Last year's planned realignment. (via prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/TomFulery.com)

NHL Realignment Talks Once Again, A Bit Different This Time


Last December, the NHL announced plans of a radical conference realignment. It was later vetoed by the NHLPA over travel and fairness of the proposed playoff qualification system. This time, the NHL and NHLPA are working together to figure out the details and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly believes that everything could be settled in a week or two.

The above pictured shows what last year’s planned realignment would have looked. There were some concerns over the decision, but in my opinion, it was received pretty well. It is unknown what has changed from this alignment plan. We do know that the four conference system is still here. One of the major problems that some expressed about this realignment was about Tampa Bay and Florida being in a conference with teams in the Northeast of the United States and Canada instead of other teams in the South, like Nashville, Dallas and Carolina. Also, keeping Winnipeg away from other Canadian teams upset some people as well.

Personally, I think it might be tough to change much from this current plan. There are some very established rivalries that the NHL does not want to interrupt. They could have both Tampa and Florida in a division with Carolina, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis, Columbus and Washington. However, that would hurt some of those teams’ rivalries.

Another idea would be to have this as a conference, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Florida as a conference. However, that would alienate San Jose and they would most likely be in a conference with the Western Canada teams and some of the teams from the Central area. However, that could ultimately break up some original six rivalries. It’s a difficult process. I don’t think there is any way to not alienate some team from their rivals. In my opinion, just swap Winnipeg with Colorado, and Detroit/Columbus and Tampa Bay/Florida. How’s that? I don’t know, but we shall see by the end of February at the latest!

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Bill Daly Carolina Hurricanes Colorado Avalanche Columbus Blue Jackets Dallas Stars Detroit Red Wings Featured Florida Panthers Los Angeles Kings Nashville Predators NHL NHLPA Phoenix Coyotes Popular Realignment St. Louis Blues Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets

  • http://beautypersoni.livejournal.com Christopher-J Carlson

    I like these theoretical conferences in general, but I feel that Florida and Tampa should be swapped with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Panthers and Lightning would get some relief in regards to travel distance and game times. (Though they shouldn’t really complain considering how much the western teams have to travel.) The Flyers wouldn’t suffer that much from not being grouped with the NJ/NY teams, and you can’t separate the Penn teams anyway. Then, when the Nordiques v2 come along (via Phoenix or expansion) Buffalo would just have to break up with Toronto and move in with the rest of its NY neighbors. Anyhoo…

    • Sean

      but then the conferences would really be unbalanced….that’s why I think a city like Seattle or Portland, Oregon would get a franchise first

      • http://beautypersoni.livejournal.com Christopher-J Carlson

        Unbalanced as in number of teams or quality? Whatever the case, the league should be more interested in teams that are financially sound, no matter where they are. While I believe a team in Seattle could succeed (I’m not as familiar w. Portland), I know a team in Quebec would be. Seattle was the first U.S. city to win the Stanley Cup, BTW. They’d be stupid not to heavily endorse that if/when they ever got an NHL team. (At least in the beginning, like Ottawa and their Stanley Cups.) As for the Coyotes, they’re staying for at least five more years in Arizona. I believe the team has an out clause with the city of Phoen- er, Glendale (ohhh, that’s where the problem started *wink*) if they haven’t improved financially to a certain point. I’d be willing to wait that long for Nords 2.0, seeing how long I’ve already waited. Anyhoo…

        • Sean

          Simply in the amount of teams. Portland already has an arena that could already support an NHL franchise and Seattle is still developing plans. The Seattle Metropolitans, absolutely, that would definitely be used in their pitch. Haha good one with the Phoenix-Glendale thing. And there’s no doubt that a team in Quebec City would succeed.

          • http://beautypersoni.livejournal.com Christopher-J Carlson

            Although Detroit has a long history (and longer as an Eastern team) I’m quite disappointed that they went through with their wish to go back East, since they had become the Nashville’s #1 rival in the Central. Even in their early seasons, the Predators usually always kept the Wings on their heels, or stole games. I guess Chicago will have to do now as rival #1. :^} As for the Metropolitans, since Calgary and Edmonton are born rivals, and Vancouver is almost a U.S. team in the eyes of many in the rest of Canada (Quebec wasn’t the only province that considered separation), I think Seattle and the Canucks could make a decent rivalry. And Van fans would feel good about themselves for at least a few years knowing they could usually always beat at least one team. LOL!

  • thestormchaser

    Not much point in speculating until they figure out what to do with the Coyotes. But the original proposal seems suspect with the for north teams flying over the entire Atlantic division to vacation in, er..travel to, Florida.

    • http://beautypersoni.livejournal.com Christopher-J Carlson

      Yeah, but it’s fun to come up with possible combinations. Another possibility could be swapping BUF, FLO & TAM with NJD, NYI & NYR. The Sabres wouldn’t think much of that setup though, not being in the same conference as either their cross-border girlfriends in TOR or their relative in New York State.