With the Winnepeg Jets already shifting conference alignments, the NHL has decided to overhaul conferences, or so it sounds. Hopefully Detroit will be moved to an Eastern Conference team (or I hope, at least).
OT: NHL Conference Realignment?
Is it realistic that Detroit will be moved? Has this been discussed as a likely option? I was hoping they would stay to keep the rivalry with the Blackhawks.
They're talking two eight team and two seven team divisions. Detroit and Columbus are pushing hard to be in the eastern conference, which would have 16 teams if they had their way. Considering the amount of travel involved, I consider it likely.
But from a "fill the arena" view, I think that the other teams in the Western Conference will object. Some of those teams need the Wings to sell out the arena when they visit.
I know Phoneix has appreciated all of those playoff games over the years.
And as a yotes fan, I know how beneficial it is for us to have those two red wings dates every year. But I believe the Red Wings will be able to throw their weight around and get themselves east.
If the west coast teams need a drawing card from the east to fill their arenas, it is time for somebody else to step up and do it. The Wings have done it for decades.
And really, if their attendance problems are so bad that they need out-of-town fans to make up the difference, maybe they're just not good NHL markets.
I want the Leafs, Bruins, Rangers and Canadiens more often though. Worth dismissing the Hawks IMO.
Rangers? Other than the fact that they play in MSG, why would anybody care about the Rangers? Don't give me "original six" unless you actually were alive and following the NHL in 1966.
I've been a Red Wings fan for 35 years, and I don't understand this newly manufactured obsession about moving to the Eastern Conference. Let's get over it--there are 15 teams to the East of Detroit and only 14 to the West. They are in the correct conference. I guess I would rather have more 7:00 starts, but it's not as big of a deal as people are trying to make it.
Why the Rangers? Original Six, because I wasn't alive and following the NHL in 1966.
Yes, I grew up with the Western Conference and it would be a little strange leaving behind the Blues, Avs, Blackhawks, etc. It wouldn't be perfect. But, you realize, if the Wings had gotten past San Jose we'd have had 10:30 playoff games for three rounds? I don't dig that. I also don't think it's a great thing we hardly ever play the Leafs. If the Blackhawks are supposed to be a big rival, so are the Leafs.
Yes, the 10:30 playoff games are suboptimal for an Eastern time zone team. Unfortunately, there are still 16 teams in the Eastern time zone. At least one of them has to be in the Western Conference, unless you want unbalanced conferences. The geography works out best if it's the Red Wings.
Yes, the NHL schedule needs to be re-worked so everybody plays everybody else at least 2 times There are so many different ways to make this happen, but they all involve the teams spending more money on travel and the players spending more time traveling. I think any commissioner would have a hard time pushing that through both the owners and the players. He might get buy-in from the players if he attached it to a reduction in the number of games (say from 82 to 72 or so), but it's hard to picture the owners giving up 5 home games a year.
But no...the Rangers were never the Red Wings' rivals, not even when there were only 6 teams in the league.
I didn't say they were, did I? I'd still like to see it happen. I'll take the 10:30 playoff games over an unbalanced conference with the Wings in the heavier one, but 10:30 playoff games are still an imbalance I want to see remedied. If it means making geography slightly more wack to fix the imbalance for the Wings, so be it.
No, you didn't, but you certainly are basing your statement ("original six") on the idea that playing the Rangers is somehow more valuable or important to the Red Wings and their fans than playing the Islanders or the Devils or the Flyers. That isn't exactly saying they are rivals, but it is getting pretty close to the concept.
I do wonder why Pistons fans are not lobbying to be placed in the same conference as the Golden State Warriors, like they were back in 1965. This sentimental attachment to a time a half century ago that nobody remembers strikes me as unproductive, and symptomatic of a sport or a fanbase that is not sufficiently forward-looking. I guess that is a matter of taste and not of fact so maybe there is no point in arguing.
The logistical problem will always come back to that fact that there are 16 teams in the Eastern time zone, and one of them will need to be in the Western Conference, assuming the league keeps a 15-15 conference split. Given that the other 14 teams in the Western Conference see the Red Wings as the most important member of their conference in terms of generating ticket and TV revenue, I don't see any way that the league will ever vote for an alignment that has Detroit in the East (again, assuming that the 15-15 conference split is kept the way it is).
Perhaps the NHL just needs to go to one big league, like a European soccer league, where everybody plays everybody else 2-3 times, the top 16 make the playoffs and are seeded 1-16. That way, nobody will have to play "extra" games on the west coast year after year.
There isn't that much difference flying to LA from Pittsburgh.
The biggest problems are jet lag, being so far from home, then returning.
It is tough to win on those trips. Just because Detroit is a few miles further west is a poor reason to condemn the Wings to have to do this, while also the other eastern US teams get a pass.
currently don't have a rival, sorry. Not every team has to have a rivalry, because then they lose significance. It's nowhere near Detroit-Colorado rivalry of the 90s and early 2000s.
I'd say the Predators will move to the east. Also, I would gladly trade the blackhawks rivalry if it meant sparking up rivalries with Montreal and Toronto.
It is still unlikely Detroit will end up in the east. All signs point to Phoenix moving to Quebec City next year and that would flip Detroit back to the west. When it is all said and done it will probably be Winnipeg in the West and Quebec City in the East and everyone else where they are now.
Phoenix in quebec city? It's not going to happen. There isn't an ownership group lined up there like there was one in Winnipeg.
By the end of this year, this goldwater thing should be done, and the team should be permanently in phoenix under private ownership. The biggest threat to this was True North, and they've taken themselves out of the game.
Because I have heard their lease is up after this year and liklihood of them staying in Phoenix is low.
Currently, they are on a long term lease for the building. However, the Glendale city council has agreed to pick up up to $25M in team losses this season, as they did last season and the season before. This is simply to give Hulsizer time to close the deal.
It's highly unlikely that the Yotes will relocate, simply because True North is off the board. I have no doubts that if for some reason, Hulsizer was unable to close the deal, a canadian group would step up, but no organized group has established themselves,
Finally, Winnipeg had the advantage of having a brand new arena, and although it is small, it is set up for a NHL team to bring in club/suite revenue. A team returning to Quebec City goes back to the same 60 year old building they last played in. Any relocation would involve building a new arena, which would take time and money.
said they won't change for next season.
Everything I've heard is that if they reallign they will look to move Nashville or Columbus to the Eastern Conference.
I think they are pretty set on Detroit being in the West.
Next year Winnipeg will play Atlanta's schedule in the South East Division, but that doesn't make long term sense. The rumors are they're going 4 divisions, 2 with 8 teams, 2 with 7. And that the divisions will be "better based on time zones"
This according to the twitter rumors I've read
will probably not happen.
The uneven divisions was something that was proposed by a yahoo site, i believe.
I had read about the uneven divisions on a site somewhere and the implication was that it was a media pipedream. I'm amazed the nhl would consider something so radical that would stop screwing the wings and columbus, them being the only two teams in the west in the eastern time zone.
Well, we haven't seen where the divisions are yet either. I wouldn't be surprised if the uneven division lineup is a precursor to expansion somewhere down the line.
Understood and changed.
On a side note, I met the girl in your avatar at Rick's for the playboy girls of the big 10 issue release party. Greatest night in college involved a date with a different playmate, too (same night), but we'll keep this g-rated for kids around. We had a delighful cup of coffee and talked of the mysteries of the universe.
Gary Bettman did not pass geography in liberal arts. The NHL is slated to put Winnipeg in the SE division.
Not too bright.
That's because there are a lot of teams who want a say in realignment and there isn't time to settle the issue and come up with a new schedule between now and the season. Has nothing to do with hurr Buttman.
I'm all for bashing Gary Bettman but this isn't his doing. There isn't time to reset the schedules.
That article seems to imply that a little more shifting is being done than simply trading Winnipeg to the West for somebody and then shuffling the divisions. I could easily be wrong but that was the impression I got.
If it is just that after all, Nashville makes a lot more geographic sense in the East than Detroit given its better proximity to the teams of the Southeast.
While Nashville does make the most sense from a regional standpoint because they could easily be put in the Southeast, it makes more sense to move Detroit or Columbus (or both) when you look at time zones. Nashville, being in the Central Time Zone, does not have to deal with 10:30 starts on the west coast. Nor do they screw over teams in the Pacific Time Zone with 4:30 starts.
Basing the divisions on time zones is dumb. If we did that, we should put the California teams in a divison with Vancouver, because they are all Pacific. That isn't the case, because East-West geography is often the bigger issue. Vancouver belongs with Calgary and Edmonton, and I think Nashville makes the most sense to go to the Southeast (if they were doing a simple swap for Winnipeg, which it appears they may not do). They are a southern town and would fit culturally with Carolina, the Florida teams, and Washington. It would also be much easier for them to compete in that division than in the West.
Detroit is a natural rival with Chicago. Detroit teams are in the same division with Chicago teams in the three other major sports, and I think it would be beyond stupid to split the two Original Six rivals up. Chicago would howl if they were all alone in a conference, isolated from the other Original 5.
I have an idea for one 7-team division. How about the original six plus Columbus for them to all beat on?
At first glance, this would satisfy the two 8 team divisions and two 7 team divsions
Pacific Division (Western Conference)
1. Vancouver 2. Edmonton 3. Calgary 4. Winnipeg 5. Phoenix 6. L.A. Kings 7. San Jose 8. Anaheim
Central Division (Western Conference)
1. Dallas 2. Colorado 3. St. Louis 4. Minnesota 5. Nashville 6. Tampa Bay 7. Columbus
Northeast Division (Eastern Conference)
1. Detroit 2. Chicago 3. Toronto 4. Buffalo 5. Carolina 6. Montreal 7. Philadelphia 8. Ottawa
Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference)
1. Florida Panthers 2. New York (R) 3. New York (I) 4. Pittsburgh 5. New Jersey 6. Boston 7. Washington
You have Florida in the East and Tampa Bay in the West. That seems rather illogical.
Remember, the NHL likes divisional rivalries. They'd rather have Montreal-Toronto play 6 times and have Montreal-Phoenix play once than making it a truly balanced schedule.
Swap TB and Chicago and this looks about right.
I had the same thought. Do the TB/Chicago trade and I'm a very happy camper. I hate being in the West.
Damn Red Wings 10 pm Playoff starts. A move to the Eastern Conference is better than their current state in the Western Conference.
The travel and late-night start problems can be fixed with two relatively radical but simple solutions: a more balanced schedule, and making the playoffs a 16-team seeded tournament with some modifications, instead of the East-West format it has been for the past 20 years or so.
1. A balanced schedule (something like the NBA, where you have a home-and-home with every team in the league at least, but no more than 4 games with any one team. I think losing the extra two games between division rivals is more than made up for by playing every team in the league at home at least once. I think it makes sense both financially and competitively.
2. In the playoffs, there is no West/East division, except maybe for the first round. There are many times when the most compelling series are the conference semis and finals, because one conference is so much stronger it is assumed that whoever wins [this series] will go on to win the Cup. Also, it creates a better chance of inter-conference rivalries occuring more often. Detroit/Pittsburgh is/could be a top rivalry in the league, but the chances of them meeting in the playoffs again are tiny, because both teams would have to get all the way to the SCF, which is unlikely. Obviously, it diminishes the number of times team play each other in consecutive years (DET-PHO/SJ, BOS-PHI), but again, I think the trade-off is worth it for variety's sake. Also, it balances out the travel between the conferences, as an Eastern team is as likely to draw a West coast team in the second round as Detroit, and it would be possible for Detroit to draw Columbus, Chicago and Pittsburgh, all very close teams.
Note: There might be restriction to prevent first-round matchups like Vancouver-Tampa. Maybe keep the conferences for the first round, but then re-seed everyone for the second round through the Finals?
It's not perfect, but nothing will be as long as the NHL is so East-heavy. I know it's not likely, but if some of the Eastern teams would move West (Islanders to Kansas City has been rumored, Florida never looks solid, Atlanta already left), then maybe there would be a situation where Detroit and Columbus could move east. I think the balanced schedule and modified playoff format mitigates some of the inherent advantages Eastern teams have in travel and schedule.
I would look for a system where the first round matchups were divisional if at all possible and then the final 8 is a 1-8 seeded draw based on regular season points. You'd make it mroe fair in the end stages, but keep some local rivalries going. Make the schedule balanced and don't even worry about conferences.
If they send the Wings to the East, I expect (hope) they'd send the Blackhawks too. You all seem to not care much about this rivalry, but us Hawks fans sure do. There aren't many great rivalries in the NHL; this is one of them.
I feel like back in the day (a decade or so ago), there was a legitimate rivalry between the Wings and Hawks.
As a Hawks fan, I don't like Detroit, but they have some real nice players (Pavel, Z, etc.).
Those f'in Canucks on the other hand. F those guys.
I hate Vancouver.
there is no rivalry. Not every team needs to have a rivalry.