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A realignment proposal that moves the Red Wings West again

ESPN's Emily Kaplan penned an article discussing how the NHL might realign its teams and divisions if and/or when the league expands into the Seattle, WA marketplace. Kaplan suggests that the Red Wings should not remain in the Eastern Conference, but instead, move back into the West via a division in which the Wings would be the only Eastern Time Zone team. Kaplan suggests that the Wings' rivalry with Chicago is the reason the Wings "belong in the West":

I shared my list around the Blackhawks locker room recently, and when Patrick Kane got a look of it, he immediately noticed one thing: "We're not with the Predators anymore," Kane said, genuinely disappointed. "That has become a really good rivalry."

However, Nashville moved to make way for an important correction: returning the Detroit Red Wings where they belong. Separating the Blackhawks and Red Wings has been an injustice, and Kane agrees. "I think that would be awesome to bring them back," Kane said. "Even more so for the fans than anyone else. They appreciate those games so much. Now when there's just one game at home and on the road, it doesn't seem like the rivalry is where it needs to be. It would be fun to play them a few more times a year, and who knows, maybe in the playoffs."

Blackhawks rookie Alex DeBrincat, who grew up a Red Wings fan in Farmington Hills, Michigan, agreed. "I know how much history there is with Blackhawks and the Red Wings," DeBrincat said. "It would be cool to bring that back."

Kaplan continues, and I would suggest that the concept of moving the Wings back into the West would be a very hard sell with Detroit's ownership and fans.

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Comments

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Hmm, the Hawks are excited about swapping Nashville for Detroit? How shocking…

Posted by fatsavage on 01/08/18 at 10:06 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

$^&# that.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/08/18 at 10:19 AM ET

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F… that. Wings belong in the East. And if they are going to talk about original 6 rivalries, how about Wings/Leafs rivalry?
And there just might be a true fan rebellion if that happens. It is so nice to have most of the games at 7 or 7:30pm and not 9 or 10:30
I would actually be canceling my Center Ice subscription.

Posted by George0211 on 01/08/18 at 10:34 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

...but you merely adopted the west coast swing; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see the eastern conference until I was already a man…

- Bane, noted Red Wings fan
Dark Knight Rises

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/08/18 at 10:41 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I enjoyed the Western opponents more, but staying up until midnight to watch 30% of the games was not fun.  Especially in the playoffs where I wasn’t going to miss a game. 

But bringing them back to the West just for a rivalry against Chicago?  These teams have changed so much since the rivalry had really existed…it’s just a fun story at this point.  Sort of like how the Detroit/Toronto rivalry was supposed to be re-ignited when the Wings moved East.  It wasn’t.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/08/18 at 11:07 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

click bait ...

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 01/08/18 at 11:14 AM ET

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If you are in the Eastern time zone, you should play in the Eastern conference.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/08/18 at 11:18 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

click bait ...

Exactly!

Not sure how many of you frequent the ESPN NHL page?

It has been a bookmark of mine for like 10 years, along with TSN, Sportsnet, Kuka’s.

Over the last several years it has become mostly a bunch of links to Canadian Press, and some other posts.

John Buccigross used to write an occasional long form piece that was good, but I haven’t seen around this page for a long time now.

Apparently Wyshynski ,formerly of Puck Daddy, joined ESPN as a writer on their Hockey site, but his first few pieces have been underwhelming. Not sure who this Emily Kaplan is…never heard of her?

If McKenzie or some of the other insiders wrote this, I would give it a bit more credence.

A real hockey fan should not be getting their news from ESPN… red face

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/08/18 at 11:28 AM ET

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Imagine what our record would be if we didn’t play in the worst division in the NHL!!

I mean the Atlantic has a collective goal differential of MINUS 36. This is despite Tampa being at +52.

Now look at the Central. Not one team is a MINUS. Collectively they are PLUS 94.

We’d get destroyed. Although hopefully we’d be able to “play” with all of them. Bonus is that we don’t have to play Dotchin anymore.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/08/18 at 11:30 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Ditch divisions and conferences. Go to a single table. Every team plays each other equal number of times. No more realignments necessary.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 01/08/18 at 11:34 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Absolutely NOT.

This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while.

The entire premise of this piece of garbage is a total non-issue anyway.

The only realignment required here is moving a team in the Pacific to the Central to make room for Seattle. For that, I recommend moving the Glendale Basement Critters to an actually good market in Milwaukee, or moving the eastern-most of Calgary and Edmonton to the Central.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 01/08/18 at 11:35 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

A real hockey fan should not be getting their news from ESPN
Posted by Down River Dan on 01/08/18 at 11:28 AM ET

+19

or any other sport for that matter.

There’s people that still watch espn?

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 01/08/18 at 11:41 AM ET

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Sort of like how the Detroit/Toronto rivalry was supposed to be re-ignited when the Wings moved East.  It wasn’t.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/08/18 at 11:07 AM ET

The two teams are on such different trajectories right now, I don’t think that’s surprising. A couple playoff series would change things a lot, I’d wager.

Posted by RyanVM on 01/08/18 at 11:43 AM ET

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So when there is a new team in the west, which would perfectly balance out the conferences, the NHL should realign to…balance out the conferences?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 01/08/18 at 12:03 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

If you are in the Eastern time zone, you should play in the Eastern conference.

Exactly. It is just a B>S. article. mad

Posted by bigfrog on 01/08/18 at 12:30 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I am probably the lone ranger, but the late games worked out well for me, I miss a lot of games coaching and playing now, where before, I could watch a game while I unwound with a mug. I record games now, but there’s no bubble ability in a rink. I probably watch less wings hockey now that we’re an East coast team. Plus I liked the 10pm Saturday starts, reason to grab a bar stool.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/08/18 at 12:44 PM ET

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Posted by fatsavage on 01/08/18 at 11:30 AM ET

yea! I’m with FS. The Wings should move back to the Central. You know, that division where Colorado was a mere -112 in goals and the division was collectively -36 for the season.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/08/18 at 12:53 PM ET

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In all seriousness, this is, as Dan pointed out, total click bait. The NHL would never move the Wing’s back to the West. The NHL, like Trump, are trying to Make the NHL Great Again. I heard they were actually thinking about reducing the league back to just six teams.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/08/18 at 12:56 PM ET

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Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/08/18 at 12:44 PM ET

As a west coast fan, I enjoy the early games now. I can watch the start of the game at work and listen to the rest on the way home.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/08/18 at 12:57 PM ET

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Getting hockey new from ESPN is like getting UFC news from the Weather Channel.

Posted by Steve1306 on 01/08/18 at 02:20 PM ET

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Leave it to a woman to F#$% things up.  She must have slush for brains!

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 01/08/18 at 02:52 PM ET

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Leave it to a woman to F#$% things up.  She must have slush for brains!

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 01/08/18 at 02:52 PM ET

Really? women can’t know anything about Hockey? whoops, someone tell that to Cammi Granato, Angela James, Geraldine Heaney, Angela Ruggiero & Danielle Goyette, all in hockey hall of fame.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/08/18 at 03:56 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Getting hockey new (sic) from ESPN is like getting UFC news from the Weather Channel.

Posted by Steve1306 on 01/08/18 at 02:20 PM ET

I’m stealing this.

Leave it to a woman to F#$% things up.  She must have slush for brains!

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 01/08/18 at 02:52 PM ET

No call for that comment, at all.  Completely unnecessary.

Posted by Primis on 01/08/18 at 04:59 PM ET

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I wish this would happen, but we all know it never will.

This is all anecdotal, but ever since the Wings moved to the East, I simply stopped caring about watching their games. Sure, they haven’t been as good, but gone are the matchups against the likes of Colorado, St. Louis and Dallas that I grew up watching. Gone are the later rivalries with Nashville, Anaheim, San Jose, and Chicago. Those are games I would still go out of my way to watch.

Instead we have a rivalry with… Tampa Bay. And it’s not much of a rivalry when it’s one team dominating the other. There’s not another compelling matchup in the East for the Wings.

Posted by dmorley21 on 01/08/18 at 05:09 PM ET

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Leave it to a woman to F#$% things up.  She must have slush for brains!

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 01/08/18 at 02:52 PM ET

How is this comment allowed on this site?

Posted by dmorley21 on 01/08/18 at 05:13 PM ET

Alan's avatar

You know…. over the 20 odd years that the Wings were in the west, they developed some great rivalries with teams like the Stars, Sharks, and (of course) Avs. But we’re in the Eastern time zone. I don’t mind staying up until 1230am every so often watching a game, but I don’t want to do that all the time.

This so-called reporter peddling her list among other locker rooms seems to fail to realize that very few Wings fans want that again. I want to see the rivalry between the Leafs rekindled. I want to see the team bust up the Bruins on a regular basis. The very close rivalry we’ve had with the Rangers since rejoining the East has been great. The new rivalries with the Lightning and (to a lesser extent) Panthers has been great too.

So no. Hell no. The Wings stay in the East.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/09/18 at 01:41 AM ET

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It’s adding a team in the West, thus evening out the conferences, and she wants to move a team further west than Detroit into the East?

Geography factored high into our equation, and the goal is to minimize travel as much as possible within the division.

The very next division increases travel by spanning 3 time zones.

Let’s be honest: The current Atlantic Division is a geographic mess.

I reiterate, she creates a division that spans 3 time zones.

This rekindles some awesome Original Six rivalries: New York versus Boston, New York versus Toronto—heck, we even love New York versus Montreal.

Yes let’s rekindle so many Original Six rivalries, by breaking up the division that holds 5 of the 6 Original Six teams to assuage the New York market.

I’m convinced she has no idea why Detroit moved to the East in the first place. All that needs to happen is move Arizona to the Central, Seattle to the Pacific. ESPN is utter garbage.

Posted by Manthanasiou87 on 01/09/18 at 08:28 AM ET

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I recommend moving the Glendale Basement Critters to an actually good market in Milwaukee

I live in Milwaukee, and as much as I would love that we just don’t have the economic base to support another pro franchise.

Posted by EthrDemon on 01/09/18 at 02:22 PM ET

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Posted by EthrDemon on 01/09/18 at 02:22 PM ET

Portland OR has the base.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/09/18 at 04:23 PM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by EthrDemon on 01/09/18 at 02:22 PM ET

That’s unfortunate, I hear you guys love your teams.

Houston does.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 01/10/18 at 09:19 AM ET

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.