Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/03/13 at 10:00 AM ET
from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,
"For our team, realignment is critical," said Wild owner Craig Leipold.
Under the NHL's proposed realignment, six divisions will go down to four (two in the East with eight teams each, two in the West with seven teams each) with the Wild moving into a Midwest Division with Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
To Leipold, this is perfect. Most teams are in the Central time zone. There's a chance to foster genuine geographical rivalries. There will be less time wasted going through customs, more opportunities to get home from road games at a decent hour.
And there's the monetary implication. With less time in the air and fewer nights in hotels, the Wild estimates it'll save $800,000 to $1 million a year in travel costs.
Last week, all 30 teams and the NHL Players' Association received the league's plan for realignment, which includes Detroit and Columbus moving to the Eastern Conference.
"My input was I'm ready to vote on it right now, and frankly I think probably most of the other owners are right now," Leipold said.
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