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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:28 am 
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Quinn wrote:
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.


By that definition of rivalry, the rivalries which exist will continue to exist in any alignment. Even if the Rangers and Islanders are each in dead last of separate conferences, the arena will be sold out chanting "Potvin Sucks" and "19-40" at each other.

That's exactly what I'm trying to build: A situation where more games are rivalry games and mean something. Ranger-Islander games would be like Mets-Yankees games: not a battle for a division but a battle for a city, or for the championship of each other.

Under the current alignment, the Rangers have:
24 games vs division rivals.
24 games vs regional rivals.

But that's not 48 good games on their schedule for the fans to go see. It's only 30. Because 18 of their regional rivals are in their division.

Under my plan, their 20 games vs division rivals and 24 games vs regional rivals are 40 different games.

Its more games that fans absolutely must see. You're creating rivals by putting teams in the same division and making them compete for the same prize.

If the Rangers are two points back of the Islanders for the division lead, they'll go see the Rangers-Islanders, but will they go to go see them play the Sabres?

If the Rangers are two points back of Buffalo for the division lead, fans will go see them play the Sabres... and STILL go see them play Islanders.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:22 am 
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JPSchmack wrote:
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.


The scheduling structure is totally different between hockey and baseball. In baseball, you're usually playing three games on consecutive nights in the same place, and since you're playing twice the number of games as in hockey, those two factors make it a scenario where scheduling on a purely geographical alignment isn't necessary.

Football, for almost the exact opposite reasons, also doesn't need to be purely geographical. Only one game is played a week generally, so instead of having to worry about flying from one destination on the road to another one, you fly back home to regroup for the next game, so your travel costs are just a round trip.

However, hockey and basketball play the same number of games and schedule quite similarly. Teams play multiple games in a week, however with a day inbetween usually as a travel day. These trips can just be puddlejumpers or can be cross-country trips, so when a team goes on the road, when they get to a destination you want them playing teams closeby so they don't have to fly all over the damn place, thus racking up travel costs.

Another factor is team density. In the NBA, a clean break between East and West can be made with Milwaukee ending the East, and Memphis beginning the West. This is reasonable for most people, Memphis is on the Mississippi, the traditional E-W border. If you look at the hockey map, it's even more skewed. Atlanta notwithstanding, since it bridges the Florida teams with the rest of the Eastern Conference, the East ends at Pittsburgh and begins with Columbus, which is DEFINITELY not thought of as a Western city. That means your Western Conference goes from the Great Lakes to the Pacifc, which means you've got SERIOUS ground to cover. This makes geographical divisions essential. Going to a baseball-like format means teams travelling may end up going from Vancouver to Dallas to Detroit, or from Nashville to LA to Calgary. That's absolute hell when your main goal in travel budgets is to keep them as low as possible. It's not a matter of "these sports are more popular, so they should do this", it's a matter of "we play the same number of games basketball does, we schedule them like they do, baseball and football have vastly different numbers of games and schedule much differently than we do, the basketball way seems to be the best route."


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 1:13 pm 
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tarkiokid,

Under the scheduling model I proposed, despite the fact that the divisions/conferences aren't geographically aligned, the travel is actually reduced because of the very East-heavy density of teams in the NHL.

All I've done is taken a formula where you play 9 tough road games OUT OF CONFERENCE, and made those 8 tough road games IN CONFERENCE. Instead of nine total games at CAL, LA, SJ, COL, EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL; You have two games each vs four of those eight teams.


CURRENTLY: Each East team plays nine road games vs the West conference.
MY PLAN: 20 teams from the ET/CT zones play eight road games vs teams in the MT/PT zones.

CURRENTLY: The Central teams (CHI, STL, NASH, CBJ) play 16 games in the MT/PT.
MY PLAN: These four teams would have eight games in the MT/PT.

CURRENTLY: Dallas and Minnesota play 20 games each in the MT/PT zones.
MY PLAN: they'd play 16.

CURRENTLY: The six west coast teams (CAL, LA, SJ, EDM, VAN, ANA) play 20 games vs Central division, 10 vs MIN and DAL, and 16 vs East division. That's 23 road games at CT/ET teams.
MY PLAN: The six west coast teams play 40 conference games vs east/central divisions in their conference, 12 vs DAL/NASH/MIN, and 6 games vs east/central teams from the other conference. That's 29 road games.

So that adds six more long travel games for those six teams.

BUT:
That's in an 86 game schedule, I added four games. That could be cut down to 82 games, cutting two road games between West Coast/East Coast teams.

And three of the West Coast teams went to Phoenix three times, and three went to Phoenix twice. My plan has PHX in Southern Ontario.

Basically, my plan in an 82-game schedule compared to the NHL's with Phoenix moving to Hamilton/Toronto, and I'm adding one more east coast game to six teams in the West.


But I'm saving 15 teams one game out west each.
saving four teams eight games out west each
saving two teams four games out west each

Oh yeah, and I'm adding 12 games among Original Six teams.


Again, here's what I'm suggesting (note: division alignments might be slightly different that what I originally posted).

Adams: NYR, NJ, BOS, MON, Toronto Maple Leafs
Norris: CHI, DET, WASH, ATL, FLA
O'Brien: CAL, LA, SJ, MIN, COL

Patrick: NYI, PHI, OTT, BUF, Toronto 2
Richard: PIT, CBJ, STL, TB, CAR
Smythe: EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL, NASH

Schedule: Four games vs each in your conference; four games each vs another division (Adams vs Patrick, Norris vs Richard, O'Brien vs Smythe). Six teams from the other two divisions you play once and four teams zero times (this rotates). 86 total games.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:53 pm 
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JPSchmack wrote:
tarkiokid,

Under the scheduling model I proposed, despite the fact that the divisions/conferences aren't geographically aligned, the travel is actually reduced because of the very East-heavy density of teams in the NHL.

All I've done is taken a formula where you play 9 tough road games OUT OF CONFERENCE, and made those 8 tough road games IN CONFERENCE. Instead of nine total games at CAL, LA, SJ, COL, EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL; You have two games each vs four of those eight teams.


CURRENTLY: Each East team plays nine road games vs the West conference.
MY PLAN: 20 teams from the ET/CT zones play eight road games vs teams in the MT/PT zones.

CURRENTLY: The Central teams (CHI, STL, NASH, CBJ) play 16 games in the MT/PT.
MY PLAN: These four teams would have eight games in the MT/PT.

CURRENTLY: Dallas and Minnesota play 20 games each in the MT/PT zones.
MY PLAN: they'd play 16.

CURRENTLY: The six west coast teams (CAL, LA, SJ, EDM, VAN, ANA) play 20 games vs Central division, 10 vs MIN and DAL, and 16 vs East division. That's 23 road games at CT/ET teams.
MY PLAN: The six west coast teams play 40 conference games vs east/central divisions in their conference, 12 vs DAL/NASH/MIN, and 6 games vs east/central teams from the other conference. That's 29 road games.

So that adds six more long travel games for those six teams.

BUT:
That's in an 86 game schedule, I added four games. That could be cut down to 82 games, cutting two road games between West Coast/East Coast teams.

And three of the West Coast teams went to Phoenix three times, and three went to Phoenix twice. My plan has PHX in Southern Ontario.

Basically, my plan in an 82-game schedule compared to the NHL's with Phoenix moving to Hamilton/Toronto, and I'm adding one more east coast game to six teams in the West.


But I'm saving 15 teams one game out west each.
saving four teams eight games out west each
saving two teams four games out west each

Oh yeah, and I'm adding 12 games among Original Six teams.


Again, here's what I'm suggesting (note: division alignments might be slightly different that what I originally posted).

Adams: NYR, NJ, BOS, MON, Toronto Maple Leafs
Norris: CHI, DET, WASH, ATL, FLA
O'Brien: CAL, LA, SJ, MIN, COL

Patrick: NYI, PHI, OTT, BUF, Toronto 2
Richard: PIT, CBJ, STL, TB, CAR
Smythe: EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL, NASH

Schedule: Four games vs each in your conference; four games each vs another division (Adams vs Patrick, Norris vs Richard, O'Brien vs Smythe). Six teams from the other two divisions you play once and four teams zero times (this rotates). 86 total games.


How does that reduce travel, especially in the Richard and Smythe??? Your plan would more or less have east teams hitting every team out west for an 8-9 game trip, which will end up keeping them on the road for nearly a month. This can put teams in quite a bind, since they have no gate revenue coming in for that time, which means they still have to pay the team and travel expenses with virtually zero revenue coming in. That really hamstrings teams, especially those who have to take that trip early in the season.

Secondly, it would help you to go take a look at the standings from expansion onward. If you notice, the trend is away from the Original Six in one division and the Next 6 in another to more and more geographical divisions. Why? Twofold. 1) reduced travel costs, since you're playing teams closer to you and not going all the way to the other coast to play divisional games, and 2) you're going to foster rivalries that fans get behind easier when you're playing local teams. If you're a Montreal fan, who are you going to want to see more? New Jersey or Ottawa, who is about an hour away compared to maybe 7 for New Jersey. I think the answer is obvious.

You also overestimate the importance to fans of the Original 6 matchups. Except for the localized matchups, fans aren't dying to see those 6 play that many games. Chicago teams would rather see St. Louis and Columbus more than Boston and Toronto, Ranger fans would rather see the Devils, Islanders, and Flyers, and Montreal and Toronto fans would rather have more matchups with Ottawa. Once more teams were added, those rivalries were diluted and replaced by the more local teams.

If you notice how the National League and NFL all had strong opposing leagues against them and formed a partnership with, the NBA and NHL never had a strong opposing league to deal with, therefore naturally growing their rivalries on more geographic means and competitiveness rather than tradition-based rivalries. It make absolutely no sense to break up rivalries like Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto, the NYC area teams, Vancouver-Calgary-Edmonton, and LA-Anaheim-San Jose to be more like other leagues you have no similarities with, when you've been using a geographical-based divisional system that is also shared with a league that has many teams that use the same buildings as your teams.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:54 pm 
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JPSchmack wrote:
tarkiokid,

Under the scheduling model I proposed, despite the fact that the divisions/conferences aren't geographically aligned, the travel is actually reduced because of the very East-heavy density of teams in the NHL.

All I've done is taken a formula where you play 9 tough road games OUT OF CONFERENCE, and made those 8 tough road games IN CONFERENCE. Instead of nine total games at CAL, LA, SJ, COL, EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL; You have two games each vs four of those eight teams.


CURRENTLY: Each East team plays nine road games vs the West conference.
MY PLAN: 20 teams from the ET/CT zones play eight road games vs teams in the MT/PT zones.

CURRENTLY: The Central teams (CHI, STL, NASH, CBJ) play 16 games in the MT/PT.
MY PLAN: These four teams would have eight games in the MT/PT.

CURRENTLY: Dallas and Minnesota play 20 games each in the MT/PT zones.
MY PLAN: they'd play 16.

CURRENTLY: The six west coast teams (CAL, LA, SJ, EDM, VAN, ANA) play 20 games vs Central division, 10 vs MIN and DAL, and 16 vs East division. That's 23 road games at CT/ET teams.
MY PLAN: The six west coast teams play 40 conference games vs east/central divisions in their conference, 12 vs DAL/NASH/MIN, and 6 games vs east/central teams from the other conference. That's 29 road games.

So that adds six more long travel games for those six teams.

BUT:
That's in an 86 game schedule, I added four games. That could be cut down to 82 games, cutting two road games between West Coast/East Coast teams.

And three of the West Coast teams went to Phoenix three times, and three went to Phoenix twice. My plan has PHX in Southern Ontario.

Basically, my plan in an 82-game schedule compared to the NHL's with Phoenix moving to Hamilton/Toronto, and I'm adding one more east coast game to six teams in the West.


But I'm saving 15 teams one game out west each.
saving four teams eight games out west each
saving two teams four games out west each

Oh yeah, and I'm adding 12 games among Original Six teams.


Again, here's what I'm suggesting (note: division alignments might be slightly different that what I originally posted).

Adams: NYR, NJ, BOS, MON, Toronto Maple Leafs
Norris: CHI, DET, WASH, ATL, FLA
O'Brien: CAL, LA, SJ, MIN, COL

Patrick: NYI, PHI, OTT, BUF, Toronto 2
Richard: PIT, CBJ, STL, TB, CAR
Smythe: EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL, NASH

Schedule: Four games vs each in your conference; four games each vs another division (Adams vs Patrick, Norris vs Richard, O'Brien vs Smythe). Six teams from the other two divisions you play once and four teams zero times (this rotates). 86 total games.


How does that reduce travel, especially in the Richard and Smythe??? Your plan would more or less have east teams hitting every team out west for an 8-9 game trip, which will end up keeping them on the road for nearly a month. This can put teams in quite a bind, since they have no gate revenue coming in for that time, which means they still have to pay the team and travel expenses with virtually zero revenue coming in. That really hamstrings teams, especially those who have to take that trip early in the season.

Secondly, it would help you to go take a look at the standings from expansion onward. If you notice, the trend is away from the Original Six in one division and the Next 6 in another to more and more geographical divisions. Why? Twofold. 1) reduced travel costs, since you're playing teams closer to you and not going all the way to the other coast to play divisional games, and 2) you're going to foster rivalries that fans get behind easier when you're playing local teams. If you're a Montreal fan, who are you going to want to see more? New Jersey or Ottawa, who is about an hour away compared to maybe 7 for New Jersey. I think the answer is obvious.

You also overestimate the importance to fans of the Original 6 matchups. Except for the localized matchups, fans aren't dying to see those 6 play that many games. Chicago teams would rather see St. Louis and Columbus more than Boston and Toronto, Ranger fans would rather see the Devils, Islanders, and Flyers, and Montreal and Toronto fans would rather have more matchups with Ottawa. Once more teams were added, those rivalries were diluted and replaced by the more local teams.

If you notice how the National League and NFL all had strong opposing leagues against them and formed a partnership with, the NBA and NHL never had a strong opposing league to deal with, therefore naturally growing their rivalries on more geographic means and competitiveness rather than tradition-based rivalries. It make absolutely no sense to break up rivalries like Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto, the NYC area teams, Vancouver-Calgary-Edmonton, and LA-Anaheim-San Jose to be more like other leagues you have no similarities with, when you've been using a geographical-based divisional system that is also shared with a league that has many teams that use the same buildings as your teams.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:13 am 
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tarkiokid wrote:
How does that reduce travel, especially in the Richard and Smythe??? Your plan would more or less have east teams hitting every team out west for an 8-9 game trip, which will end up keeping them on the road for nearly a month.


Uh, I've got them with less games then before. They don't play all nine in a row on the west coast. They go out for three games, three times... just like now.

It reduces travel by changing the scheduling format from what it was before.

tarkiokid wrote:
Secondly, it would help you to go take a look at the standings from expansion onward. If you notice, the trend is away from the Original Six in one division and the Next 6 in another to more and more geographical divisions. Why? Twofold. 1) reduced travel costs, since you're playing teams closer to you and not going all the way to the other coast to play divisional games


The number of GAMES vs each team is really similar to the current setup, the only thing different is a few less trips across the country or against teams you're not rivals with.... AND THE STANDINGS PAGE.

I don't know how to be clearer than this:
Old: BOS at CAL, LA, SJ, MIN, COL, VAN, DAL, LA, ANA (all out of conference)
New: BOS at CAL, CAL, LA, LA, SJ, SJ, MIN, MIN, COL, COL (all in conference). Boston's would have ZERO games vs the other west teams (EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL or NASH, which are out of conference).

The games they currently play vs out of conference teams far away are now conference games. That's it.

What does it matter if you're playing divisional games far away, if you play the same number of games far away as you did before; and you're still playing those regional rivals?

tarkiokid wrote:
2) and you're going to foster rivalries that fans get behind easier when you're playing local teams. If you're a Montreal fan, who are you going to want to see more? New Jersey or Ottawa, who is about an hour away compared to maybe 7 for New Jersey. I think the answer is obvious.


That's not the issue. The number of games vs each regional team is essentially the same. It's the number of games vs regional foes. For Montreal's case, it's the number of games vs the Southeast that changes.
Now instead of playing 20 games vs WAS, ATL, TB, FLA, CAR, they'd play 12 vs WAS, ATL, FLA and a total of two MAX against TB, CAR.


If you look at what I did, basically, there are two divisions currently in the NHL that are geographic outliers. In the East, two divisions are in the North and East part of the continent, and the southeast division is down south and far away. And no one wants to play them because they have no histories.

In the West, two divisions are in the vast mountain and pacific time zones, but the central division has teams from the central and east time zone. Which creates horrible travel for those teams.

So I scheduled around that by re-distributing conferences.

There's not more travel west just because they are in the same conference.
There's not fewer rivalry games just because they are in different conferences.
There's now the chance for mutual success in one given area (A Subway Stanley Cup; an All-Toronto Final; an All-Alberta Final, an LA Stanley Cup Final, an all-Florida Final, etc).

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 12:42 pm 
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JPSchmack wrote:
tarkiokid wrote:
How does that reduce travel, especially in the Richard and Smythe??? Your plan would more or less have east teams hitting every team out west for an 8-9 game trip, which will end up keeping them on the road for nearly a month.


Uh, I've got them with less games then before. They don't play all nine in a row on the west coast. They go out for three games, three times... just like now.

It reduces travel by changing the scheduling format from what it was before.

tarkiokid wrote:
Secondly, it would help you to go take a look at the standings from expansion onward. If you notice, the trend is away from the Original Six in one division and the Next 6 in another to more and more geographical divisions. Why? Twofold. 1) reduced travel costs, since you're playing teams closer to you and not going all the way to the other coast to play divisional games


The number of GAMES vs each team is really similar to the current setup, the only thing different is a few less trips across the country or against teams you're not rivals with.... AND THE STANDINGS PAGE.

I don't know how to be clearer than this:
Old: BOS at CAL, LA, SJ, MIN, COL, VAN, DAL, LA, ANA (all out of conference)
New: BOS at CAL, CAL, LA, LA, SJ, SJ, MIN, MIN, COL, COL (all in conference). Boston's would have ZERO games vs the other west teams (EDM, VAN, ANA, DAL or NASH, which are out of conference).

The games they currently play vs out of conference teams far away are now conference games. That's it.

What does it matter if you're playing divisional games far away, if you play the same number of games far away as you did before; and you're still playing those regional rivals?

tarkiokid wrote:
2) and you're going to foster rivalries that fans get behind easier when you're playing local teams. If you're a Montreal fan, who are you going to want to see more? New Jersey or Ottawa, who is about an hour away compared to maybe 7 for New Jersey. I think the answer is obvious.


That's not the issue. The number of games vs each regional team is essentially the same. It's the number of games vs regional foes. For Montreal's case, it's the number of games vs the Southeast that changes.
Now instead of playing 20 games vs WAS, ATL, TB, FLA, CAR, they'd play 12 vs WAS, ATL, FLA and a total of two MAX against TB, CAR.


If you look at what I did, basically, there are two divisions currently in the NHL that are geographic outliers. In the East, two divisions are in the North and East part of the continent, and the southeast division is down south and far away. And no one wants to play them because they have no histories.

In the West, two divisions are in the vast mountain and pacific time zones, but the central division has teams from the central and east time zone. Which creates horrible travel for those teams.

So I scheduled around that by re-distributing conferences.

There's not more travel west just because they are in the same conference.
There's not fewer rivalry games just because they are in different conferences.
There's now the chance for mutual success in one given area (A Subway Stanley Cup; an All-Toronto Final; an All-Alberta Final, an LA Stanley Cup Final, an all-Florida Final, etc).


Wait, first off, no one wants a Subway Cup, or an all-Alberta cup, or ANY of those things. Hockey is NOT baseball, so going and closing off your final to such a small geographic area isn't going to generate enough interest to actually have meaningful viewership. You WANT a wide geographical area represented in your finals, you generate more interest than you do with such a closed geographical range.

Second off, you made a division that stretches from the far Pacific time zone to the eastern Central time zone. Go back and look at your baseball, yes, they are in two leagues, but for the most part the alignment makes sense. The only two overlaps are Atlanta and Pittsburgh, and KC and Texas, but those are close enough to be forgivable. The NFL alignment generally makes sense too, if you send Miami to the AFC South, Indy to the AFC North, and Baltimore to the AFC East, then swap Dallas and Carolina, and everything is perfect. Now you have a division that spans 3 full time zones and practically the entire United States north to south. That would require the league to pump proportionately more money into those 5 teams to compensate for the added travel expenses, which the other 25 teams will be loathe to do.

The whole problem is you're taking something that isn't broke and trying to fix it, and we all know what happens when you do that: you end up breaking it. You end up taking this plan and showing hockey front office guys, hockey fans, etc., and they're going to look at you like you're insane. There isn't even the issue of one geographical conference being clearly superior to the other like in the NBA. The only issues we're looking at is figuring out where Phoenix and other financially troubled teams may move to, then shifting teams around to where they make sense. I don't know if you're a hockey fan or not, I'de venture to say not, but most hockey fans WANT the alignment the way it is now, maybe with some minor changes, but trying to reinvent the wheel like this just ensures you end up with a trapezoid.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:28 pm 
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Excellent point on the playoffs and finals: A finals of two geographically seperated markets is key.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 3:12 pm 
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I'm a hockey nut from Pittsburgh.

And I remember distinctly how the league tried to realign when it expanded to 18 with the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts in the mid 1970s...

Two conferences named the Clarence Campbell and the Prince of Wales.
Four 4 or 5 team divisions named the Smythe, Norris, Adams, and Patrick.
Catchy, EH ??? (as out Canadian friends would say)

But here was the essence of it....

Each division was absolutely as far-flung as possible, or so it seemed -
Pittsburgh was in with Montreal, Washington, LA Kings and Detoit !!! (I think the year was perhaps 1974...)
Any natural rivalries were destroyed. Travel was brutal.
This didn't go on too many more years, before it was apparent that there must be somthing better.
I think Phil Esposito was one who became very vocal about the topic and soon they realigned the divisions (while still keeping the names, which honored important historical NHL individuals, but which were unbelievably dorky to the hockey novice).

To sort of mimic the NFC Central (now NFC North) of Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, and Green Bay (known as the NFC's "black and blue division"), the NHL grouped Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and Toronto into the Norris Division (referred to as the "Chuck Norris Division" by Chris Berman).

I think the current alignment isn't too bad. Bettman came into the league with a decent vision and implemented it.
There may be some slight realignment, depending what happens to the Phoenix Coyotes, should they relocate.
KC and Houston might work. Hamilton certainly has a ready audience, but their encroachment on Buffalo and Toronto wouldn't be popular with either of those franchises.

The Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars are not in love witht the current alignment, having to travel west A LOT.
They would prefer a realignemnt to one 8 + one 7 in each conference. They want to be grouped wiht Central Time Zone teams.

PACIFIC / MOUNTAIN
Vancouver
Edmonton
Calgary
San Jose
LA
Anaheim
Colorado
Phoenix (?)

CENTRAL
Minnesota
Chicago
Detroit
St. Louis
KC or Houston (?)
Dallas
Columbus
Pittsburgh (from Eastern Conf.)

SOUTH
Florida
Tampa
Atlanta
Carolina
Nashville (from Western Conf.)
Washington
Philadelphia

NORTHEAST
Buffalo
Toronto
Ottawa
Montreal
Boston
NY Rangers
NY Islanders
New Jersey

Where will Phoenix land, should they relocate ?
Would Philly, Pittsburgh, and Nashville be cool with this ?

For playoffs, I guess you take the top 3 in each division + 2 Wild Cards per conference.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 4:00 pm 
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That would make some sense, however, I doubt that the NHL would want to expand by one if they would expand (which is honestly light years away at this point). The most likely scenario in this case would be going 8 and 7 in each conference. If they were going to a divisional format, ala the AHL, they may have a kicker like they do in the Western Conference of the AHL where the 5th place team in the 8-team division can take the spot of the 4th-place team in the 7th team division if they have more points. However, I think they're just going to have the two division winners and 6 wild cards for each conference.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 4:04 pm 
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I like it tute.

And if you have some moves:
Phoenix to Hamilton
NY Islanders to Kansas City

you can make some easy swaps:
Hamilton (Phoenix) from Pacific to Northeast
Kansas City (Islanders) from Northeast to Central

You'd still keep a clean, regional, 7/8 split.


As for playoffs: keep it simple, Division winners get top 2 seeds per conference, overall record decides all the other participants.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Or, to rework a 6-division NHL with NYI to KC and PHX to Hamilton:

Version 1:
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Boston Bruins
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals
Northeast Division
Buffalo Sabres
Hamilton Spartans (former Coyotes)
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Southeast Division
Atlanta Thrashers
Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Nashville Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference
Central Division
Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Pittsburgh Penguins
St. Louis Blues
Northwest Division
Calgary Flames
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks
Pacific Division
Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars
Kansas City Wranglers (formerly Islanders)
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks

Version 2:
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Boston Bruins
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals
Northeast Division
Buffalo Sabres
Hamilton Spartans (former Coyotes)
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Southeast Division
Atlanta Thrashers
Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Nashville Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference
Central Division
Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota Wild
Pittsburgh Penguins
Northwest Division
Calgary Flames
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
San Jose Sharks
Vancouver Canucks
Pacific Division
Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars
Kansas City Wranglers (formerly Islanders)
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues

I realize you don't really want to split San Jose from their Cali brethren, but it also makes less sense after uniting Pittsburgh and Columbus to keep St. Louis and Kansas City apart.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Or, to rework a 6-division NHL with NYI to KC and PHX to Hamilton:

Version 1:
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals
Northeast Division
Buffalo Sabres
Hamilton Spartans (former Coyotes)
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Southeast Division
Atlanta Thrashers
Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Nashville Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference
Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Pittsburgh Penguins
St. Louis Blues
Northwest Division
Calgary Flames
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks
Pacific Division
Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars
Kansas City Wranglers (formerly Islanders)
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks

Version 2:
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals
Northeast Division
Buffalo Sabres
Hamilton Spartans (former Coyotes)
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Southeast Division
Atlanta Thrashers
Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Nashville Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference
Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota Wild
Pittsburgh Penguins
Northwest Division
Calgary Flames
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
San Jose Sharks
Vancouver Canucks
Pacific Division
Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars
Kansas City Wranglers (formerly Islanders)
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues

I realize you don't really want to split San Jose from their Cali brethren, but it also makes less sense to keep St. Louis and Kansas City apart after uniting Pittsburgh and Columbus.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 12:59 am 
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Posts: 890
tute79 wrote:
And I remember distinctly how the league tried to realign when it expanded to 18 with the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts in the mid 1970s... But here was the essence of it....

Each division was absolutely as far-flung as possible, or so it seemed - Pittsburgh was in with Montreal, Washington, LA Kings and Detoit !!! Any natural rivalries were destroyed. Travel was brutal.


I find that hysterical that you say rivalries suffered and travel was brutal.

Pitt and Cleveland were in different divisions. But Pittsburgh played Cleveland 5 times in 1977.

And in 2009, they can't play Columbus more than twice a year.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 1:47 am 
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Posts: 890
tarkiokid wrote:
Or, to rework a 6-division NHL with NYI to KC and PHX to Hamilton


Yeah, that's a better grouping of teams by geography. But it doesn't solve the problems. Divisions are relatively meaningless compared to the schedule. Under the same schedule formula as last year, in Version 1 you still have:

Detroit and Columbus play only 14 road games in their own time zone. It's up from 12, but Phoenix (whom they played twice), just moved to their timezone. So it doesn't "solve" anything." They still have 27 road games outside their time zone. The NY Rangers have a maximum of six.

Dallas still has the same horrible schedule as before. You moved a team into their time zone (from Long Island) into their conference, and they still play 17 road games in the Pacific and Mountain Time Zone and only 9 road games in their own.

Minnesota is 18 road games in PT/MT, and only 8 in their own.

No one cares about the Southeast Division still, and the other Eastern teams are stuck playing them one quarter of the time (20 games)


I thought your alignment looked really good. Until I saw Pittsburgh. Why are four to five more games vs Columbus worth screwing Pittsburgh completely? Pittsburgh gains Columbus, sure. But they are still in the same state as Philly and play them once or twice, instead of the SIX TIMES they played before. They are four hours from Buffalo, and only play the Sabres once or twice, instead of four times.

And forget the rivalries, what about the marketing?
- Crosby vs Ovechkin? Once or twice maximum instead of four times (and of course, no playoff meetings til the finals).
- Crosby in the media capital of the world? Once every other season instead of six per year.
- Pittsburgh now has just 14 road games in the eastern time zone. Last year, they had 34 or 35 road games in the East.
At least 74 of their 82 games are in the Eastern Time Zone each year (They play nine road games vs the Western conference, which has two East Coast teams).

So you moved the league's most marketable (or second most marketable) star away from prime time TWENTY more times per season.

The whole reason I posted something on NHL realignment was to fix the number of times teams play each other, which is really the problem in the NHL. It doesn't matter how nice the standings column is if everyone's schedule sucks.

The Big East just has one 16-team column. But after playing everyone once, they make sure the TV games are what people WANT to see.

If you look at what I've thrown out there, it addresses these issues much better than better geography.

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