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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:22 pm 
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So a new lineup with a NYI to Kansas City...


Eastern Conference
ATLANTIC
New Jersey
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers
* Washington

NORTHEAST
Boston
Montreal
Buffalo
Toronto
Ottawa

SOUTHEAST
* Nashville
Carolina
Florida
Atlanta
Tampa Bay

Western Conference
CENTRAL
Detroit
Chicago
Columbus
St. Louis
* Kansas City

NORTHWEST
Calgary
Vancouver
Edmonton
Minnesota
Colorado

PACIFIC
San Jose
Anaheim
Dallas
Los Angeles
Phoenix

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:25 pm 
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But I'd like to see Minnesota and KC swapped, so that Minnesota is in the Central with Detroit, chicago, etc. Kansas City would then be in division with Colorado.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:24 pm 
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I agree with Quinn. Swap Minny & KC.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Geographic conferences are the dumbest thing the league can do. All you're doing is ensuring that "success" is spread across the country geographically, and not based on quality of team.

Look at baseball. Every year, one division champ makes the playoffs who wouldn't get in except for the fact that they play in the easy division. Now in hockey, 16 of 30 make the playoffs. So what does "winning a division" do for you? Nothing.

In hockey, there's no problem with season-long interleague play like in baseball. All the issues with scheduling in baseball are not a problem in hockey. Yet hockey doesn't get it at all, and hockey is still trying to find ways to make the sport appealing to more people. Here's an idea that solves everything:

#1 - Eliminate geographic conferences/divisions.
#2 - Divide into two conferences similar to baseball's leagues:

Prince of Wales Conference: BOS, MON, TOR, PHI, NYR, CHI, DET, WASH, ATL, FLA, CAL, LA, SJ, MIN, COL
Clarence Campbell Conference: NYI, OTT, NJ, BUF, PIT, STL, TB, CAR, CBJ, EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL, NASH, PHX

What this does is makes teams in the same geographical area not succeed at the expense of those around them. Currently, for the Rangers to be good, the Islanders need to be not as good. Those teams compete for the same prize... and fan base. Under a "baseball-style" conference arrangement, an Islanders fan is going to root for the Rangers when they play NJ or Ottawa.

Let's say you live halfway between Edmonton and Calgary. You pick a team, love one and hate the other. If they're in separate conferences, you might pick one and still root for the other. You might even spend money at the other venue when big stars come to town!

Now, to combat the argument that you lose money, you simply schedule the same number of games against everyone in your conference (so the standings are pure) and then use the remaining games to schedule games people want to see.
Four games against your conference (56 games)
Four games vs six regional rivals from other conference (24 games)
One game against four teams from other conference by time zone (4 games)
Five teams you don't face (total of 84 games).

Oh, and under this alignment, the Original Six are playing each other 24 times.

Minnesota doesn't like all the West Coast travel because they play: at Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary 3 times each (9 games); at San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix and LA two times each (8 games). That's 17 West Coast Trips.

Under this plan, Minnesota would play: at LA, SJ twice each (4 games), at EDM, VAN, ANA twice each (6 games). That's 10 West coast trips.

Now, if you're CAL, LA, SJ, EDM, VAN, ANA... under my proposal there's 24 road games in conference vs Central/East time zone teams. Of their 28 out of conference games, 14 are on the road, but eight of them are on the West Coast/Mountain Time against former rivals. That's 30 games in the Central/East time zone.

Which sounds like a lot, but those teams are already playing NINE road games at East Conference teams, plus two road trips each to DET, CHI, STL, CBJ, NASH, and five between DAL/MIN. That's 24 games in the Central/East time zone in a year as is.

22 teams see reduced travel at the expense of eight (one of whom may be moving to Southern Ontario).

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 6:00 pm 
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A new and easy proposal should the Coyotes move to Hamilton:

Eastern Conference
ATLANTIC
New Jersey
Philadelphia
~Boston
NY Rangers
NY Islanders

NORTHEAST
* Hamilton
Montreal
Buffalo
Toronto
Ottawa

SOUTHEAST
Washington
Carolina
Florida
Atlanta
Tampa Bay

Western Conference
CENTRAL
Detroit
Chicago
Columbus
St. Louis
* Pittsburgh

NORTHWEST
Calgary
Vancouver
Edmonton
Minnesota
Colorado

WEST
San Jose
Anaheim
Los Angeles
Dallas
~ Nashville

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:29 pm 
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That's very sound and logical...

Pitt and Columbus being three hours apart and in separate conferences? Fixed.
Toronto and Hamilton in the Canadian division? Makes sense
Giving Dallas a regional rival in the same time zone in their division? Makes sense.


However, while it makes sense in the current framework... what is the point of geographical divisions for hockey?
How does this alignment promote the growth of the league?
How does it increase revenue for its teams? How does it limit expenses?

For Hamilton, Toronto and Buffalo, you've got three teams 90 minutes apart, playing each other 12 times. Is this helping or hurting them? It's building rivalries, but is the fact that they are competing for a limited number of playoff spots hurt the weakest (or two weakest) of the three?

Why I think they should divide up teams in similar areas, like MLB does, is so the teams can still play each other as often for rivalries, but the loser isn't crippled by dropping in the standings.

The Mets and Yankees play six regular season games, sold out, hyped, big atmosphere. But losing those games doesn't affect them in the standings like losing to the Phillies or Red Sox would to each team.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:55 pm 
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For a struggling league like the NHL, geography helps. You have the Devils, Rangers and Islanders in the same area. When they play each other, those games always have more in attendance and TV ratings are higher (on both networks airing the games). It's about rivalries. Rivalries increase revenue and those special games give the appearance of a better atmosphere. The residual effect is people buying tickets/watching games other than the rivalry games.

And then there is the basics of location: a Toronto fan will drive to Hamilton for a Leafs game. A Hamilton fan might drive to Buffalo for a Coyotes game. It's more fans, more tickets sold.

Big picture though: geography is the basis for virtually every sport for the reason of rivalries, albeit college or pros. You don't see a push to put the Lakers and Celtics in the same division. why? Geography.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:59 pm 
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Maybe it's just me, but I tend to think the NHL should stay at the number of teams it has now or even reduce the number of teams. If they add any expansion teams, I think they're overreaching.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:05 pm 
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I think 100% of people would agree against expansion, my self part of that 100% ;)

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 1:32 am 
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Quinn wrote:
For a struggling league like the NHL, geography helps. You have the Devils, Rangers and Islanders in the same area. When they play each other, those games always have more in attendance and TV ratings are higher (on both networks airing the games). It's about rivalries. Rivalries increase revenue and those special games give the appearance of a better atmosphere. The residual effect is people buying tickets/watching games other than the rivalry games.

And then there is the basics of location: a Toronto fan will drive to Hamilton for a Leafs game. A Hamilton fan might drive to Buffalo for a Coyotes game. It's more fans, more tickets sold.

Big picture though: geography is the basis for virtually every sport for the reason of rivalries, albeit college or pros. You don't see a push to put the Lakers and Celtics in the same division. why? Geography.


Neither of those points are contrary to what I proposed.

The rivalry between the Islanders and Rangers sells tickets for those games.... who says they have to be division games? What I propose might mean more Hamilton fans driving to Buffalo... when their team isn't playing Buffalo, when they want to see someone not on their schedule.

Geography is a basis for rivalries, yet it's not the biggest factor. Colorado and Detroit had a great hockey rivalry in the 90s, the Mets and Braves had a great rivalry in baseball because they were in the same division, but they are 16 hours apart. The Lakers and Celtics had/have a great rivalry because anytime you have teams constantly competing for the same prize, it breeds a rivalry.

You don't see a push to put the Lakers and Celtics in the same division, but you DO see the Red Sox and Angels in the SAME LEAGUE. You see the Mets and Dodgers in the SAME LEAGUE. You see the Giants and 49ers in the same conference, and the Jets and Raiders in the same conference.

The Giants and Jets are in different conferences. The Mets and Yankees are in different conference/leagues, the Sox and Cubs, the Dodgers and Angels, Giants and A's, the Rangers and Astros.

(The Rangers and Astros were vehemently opposed to the realignment idea that would put them in the same league when MLB expanded to 30 teams. Because they knew one team would be succeeding at the expense of the other).

There's no reason you can't divide teams in the same geographic area into separate conferences (like MLB and NFL); yet continue to play a significant number of games against each other. People will go to Islanders/Rangers or Oilers/Flames no matter which conference they are in, because it's a battle for regional pride. By splitting them into different conferences, you make a game, like New York-Colorado (which means nothing) matter in the standings, and therefore to ticket sales.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 2:35 pm 
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God forbid the NHL should return to non-geograhic divsion names like Smythe, Norris and .... who even remembers.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:37 pm 
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It really doesn't matter what you call them as long as the teams which are assigned to each division make sense.

I think if you align like baseball, you're better off than if you align like basketball.

The two best leagues in north america are baseball and football, both have an East, West and Central in each conference, instead of dividing totally by East/West.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:29 pm 
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JPSchmack wrote:
Quinn wrote:
For a struggling league like the NHL, geography helps. You have the Devils, Rangers and Islanders in the same area. When they play each other, those games always have more in attendance and TV ratings are higher (on both networks airing the games). It's about rivalries. Rivalries increase revenue and those special games give the appearance of a better atmosphere. The residual effect is people buying tickets/watching games other than the rivalry games.

And then there is the basics of location: a Toronto fan will drive to Hamilton for a Leafs game. A Hamilton fan might drive to Buffalo for a Coyotes game. It's more fans, more tickets sold.

Big picture though: geography is the basis for virtually every sport for the reason of rivalries, albeit college or pros. You don't see a push to put the Lakers and Celtics in the same division. why? Geography.


Neither of those points are contrary to what I proposed.

The rivalry between the Islanders and Rangers sells tickets for those games.... who says they have to be division games? What I propose might mean more Hamilton fans driving to Buffalo... when their team isn't playing Buffalo, when they want to see someone not on their schedule.

Geography is a basis for rivalries, yet it's not the biggest factor. Colorado and Detroit had a great hockey rivalry in the 90s, the Mets and Braves had a great rivalry in baseball because they were in the same division, but they are 16 hours apart. The Lakers and Celtics had/have a great rivalry because anytime you have teams constantly competing for the same prize, it breeds a rivalry.

You don't see a push to put the Lakers and Celtics in the same division, but you DO see the Red Sox and Angels in the SAME LEAGUE. You see the Mets and Dodgers in the SAME LEAGUE. You see the Giants and 49ers in the same conference, and the Jets and Raiders in the same conference.

The Giants and Jets are in different conferences. The Mets and Yankees are in different conference/leagues, the Sox and Cubs, the Dodgers and Angels, Giants and A's, the Rangers and Astros.

(The Rangers and Astros were vehemently opposed to the realignment idea that would put them in the same league when MLB expanded to 30 teams. Because they knew one team would be succeeding at the expense of the other).

There's no reason you can't divide teams in the same geographic area into separate conferences (like MLB and NFL); yet continue to play a significant number of games against each other. People will go to Islanders/Rangers or Oilers/Flames no matter which conference they are in, because it's a battle for regional pride. By splitting them into different conferences, you make a game, like New York-Colorado (which means nothing) matter in the standings, and therefore to ticket sales.



To clarify, I think regional division setups help because there are often more games scheduled versus your divisional foes than those from other divisions/conferences.

And you're example of a "rivalry" between Colorado and Detroit is a bit off. It's not a rivalry by my definition. Just because both teams were good for the same 3-4 year period doesn't make it a rivalry. A rivalry, in my book, is something that exists even when both teams are at rock bottom...not just when teams are #1 and #2 in their conference.

In sum, the NHL is on it's way from being the 8th most popular pro sport to being the 9th as MLS seems to be improving. I agree something needs to happen to stop that, I just don't see the changes you proposed working for me as a fan, but that's just me.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Since you said that the NHL is the eighth/ninth most popular pro sport, I was wondering if you could list pro sports in North America in order of the popularity you think they have. Just curious.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 8:43 pm 
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nomorespinsports wrote:
Since you said that the NHL is the eighth/ninth most popular pro sport, I was wondering if you could list pro sports in North America in order of the popularity you think they have. Just curious.


The order can change based on particular interpretation of the variables: US based revenue, attendance, TV ratings, advertising demand, merchendise, etc. But the top 7 have been the same for some time. Boxing used to be higher but has dropped and once MMA has a more unified system, they could easily move higher:

NFL
MLB
NBA
College Football
College Basketball
Nascar
Golf
NHL
Boxing
MLS
MMA

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