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Realignment Talk

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

“We are working on a realignment plan for next season,” Daly wrote, “but it has not been finalized or approved [by the Board of Governors] yet.”

PA Executive Director Don Fehr said by phone on Friday the union’s objections a year ago were based on the prospect of increased travel that would go into effect with the proposed realignment and the inequity of proposed playoff qualification.

“We expect to talk with the league on the subject this week,” Fehr told Slap Shots. “A year ago, when we raised the issue of increased travel for teams, the league did not have mock schedules for us to review that might have alleviated our concern.

“And we had an issue with the fact that teams would either have a mathematical advantage or disadvantage of qualifying for the playoffs depending upon whether they’d be in a seven-team or eight-team conference.”

Major League Baseball’s radical realignment that goes into effect this season — under which the Astros move from the NL Central to the AL West, thus creating two 15-team leagues (and three five-team divisions in each) and the need for inter-league play every day — was created largely because of the MLBPA’s concern over the imbalance of having a six teams in the NL Central and four in the AL West.

“We’re certainly prepared to work with the league on realignment,” Fehr said. “If they present the same type of four-conference structure but have the information for us to review regarding scheduling and travel, and have a different playoff format that can ameliorate our concerns in that area, we’ll take it from there.”

more plus a look at the Tim Thomas trade from the Islanders side...

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


HockeyFanOhio's avatar

They can bite me on the travel issue.  Being one of the eastern most teams in the Western Conference, the Wings have been screwed for too long on travel, time zones, etc.  Those pansy East Coast teams can’t quit whining like little girls.  The number of teams in each division could be an issue.  But if you’re in the top eight you go either way.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 02/10/13 at 10:04 AM ET


I think the league proposed 4 conference format was a great result for everyone. It regionalized the teams for travel, TV and rivalry purposes. I really have very little interest in watching teams outside of my region, unless it is a big game. Having every team come to your building once a year is great. But having teams from the midwest play in a conference with teams from the west is unreasonable. I am sure midwest fans have very little interest in having Calgary, Colorado, Phoenix, Edmonton and Anaheim visit their buildings and I know western teams would be happy to never see Columbus, Nashville, Winnipeg, St. Louis or Minnesota more than once per season either.

Posted by timbits on 02/10/13 at 12:04 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

It isn’t that hard. I’ve been saying this since Atlanta moved to Winnipeg. Winnipeg to the Northwest, Minnesota to the Central, Nashville to the Southeast. You get the old Smythe, Norris, and a hockey version of the SEC/ACC with traditional cities/state rivalries.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 02/10/13 at 01:38 PM ET


and a hockey version of the SEC/ACC with traditional cities/state rivalries.

Your solution works if you live in the east. For everyone in the west and midwest, it sucks!

Posted by timbits on 02/10/13 at 01:44 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by timbits on 02/10/13 at 01:44 PM ET

It works for everyone. The central has teams in it that are in the same geographic region as other sports have in their leagues (MLB, NBA, B1G). SE gets some more natural rivalries that the NHL could actually market (if they were smart (i know, i know)). The only downside to the NW would be 4 Canadian teams plus Colorado but unless they move Phoenix to Seattle and swap them into the Pacific, I don’t see resolving that. An unbalanced league/conference/division does no one any good. I used to hate seeing teams from the Patrick not make the playoffs but junk teams from Hartford or Quebec get in because 4 from the Adams had to make it. So unless they are going to go to 2 more expansion teams, they need to keep the 5-team/3-division conferences.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 02/10/13 at 01:54 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Simple solution: Instead of Eastern and Western conferences change it to Northern and Southern conferences. 15 teams each. Everybody roughly travels the same amount.
Oh yeah, and fuch the handful of Eastern teams that get to sleep in their own bed when they are “on the road”.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/11/13 at 08:37 AM 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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