geographical division. The new divisions are the best solution, especially travel wise, for Central and Western teams.

  18. cruncher1201 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Riddle me this… wouldn’t something as “geographically correct” as Northern and Southern division names be better? Or was it simply a matter of not keeping the two Florida teams in with the Caps and Canes, as competitive as they all were?

    • cruncher1201 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      May Oden strike me down, the correct quote is “geographically appropriate”

  19. somekat - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Chicago is in a division with nobody. Good luck trying to make a fake rivalry with that original 6 team. Maybe you can convince people in Chicago they have one, but the other city will know better

    The metro division is twice as good as any other division. You could choose from any 2 divisions, and you wouldn’t be able to make a division stronger

    The West is much weaker, but yet automatically has a better chance to make the playoffs

    Teams in the metro division are going to be spent going through that 82 game schedule

    The only advantage to this is the “every team plays in every arena”, which I could not care less about if I tried.

    Horrible idea from a horrible commissioner. why any team in the metro division would of agreed to this is beyond me

    • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      “Maybe you can convince people in Chicago they have one, but the other city will know better”
      that line lol’d me for some unknown reason.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      The Western conference is much weaker but has produced 5 of the last 7 Stanley Cup winners.

      I would also say the “Atlantic Division” (let’s call it the Adams) is at least as good if not better than the Metropolitan Division (let’s call it the Patrick) but regardless having one division that’s better than the best will happen every single year in every single sport, there’s no way around it, however the division which is the best (and who’s the worst) will change from year to year. As an example of this look to the NFL, not long ago the NFC West was the worst division in sports, it produced a 7-9 champion, now it’s arguable the best division in the NFL.

      The Blackhawks are the best team now, but the Predators have an incredible amount of riches on the blue line coming up, plus the best goalie in the world. The Blues are a young up and coming team (their history is not relevant) the Wild have their two high paid players plus some good young talent, they might not beat the Hawks to the top of the division this year but 1,2 or 3 years down the road this division is going to be pretty good. And the rivalries will come from those teams chasing the Hawks.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        I agree with a lot of what you said except the part about Pekka Rinne being the best goalie in the world and the new Atlantic division being better than the “Metro”. I’d categorize Rinne as elite but I don’t think he’s better than the likes of Lundqvist or Quick. As for the divisions… Boston and Detroit are really the only marquee teams in the new Atlantic. It’s a good possibility that Florida and Buffalo will be in the running for the #1 pick. And Tampa could be on either end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa are all on the upswing… however, Montreal will come back to earth IMO. They had a hot start then essentially collapsed. And they’re way too small to compete with the likes of Boston up front.

        I’m obviously somewhat biased being a Flyers fan, but I think the Metro will be much improved. A lot of flukey stuff happened in the shortened season (including the Flyers collapse) that I don’t see repeating. Philly will bounce back and Pittsburgh will be in the running for the Presidents Trophy. The Islanders and Blue Jackets both have a lot of young talent and look like potential playoff teams. The Rangers have, IMO, the best goalie in the world and a talented roster. Plus, a new coach/system that should help their anemic offense. Washington will probably make their annual postseason push. NJ may be absolutely abysmal. Or, maybe they could bounce back. And Carolina will surprise some ppl if Cam Ward is healthy. Most will probably disagree but I think the Metro will be better than the Atlantic. After all, in the last full season, the Metro (former Atlantic) was the deepest in the league w/4 teams over 100pts. And I think they’ll get back to that level.

  20. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    I’m really hoping the NHL either expands to Seattle and Portland, or puts two weak teams out of their misery. The only conference format that makes sense is even #s of teams in each.

    The simple thing would have been to move Winnipeg to the Central and Nashville to the SE. The east would still have a travel advantage but they still will with this farse format.

  21. ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    THE THUMBS-DOWN-EVERYBODY AS*HOLE STRIKES AGAIN!

    i hate that guy.

    • hockeydon10 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      YEAH! WTF!! THE INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!!! HOW DARE SOMEONE DO THAT TO YOU OF ALL PEOPLE!!!! I CAN TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHY YOU CARE!!!!!

      (I think I did that right.)

      • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        well, whether or not you’re the thumbs-down-everybody as*hole is debatable…. but you’re definitely an as*hole.

        there’s a guy that LOVES going down the list and thumbs downing every comment. i don’t particularly care, i just mention it when i see it… because he’s an as*hole

  22. bellicosejeff - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Word up, somekat. You apparently can see the future, so i’ll have to cave to your super power and just say you’re right. How stupid of me to bring objective logic into a sports comment thread. I honestly should know better. Have a great rest of the day.

    Kisses!

  23. bellicosejeff - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Oh and btw, based off the last decade you say….

    02/03 Hawks finished 3rd in the central….no playoffs
    03/04 they finished 5th in the central…..no playoffs
    05/06 they finished 4th in the central…..no playoffs
    06/07 they finished 5th in the central….no playoffs
    07/08 4th in the central….no playoffs
    After that they’ve been good, not quite a decade.

    I’m not saying the Hawks aren’t a damn good team now and they very well may be in the easiest division. But don’t sit there and act like you know how it’s going to play out because you don’t. I don’t either, but I’m not calling it for next season and years into the future like some hockey Nostradamus.

  24. steelers88 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Is Glen Metropolit still around?

  25. therealjr - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    I would love to see the meeting in which they collectively came up and approved ‘Metropolitan’.

    So people supposedly aren’t smart enough to figure out Smythe, Norris, Adams and Patrick – and yet somehow the Metropolitan Division is different?

  26. creek0512 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    EVERYTHINGS CHANGED!?!?!?

  27. bpcubs23 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Nevermind the division names which we can all agree make no sense. What about the bigger problem that one conference has 14 teams and one has 16 teams? I realize I am not a math major but doesn’t that mean that teams in one conference are going to have a harder time making the playoffs because of this disparity? This is why MLB just moved Houston to the AL and has to play interleague all year long so the teams in the divisions and leagues are balanced.

  28. raoool - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    well we can at least hope they change their mind on the Metro thing.

    like Microsoft did.

  29. tigerfan79 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Ok, how about revert the Metropolitan division back to Atlantic Division and the division with the Habs and Red Wings name it the Champions Division.

  30. oquintero99 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Northeast would have been better instead of Metropolitan…

    Metropolitan..WTF

  31. kaptaanamerica - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    The Atlantic is given to the wrong division.it doesn’t make sense this way.the metro division should be called the great lakes division despite having the two Florida teams in it.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      The great lakes thing was just a stab at coming up with something reasonable for an impossible question, “find a geographic appropriate name for the current Atlantic division wick is anything but Atlantic.”

  32. smyl11 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    What’s that? Neapolitan division? What’s that?

    • 19to77 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Somewhere, Dustin Byfuglien hungers.

  33. kicksave1980 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    @ineiniid- To say that the Hawks have no rivals in their division is wrong. Think back to the Norris division. You could argue that St. Louis is just as big of a rival as Detroit, and I know first hand how much people in St. Louis hate us (Hawks and Hawks fans). Losing the Detroit rivalry stinks, but the Hawks have had some knockout rivalries with Minnesota/Dallas (put on hold when they left for the Pacific) and the Blues for a long time.

  34. spydey629 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Not using “Northeast” is only thing I DO understand about it. With the “Old Northeast” + FLA & Tampa, you can’t call it “Northeast” anymore.

    But why it isn’t:

    Atlantic / Central / Midwest / Pacific
    OR
    Atlantic / Great Lakes / Central / Pacific
    OR
    Atlantic / Mid-Atlantic / Central / Pacific
    OR
    Atlantic / East / Central / Pacific

    That part, I DO NOT get…

  35. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Metro eh? Interesting…

  36. kevinvmartin - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    The unequal amount of teams in the two conferences will affect the playoffs. A middle of the pack team in the West is in the playoffs, while a middle of the pack team in the East will be out. With Chicago and Detroit in different conferences, will they only play each other twice per year? If so, it will be hard to maintain that rivalry.

  37. jberd08 - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I still don’t like the breakdown of teams. It would have been better to separate the two new york teams. The islanders could have finally broken out and gained some fans with some different original 6 rivals. They should have put the islanders in place of Florida in the Atlantic. And like the devils in for tampa. Now people have no reason to go to an islanders game over a rangers game. They will play the same teams and most people would rather go to MSG to see the Rangers with their long history. Then call it southeast and northeast. Metropolitan. What a dumb name.

  38. 8man - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Metrosexual? Oh, metro-pol-i-tan. Whew! Got a little worried. Wait, that’s not much better….

  39. 8man - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Oh, and congratulations Chicago. You’ve just qualified for the 2013-2014 NHL Playoffs.

  40. blomfeld - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    3 OUT OF 4 AIN’T BAD !

    Yet another wonderful off-season ‘summertime’ story to come home to and read. I knew that Gary and crew would do the right thing and for the most part they have. My only concern is this ‘Metropolitan’ division, which when you consider the likes of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, could have perhaps have been more appropriately named the ‘Victoria’s Secret’ division or something? But who am I to question Gary’s integrity and executive foresight, despite being a ’40 year’ fan of the current reigning Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings? (ie: as everyone knows, Chicago’s win this year comes with an **asterisk** due to the shortened 48 game schedule). So on with the show as the 2013-14 season now can’t come soon enough ! :)

    GO BETTMAN !!!

    GO NEW NHL DIVISIONAL NAMES !!!

    GO ‘CURRENT’ REIGNING STANLEY CUP CHAMPION LA KINGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • girouxed - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Cool story bro.

  41. tcclark - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Several questions:

    How does Detroit go from the West to the Atlantic without geographically moving?
    Why change the Atlantic division name and then give it to another division?
    Did they think that wouldn’t be confusing?
    What mathematicians came up with the divisional alignments?
    16 teams in one conference and 14 in another?
    Where geographically is the metropolitan section of the US?
    Aren’t all cities metropolitan?
    Why not call them Atlantic, Central, Chicago, and Pacific? We might as well just name Chicago’s division after them because they’re going to dominate it.

  42. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    I think it’s weird that the reason they moved Detroit and Columbus east was to reduce travel time… but then they stick the two Florida teams up with the Northeast Division teams… passing the travel time off on smaller market teams.

  43. ussportsfanuk - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Not really sure how the word ‘Metropolitan’ can be classed as geographical. Also, two teams in an eight team division based next to the Atlantic doesn’t seem to make it very ‘Atlantic’.

    Still not sure the make up of the divisions were right and this hasn’t helped with the thinking behind division names. There still seems to be arguments as well about travel and how many time zones teams will need to cross in the regular season and playoffs.

    I did a four conference alignment on my blog where all four were spread across two time zones each which made travel more even in both the regular and post seasons. It also made it easier to name the divisions/conferences North, East, South and West. I still preferred Adams, Patrick, Norris and Smythe though.

  44. sl2661 - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    So let me get this straight- We go back to the 80’s format for the division/conference and playoff format but we put these ridiculous division names to it. Do they really think that we are that stupid that we cannot figure out what division our teams are in if they don’t have plain boring names? This is why Bettman will NEVER be ok with the NHL fan base. He is the one that changed it in the first place and all of a sudden wants to go back to the original format but thinks that if he makes vanilla names that we would be too stupid to realize that he is just fixing his mistake in the first place. Get rid of him NOW so that we the fans can have our traditions back.

  45. stevedurbano - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Why not the Cosmopolitan Division?

  46. agentdw - Jul 21, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    i could see top-16 regardless of conference working. best record in each conference gets top 2 seeds, bracket it ncaa style, so for #1 and #2 to meet in the playoffs its for the Cup…then you dont even need divisions, just two conferences, for scheduling/travel purposes during the regular season only. if you get matched up where u have to travel cross country in the playoffs….oh well.

  47. wjarvis - Jul 21, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I guess the names don’t really matter, but metropolitan is pretty bad. Assuming they were going to use Pacific, Central and Atlantic no matter what. I would have used St Lawrence (or just Lawrence) as the fourth. Since the St Lawrence Seaway can be used directly for Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, and Detroit. Ottawa is about 50 miles from it and the Ottawa river connects with it. If/when Quebec City or Hamilton gets a team they would also be on the St Lawrence seaway. It doesn’t really make sense for the Florida teams, but how long will they actually be around for anyways…

  48. jmedd19 - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    They should have just named it “American Division” because its the only division without a Canadian team.

  49. rangersfan94 - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    I don’t like divisional playoffs. I prefer conference playoffs.

    Also, for 15 years, MLB had a 14-team league and a 16-team league with three divisions each. The NHL can do that too. Here is how I would align the league:

    Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division: BOS, NJ, NYI, NYR, PHI, and PIT.

    Eastern Conference, Northeast Division: BUF, DET, MTL, OTT, and TOR.

    Eastern Conference, Southeast Division: CAR, CLM, FLA, TB, and WSH.

    Western Conference, Central Division: CHI, DAL, MIN, NSH, and STL.

    Western Conference, Northwest Division: CGY, EDM, VAN, and WPG.

    Western Conference, Pacific Division: ANA, COL, LA, PHX, and SJ.

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