- 11/17/2011, 04:54PM ET
baby jeebus said 11/17, 04:54 PM
List first, then argue the best way to realign the NHL divisions for 2012/13.
1. Move Winnipeg to the Northwest.
2. Move Minnesota to the Central.
3. Move Nashville to the Southeast.
This is how they look:
The other three divisions will stay the same.
Argos. said 11/17, 07:33 PM
First off, the game is watered down and there is too many teams. Any hockey fan can tell you this.
There is currently 6 NHL teams up for sale. I say, the NHL offers the owners of two of the poorer teams, with a lack of fan base $250 million to buy them out, and then the league can retract two teams.
The two teams to be retracted will be Phoenix and Florida.
From there, with only 28 teams, the NHL should go with 4 divisions of 7 teams each. The divisions will be:
In terms of geography this makes great sense. The only miss-fit is TB, but I have that for a reason. We all know Quebec City is getting a team within the next 2 years. Of the teams remaining, Tampa or Dallas are the most likely to move. Quebec would have to go in Division A, so if it is Tampa no movement will happen. If Dallas goes, move Tampa to B, Carolina to C, and Quebec to A.
baby jeebus said 11/18, 04:42 PM
You can't just assume Tampa is going to move to make your divisions work.
They aren't even struggling that much. They've had solid attendance this year and last. It's much more likely that Columbus, Dallas, or Islanders will move instead.
I would rather see relocation instead of contraction. There are plenty of options, Quebec City, Seattle, Milwaukee, Hamilton..you could have 2 more teams in Ontario alone.
But that's another TD. Point is, I like 30 teams/6 divisions.
"First off, the game is watered down.."
I disagree. The game has changed, so that best teams are well-rounded. Every team needs its share of grinders, fighters, and journeymen. A smaller league might not have room for the Semins and Kovulchucks.
IF you're sold on contraction...why stop at 2? Get rid of Columbus, Dallas, Anaheim, NYI, and a bunch others. Go back to 22 teams/4 divisions like the early 90's. I'd rather see that.
My format doesn't require relocation or contraction. It's simpler, makes scheduling sense, and keeps rivalries. You also broke up the Winnipeg/Edmonton rivalry, which I don't like...
Argos. said 11/19, 09:23 AM
Let me just explain why I picked to retract two.
First, you can't just move teams to whatever city you feel fit. You need willing ownership to buy and move the team, you need other teams to approve (which Buffalo & Toronto who have rights in Hamilton wont), and you need an arena.
The reason I said to retract 2 teams, and not 6 or 8 is because of the expense. Buying out 6-8 teams will cost the NHL billions in legal fees, breaking leases, letting employees go, and buying out current ownership. The league cannot afford that. Buying out two teams will probably cost in the $600 million range, which the league can barely afford. Buying out more than that would make the league go bankrupt.
The playoffs in my format are much better. The top 4 teams in each division make the playoffs, and battle each other for the 1st 2 rounds. Then the division winners battle it out for the Cup. Just like the good old days.
Since I kept all the rivalries in the league in-tact, that means you will see more rivalry match-ups in the playoffs. More Chicago-Detroit, more Calgary-Edmonton, Flyers-Pens, Toronto-Montreal & Montreal-Boston. A much more exciting playoffs.
baby jeebus said 11/19, 06:59 PM
"You need willing ownership to buy and move the team..."
Exactly. That's why I'm saying you can't assume a team will move to Quebec in 2 years. They don't have an arena or owner. Quebec will get a team, eventually, but I see 4-5 years minimum. Even with all the pieces lined up, it took Winnipeg 3 seasons for a deal to go through.
In which case you're going to have Tampa playing some miserable schedules for many seasons.
You go on about the logistics of contracting 6-8 teams over 2...well realistically neither will ever happen. The NHL will never contract even 1 team right now. Theoretically, contracting 6-8 teams and eliminating a whole round of playoffs makes just as much sense as your model.
My format keeps all the regular season rivalries, but I like the wide-open playoff format. It gives the chance for new rivalries to develop as we've seen in the last decade, like the Avs-Wings, Canucks-Hawks, Stars-Oilers, Sabres-Senators. You have the same teams face each other for 2 years, a new rivalry starts
Old classic rivalries like Habs-Bruins and Hawks-Wings still happen once in a while, but honestly I don't want to see the same matchups in the same rounds every year
Argos. said 11/20, 08:56 AM
Quebec already has ownership lined up, are getting a building built, and have met with Gary Bettman several times already. They are getting a team, and soon.
Plus, Tampa isn't a far stretch to play in that division. Just look at other Tampa teams, like the Rays that play in a division with Toronto. Tampa is not far from those other teams, and all that really matters is the time zone.
Now, I have a problem with you keeping Columbus and Detroit in the West. Both teams have openly complained, and complained a lot about it. It is way too much travel and time-zone changes for teams in the Eastern Time Zone. With me getting rid of the conference, they wont have this problem because everyone in Detroit's division is relatively close, and they will be playing the Leafs (division A) just as much as they will be playing the Ducks (division D).
New rivalries are nice, but they will still happen. Many of the Detroit-Avs meetings happened in the conference semi-finals, which will still happen. Overall though, the historic and geographical rivalries are the games best, and that will happen in my format.
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