The Wings want out. In fact, the Wings were promised out. But what is the NHL going to do?
Well a few days ago it was leaked that the Wings and the Jets were going to switch positions, putting Detroit in the Southeast and Winnipeg in the Central. Greg over at Puck Daddy summed up my feelings on that very well:
The technical term for this is "the easy way out."
What happened to the bold overhaul of the NHL's conference format?
What happened to putting the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference where they belong, or the Nashville Predators closer to their SEC rivals in the Southeast? What happened to a Smythe Division reunion with the Jets, Flames and Oilers?
WTF WITH DETROIT IN THE SOUTHEAST?
God, that would be terrible. I’d honestly rather stay in the West then have to move to the SE. 6 games against the Florida Panthers would make me want to shoot myself.
Now the Wings have offered to stay a Western Conference team, sorta:
"Detroit has offered an interesting concession in all of this: a willingness to stay in the Western Conference if they only have to travel into Western Canada once instead of twice, and they only have to go into California once instead of twice.
"So hey, Detroit's trying to play nice in the sandbox here. They're offering concessions."
Well that would be better for Detroit, but I’m not sure if that’s fair to the Columbus/Nashvilles of the world either. Another idea is the three conference system, as suggested by John Shannon of Sportsnet. Interesting, but it seems a little too complex for me as well.
I believe the Western and Eastern Conferences are outdated and should be scrapped. There’s simply too many teams in the east part of the country(s) for it to be fair to the far east Western Conference teams. I think the best solution is to go to alignment like the NFL uses, by simply putting two conferences together (call them what you will) which are not based on location.
Within the conferences, put divisions together that are based on location, so that you’d still have the Central Division, but it’d be in the same conference as say the Northeast and the Pacific (just throwing names down). Sure, that’s probably more travel for the teams generally, but it’d be the price to pay to have real parity when it comes to travel. Plus, this would keep the rivalries alive within the divisions and be the least work when it comes to realigning the league.
So what are your thoughts? Something’s going to happen and someone is going to be pissed. Vote in the poll below and leave your comments as well:
Idk them being in the east wouldn't bother me so much either. Maybe just put us with pit nyr nyi and philly and col stay in the central with minn stl chi and nash, make sense plus more original 6 matchups and wings vs pens games !
They should put the jets with van and edm, put minn in the central with us n take columbus to the division with pitt, and move nj to the caps n bolts division. Problem solved !
wow, i've been looking at the map where all the teams are (it's been a slow day at work), and i gotta say, there is really now great answer. each solution is going to screw over someone. i've come to the realization that the nfl system addresses the issue of balancing the teams with the most popularity but doesn't address the traveling issue. the 4 divisions looks great as far as traveling goes but you'll have 4 original six teams in one division! (national post/mike faille) So you know which division will get the most coverage. All in all, i have no idea which is the best option.
I guess I should also say...
What's the big deal if the Wings are in the Southeast conference anyway?
1) Columbus sucks...so do the Panthers. That evens out.
2) Chicago is our biggest rival in the Central currently but that can easily change to the Capitals and Ovechkin. It's not an original six swap...but it could still be a good rivalry.
3) Nashville is a little like Tampa Bay...only swap the good defense with the good offense and they about even out. We could easily get a nice rivalry going here with Yzerman as their GM.
4) St. Louis is like Carolina. Both are always close to the playoffs and just barely miss it.
I want the Wings in the Southeast soooooo bad. I live in North Carolina now and that means I could go to 6 games a year instead of 1 every other year!!! DO IT!!
I think have 3 conferences is kinda tacky. I think there's a reason why every sport in america has only 2 conferences, because it works. Basketball is setup the most like hockey and the reason why they don't have this problem is because there is an even amount of top market teams in both conferences. That's the NHL's problem. If creating balance means all the teams in the league travel a little more, then so be it. At least you'll have two even conferences. And let's be honest, there's a hand full of teams that aren't going to make it within the next 10 years or so, so whatever the solution is, it must be a long term solution.
The problem with most of these layouts is that in my opinion they would have to reduce the number of games played. I don't want that at all. The NFL can get away with it because they have so few games. If you did the NFL system with 82 games you would have more travel for every team than they currently have.
Moving Detroit to the south east is a little dumb to me but could still work. I wouldn't mind the change. There are some good teams in that division.
I would think a 3 conference with two divisions each is far superior. because then like baseballs interleague play you would travel around for a certain part of the year. Maybe the top two teams in each division are automatically in and and the rest based off of performance. How you would seed them is the only issue in this one. I really like this a lot more than the others to add come entertainment back in to the game.
I absolutely love the NFL style conferences. They make the most sense and are the fairest. You can just list the most successful franchises over the past 20 years or so and just start putting everyone into each conference, making sure each conference has the same amount of "star power." You can also keep Original Six rivals together since everyone in the OS is pretty close together anyway. This would take the most amount of work and change but it's a no brainer.
In my opinion Souteast is better than staying out West. However, I liked the idea that was tossed around earlier where they have unbalanced conferences:
4 divisions - 2 west consisting of 7 teams each and 2 east consisting of 8 teams each.
That way the Eastern teams (Det, CBJ, and NAS) all play out East and WPG comes back to the West.
For playoff purposes, they can do the cross-over thing where if the 9th place team in the East is better than the 8th place team in the West, they qualify for the Western playoffs in order to keep it fair.
@Lauren H Does it really help much with the travel though? Sure the time is the same, but the distance is still ridiculous.
@marti783 The problem I see with any other alignment (short of just swapping the two teams) is that you end up creating more travel for all of the teams short of a couple teams like Detroit, Nashville, and Columbus.
Kind of curious what you mean by tacky. It would simply be a way to more efficiently distribute the geographical structure of the teams. Either way I am excited to see something new, even if it is only Detroit that sees something new it will be exciting for us.
@DetCapC19 This is my feeling as well. If the option is to keep the current system or go to the Southeast, I would choose the latter. Would it suck to play the Panthers six times? Yes. Is it worth having an easier travel schedule in the playoffs which will cause the team to perform better? Absolutely.
@DetCapC19 I think that woudl create problems in that how can you tell really if one team is better than the other if they are playing a much harder (and different schedule)
@KevinMichael Interesting. Very interesting. How would you do inter divisional play and would there be a general west and east conference?
@moorecha Difficulty of schedule wouldn't be an issue as you could argue that for the past several years, the West has been far more competetive and tougher on travel. The difference in schedules would be a stumbling block as both conferences would be dealing with different inter-conference and divisional schedules based on the number of teams. I'm not sure if there's any way around that. The biggest benefit would be that both Dallas and Minny could play in the Central where they belong, the Eastern teams would be in the East, and nobody would have a huge advantage in terms of travel anymore.
Those were my exact thoughts. Either it's three hours in a car to Columbus or three hours on a plane to Florida; I'm thinking most people would choose the plane route.
@moorecha @thebiglachovsky @Lauren H Do they actually drive when they go to Columbus? I think the worst part about being in the Western Conference isn't the time it takes to get there but the fact that they end up playing games at 10 pm or 10:30 pm. Playing all of those eastern teams 4 times and south eastern teams 6 times ends up being way less travel, too if that's what you're worried about.