NHL Realignment Project – Week 16

NHL Realignment Project - Week 16
Champions League (Version 1)

Just like, last week, we’re gonna go into contraction mode again. But we’re pushing it much further this time. In this, the sixteenth week of the NHL Realignment Project, we’re going to contract the NHL to only the current teams that have already won the Stanley Cup (yes, I know the NHL doesn’t recognize the current Ottawa Senators to be the same as the original, actually-has-won-the-cup team, but I wanted to make it an even split, so I let it slide). That leaves us with eighteen teams. So does that mean all but two teams in the league make the playoffs? My answer to that riddle is a very scientific and well thought out one: “Sure, why not?”

Here’s the map with the divisional breakdown (2 Conferences, no divisions):

NHL Realignment Map - Week 16

NHL Realignment Map - Week 16

The Breakdown:

Gretzky Conference: Anaheim, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Toronto

Orr Conference: Boston, Carolina, Montreal, Ottawa, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay


Gained teams:


Lost teams:

Vancouver, San Jose, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Winnipeg, Minnesota, St. Louis, Buffalo, Columbus, Nashville, Florida, Washington


The Benefits:

• Talent — Whoa nelly! My math may be off, but wouldn’t cutting 40% of the teams out of the NHL mean we’d be leaving the bottom 40% of the talent out of the league too? It’d be like my fantasy league (speaking of, we’re desperate for people to join). Basically we’d have an All-Star Game level of talent, but with checks.

• Amazingly Historical Match-ups in the Stanley Cup Finals (potentially) — The Original Six Teams have been divided evenly between the two Conferences. So lots of potential for old school finals. Not to mention the potential for a Pittsburgh/Philadelphia final. I don’t know if Pennsylvania would survive that, actually.

• Tradition — When the league is made up of only teams that have won it all, tradition is pretty much built in (*cough cough* tampadallascarolinaanaheim? *cough*)


(H/T to oilersnation.com for the original map)


Check back for version 2 of this concept next week!

— TF

Make sure to check out the entire NHL Realignment Project ».

6 Responses to NHL Realignment Project – Week 16

  1. Ken Richardson says:

    Here is “Just A Thought” on NHL re-alignment.

    Five Divisions of Six Teams per division, that reignites the NHL tradition and creates “NEW” excitement within the league. The top four teams in each division make the playoffs with the initial brackets going from the best record in the league to the least best of the 20 playoff teams.

    1. Buffalo
    2. New Jersey
    3. N.Y. Islanders
    4. Ottawa
    5. Philadelphia
    6. Pittsburg

    1. Carolina
    2. Columbus
    3. Florida
    4. Nashville
    5. Tampa Bay
    6. Washington

    1. Colorado
    2. Dallas
    3. Edmonton
    4. Minnesota
    5. St. Louis
    6. Winnipeg

    1. Anaheim
    2. Calgary
    3. Los Angeles
    4. Phoenix
    5. San Jose
    6. Vancouver

    1. Boston
    2. Chicago
    3. Detroit
    4. Montreal
    5. N.Y. Rangers
    6. Toronto

    This alignment would promote the tradition of the original six and would also create new rivalries with the changes that have been made. This is something that should be considered for the good of the league.

    • tom says:

      I dig it, Ken… especially the O6 division. How would a 20-team playoff work out?

      Maybe top 12 seeds get a bye in the first round and the other 8 “play in”. The 4 winners join the 12 bye teams, rounding us out to the 16-team bracket we all know and love. Whatchoo think?

  2. Ken Richardson says:

    I like your idea for the playoff format.

    If only we could reach the NHL’s ears with this idea.

    Thanks for the positive feedback.

  3. Mike C says:

    I love this idea for realignment, only if for geographic purposes, but the original six idea is great.
    The only problem I can forsee would be scheduling. The most balance schedule would be playing 6 games against division rivals, and 2 games against everyone else, which would give you 78 games.
    For more variety to the schedule and less on balance, you could play division rivals 4 times, 2 divisions 3 times and the other 2 divisions twice. This would give you 80 games, but also mean that home and visitors would be different for each team. With this schedule though, you could rotate the divisions that you play each year. Which would help with variety. Just a thought. Thanks

  4. Pingback: » NHL Realignment Project – Week 17 Tom Fulery – Uselessness at its finest.

  5. Pingback: » NHL Realignment Project – Week 19 Tom Fulery – Uselessness at its finest.

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