|Posted by HockeyFanLand on February 25, 2013 at 2:10 AM|
Elliotte Friedman said on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday that a long-awaited restructuring of divisions could come to fruition for next season.
Specifically, Detroit, Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto would make up one part of the Eastern Conference, while Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington would fill out the other Eastern Conference division. In the Western Conference, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg would make up one division, while the other would be rounded out by Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Jose.
The process would need to be ratified by the NHL Board of Governors and National Hockey League Players’ Association. The NHL tried to realign the divisions last season, but the NHLPA rejected it, so we will have to wait for word on how the players view the changes. Certainly Eastern Time Zone teams like the Detroit Red Wings, who have been traveling regularly to the other end of the US and Canada as members of the Western Conference should be thrilled with less travel. Their fans surely would appreciate not having to stay up half of the night to watch playoff games from the Pacific Time Zone.
The HockeyFanLand Insight:
NHL realignment will eventually have to take place; because of teams like the Winnipeg Jets playing in the wrong conference.
This latest proposal makes more sense than any proposed a season ago. Detroit and Columbus make the most sense for the teams moving out East as outlined by ESPN.
A major issue that I still have with the new conference system: How would you decide who makes the playoffs? Two conferences have seven teams, while the other two would have eight. maybe, some sort of crossover rule would be implemented?