FanPost

Realignment idea for the NHL

"Borrowing" the idea from Japers Rink commenter "Gould Old Days", here's my spin on a re-alignment strategy for the NHL.  Also props to commenter "What Juneau About That" for the NHL country map.  With all my punny hockey player names out of the way, here's Hooks Orpik's idea:

 

Nhlmap2_medium  

 

Prince Of Wales Conference

Campbell Conference

Smythe

Norris

Patrick

Adams

Anaheim Ducks

Atlanta Thrashers

Buffalo Sabres

Boston Bruins

Calgary Flames

Carolina Hurricanes

Columbus Blue Jackets

Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalance

Dallas Stars

 New Jersey Devils

Detroit Red Wings

Edmonton Oilers

Florida Panthers

New York Rangers

Minnesota Wild

Los Angeles Kings

Nashville Predators

New York Islanders

Montreal Canadiens

Phoenix Coyotes

St. Louis Blues

Philadelphia Flyers

Ottawa Senators

San Jose Sharks

Tampa Bay Lightning

Pittsburgh Penguins

Toronto Maple Leafs

Vancouver Canucks

 

Washington Capitals

This idea hinges on further expansion.  Like it or not, it seems only a matter of time before the new building in Kansas City finds a team playing in it (sliding into the Norris division) and also the 7th Canadian team somewhere in Southern Ontario.  I know the logistical concerns of appeasing Toronto and Buffalo are hurdles all into themselves, but that's simply how I chose to sketch it out in this exercise.

Adams division breakdown: 5 of the original six teams are here, joined by a strong "State of Hockey" Minnesota market and also Ottawa.  Presumptively there's an addition of another Ontario team to round it out at eight, in what's the most traditional division in the league, from top to bottom.

Patrick division breakdown: The modern day Atlantic division is joined by Buffalo, Columbus and Washington, all of whom make geographic sense.  This is the most compact division in the league in terms of distance between all the teams, so naturally playoff series could make for the most intense games in the entire league.

Norris division breakdown:  AKA Gary Bettman's dream: all Southern teams, all markets that have room to grow.  Tampa, Dallas and Raleigh have been amongst the best markets in hockey in terms of team support when times are good, but all these teams generally spend toward's the salary floor.  When Kansas City enters the league (this exercise assumes they will) they'll be here for the natural rivalry with St. Louis.

Smythe division breakdown:  So sorry for the distance between the teams, but given where the NHL cities are across the West, it's impossible for it not to be this way.  So here's the teams in the Southwest of the USA, the Northwest of Canada and Colorado.  It sucks, but it's necessary.

The names of the conferences/divisions are back things are aligned in a way that makes more sense.

Thoughts?  Comments?

The content expressed in fanposts does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff here at Pensburgh.com. FanPosts are opinions expressed by fans of various teams throughout the league but may be more Pittsburgh-centric for obvious reasons.

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