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More Realignment Talk

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

If the latest proposal for NHL realignment is shot down again by the players, the deal-breaker will be the playoff format.

“That’s the big thing, the evenness in making the playoffs,” New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg said Monday. Hedberg, though, doesn’t like the word deal-breaker, adding he expects there will be more “tweaking” of the format before the NHL Players’ Association is asked to approve it....

“I’d like to hear some more arguments, for my personal view,” Toronto Maple Leafs player rep Dave Steckel said of the proposed playoff format....

But the players appear willing to put up with travel inequities as long as a wild-card system gives more teams at shot at the playoffs. And for good reason, Steckel says.

“From a player standpoint, some [new] contracts are earned in the playoffs,” he said. “A lot of guys would rather be in the playoffs working for their next contract,” rather than seeing one or two less regular-season road trips.

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Comments

Hank1974's avatar

Evenness?? Really? This from a goalie that can take a frickin’ rickshaw to road games!

How even was it all those years when teams like Detroit and Columbus and Dallas had to constantly fly out of their timezone multiple times a month?
Remember when the Devils had a total of 6x in one season where they weren’t in their own beds after a game?
Oh yeah, that’s fair!

Being a Wings fan, I know that we’d be in an 8-team conference. But guess what, I don’t care!
I’d rather play against teams like Boston, Toronto and Montreal 8 times a year than go back to that horscrap Western Conference and all it’s unbalanced travel.

So NJ, and any other Eastcoast team that doesn’t like how ‘unfair’ this playoff format could end up being can choke one of the millions of plane tickets the Wings have accumulated over the past 30 years!

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/04/13 at 09:51 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/04/13 at 08:51 PM ET

Sorry, I’m a Flyers fan and I remember the days when the Patrick Division had 6 teams and everyone else had 5 and it sucked watching teams from the division who were better, had better records then the Whalers and Nordiques not make the playoffs. Any imbalance in gaining access into the playoffs is wrong, period. Sorry, in the players mind that trumps travel, as it should. After all, players play for the chance to lift the cup and if one conference makes that easier then others, guess what, free agents will want to go play in that conference. If it was about alleviating travel, the players would’ve signed off on this thing already. It’s obvious their objections aren’t in travel, that’s the MO of the teams’ front office apparently.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/05/13 at 09:15 AM ET

Avatar

Sorry, in the players mind that trumps travel

Does it?  Then how come we haven’t heard 600+ players saying there’s no way they’d vote for the current plan?  How come this is even a discussion if that trumps travel in the players minds?

Posted by Garth on 03/05/13 at 09:43 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

Then how come we haven’t heard 600+ players saying there’s no way they’d vote for the current plan?

Really? They’ve had the plan for almost 2 weeks now. There’s still no vote. Sorry, that tells me something right there. It took them less then a week to get the vote on the new CBA. This isn’t nearly as complicated yet they’re posturing for almost 2 weeks? That tells me a) the NHLPA leadership isn’t thrilled with the whole imbalance conference idea, and b) the membership isn’t in a real big hurry to have their leadership bring it to a vote.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/05/13 at 09:50 AM ET

Avatar

It took them less then a week to get the vote on the new CBA.

What kind of logic is that?  The realignment, if it happens, won’t be until next season.  Of COURSE they would rush a vote on the new CBA so that they can, you know, PLAY HOCKEY.  The new CBA affects their PAYCHECKS and it affected them IMMEDIATELY.  This doesn’t affect any of that and it doesn’t affect it now.

and b) the membership isn’t in a real big hurry to have their leadership bring it to a vote.

Why should they be in a hurry to vote?  It took a month for the PA to kill the plan last year, and there wasn’t any chance the PA was going to approve it because it was seen as a power play by the NHL, so why it is a sign that they haven’t approved this one yet?

Two weeks is NOTHING in the scheme of this.

Posted by Garth on 03/05/13 at 11:52 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

Garth, you don’t get it. The NHL needs this settled ASAP to line up the schedule for next year (they should’ve started it in December) and for whether or not the Olympics can be accommodated. I remember watching a series on how the MLB schedule gets made and essentially they start the next year’s scheduling process at about the same time spring training starts. There is no “wait and see”. It took them a month last year to kill it, yes, but that was the month of January, not February/March. Basically, I see the NHLPA’s lack of movement in any direction as a sign they don’t want this kind of realignment and are willing to sit on their hands past an NHL deadline and let it be brought up again at a later time and the status quo remains.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/05/13 at 12:04 PM ET

Avatar

Basically, I see the NHLPA’s lack of movement in any direction as a sign they don’t want this kind of realignment and are willing to sit on their hands past an NHL deadline and let it be brought up again at a later time and the status quo remains.

Good thing nobody’s betting on you, huh?

Posted by Garth on 03/08/13 at 12:44 AM ET

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