Gary Bettman opened up the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals with a press conference in which he discussed a number of topics, mainly that of Atlanta's move to Winnipeg. Unless we are led to believe that somehow a team in the Great White (Centralish) North is still bound to be situated in the Southeast Division, there is going to be a change or two to the look of the Eastern Conference next season.
Bettman cited three teams as the leading contenders for conference realignment: the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings.
Obviously one of those three stands out a bit more than others for Pens fans, especially given the little bit of recent history that developed over the span of two consecutive finals appearances. But what about the Blue Jackets? The city of Pittsburgh has a history of rivalries in Ohio, specifically that of the Steelers and Browns/Bengals, so it seems like a natural fit. But does Columbus qualify as a city that could technically be considered "southeast?"
No, but even Washington is on the fringe in that regard. The natural fit would seem to be Nashville, simply by looking at a map and basing this off geography alone. As much as I'd like to see the rivalry between Detroit and Pittsburgh grow even more, the Predators seems like the obvious substitute to fill the void left behind by the Thrashers.
If you had to pick, who are you going with?