The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/02/13 at 10:58 PM ET
The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger spoke to St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong about the possibility that the Red Wings might move to an Eastern-team-dominated "conference" under the league's realignment plan. Armstrong probably speaks for every other Western Conference GM, and most certainly the Wings' other big Central Division rivals, Chicago and Nashville, in suggesting that the Wings are a huge draw that will be sorely missed both on the ice and in terms of teams' bottom lines:
“From a business standpoint, Detroit is always a great draw, a certain sellout,” Armstrong said in a phone interview on Saturday evening. “In that regard, it’s tough for teams in the West to see the Wings shift East. But I understand it. In this instance, you have to look at the big picture and see what is in the best interests of the league.”
Armstrong pointed to his days as part of the Dallas Stars organization as an example. Because the Stars were in the Pacific, every other team in their division was in a later time zone.
“In that case, you lose a lot of young fans who aren’t watching games on TV because every divisional road game starts later,” Armstrong said. “That’s pretty well the same way it has been with Detroit. In that way, it’s easy to see why they want to move to the East. Hey, we’d love to have the New York Rangers in our division too. But that’s not going to happen.”
In the end, the Wings will rekindle their Original Six grudge wars against the Leafs, Canadiens and Bruins by moving east. At the same time, it will be sad to see the Detroit-Chicago and Detroit-St. Louis rivalries fizzle out. Such is the give-and-take cost of realignment.
Zeisberger also spoke to Armstrong about his take on the state of Team Canada a year away from Sochi as he's a consultant to GM Steve Yzerman...
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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.