Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Alignment- Winners and Losers

1) Many are currently discussing the new NHL divisional and playoff format set to become reality next season (if there is a 2012-2013 season). Since, as we discussed last post that Gary Bettman had to shove this plan down several teams' throats, we figured we'd go through who we believe are the biggest winners and losers under this plan.

First the Winners:

  • Detroit: Probably the biggest overall winners in the new alignment. The Redwings aren't moving to the Eastern Conference BUT with increased play among the East there will be fewer games on the Pacific time zone reducing their overall time out of their Eastern time zone by 40%!

  • Columbus: See above! The Blue jackets along with the Redwings were the 2 teams that lie in the eastern time zone that were playing the most games outside this zone so this new configuration greatly reduces the teams travel

  • Nashville: The Preds are a Central time zone team, but this plan prevented a possible move to the soon to be defunct SE division. They get to retain their more natural rivalries they've been growing in the Central the past few years

  • Washington: The caps and especially their fans get their X-mas wish and return to the old Patrick Division(with Carolina. jettisoning their Florida 'rivals'. By doing so they probably will have some of the lest amount of travel(other than the 3 NY teams) in the NHL

Next The Losers:

  • Florida/Tampa Bay: Already separated by hundreds of miles fro their nearest rivals(Carolina) with this new set up the closest team to Florida suddenly is Boston? I guess someone had to take a hit, but seems odd to have the old NE division remain intact and adding the FLA teams. Their new conference rivals are probably pleased to escape the NE winter with a few extra road trips to the sunshine state! Sorry we don't buy the Canandian Snow birds argument that they will help boost attendance for the Fla teams!

  • NY Islanders: Imagine how difficult it will now be for the Isles to make the playoffs. Can anyone see them eclipsing the Pens, Flyers, or Caps any time soon? So that leaves the Rangers(who appear one of the best teams this year) Devils and Hurricanes. Even with the Canes and Devils in lean times its unlikely their management will allow them to stay that way soon, so it will take a small miracle to get them into the post season any time soon

  • Colorado: I guess geography is what it, but with the required increased travel East under this plan and having all their divisional/conference opponents in a different time zone the Avalanche will probably have the worst travel itinerary of any NHL team

2) By the way a frequent reader of ours wrote last night to remind us of how far in front of this realignment issue Fauxrumors has been. She reminded me that we wrote back in November of 2007 that the NHL should go to a 7 and 8 team division concept as well as bring back the old or (new) names to honor the past. See it here====>

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