There’s been a million articles on the realignment that’s been proposed by the NHL, but we gotta hit on it too. They’ve managed to somehow not squarely address the main concern that the NHLPA had with the last alignment, notably the uneven conferences. However, there’s a lot of good too. Let’s just hit the main points from the Wings’ perspective. First here’s their division:
The NEW Central Division
Detroit Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Just look at that division. Holy crap. 4 original six teams, plus hockey mad Buffalo and Ottawa. And don’t forget Yzerman’s team down there in Tampa, who are always fun to watch. Not to mention we get free wins again Florida forever, similar to Columbus.
Less travel! Though there is still a decent amount with Florida and Tampa, but still.
Time zone – All Eastern conference teams, which means all games are EST. Woohoo, no more 10:30 games!
Did I mention that we are in a conference with FOUR original six teams?
Coolest oriignal six picture on google.
More thoughts and a reader poll, after the break:
The conferences are still uneven and Detroit is stuck in an 8 team conference, making it harder to get into the playoffs. Sure they’ve added a wild card playoff spot, but still – considering the league parity these days, I hate this.
Goodbye little brother Chicago. As good as Toronto’s rivalry was, there’s not one better right now than Chicago and Detroit. These cities HATE each other and that’s going to be hard to replace. Though I must remind myself that we’d be going into a division with FOUR ORIGINAL SIX TEAMS. Feels better.
No more easy playoff wins over St. Louis. Because seriously, they can’t beat Detroit. I’d also miss reading their oh-so-bitter and jealous posts about how much they hate Detroit.
No more Columbus. The three hour trip is the closest team to Detroit and….oh who am I kidding, only I care about this because, right now, as a resident of Columbus, I get to see the Wings 3-4 times a year for dirt cheap. I don’t want this to end…
So in the end, there’s some good and bad. I think the good outweighs the bad, but only slightly at the moment. So vote on it in the poll below and let’s hear your thoughts in the comments:
Hey guys, for those of you interested in prospects, how has Xavier Ouellet been progressing? I saw a prospect analysis on twitter today via NHL Young Guns Daily (@YoungGunsDaily) that compared Ouellet to Enstrom from the Jets. Is that a good comparison? How do you guys think he will do when he gets to Detroit?
I despise the idea of a wildcard game. There's a reason we have 7 game series. Last year I think at least 3 teams were down 3-0 and it went to game 7?
I am not sure what they are pulling with Florida and Tampa Bay but I wouldn't mind playing them a few more times a season. Also the uneven conferences only brings up the expansion talk again. Seattle really wants a team and I am sure places like KC or maybe even Portland out in the west could grab a team. All of a sudden there are even conferences.
If they can fix the unfair advantage the western conference has in making the playoffs, it'd be perfect.
Losing Chicago sucks, and honestly, I almost feel bad for them. They're stuck in a division with teams that get almost zero media attention. Plus, even though the Wings and Hawks might not be as big of rivals on the ice as in years past, the two cities still deeply hate each other so I will definitely miss that.
@JOHNxJOHN i think itd be perfect to expand and re align at the same time. I think a quick fix would be to just throw the wings in the east and move winnipeg to the west. wait and see what happens in phoenix and with the islanders and then reassess in a few years as far as teams moving or expansion. doing all this now just to move phoenix to hamilton or quebec or seattle could be too much trouble but what do i know right?