5 Things to Like about NHL Realignment

NHL realignment map 2011 12 03 1 medium
Image via Cassie @ www.rawcharge.com

I wish MLB and the NHL were more bold in their thinking. I recently posted A Radical Baseball Realignment Proposal where I outlined what baseball could do if they had any guts to shake things up.

Today, at the NHL Board of Governors meeting in Florida, the hockey overlords showed that they do have the guts for radical realignment.

What did they do? 4 yet-to-be-named conferences (may I suggest Adams, Patrick, Smythe, and Norris). Here’s how they break down:

  • New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington and Carolina
  • Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay
  • Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg
  • Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado

So, what’s to like?

  1. The Dallas Stars will play the majority of conference games in Central Time Zone.
  2. A balanced schedule in which all teams will play each other at least twice every season, once at home and once on the road. That means, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philly, Toronto, Montreal, etc., will come to Dallas every year.
  3. Maintains most of the major rivalries.
  4. Allows flexibility should Phoenix or the Florida teams relocate in the future.
  5. Reunites most of the Norris Division rivalries I grew up watching in St. Louis in the 1980s.

Now, the NHLPA just needs to approve the realignment plan. Now, we can only dream that the MLB will revisit realignment one day.