View Full Version : NHL considering realignment

12-22-2006, 04:57 PM

New set-up would keep teams closer to home
ESPN.com news services

The NHL has floated the idea of realigning its six current divisions into four, mainly aligned with time zones, according to a story on TSN of Canada's Web site. According to the report, six club executives met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman this week to consider potential plans. They're taking ideas from those talks back to their teams, TSN reported.

Among the ideas:
• Reducing the current six divisions to four, with two in the Eastern Conference and two in the Western Conference. There would be one eight-team division and one seven-team division in each conference.

• The top two finishers in each division would be guaranteed the top four playoff seeds. The four other playoff qualifiers in each conference would be based on point totals.

• The Northeast Division -- which includes Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo and Boston -- would remain intact and add two other teams to form a seven-team division. Pittsburgh is one of those teams that would join the Northeast, sources told TSN.

• The current Atlantic Division (the three New York-area teams plus Philadelphia) would join the four teams from the current Southeast Division (all but one of Washington, Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Florida).

• The eight-team division in the Western Conference would feature all teams in Pacific or Mountain time zones (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Colorado and Phoenix).

• The seven-team division in the Western Conference would feature teams that are in either the Central or Eastern time zones.
The NHL is considering the changes to help with travel and to keep televised games in the same time zones to maximize ratings.

12-22-2006, 05:50 PM
hmmm interesting....

12-22-2006, 07:18 PM
Bob McKenzie has an article on TSN.CA about this...

LINKY (http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=189350&hubname=)

I kind of like this idea. The only thing I would do differently is have the top 4 teams from each of the four divisions all make the playoffs and then have 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 in the first round etc. just like the old days of the Adams division etc.

Rivalries are NOT built by regular season play, they are built by playoff series. Playing your divisional opponents right up until the conferance finals would do more to create rivalries then anything they do to the regular season schedule.

12-22-2006, 11:20 PM
Yeah so when Pittsburgh moves it just messes everything up? As a Sabres fan I like the format. If they switched and really wanted to go by location then i'd probably think that Columbus would be the most natural rival for the other teams. Also I wonder how this would affect the schedule.

12-23-2006, 01:33 AM
What's really F'ed up is living here in Colorado and not getting to see the Flyers play a single game here versus the Aves....how can you not have every team visit another team's place in a 80 game season? :confused:

12-23-2006, 02:16 PM
Aside from this realignment, they have to find a way to return to NETWORK TV if they want to stay a financially solvent league.