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Let’s Play Two (Or Even Three) While In Town

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

If only, Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice mused, the NHL could have it all – an all-Canadian North Division and fans in the stands.

What a bubbling cauldron that would create: endless one-anthem nights to feed frenzied fan bases with rivalries that feel like more than just key divisional points are on the line.

"The idea is wholly selfish … We have our own little tiny league here,” Maurice said Monday, before Winnipeg visited Toronto. “We’re not crossing the border, not going all over the place.

“It would be fantastic.”

Alas, Maurice will be hard-pressed to get his wish. A permanent all-Canadian division is not feasible – not over an 82-game campaign. The rest of the hockey world (and paying rights holders) in the United States should get variety and the opportunity to see Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, just as much as Canada should be able to have Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon come home to play.

But the NHL may be on to something with the wildly popular North Division.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on Monday that the league has agreed to explore the results gathered from this season’s baseball-style schedule with multiple games played against the same opponent on single trips.

continued

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Comments

Paul's avatar

Gord Miller tweet earlier today,

One issue with the “baseball-style” schedule in the future: once full attendance is permitted, scheduling big blocks of home games isn’t practical.  After their two games in Ottawa this week, the Jets go home for 7 games in 12 days.  That’s not appealing to season ticket holders.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/19/21 at 12:51 PM ET

The Meal's avatar

They may not be popular with season ticket holders, but would the league honestly expect less revenue from folks renewing their STs compared to what’d be available with the increased interest via television (and related) revenue?

I only know my situation, but that seems a difficult argument to make.  Fans like me like more rivalry-type games, and enjoy the immediate drama that back-to-backs create.  Knowing a “revenge game” is three months later on the calendar doesn’t exactly hold the same appeal.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 01/19/21 at 12:59 PM ET

Avatar

Personally, I prefer the variety of the normal schedule. I would much rather be watching someone other than Columbus tonight. I honestly don’t think back to backs add that much excitement.

On a bigger note, I frequently travel 4+ hours one-way to see games as I don’t have a team locally. I often do it with the intention of seeing multiple games. I’d MUCH rather see different opponents.

Posted by evileye on 01/19/21 at 04:36 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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