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Proposed Alignment Changes


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http://www.torontosun.com/2011/06/22/nhl-maps-out-major-changes

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/746124-toronto-maple-leafs-and-dallas-stars-will-switch-conferences

Sounds very confusing, but if I get to see a western team at least twice (GO Blues Go) I'd be happy.

I wouldn't mind seeing the old way though, from like, when hockey was good.

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I wouldn't mind a four-division system, but don't like the proposed layout of the four. Split the east and the west along a geographical median; teams in the northern half in one division, southern half the other.

Time zones nightmare no?

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The two major problems I have:

1. Isn't it kind of unfair if 4 teams from each division make the playoffs when the divisions aren't the same size?

2. Montreal in a division with no other Canadian teams according to the one article (in particular, Montreal and Toronto would only play twice a year).

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So would they be getting rid of the points system, moving to win %? I agree with Graeme, how fair is it that 4 teams make it from every division when they're not all equal? Unless this is Bettman's way of telling us that 2 teams are going to fold by 2012-2013...

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Unless this is Bettman's way of telling us that 2 teams are going to fold by 2012-2013...

I think it screams expansion plan, unfortunately.

Four eight-team divisions, with the top four making the playoffs? How are they going to draw these divisions? I guarantee we'd end up in a division that looked something like this:

Montreal, Quebec (or if they don't end up getting a team or it remains a 30-team league, New Jersey), Ottawa, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

A division-based playoff system in today's NHL would be a guaranteed way to make sure that the playoffs are mostly league favorites, with a space or two for Cinderellas or first round meat. Between this and the incredibly weak "salary cap" these days, it would be a joke.

There's nothing wrong with the current playoff system, some of the divisions just kinda suck because of weird franchise placement. This is a horrible, ridiculous idea. So I'm sure it will happen. :rolleyes:

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Another horrible idea from a commissioner who knows nothing about hockey and isn't in touch with its fans. AS people have pointed out, the inequality in the number of teams in a division makes it unfair to half the league, and the re-alignment will split up a number of great rivalries. Bad idea all around, at least in the way it's projected right now.

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To be honest, I'm quite surprised by the negative reaction towards this idea. That Bleacher Report article was the first I'd heard of it, but to me it sounds like a really good idea!

Sure it would be stupid to have the top four teams from each division make the playoffs if the divisions are uneven, but do you really think that the owners of the 16 teams in the bigger divisions would stand for that? The article implied that there could be some leeway in how it worked - my guess would be to take the top three from each division and then either have two wildcard spots per 'conference' or four spots league-wide. It would still be a little easier to be a top-three team in a smaller conference, I suppose, but that's no worse then what we've had recently with the Eastern conference teams getting in with less points than some in the West who miss the playoffs and with teams in the South-East moving from 10th to 3rd depending on whether they are currently leading their division or not.

From a Montreal-specific viewpoint, the only negative I can see is that we'll be playing Toronto less. But seriously, playing them so much almost diminished the rivalry a little bit. Each Habs/Leafs game will mean more when there's only two a year. Not to mention the possibility now exists for a Montreal/Toronto Stanley Cup final. (Okay, so there's not REALLY a chance of the Leafs making it to the final, but at least it's a theoretical possibility :P)

Not to mention that we get to play more often against the Detroits, San Joses and Vancouvers of the league. I love games against good teams, but we almost never get a chance to test ourselves out West.

The other downside as it stands now is that we'd be losing the three weakest teams from our current division and adding New Jersey, Washington, Philly and Pittsburgh (plus the Isles and Rangers). The competition level would go up, but hey, I'd rather watch a good Montreal team earn their way into the playoffs in any case. Plus these things change, and today's powerhouses could be tomorrow's bottom-feeders.

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I dont mind the 4 divisions only, I actually like it but I don't like keeping the East and West separate until the SCF. If they're to change the League structure, why not change the playoffs format as well.

+1 to that. If they're going to change it, might as well go all out

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It wouldn't be much different than it is currently (assuming you're asking about my idea) - outside of Detroit and Columbus, the Eastern teams would still be Eastern teams, and Western would remain Western.

My bad, I thought you were proposing North/South conferences

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To be honest, I'm quite surprised by the negative reaction towards this idea. That Bleacher Report article was the first I'd heard of it, but to me it sounds like a really good idea!

I figured with Winnipeg, Phillys trades, the draft, bryz signing, markie signing, and Setogouchi signing, that the alignment proposal got kinda bumped out.

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Another horrible idea from a commissioner who knows nothing about hockey and isn't in touch with its fans. AS people have pointed out, the inequality in the number of teams in a division makes it unfair to half the league, and the re-alignment will split up a number of great rivalries. Bad idea all around, at least in the way it's projected right now.

[

dollars to doughnuts bettman makes it happen.

Besides ticking off a lot of hockey fans is bettman actually good at anything?

The two major problems I have:

2. Montreal in a division with no other Canadian teams according to the one article (in particular, Montreal and Toronto would only play twice a year).

DoubleFacePalm.jpg

ya i am sure the CBC would love that. Habs vs Leafs is probably one of the better games for them to show on a saturday night, ratings wise.

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According to Yahoo Sports, the league will go ahead and realign according to time zones. The final is to be finalized at the Board of Governors meeting in December. What are the thoughts on this?

Yes, apparently the new plan is to move 16 teams in the Eastern time zone into one conference and leave 14 others in a Western Conference. Again, if I were the Habs or any other team in the East, I would be vehemently opposed to this idea. There is no reason why we should have to play in a conference with two extra teams, thus making it harder to make the playoffs. That essentially means less playoff revenue, less playoff game excitement, and lower odds of winning the Stanley Cup... and as a result, potentially fewer free agents who want to sign here. The idea, as I've said before, is terrible. What makes the most sense is to move Winnipeg to the West, take a team like Columbus or Nashville and move them East and leave the rest alone as is.

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Yes, apparently the new plan is to move 16 teams in the Eastern time zone into one conference and leave 14 others in a Western Conference. Again, if I were the Habs or any other team in the East, I would be vehemently opposed to this idea. There is no reason why we should have to play in a conference with two extra teams, thus making it harder to make the playoffs. That essentially means less playoff revenue, less playoff game excitement, and lower odds of winning the Stanley Cup... and as a result, potentially fewer free agents who want to sign here. The idea, as I've said before, is terrible. What makes the most sense is to move Winnipeg to the West, take a team like Columbus or Nashville and move them East and leave the rest alone as is.

Agreed.

But then wouldn't it be 7 western teams, and a wildcard from the east. With 8 East teams facing off like usual?

Thatd make things interesting, but travel hectic

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Maybe. But do you trust the league to make a logical and fair decision? I don't, whatsoever.

Thats a good point, until the whole head office is cleared out I think the NHL is in trouble.

At least some ex players are taking over in shanny, blake, hopefully sakic and chelios get nhl jobs as opposed to a team one.

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Agreed.

But then wouldn't it be 7 western teams, and a wildcard from the east. With 8 East teams facing off like usual?

Thatd make things interesting, but travel hectic

But even if that's the case...

- does the Eastern team crossing over automatically finish 8th (and thus still get penalized)?

- the Eastern team, as you said, is penalized by extra travel in the playoffs

- the schedules are unbalanced and unequal for teams competing for the same playoff spot

So still hate it. The premise of a competitive sports league is that all teams, as much as possible should start on equal footing, and the whole idea of unbalanced conferences throws that out the window. If Bettman is so worried about one extra team staying in the same conference it's in now, maybe he should have thought about all the problems he created when he watered down the talent pool with his mindless expansion plans.

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