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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 2:44 am 
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Continuing the give and take on my plan:

tarkiokid wrote:
You made a division that stretches from the far Pacific time zone to the eastern Central time zone.


Despite being in the same division with teams in the Pacific time zone, under my plan Nashvile has the exact same number of games at EDM, VAN, ANA, CAL, LA, SJ, MIN, COL and DAL as they have under their current alignment.

Also, you need to cut that some slack because I've got Phoenix moved to Hamilton/Toronto already; What's the NHL's plan if they move?

This is basically the crux of the argument. The NHL went so far as to draft about six realignment proposals in 2006. They abandoned all six because NONE of them work. All of them were based on geography.

Which is the reason I looked at a baseball style alignment in the first place.

tarkiokid wrote:
Go back and look at baseball. 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.


That's the thing... baseball doesn't make sense: You've got a 16/14 split because the league doesn't want interleague play all year around.

They don't do "radical realignment" because everyone in baseball is against it. Because you lose fans to the other team in your market when you finish behind them in the standings year after year.

Hockey does not have this interleague problem.

The divisions in hockey are REALLY East 1, East 2, Mideast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest. Geography simply doesn't work for six groups of five. It isn't symmetrical enough to work. Not when you have:
4 northwest teams (VAN, EDM, CAL, COL)
4 southwest teams (SJ, LA, ANA; PHX for now)
2 southern central teams (DAL, NASH)
3 northern central teams (MIN, CHI, STL)
4 southeast teams (CAR, TB, FLA, ATL)
13 Northeast teams (everyone else and maybe Hamilton)

I think the disconnect between what I'm proposing is how the standings look. The schedule is the important thing. Look at home I basically increased the total number of games vs teams NEAR you. Not necessarily time zone, but near you.

The Eastern teams dump games with CAR, TB, FLA, NASH, and ATL in favor of more games CHI, STL, DET, MIN, and CBJ.
And everyone loses games vs the West. Each West team makes two more trips East than before, but one is because I moved Phoenix.

I really think there's only TWO ways to fix hockey. The first is the baseball style conference format. Because geography doesn't work with the teams in these cities. Even if they go to four divisions. 8/7 in each conference. That still is messed up:
WEST Pacific: VAN, EDM, CAL, SJ, ANA, LA, COL
EAST: Northeast: BUF, TOR, MON, OTT, PIT, CBJ, Hamilton (That was easy. But what about...)
WEST Central: DET, CHI, MIN, STL, DAL, NASH (they need one more)
EAST: Atlantic: NYR, NYI, PHI, NJ, WAS, ATL, CAR, TB, FLA (who you moving to the West?)

And the schedule is still an issue. You play everyone in your division six times and everyone in the other division four times. And then you play 10 games against the remaining 15 teams.
But if you move ATL to the West, they are playing CAR, TB and FLA a total of three times max.
You have Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis playing TOR, MON, BUF, Hamilton, BOS, NYR, Crosby's Pens, Ovechkin's Caps, Tavares' Islanders either one or zero times.
There's five teams you don't play. Which means it takes three years between seeing all the teams.
You're returning to the model the NHL moved away from years ago because no one liked it.

And most importantly, each East division is comprised of 5 core teams, and then pairs of the TB, FLA, ATL, CAR group that you play six times... and NO ONE REMOTELY CARES ABOUT.

Every issue in hockey boils down to the simple fact that no one likes playing CAR, TB, FLA, ATL, NAS or PHX. I don't know why (They are new? Warm weather? Stupid nicknames and ugly jerseys?), but it's true. And that is the second way to fix hockey:

Patrick: NYI, NYR, PHI, NJ, PIT, WAS
Adams: BUF, BOS, MON, TOR, OTT, MON
Norris: CHI, DET, MIN, STL, COL, DAL
Smythe:VAN, CAL, EDM, LA, SJ, ANA

Basically 1993 NHL hockey, only with TOR and OTT instead of QUE and HAR. in the Adams; COL and DAL instead of TOR and TB in the Norris; ANA instead of WIN in the Smythe.

6 vs your division, 4 vs other division, 2 vs other conference with four more games left to schedule for TV. That's what I want. I would watch all 82 games of that. When my team plays ANA or SJ, I think "oh, well not a rival, but it's a good change of pace. See different conference. And the late games are just fun to stay up for." But when we play Carolina or Atlanta, Tampa or Florida, I'm like "Geez, these F'ing guys again!?!"

What's my connection to TB, FLA, CAR and ATL? They're in our time zone, but so what? For New York, Detroit, Columbus and Chicago are closer than Atlanta. The Islanders arena is closer to Minnesota's than Miami's. (Yes, I'm an die-hard Islanders fan, so let's never mention "Kansas City" again).


My whole goal is to get the teams playing more games against teams that fans want to see. My team plays ATL, CAR, TB and FLA 20 times a season, plus another 3-4 against CBJ, NASH and PHX.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Who cares about Columbus? That team really should be in Cleveland; then a rivalry with Pittsburgh would be worthwhile.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:07 pm 
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One of the general issues of sports franchise locations is how many teams can one fan base and one city support.

Columbus instead of Cleveland makes sense, because Columbus had zero pro franchises.

Putting the team in Cleveland puts a fourth franchise for 2.1 million people to support. They'd be taking dollars from the Browns, Indians and Cavs (or more likely, not taking dollars and struggling).

Columbus has 1.8 million people, and no pro sports teams. Plus they can draw fans from Cincinnati and Dayton (3.1 million people) a lot easier than Cleveland can draw from the 2.1 from Columbus.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 1:45 pm 
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JPSchmack wrote:
One of the general issues of sports franchise locations is how many teams can one fan base and one city support.

Columbus instead of Cleveland makes sense, because Columbus had zero pro franchises.

Putting the team in Cleveland puts a fourth franchise for 2.1 million people to support. They'd be taking dollars from the Browns, Indians and Cavs (or more likely, not taking dollars and struggling).

Columbus has 1.8 million people, and no pro sports teams. Plus they can draw fans from Cincinnati and Dayton (3.1 million people) a lot easier than Cleveland can draw from the 2.1 from Columbus.


It's a good example of a Pro-version of the "Marketing Impact" piece I wrote regarding school name changes.

There is and probably will only be (1) NBA team in Ohio. The Cleveland Cavaliers changing their name to "Ohio" would include the entire state...and make the western Ohio natives more likely to be stronger fans of a franchise versus pulling for "Cleveland".

When the NHL expanded to Columbus, it made even more sense. Ohio went that long without the NHL and the city that got the team was the capital. But of course, the city takes a selfish approach and goes with "Columbus" rather than "Ohio".

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 10:30 pm 
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So, how do you realign a 29-team league?
Should the NHL expand to replace the Coyotes?

I post this because I just discovered the NHL Constitution states that membership shall "terminate automatically" if a team files for bankruptcy. That means the Coyotes NHL membership terminated automatically (even though no party has mentioned this).

I think you have to expand, because making a schedule for 29 teams is ridiculously hard.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:13 am 
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ESPN article with speculation regarding possible future NHL realignment at http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/preview20 ... id=4496992


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:45 pm 
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freaked4collegefb wrote:
ESPN article with speculation regarding possible future NHL realignment at http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/preview20 ... id=4496992


That's not an article about possible future realignment! none of those are realistic/less than crazy.

The one that actually makes the most sense is Buccigross' expansion. Because contraction/Europe ain't happening anytime soon.

Instead of 40, what about going to 36?

Northwest: CAL, EDM, VAN, Seattle, MIN, Winnipeg
Pacific: LA, ANA, SJ, PHX, COL, Las Vegas
Central: CHI, DET, STL, DAL, Houston, Kansas City
Northeast: TOR, OTT, MON, BUF, BOS, Hamilton
Atlantic: NYR, NYI, NJ, PHI, PIT, CBJ
Southeast: CAR, ATL, TB, FLA, WAS, NASH

Six vs your division
Three vs your conference
one vs everyone else.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:18 am 
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Not sure that Phoenix isn't a viable franchise. My understanding is that their ownership made some terrible deals to price themselves out of the market.

The America West arena downtoen (home of the Suns, probably now called USAIR or something) was not really designed for a 200 foot long hockey rink.

However, Glendale is way up Northwest of town (also site of the Cardinals stadium). Is that central to the hockey fan base ? I don't know. It is a high growth part of town, near the interstate, but rather inconvenient if you live south around Tempe or Mesa.... So the 'Yotes got a real HOCKEY arena, but negotiated a terrible deal to where they feel the need to gouge people on tickets and concessions, etc, and still are $30 million / year in the hole. Not sure the low attendance proves that Phoenix is a lousy hockey market, or that the team is not fan-friendly and had to declare bankrupcy to break a terrible lease deal.

I am curious why the Kansas City contingent seems to have remained on the sidelines. Did they not build a new "Sprint Center" and try to lure the Penguins to move 2 years ago ? A Phoenix to KC move would not cause the League headaches such as infringing on another team's territory or forcing a realignment. Just saying.... what happened to thos einvestors in KC ?


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:43 am 
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tute79 wrote:
Not sure that Phoenix isn't a viable franchise. My understanding is that their ownership made some terrible deals to price themselves out of the market.

The America West arena downtoen (home of the Suns, probably now called USAIR or something) was not really designed for a 200 foot long hockey rink.

However, Glendale is way up Northwest of town (also site of the Cardinals stadium). Is that central to the hockey fan base ? I don't know. It is a high growth part of town, near the interstate, but rather inconvenient if you live south around Tempe or Mesa.... So the 'Yotes got a real HOCKEY arena, but negotiated a terrible deal to where they feel the need to gouge people on tickets and concessions, etc, and still are $30 million / year in the hole. Not sure the low attendance proves that Phoenix is a lousy hockey market, or that the team is not fan-friendly and had to declare bankrupcy to break a terrible lease deal.

I am curious why the Kansas City contingent seems to have remained on the sidelines. Did they not build a new "Sprint Center" and try to lure the Penguins to move 2 years ago ? A Phoenix to KC move would not cause the League headaches such as infringing on another team's territory or forcing a realignment. Just saying.... what happened to thos einvestors in KC ?


I think KC is looking for an owner to move their team there. They don't have an ownership group lined up. The company that built the arena, AEG, cannot own a team because they are owned by the same guy who owns the Kings and the AEG CEO is the President of the Kings.

They are operating an arena, and making a profit. Their goal is to give a rent-free lease to someone's team, and make money on the 550,000 people coming through the doors via concessions and beer.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:47 am 
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tarkiokid wrote:
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.



Once the NHL is all set with the Phx and KC issues, i think a simple move could make things smoother:

Pitt to the WC Central (with Chi, Det, StL, Columbus, Pitt)
Washington to the EC East (NYR, NYI, NJ, Phil, Washington)
Nashville to EC South (Carolina, Nashville, FLA, TB, ATL)

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:42 pm 
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The odds of the Islanders moving away from the NY metro area are slim.

Their lease is up in after 2016 at NVMC in Nassau County.
They're working on a real estate development deal which includes a new arena. The reason they are horrendous on the ledger sheet is because their 30-year lease made them slaves to their arena management company.

They have a MASSIVE TV contract which runs through 2032. They move to KC/Winnipeg/Hamilton/etc, they lose that. They'd be looking at a TV deal half the size in Hamilton and 1/6th the size in KC.

(I know what you're thinking: Hockey-crazed Southern Ontario and the Hockey night in Canada contract could match a NYC hockey contract. But they got their deal not from the value of their hockey programming, but because of a fortuitous clause in their TV contract signed with SportsChannel in the 80s, allowing them an ownership stake in the cable company at the end of the contract. SC gave that clause easily because they were a small operation and the stake wasn't much money. Fast forward 20 years the contract is up for renewal and SportsChannel had been bought out a decade earlier. The clause now entitled the Islanders to a 18.5% share of Cablevision, which is quite massive. So Cablevision had to buy out the clause with their current massive deal that gives them $20 million now, escalating up to $32 million by 2032).


So, the Islanders will do everything in their power to stay in the NY area.

Their owner has the rights to develop the land their arena is on now, and he's doing everything he can to push the project through. The threats of leaving were simply for leverage to get politicians to act.

Plan B & Plan C are neighboring NY areas.
The Willets Point area in Queens is going to develop the land next to the Mets stadium and their politicians have already said they'd welcome the Islanders in an arena built there.

A developer is close to breaking ground on a new arena in Brooklyn for the New Jersey Nets, and just today he issued a report saying he would love to share the building with the Islanders.

Basically, for the Islanders to leave the NY area, THREE counties/boroughs would have to royally screw up real estate deals that are already being planned, AND no one else would have to step up. AND the Islanders would have to fail in/not attempt negotiations for a short-term lease in their current building; all of which are more profitable than moving.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:46 pm 
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As reported earlier today, the Atlanta Thrashers will be moving to Winnipeg this fall. No realignment for this year, but I assume that for 2012-13 Winnipeg will be moved to the Western Conference. Most likely the Northwest Division, moving Minnesota to the Central Division. One of three of Detroit, Nashville, and Columbus to the Eastern Conference. I don't see the NHL breaking up Detroit and Chicago, so perhaps Nashville to the Southeast Division is the most feasible option.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Congratulations to Winnepeg, who I thought supported the Jets pretty well, despite being a very small market.

The NHL Board of Governors will meet on June 21 to vote on the relocation, which I think will be rubber-stamped.

Team name - I assume the Phoenix Coyotes still own the name "Winnepeg Jets".
They could be good sports and relinquish that name...
(the Baltimore Ravens gave up "Cleveland Browns"; the Minnesota Twins gave up "Washington Senators", I wish Utah would give "Jazz" back to New Orleans)
Don't know what "Jets" has to do with Winnepeg, other than when they started up in the WHA, their marquis player was Bobby "the Golden Jet" Hull...
If anyone knows otherwise, please share.

Not clear on the timing of realignment....
I don't think the 2011-2012 schedules are out, so maybe they can agree on something for this year...

Atlanta (SE) move to Winnepeg (fits better in NW).

Likely possibilities:
Minnesota (NW) to Central; Nashville (Central) to SE.
OR
Colorado (NW) to SW; Dallas (SW to Central); Nashville (Central) to SE.
In either scenario, I think hte affected tems would be happier in their new divisions.


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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:11 pm 
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http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=6706113


So despite the ease in realignment with Winnipeg added to the mix (simple plan would be to move Nashville from Central to Southeast, Minnesota from their tough spot to the central, and Winnepeg to the northwest to be with Edmonton and Calgary), the NHL looks to be going more drastic.

Reason?

Central teams want in the east. Who, don't know. How many? Only room for a couple. My money would be on Detroit and Chicago pressuring...but no way they would get in over Columbus in nearby Ohio. Maybe even Nashville due to the Florida and Carolina teams...Nashville would have to be sold on benefits of being associated with Dallas.

So it look like there will now be (4) divisions with 8 or 7 members.

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 Post subject: Re: NHL Realignment News
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Quinn wrote:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=6706113


So despite the ease in realignment with Winnipeg added to the mix (simple plan would be to move Nashville from Central to Southeast, Minnesota from their tough spot to the central, and Winnepeg to the northwest to be with Edmonton and Calgary), the NHL looks to be going more drastic.

Reason?

Central teams want in the east. Who, don't know. How many? Only room for a couple. My money would be on Detroit and Chicago pressuring...but no way they would get in over Columbus in nearby Ohio. Maybe even Nashville due to the Florida and Carolina teams...Nashville would have to be sold on benefits of being associated with Dallas.

So it look like there will now be (4) divisions with 8 or 7 members.


I've been reading that they want to realign based on timezones which works fairly well surprisingly enough.

There are 8 teams in the Western and Mountain timezones, simple enough.

There are 6 in the Central timezone (sorry Chicago, so close). That means one eastern timezone team has to go west. I assume Columbus will stay west and Detroit will go east.

The East would break down North/South I assume. The 4 remaining SE plus the 5 from the Atlantic puts them at 9. The 5 from the NE plus Detroit puts 6 in the North. So either one or two teams would move to the North. Either Pitt could go north or the two NY teams go North. My pick is the two NY teams.


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