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Winners Of The NHL Realignment Plan

from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,

So the Red Wings are a definite winner in the newest proposal that moves them to the East. They will lose the Hawks as a frequent foe, but they'll be in the same division (the new Central) with three other Original Six teams (Maple Leafs, Bruins and Canadiens) and conference with another (Rangers). In addition, they will make shorter trips to play Acela teams such as the Capitals, Flyers and Devils.

The Jets also win. Their nickname has been entirely appropriate because they have been using about a division's worth of jet fuel all by themselves, but It is high time for Winnipeg to stop keeping a schedule with Florida and Tampa Bay as virtual neighbors. After the former Thrashers moved from Atlanta following the 2010-11 season, there wasn't enough time to fit them into the Western Conference schedule for 2011-12. Then the newly-christened Jets were caught in the middle of the NHLPA's balk at the owners' first realignment plan. Now they are waiting through this year's shortened season, but their proposed home in a new Midwest Division that includes Minnesota, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Nashville and St. Louis will mean a kinder, gentler travel schedule.

The Blue Jackets were another team destined to stay in the West under the 2011 plan. Thanks to their proximity to Detroit (200 miles), they've had a rivalry with the Red Wings, and Blackhawks fans have been known to travel from Chicago to Columbus for games. A move to the proposed Atlantic Division (with the Hurricanes, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Capitals, Penguins) should kindle a rivalry with Pittsburgh (167 miles away), drawing Penguins fans and also allowing the Jackets to be seen more frequently in the East's largest markets.

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The Blue Jackets were another team destined to stay in the West under the 2011 plan. Thanks to their proximity to Detroit (200 miles), they’ve had a rivalry with the Red Wings…

No, they haven’t.

A move to the proposed Atlantic Division (with the Hurricanes, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Capitals, Penguins) should kindle a rivalry with Pittsburgh

No, it shouldn’t.

drawing Penguins fans and also allowing the Jackets to be seen more frequently in the East’s largest markets.

“That will be spectacular to watch!”...said no fan in the East’s largest markets.

Posted by godblender on 02/27/13 at 04:23 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Travel not only wears out the players and staff, it costs the teams a significant amount of money. This is the time to equalize those burdens and costs. Keep a two conference system, but make the conferences North and South. That way each conference has teams in all four time zones and the burdens and costs of travel are more equally apportioned.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/27/13 at 04:41 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

“That will be spectacular to watch!”...said no fan in the East’s largest markets.
Posted by godblender on 02/27/13 at 03:23 PM ET

LOL

Travel not only wears out the players and staff, it costs the teams a significant amount of money. This is the time to equalize those burdens and costs. Keep a two conference system, but make the conferences North and South. That way each conference has teams in all four time zones and the burdens and costs of travel are more equally apportioned.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 02/27/13 at 03:41 PM ET

I’ve been saying this for few couple years now. It’ll never fly because it makes too much sense and the teams in the East want no part of that much travel.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/27/13 at 04:52 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Travel not only wears out the players and staff, it costs the teams a significant amount of money. This is the time to equalize those burdens and costs. Keep a two conference system, but make the conferences North and South. That way each conference has teams in all four time zones and the burdens and costs of travel are more equally apportioned.

It’ll never happen as it would put the NHL’s most popular teams in one conference.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 02/27/13 at 05:44 PM ET

SYF's avatar

The Blue Jackets were another team destined to stay in the West under the 2011 plan. Thanks to their proximity to Detroit (200 miles), they’ve had a rivalry with the Red Wings…

Why no one respects SI’s coverage of the NHL anymore.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/27/13 at 06:22 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Article should read:

“Thanks to their proximity to Detroit (200 miles), <strike> they’ve had a rivalry with the </strike> Red Wings <strike> and Blackhawks <strike> fans have been known to travel </strike> from Chicago </strike> to Columbus for games.”

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 02/27/13 at 06:38 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Welp… F’d that up. Anyway…

Article should read:

“Thanks to their proximity to Detroit (200 miles), ... Red Wings… fans have been known to travel ... to Columbus for games.”

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 02/27/13 at 06:43 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

It’ll never happen as it would put the NHL’s most popular teams in one conference.
Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 02/27/13 at 04:44 PM ET

It wouldn’t work that way

NORTHERN CONFERENCE

DIV 1                     DIV2                           DIV3
Van                       Det                             Buf
Edm                     Chi                             Tor
Cal                       StL                             Ott
Win                       Cbj                             Mon
MN                         Pit                             Bos


SOUTHERN CONFERENCE

DIV4                       DIV5                           DIV6
SJ                         Dal                             Phi
LA                         Nas                             NJ
Ana                       Car                             NYi
PHX                       TB                               NYr
Col                         FL                               Was


Over half of the Southern Conference (LA, Ana, Col, Dal, TB, Car, NJ and NYR) have all won the Cup in the last 20 years.

Travel is balanced while keeping traditional and geographic rivalries alive.

But you are right, it will never happen because all the whiny little bitches in the current eastern conference would have to travel more. Also, Canadians (citizens of our neighbor to the north, not Habs fans) will hate it because it does away with their fantasy of an all Canada final. (FYI, only twice since expansion from the Original 6 have two Canadian teams met in the final, 1986 & 1989; Flames and Habs both times.)

 

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/27/13 at 06:59 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

the whiny little bitches in the current eastern conference would have to travel more.

A 4 game road trip for most any East coast team is less travel that a one way trip from Detroit to Phoenix. Now think about the travel in the context of the playoffs.

It’s about time these Eastern teams learn the meaning of travel.


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

 

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 02/27/13 at 08:38 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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