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The Future Of The Western Conference

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

So let’s deal with what we do know as of Sunday afternoon. Detroit and San Jose, the two franchises who have played the most playoff games since the 2005 lockout (Wings-97, Sharks-79) are both out in the first round.

How do we even recognize a Western Conference playoff without them?

The Wings and Sharks have been a staple for so many years, the Wings won the Cup in 2008 and were Cup finalists in 2009, and the Sharks were conference finalists the past two seasons. And both teams have always been in the thick of it all over the past decade.

So now what?

It’s too easy to just say, it’s a changing of the guard and the Wings and Sharks are on the downgrade.

It’s not that simple anymore. The cap system seven years out has introduced so much parity that the construction and deconstructing of teams is a different process now.

“I think we’re in an era now where every year is a new year, it’s hard to sustain things for more than two-to-three years because of the cap,” Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com Sunday. “It’s also because we all have a better understandings of the system, there are fewer kids traded, fewer draft picks traded. There’s more parity. The days of a team being at the head of the class for seven-to-eight years, those years are over.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com