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Another Realignment Suggestion

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

While these divisions do make people like Dallas, Minnesota, Detroit and Columbus happy, they also seem to invite peril for the future. What if Phoenix eventually has to move, and the best location is to move to the East? What if you want expansion teams, and the best locations are in the East? Are you really going to send Detroit or Columbus over there for a couple of years and then toss them right back in the West?

And, seriously, Florida and Tampa with Ottawa and Toronto?

Yeah, if I’m the players, I have all sorts of problems with this set-up.

So why haven’t we seen other options? You and I can think up a few right now. How about a minor tweak of the current system that is designed to patch a few holes, but also leave the door open for bigger changes in a year or two?

Would you have a problem with this:


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


phillyd's avatar

I actually like his first and 3rd options, just not sure about expanding the playoffs but it comes at shortening the regular season so maybe it’s ok.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/07/13 at 09:08 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

This is silly. These options don’t address the problem of time zone differences. I know travel is a factor as well, but I think time zones are the bigger problem with the current alignment, both from a marketing/viewing perspective and a travel perspective.

For the fans and media, it stinks to have teams like Detroit and Columbus regularly going two and three hours west. It’s hard to get viewers for those games on TV, listeners on the radio. And for the media outlets covering those teams, it’s obviously going to be more expensive to cover those games, which is crazy since those games are already less lucrative since viewership will be lower.

For the players, my opinion/feeling is that it’s probably worse as well. Obviously this is just me guessing, I don’t hang out with NHLers. wink But hear me out…

As a player on Detroit or Columbus, when you go from EST to PST, even with a day to adjust, your body clock is still going to feel like it’s 9pm or 9:30pm at best when the puck drops. Your body is already at the point where it’s used to being near the end of a hockey game, ready to slow it down, not ready to wind it up. On the flip side, when you get home from a PST trip, you’re getting in three hours later because of the time difference. Leaving at 11pm PST might as well be leaving at 2am because that’s how much time is lost strictly for the time zone. They body wants a day per hour of time change to adjust. To me, these time zone adjustments seem a lot harder than time in the air (with all due respect to the difficult airtime that the Canucks and Sharks have to deal with).

The closer the divisions get to time zone alignments, the better this will be, and the more fair it will be. I know Florida and Tampa get the shaft on travel in the current realignment plan, but honestly, who cares, join the club. Their time in the air will increase, but they will still play almost all their games in EST, and won’t travel any more than teams like Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit, Columbus, and Nashville have had to deal with for the last long while.

Long story short, I think four or five hours on a plane is a lot easier to cope with when the time zone doesn’t change, than it is when the time zone does change. More teams will travel more, but more teams will cross fewer time zones, and I think that should be the goal.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/07/13 at 10:03 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

*broken record* Once again I’ll propose North/South Conferences *broken record*

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/07/13 at 10:41 AM ET


Once again I’ll propose North/South Conferences

Who does that help?

Posted by Garth on 03/07/13 at 12:54 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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