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Realignment That Works

from Jim Gordon of the SiriusXM NHL Radio Network,

The concerns I have with the new proposal are simple. It feels like they are trying to put a square peg into a round hole. In an effort to properly align time zones and satisfy clubs, you create an imbalance with 16 teams in the East, and 14 teams in the West. It is an imbalance which creates scheduling challenges, and a lack of fairness with respect to the likelihood of qualifying for the playoffs.

So how to build the better mouse trap? The final answer for me ultimately became expansion. Speculation has been rampant, and I never liked the idea, but if you are going to do it, do it now. A franchise in Quebec City, and a second team in the Greater Toronto are has its perks. It caters to a pair of hockey markets who currently feel underserved. It would certainly generate between half a billion and a billion dollars in expansion fees. And it would create about 50 new jobs for the players association.

Now we decide how to split up 32 teams, and make it functional. I adopted the NFL model. 2 conferences with 4 divisions in each. In my opinion, the geographic break down of the divisions are ideal. While it does not address the desire to move Detroit and Columbus to the East, I will explain later why I don’t feel that is the problem.

read on

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



I can totally understand people who don’t like the uneven conferences but seriously, if your counter proposal is to expand just so that there are an even number of teams in the conferences, do you relly expect to be taken seriously?

Posted by Garth on 03/04/13 at 04:52 PM ET


If they were going to 32 teams just go to 4 divisions of 8. You don’t need 8 divisions. Then go to the divisional playoff format they wanted and it’s fine. Even across the board. Basically go with the divisions/conference they wanted last year but add the QC and TO teams.

Posted by tmoore4075 on 03/04/13 at 05:16 PM ET


I can totally understand people who don’t like the uneven conferences but seriously, if your counter proposal is to expand just so that there are an even number of teams in the conferences, do you relly expect to be taken seriously?

There have been rumors of expansion for a while now though. I don’t like the idea personally but there is a crap ton of money in it for the owners. Especially if they expand to TO and QC. I can’t even imagine the money they could squeeze from potential ownership groups in those cities.

Posted by tmoore4075 on 03/04/13 at 05:20 PM ET


Also, dude doesn’t see the issues with Detroit and Columbus in the West. Nothing wrong with being the only two teams in the league that consistently have to travel 3 time zones. Dude must live on the east coast our not watch any hockey. Or he doesn’t have a favorite team.

Posted by teldar on 03/04/13 at 05:39 PM ET


Especially if they expand to TO and QC.

How would that solve the travel issues which are the main reason for the proposed realignment in the first place?

Posted by Garth on 03/04/13 at 05:49 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

This is coming from a guy who regularly has Ecklund and The Puck stops Here on his radio show. I wish I knew what his credentials are to always give such Don Cherryesque opinions on all things hockey.  If any of you can explain what his resume consists of, I would be most obliged.

2 more expansion teams. Bah, the talent is already too watered down. Please just go play with your fantasy league buddies and leave to league managing to others Boomer.

Posted by cigar_nurse from On The mend for next season Greenville Pylons on 03/04/13 at 06:19 PM ET


Well, for starters, expansion is pretty much a done deal.  I don’t think it’s going to be QC and a second Toronto team for two reasons:

1) That’s too smart.  We don’t follow a sport run by smart, forward thinking people.  We follow a sport run by shortsighted, self-important dopes.

2) Those cities aren’t in the USA, and the people involved in making point 1 painfully true already ‘gave away’ one big US market.  They aren’t giving up another.  Or two, for that matter.

If I had to guess the two teams will both be added in the ‘West’, and they’ll be Seattle and KC.  If the rumors start flying that either Detroit or Columbus may not be moving, then QC or Toronto 2 are in the mix big time.  Right now, nope.

That aside, the author is a dope if he doesn’t think getting teams on EST out of the Western Conference is an issue.  It’s more of an issue for us, because we are the ones punished by a large number of 10pm starts, but it’s still an issue for the league as a whole.

Mostly, it just looks dumb.  Also, it’s a big negative impact on the teams involved.  Now granted, for the most part Gary doesn’t care if Detroit gets hurt.  Heck, it’s probably a point in favor.

But it also really screws up all those West Coast teams with all those big media markets because 7pm starts here are games pretty much nobody out West is ever going to see in media times that aren’t very valuable for local stations to sell.  If the West can get within 2 timezones of itself, that’s a huge improvement.

As far as the idea of expansion watering down the product goes, I thought it did in the past.  I don’t think it would anymore.  There are freaking tons of very talented players out there, and the world is such now that they can all be found, scouted, recruited and signed.

And also, there’s a cap.  Without a cap I’d worry more, but with a cap I think there are more than enough elite players for even 32 teams to all have 3-4 of them.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/04/13 at 06:51 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I hear this guy on xm on a fairly regular basis and almost always find myself wanting to reach “into” the radio and dope slap him.

If getting listeners to react to his ridiculous statements was/is the goal of this channel….well you’ve succeeded xm.

If however, the point of the channel is to provide intelligent cogent hockey analysis…then I respectfully suggest to Mr. Thistle (sp.) , the channel program director to fire nearly the entire on air staff and start anew. Jim “boomer” Is a blowhard who should be working on a 5000 watt AM. Station in the North West Territories.

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/04/13 at 07:18 PM ET


Or contract Miami and Columbus and its even again.

Posted by maltby18 on 03/04/13 at 07:50 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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