What fresh hell is this: NHL realignment

 photo Ryan-Kessler-Vancouver-Canucks-15fe.png

No matter how I feel about the NHL, I can’t stay mad at this guy. (Source: Burnaby Beacon)

I’m sure there’s some sort of valid reason for this based on, I don’t know, a desire to keep the NHL “fresh” and “relevant”? On Tuesday reports surfaced of the proposed realignment for the league: a return to four divisions, seven or eight teams per division, new playoff format, same number of teams getting in (the top three teams in each division along with four wild cards.)

My reaction is mixed (never mind that I still haven’t watched a single NHL game this shortened season. No longer bitter, just uninterested.) I’m personally fine with the altered playoff format and the idea of a few wild card slots. The idea of four divisions, however, falls flat with me. What’s wrong with keeping it at six? I’m old enough to remember when the NHL was a four division league, but it was a much smaller league than it is today. How do you foster an effective division rivalry when your division is eight teams wide? Or does that even matter in the 2013 NHL?

This is still a proposal and subject to approval by the usual suspects. But what do you think? Does this realignment make sense to you?

3 thoughts on “What fresh hell is this: NHL realignment

  1. K so things I love about realignment:
    Wings in the east. Yay for us sleepy Wings fans come playoff time.(Not necessarily this year because who knows if we’ll even make the playoffs this year ::gag:: but you know… all those West Coast series. No thanks. I’ll miss teams like Chicago and well, that’s about it actually, but you know what I mean. I’ll miss Western Conference hockey, but I’ll be stoked to play the Habs and Leafs and Bruins and Rangers more often. Which brings me to what I don’t like about realignment.
    First of all I don’t like the idea of having a uneven number of teams in the conferences. That’s just silly. There are 30 teams in the league. Each conference should have the same number of squads. Come on. Also I’m vehemently opposed to the idea of Wild Card games. Wizzeak! And last but probably not least. The easter conference is slated to consist of 2 divisions, one which will include my Wings and all the easter Canadian teams. YAY! I mean, that’s awesome, epic. f riggin’ fantastic. Wings/Leafs/Habs/Bruins/Sabres (hell yeah I love the Sabres!) and wait… Florida and Tampa? What the hell? That’s just NONSENSE. Give us the Rangers and even the Isles or Philly or the Pens, but the Floridas have no business in that division. They’re closer to the division with Carolina and DC. Again, that just makes no sense to me. It seems like it might just be easier to switch Detroit for Winnipeg and call it a day. I get that the goal is expansion, but when is that going to happen and where? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m hoping someone sees it my way.

  2. I actually wrote my grad school thesis on NHL realignment (and I got an A! Woot!), and my big issue with the prior realignment plan was parity. It’s virtually impossible to be fair when there are so many discrepancies between East Coast and West Coast teams. The league needs to figure out how to make travel easier for West Coast teams and not be afraid to make the East Coasters travel more. That’s why having teams in Canada with teams in Florida could balance out the travel schedule. I realized early into my project that geography should play a roll, but it can’t be the only factor. I talked to league and team execs and it’s a pretty strenuous process. I wish I could just post my grad paper here, but it’s about 30 pages and a ppt. lol

    It’s just easier to point out that there are so many factors that go into the process. Personally, I blame Atlanta for sucking so much that they have had two teams leave the city. :)

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