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Realignment could save the NHL

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07:25 PM ET 02.11 | The NHL just experienced one of the worst work stoppages in the history of the game. Sure, the 2004-05 work stoppage wiped out an entire season, but the timing of this most recent lockout couldn't have been worse. A team from Los Angeles had just won the Stanley Cup, and anytime you get a winner in L.A., you're in for some real popularity. But the NHL, in its infinite wisdom, decided they didn't want to be popular and got themselves into a bitter lockout that has shortened the season and killed the momentum it had going. Not all is lost though, as some careful re-organizing and possibly some expansion can put the NHL right back on track and get it back to being one of the most popular sports in America. NHL realignment has been discussed in the past but nothing has come of it yet. While it seems like a mundane thing, realignment might be the saving grace hockey needs to make sure it's relevant and prominent in homes all over North America.

Fansided

Zach Parise, AP Images/Jeff Gross Zach Parise, AP Images/Jeff Gross
February 11, 2013  10:27 PM ET

Not all is lost though, as some careful re-organizing and possibly some expansion can put the NHL right back on track and get it back to being one of the most popular sports in America.


I don't think it ever was one of the most popular sports in America...

Comment #2 has been removed
February 12, 2013  02:03 AM ET

Agree with both #1 and #2 comments.

February 12, 2013  08:09 AM ET

Increased popularity rarely results in a better product.

February 12, 2013  08:20 AM ET

I'll believe it when I see it.

February 12, 2013  08:40 AM ET

Realignment could save the NHL

It will certainly help with tire wear.

February 12, 2013  08:44 AM ET

+1 to all the above.

Only a moron would think that the Kings winning the Cup + starting the season on time = US popularity and success.

February 12, 2013  08:47 AM ET

yep this is one of those WTF? articles

February 12, 2013  08:48 AM ET

Happy Fat Tuesday, Gents.

Abe--if you can hear me....Happy Birthday.

February 12, 2013  09:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Happy Fat Tuesday, Gents.

Abe--if you can hear me....Happy Birthday.

Or as Feaster calls it.......Tuesday.

February 12, 2013  09:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Realignment could save the NHLIt will certainly help with tire wear.

Less travel will reduce global warming and save the planet.

February 12, 2013  09:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Less travel will reduce global warming and save the planet.

(I fully expect to get a "Thank You" note from the Prez for my thoughtfulness and concern).

February 12, 2013  09:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

(I fully expect to get a "Thank You" note from the Prez for my thoughtfulness and concern).

He dialed my number by mistake. He'll thank you in his speech tonight.

February 12, 2013  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Happy Fat Tuesday, Gents.Abe--if you can hear me....Happy Birthday.

I sent him a nice present
theatre tickets

February 12, 2013  10:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Not all is lost though, as some careful re-organizing and possibly some expansion can put the NHL right back on track and get it back to being one of the most popular sports in America.I don't think it ever was one of the most popular sports in America...

I agree that of the so-called "big 4" it was almost certainly the 4th, I still think that some changes could help it. Wjile not really a niche` sport, it does have a selected audience, which can grow, but stop chasing football and baseball fans....they don't get it, and I daresay never will.
Realignment is a great idea. And even though it seems highly.....HIGHLY unlikely, i still say contraction would be huge. We've been all through the talent pool dilution theme, so that's understood. But realignment, and bringing back some of the (for example) Original 6 games Rangers/Wings Wings/Leafs etc need to happen more frequently

February 12, 2013  11:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I agree that of the so-called "big 4" it was almost certainly the 4th, I still think that some changes could help it. Wjile not really a niche` sport, it does have a selected audience, which can grow, but stop chasing football and baseball fans....they don't get it, and I daresay never will. Realignment is a great idea. And even though it seems highly.....HIGHLY unlikely, i still say contraction would be huge. We've been all through the talent pool dilution theme, so that's understood. But realignment, and bringing back some of the (for example) Original 6 games Rangers/Wings Wings/Leafs etc need to happen more frequently

+1000 ... we all know contraction and some movement of teams is a good idea...that's why it won't happen. Movement ....maybe...contraction...definitive NO

February 12, 2013  11:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Or as Feaster calls it.......Tuesday.

For Jay all days ending in "y" are fat. Tomorrow for example will be Fat Wednesday.

February 12, 2013  11:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

I sent him a nice present theatre tickets

Now that was just wrong. Very funny but wrong! :)

February 12, 2013  11:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Now that was just wrong. Very funny but wrong! :)

today's historical question....what if:
1) He didn't go to the play. by all reports, he was wiped out. but as we men are wont to do, he went to appease his wife.
2) Assuming he goes, what if grant had decided to go after all? how does the story end then?

 
February 12, 2013  01:16 PM ET

Move one Western Conference franchise (e.g. Coyotes) to the East (Markham or Quebec City) and Winnipeg to the West. Easy, isn't it? Plus, after that, you can add one franchise in the Western Conference (Seattle) and one in the Eastern Conference (Quebec City or Markham) and the conferences would still be balanced.

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