Deja Vu All Over Again

So remember that time, way back in Dec. 2011 BL (Before Lockout) when the NHL proposed a realignment plan that never actually happened?

Well, it’s deja vu all over again.

In a detailed memo sent to League teams on Tuesday, the NHL again proposed a new realignment plan.  This new plan would see the League go from six divisions to four and introduce a form of divisional playoffs instead of the current conference system.

Again, the plan needs approval from the NHLPA and Board of Governors.  If ratified, the plan would take effect for the 2013-14 regular season.

Under this new plan, the conferences would be re-aligned, albeit unevenly.  Columbus and Detroit would move into the Eastern Conference, leaving the Western Conference with only 14 teams.  Teams in the “Blue” and “Green” would be the East and “Yellow” and “Orange” would be West.

The schedule would see each team play teams in the other conference, both at home and away.

In the divisions with 7 teams (Yellow, Orange), the teams would play intraconference opponents three times per season and 5 of the 6 intradivision opponents five times a season.  The 6th opponent within the division would be played four times.

In the division with 8 team (Blue and Green),  teams would play intraconference three times and intradivision either four or five times per season.

With the obvious imbalance between the conference, the League has proposed introducing a wild-card to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I guess if it works for the NFL and MLB, it could work for hockey?

Under this new system, the top 3 teams in each of the four divisions would qualify for the postseason. The final four spots would go to the two teams in each conference with the next-best records. In theory, 5 teams from one division and just 3 from the other in each conference could make the post season.

Doesn’t the NHL know that we don’t do no math?  This is too many numbers for us to handle.

Obviously, this plan is not set in stone and who’s to say that it’ll even get approved.

But hypothetically, if it did get approved, how would you feel about it?

Love? Hate? Bored Indifference?


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Leave a Reply

  1. canuckles Reply

    Best use of a Charlie pic ever!

  2. Alex Reply

    Bored indifference, although I love that the Pens will go against the Canes more often! I miss Jordan, and i wanna see him more often 🙁

  3. I think everyone is in agreement that at some point in the next couple years there are probably going to be teams in Quebec City and the Toronto metro-area, whether through expansion or by moving a franchise. That would add another two teams to the already lopsided Eastern conference.

    With that in mind, wouldn’t it be more helpful to table this conversation for another year? In the meantime, do the logical thing and swap Columbus and Winnipeg for next season. Helps on the travel and hopefully a fresh start for both franchises.

  4. Amy Reply

    I would like to see it done, if for no other reason than something different.

  5. Hate, hate, hate. Uneven conferences equals unequal chances at a playoff spot and that’s the whole point of a season. Wait until expansion is finalized (because we know it’s coming) and for the Phoenix clusterF to be settled (hahahahaha) and THEN tackle realignment. For now, swap Nashville and Winnipeg and be done with it. Why does the NHL insist on making everything so difficult?

    • Beth Reply

      I’m with Brenda.

  6. I’m sort of indifferent over it, although I do think it’s kind of lame that 1) TB and Florida get screwed on the extra commute and 2) we lose the Chicago/Detroit rivalry. I’m more interested in the gossip over what they would name the new conferences – my bet is if they go with “people who’ve had a great impact in NHL history” then Bettman will put in one with his name.

  7. Maybe I’m indifferent in that I’m so confused? Gawd, everytime the analysts start into the math (and not the good kind, as in “Half your age plus 7”), like how many times teams will play, and how the playoffs will work…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. All I want to know is:

    – How many times can I see the Blackhawks?
    – Will I see the Canucks less? (then yes PLEASE!)
    – Can the Ranges PLEASE get out of the Pens conference?

    That’s about it. I’ll get y’all to explain it to me when it’s all said and done. Love you girls!

  8. Pants Reply

    This realignment is entitled: How to Make the Penguins/Capitals Rivalry Real. I like it in a sick, twisted and self-abusing way. It would put the teams I love (Pens/Caps) and the teams I love to hate (Rangers/Flyers) all together and probably kill me.

    This deal also swaps me a Tavares for a Stamkos, which isn’t quite my asking price but it’s over the minimum bid I’d set on eBay.

    Mostly I just want a whole season where we play teams from other conferences.

    Has someone put the Maple Leafs on suicide watch? Not only is TO probably going to get another team some time in the near future but now they have the Red Wings in their conference?!

    • Reeves Reply


  9. Ashley Reply

    as a devils fan, i don’t have any real change to deal with, other than a few new teams, which is probably why i’m mostly indifferent to the whole thing.

    the unevenness doesn’t bother me that much, i think there was a period of about 10 years or so when the patrick division had 6 teams while the other 3 divisions had 5 teams. and there will be an even number of teams in each division soon enough anyway.

    sentimentally i would like it if they used the old division names again. it would be awesome to one day see a new “patrick division champions” banner go to the rafters at prudential. whats old is new. (but i doubt they’ll actually “name” the divisions anyway.)

    i guess after putting up with the lockouts, i don’t care as much about how the league is set up, as long as the boys are playing!

  10. Deanna Reply

    The Wings go east & I get Stamkos, Gudbranson, Seguin, and Bozak on a regular basis. I like it.